1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Jason Grimm, and Steve Rauenhorst.Member excused: Jamie Davis.
Staff present: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Jeff Luther, Police Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Bret Weiss, City Engineer.
2. Open Forum. None.
3. Presentations. 3.02 Presentation on I94/Thru 101 Interchange Ramp Modifications UpdateSRF Engineers presented a series of slides illustrating all views of the South Diamond Lake Road intersection at Highway 101 with the ramp/fly-over bridge in place.Mayor Grimm asked what the view will look like coming off of west-bound I94.Grimm then questioned the elevation of the existing bridge. Seifert stated the elevation will be lower then start to take grade. The presentation continued with more visuals taken at different elevations.Bell commented on the opening and view looking east on South Diamond Lake Road stating it looks good.Seifert gave an update from the business meeting stating most people wanted to see all the work get done in one construction year. Seifert stated staff will continue to work with business owners on their specific concerns.Staff reminded the Council and audience of a public open house slated for Wednesday, September 16th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the RAC.Bell commented on controlled right turns from eastbound South Diamond Lake Road to Southbound 101; two turn lanes. There was additional discussion on the right turn lanes and questions regarding a free right on red.Grimm stated he has had a few business owners approach him regarding signs. Grimm stated, with permission from the Council, he would like to direct staff to look at the signs adjacent to 101 and the impact of signs and whether or not sign ordinances need to be amended to address those signs to make sure they are not adversely affected.Seifert stated staff is starting to look at where the impacts are and will report back to Council. Grimm requested staff report back at the next meeting.No further action was taken.
At this time, Mayor Grimm moved item 7.02 ahead in the agenda.
7.02 Transportation Update: I94/TH 101 Flyover, Materials SelectionSRF Engineers provided slides illustrating the different bridge materials available for Council selection.Council discussed the color/texture choices and the costs associated with each.Bunting commented on the bridge being a focal point for the next 60 years and would like to see the surface upgraded.Rauenhorst suggested getting public input at the public meeting and commented liking the stone texture. Grimm suggested going with the stone color/texture and do a change order if necessary after the public open house.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to select the stone appearance for the fly-over bridge. Motion carried 4-0.
3.01 Swearing in of Officer Michael GrimsbyChief Luther introduced Officer Michael Grimsby and his family.Doboszenski administered the oath to Officer Grimsby, swearing him in.Council congratulated Officer Grimsby.
4. Approve agenda. 8.01 Bunting to add review of Police Open House and authorization for same event for next year
5. Consent Agenda. 5.01 Approval of August 5, 2009 Workshop Minutes; Approval of Minutes from August 11, 2009 City Council Meeting; August 11, 2009 Workshop Minutes 5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims 5.03 Sports Display, Inc./Rogers Activity Center Letter of Agreement 5.04 Crack Sealing Bids – Fall Campaign 5.05 Well #8 Electrical Contract 5.06 Authorization to Enter into a Law Enforcement Services Agreement with Elk River Area School District No. 728 5.07 Meritex Twin Cities Industrial I, LLC for a Conditional Use Permit for Outdoor Storage
5.03 pulled for discussion by Bell stating he believes staff will put this item on the next agenda. Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve consent agenda and to table 5.03. Motion carried 4-0.
6. Public Hearing. None.
7. General Business. 7.01 Firefighter Hiring and Discussion of City Employee Participation in Fire Department/Daytime Response PolicyAdministrator Stahmer read from his staff memo and commented on the intent of the policy; largely to address the issue of double-dipping on pensions – PERA and Fire Relief. Stahmer gave an explanation on state statute that does not allow the employees to earn both PERA and Fire Relief pension for the same hour worked. Stahmer stated the policy goes on to state that regular city employees are no longer allowed to join the fire department as members as of April 2007. The intent was the practice of daytime response moving away from city employees and toward a duty crew. Anyone who wanted to join after April 9, 2007 and also a city employee would not be allowed to do so.Stahmer then discussed the FLSA overtime payout procedure.Stahmer noted the City has not moved toward a duty crew since policy was implemented. The public works department currently has five full-time employees who are also members of the fire department and two full-time employees who are true volunteers on the department trained from other departments. The two volunteers receive no pension credit or fire pay outside of public works hours.Stahmer stated staff is recommending if Council is considering changing any piece, to appoint two members to meet with staff on a task force, or staff could also take direction at putting together options. Stahmer concluded stating there may be some latitude in looking at the policy. There are definite benefits to having city employees be daytime response. There are also issues in regard to tracking hours and lost productivity.Grimm asked for comments.Bunting stated he spoke with Stahmer about this before and thinks some of the reasons the policy were put in place are now unrealistic stating the City can’t afford a duty crew. Bunting wants to explore different options while staying within legal requirements. Bunting stated he was fine with it being done with two Council members on a task force and stated he wants input from all players.Rauenhorst commented he has done some research and looked into the policy again and stated there is good value in the policy. He then questioned what happens when you need both public works employees and fire employees and referenced the tornado. Rauenhorst stated you need both sets of employees.Doboszenski provided an explanation on how overtime is calculated.Bell agreed to have Council look at the policy.Grimm nominated Bunting and Rauenhorst to the task force.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to create a task force with Rauenhorst and Bunting to look at this issue. Motion carried 4-0.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to table the hire of two fire fighters until the task force comes back with recommendation. Motion carried 4-0.
7.03 Items Relating to the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project: • Accept Feasibility Report • Order Plans & Specifications • Call for Public Hearing to Support Assessments • Approve WSB Proposal for Design/Construction Services/TestingEngineer Weiss provided information on reason for Industrial Park Mill and overlay stating it will give the streets an additional 10 to 15 years before total replacement.Cost options were provided along with a preliminary assessment roll and a project schedule. Weiss stated Council can hold the assessment hearing before the award of the contract if the Council chooses. The start date is scheduled for October 20, 2009.Stahmer stated the decision to bond or cash flow the project internally would be determined after a cash flow analysis is completed by staff. Weiss stated the proposal is for 100% assessment against benefiting property owners.Bell asked if this assessment follows the City’s typical assessment process.Doboszenski explained the process stating it does.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to accept the feasibility report, order plans and specifications, and call for public hearing on September 22, 2009 for the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Improvement Project. Motion carried 4 – 0.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to approve the WSB proposal for design, construction services, and testing for the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project. Motion carried 4-0.
7.04 Items Relating to the Edgewater Development: • Accept Feasibility Report • Order Plans & Specifications • Call for Public Hearing to Support Assessments • Approve WSB Proposal for Design, Construction and Testing ServicesWeiss provided an overhead presentation on the proposed project giving a background on the incomplete items within the development.Weiss explained two different assessment scenarios; one that assumes collection by the City of $290,000 from a performance bond, and one that does not. Weiss stated the proposal is to assessment all undeveloped lots.Bunting questioned how long until the City knows if it will be receiving the $290,000.Attorney Carson stated he is anticipating an answer by Sept 22nd. Bell questioned who owns the lots. Doboszenski explained the number of property owners within the improvement area.Grimm questioned if the $290,000 didn’t come in, and the City did not proceed with the project now, would the information from WSB still be good?Weiss stated the project can be re-bid next year with minimal cost.There was discussion on other parcels being excluded from the project if they developed. Weiss stated holding the public hearing would allow staff to put a pending assessment against those properties. Staff stated they will not issue building permits in the development until the public hearing is held. Bunting stated he is in favor of locking in a pending assessment.Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to accept the feasibility report, order plans and specifications, and call for public hearing for September 22nd on the Edgewater project. Motion carried 4-0.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve the WSB proposal on the Edgewater project. Motion carried 4-0.
7.05 Budget Workshop UpdateGrimm provided an update on the budget workshop. Grimm stated Council has looked at a number of different options for budget modifications and Council is leaning toward option 8; 1.5 FTE cuts, no refill of the City Planner position, and the inclusion of the Public Works Reorganization. Grimm stated staff needs to report back to Council regarding some questions dealing with severance. Also discussed where a few items in regard to questions on mandatory furloughs, health savings accounts, and payroll processing going forward.Rauenhorst stated Grimm did a good synopsis of the workshop session.Grimm stated he would like to revisit the severance piece.Motion by Bell, seconded by Rauenhorst to authorize staff to proceed with option 8, which includes 1.5 FTE cuts, no refill the city planner, and the public works reorganization. Motion carried 4-0.Grimm stated he previously proposed a severance of 60 day notice and one week pay per year of service, but would like to change that to a two week notice, two weeks pay per year of service and a $2000 education reimbursement with receipts. Grimm commented that in nine years, the City has not laid anyone off.Grimm asked for comments from the Council regarding his new proposal.Bell stated he was more comfortable with one week per year and 60 day notice. Bell stated it is what he has seen and a 60 day notice was a comforting factor for people affected. Bell commented on having the employee continue on the payroll with benefits for that 60 day period..Grimm stated he thinks it could be tough for an individual to be around for 60 days knowing they are going to be gone.Bell stated, once the layoff was announced, the employee is no longer obligated to be working, unless they felt they wanted to transition their duties. Bell stated they are not necessarily working those 60 days; similar to severance, but remaining n their benefits.Rauenhorst suggested 30 days and one week pay per year. Rauenhorst stated he would like to see what the numbers come in at and asked staff to bring that for the next meeting. Grimm clarified what staff is to bring back with numbers: two week notice with two weeks per year of service and an education reimbursement of $2000 or a 60 day notice with one week per year of service and an education reimbursement of $2000.Rauenhorst stated no severance would be best for the City.Grimm questioned how to move forward.Stahmer asked Council if the motion was to direct staff to incorporate Option 8 into the budget and bring back specific motions in the future for staff reductions, or if the Council’s intent was to reduce the AP/Payroll to half-time upon x number of days notice, and to eliminate the Engineer Tech position as of August 25, 2009.Council discussed the motion and directed staff to work with the union regarding layoff procedures and to report back to Council regarding severance. Council further directed staff to come back to the next meeting with specific motions on Option 8 staff reductions with the impact of the severance information, using worst case scenario.Wieland asked in regard to the education reimbursement, how long the employee will have to seek reimbursement. Grimm stated one year.Stahmer stated those items will be back to the next Council workshop and regular meeting.Bell asked about direction on the preliminary budget. Stahmer stated at the first meeting in September Council will adopt the preliminary levy, which will incorporate Option 8 and any severance options.Bell asked if staff is looking for guidance on what we wanted to go with expected budget or a slightly padded budget with room to work with.Grimm stated to incorporate Option 8 into the preliminary levy and an additional $100,000 that will only be used if it doesn’t impact taxpayers.Consensus of the Council was to direct staff to incorporation Option 8 into the preliminary levy, include the cost of severance, and additional $100,000 that will only be used if necessary.Doboszenski asked for a motion to set the next budget workshop.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to set the next budget workshop for 5:30 p.m. on September 8, 2009 at the Rogers Community Room. Motion carried 4-0.
8. Other Business. 8.01 Bunting to add review of Police Open House and authorization for same event for next yearBunting provided an update on the Public Safety Open House calling it a huge success. Bunting thanked all employees estimating over 3,000 people attended. Bunting stated he heard no complaints or issues in the way the event was done and stated he does not want to wait until next year to authorize the event.Motion by Bunting to authorize staff to include the Public Safety Open House in the 2010 budget.Rauenhorst asked if we know actual cost.There was discussion on the cost of the event including staff overtime cost.Bunting stated he would rescind his motion and asked staff to include this on a future consent agenda with numbers on overtime.Council consensus was to do as Bunting suggested.
9. Correspondence and Reports 9.01 Park Board Minutes of July 21, 2009 9.02 July 2009 Financial ReportsNo formal action taken.
10. Adjourn Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adjourn at 8:18 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.
Respectfully submitted,Stacy DoboszenskiAssistant City Administrator/Clerk