1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Jamie Davis, Jason Grimm, and Steve Rauenhorst.
Staff present: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Jeff Luther, Police Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Bret Weiss, City Engineer.
2. Open Forum. Steve Swanson, Hassan Town Board Swanson requested that 9.03 be moved to general business.Mayor Grimm stated Council does not normally move correspondence items to general business.Swanson stated he was looking for a yes/no answer.Mayor Grimm stated correspondence items are not normally general business.Mayor Grimm opened the meeting for discussion during open forum to discuss item 9.03.
Mark Dobberstein, 14180 Dehnsfield Road, Hassan: Dobberstein addressed the Council stating in front of you tonight is the discussion on early annexation between Hassan and Rogers. A lot of time and research has been put into researching the 2012 date for annexation. Dobberstein stated it is not the right date; it’s too early stating a lot of work needs to be done to make 2012 happen, claiming nothing has been done.The date is not the right date. Dobberstein stated as a resident of Hassan, he has a hard time understanding how it will come together; how the two governments come together. He mentioned a larger seven member board. Also brought up financial concerns including the need for Rogers to have a new fire truck and the cost of city water and sewer. Dobberstein stated not one thing that has brought us together. He stated it is clear in his mind, from the separation petition filed, what the majority of Hassan Township is hoping for is to move the date. Can’t set a date and not start working to develop a process. Dobberstein continued to discuss 2012 not being the correct date. Dobberstein then spoke on property taxes and commented that he doesn’t know why he should pay an additional $600 annually to be a Rogers resident.Dobberstein then thanked the Council for allowing him to speak.
Paul Przybilla, 12623 Elm Parkway, Rogers: Przybilla stated, as being one of the people who helped move forward the annexation date of Hassan and Rogers, he disagrees. Two years is plenty of time. He does believe that a lot has happened. He referenced Chuck Burnham’s work. When he sat at the Council table, he asked staff to put together information regarding city services used by Hassan. Przybilla agrees Hassan uses and pays for fire service; but not paying for equipment replacement. Przybilla then referenced police service and the response by Rogers Police to Hassan. There is a benefit and Hassan has been a recipient of the benefit for many years. Przybilla continued to name items he sees as a benefit to Hassan; police officer in the school, ball fields; Rogers has invested a great deal of money in the north community fields and in a number of parks, football fields, and soccer fields. Built on the backs of Rogers taxpayers. Przybilla stated his last point is the senior high school. If it not for the City of Rogers, it wouldn’t be here. Grimm stated he needs to read his letter to the newspaper back in June. He agrees with Przybilla 100%. Everything that has been done. He only questions the date, not the fact that money should be given to us by the Hassan taxpayer – should be given to us tomorrow.
Przybilla concluded stating he did ask former Councilor Jakel and former Mayor Stanley their thoughts back in October of 2007. They agreed with 2012 with TIF No. 1 retiring. Przybilla stated things have been done for the annexation and referenced the financial management plan. One community; one tax base. 2012.
Dobberstein offered a rebuttal stating he disagrees with the fact that he thinks Hassan residents have to pay for Rogers. Dobberstein stated Hassan pays $217,000 annual for fire and Rogers gets the benefit of the $217,000. He then spoke on the parks and the fees he pays for his kids to participate in sports.
Grimm stated to Dobberstein, you are paying for use of the facilities at that moment. Not paying for the initial land and infrastructure. This led to discussion regarding the paying user fees and initial investment.
There was also discussion regarding police service and the mutual aid received from other communities. Dobberstein stated other communities are doing the same thing (police response) not just a Rogers/Hassan thing.
Grimm asked if the Council wished to say anything. None.
Grimm stated if you truly want to partner, you have to come to the table. Hassan still wants to use everything. Would venture to guess, there are a few kids playing hockey from Hassan Township that don’t pay for that. Grimm stated you are going to get a lot more welcoming with sugar than you are with vinegar coming in with this stuff. I’m one vote. Grimm thinks the date could be looked at. Items brought through in the newspaper need to be addressed by Hassan residents. Part of me questions if the Hassan residents that are fired up about this ever want to see a joint community. Grimm stated he doesn’t know what the date is. I think we need to potentially look at the date; but something has to come to the table. Don’t want to speak for other council; but something formal needs to come to the table.
No further discussion during open forum.
3. Presentations. None.
4. Approve agenda. None.
5. Consent Agenda. 5.01 Approval of September 8, 2009 Workshop Minutes; Approval of Minutes from September 8, 2009 City Council Meeting pulled by Davis 5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims 5.03 County Road 81 Realignment – Easement Donation (Holiday Gas) 5.04 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – Minnesota Green Corps Host Site Agreement 5.05 Sports Display Network Contract 5.06 Set Workshop Meeting for Joint School/City Facilities Task Force pulled 5.07 Set the October 13th Budget Workshop Session for 5:30 p.m. pulled 5.08 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-35, A Resolution Hiring Michael Grimsby As A Full Time Police Officer 5.09 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-36, A Resolution Certifying Public Employee Retirement Association Police Officer Declaration – Michael Grimsby 5.10 Authorization to Execute Supplemental Termination Benefits Agreement, Dated 9/22/2009. 5.11 Approval of final pay application to Omann Brothers, Inc.
Motion by Davis, seconded by Bunting to approve the agenda less items 5.01, 5.06, and 5.07.Bell wanted to express thanks to the Holiday Station for the easement donation.Motion carried 5-0.
5.01 Approval of September 8, 2009 Workshop Minutes; Approval of Minutes from September 8, 2009 City Council Meeting Motion by Bell seconded by Bunting to approve 5.01. Motion carried 4-0-1; Davis abstaining due to absence.
5.06 Set Workshop Meeting for Joint School/City Facilities Task ForceDavis will be traveling and unable to attend the meeting that Monday.Rauenhorst stated he will be there in his place along with Mayor Grimm.Motion by Davis, seconded by Bell to approve 5.06 with Rauenhorst in his place. Motion carried 5-0.
5.07 Set the October 13th Budget Workshop Session for 5:30 p.m. Davis stated he could be gone that week as well and is hoping to be back for the October 27, 2009 meeting. Motion by Davis, seconded by Bunting to approve 5.07. Motion carried 5-0.
Davis said thank you to staff and fellow council for the trying time during the last six weeks.
6. Public Hearing. 6.01 Public Hearing for the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project, Order Project and Call for Assessment Hearing for October 13, 2009Engineer Weiss provided his report on the Industrial Boulevard Mill and Overlay project stating he is going to present a lengthy presentation on the project and comments received. Weiss proceeded with his presentation on the mill and overlay project highlighting the following: existing conditions, project scope – pavement preservation, optimal street maintenance/preservation, public information meeting questions, cost opinion, assessment calculation, and a map of assessable area.Bunting questioned if it is premature for the Council to be considering this project. Weiss stated no.
Weiss provided a sample assessment using 5, 7, or 10 year terms and 4.75% interest (estimated and subject to Finance Department approval) using equal principal payments. Administrator Stahmer stated the City has used amortized payment schedules in the past.
Weiss then stated the action items needed from council are to accept public comment, amend the preliminary assessment roll based on Council discussion, and call for the assessment hearing for October 13, 2009.
Mayor Grimm asked council if there are any questions. There being none, motion by Davis, seconded by Bell, to open the public hearing at 7:50 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Wally O’Dell, on behalf of Darkenwald:O’Dell asked if the project is not being funded with a bond, how will it be funded.Weiss responded with cash flow, depending on the final project cost.O’Dell stated one of the things that bothers the Darkenwald companies, are two parcels that involve Denny’s, small lot (unbuildable) has a $4,000 assessment, and the other has $7,000 anticipated for assessment. Darkenwald has put in a lot of the improvements. Over the years, Super 8, paid a lot of money into the City. None of it seems to be spent on City roads. O’Dell handed out a packet of information to the Council which provided a tax breakdown of the Super 8. $589,470 over the period of 1997 to 2009. Tax increment, almost $308,000 went to the City and fiscal disparities. Not a cent of $589,470 has gone into the general fund. The only thing that goes into the general fund is residential taxes and those commercial/industrial that are not in TIF.O’Dell discussed a signal light at Rogers Drive and South Diamond Lake Road and the donation of square footage for the signal light. The Darkenwalds have never come in and asked for TIF or abatement. They feel they are being picked upon. O’Dell then spoke on the $4,000 assessment stating there are huge disparities in sizes and some of the smaller lots are paying some of the larger assessments. O’Dell is concerned about how this plays out; the dollar amount of the assessment. Not a cent of the money has been spent on improvements adjacent to the property.
Weiss responded to the “tear drop” parcel stating it does have a parking lot on it that benefits the property. It was part of the project of Denny’s. Weiss commented on the maintenance of the roads stating the City has not done a seal coat on those roads, however, the City has done crack sealing and maintenance on storm sewer and patching on the streets. The signal referenced is going to be installed as part of the fly-over project next year.
O’Dell would like to rebut the comment on the signal, since truck traffic has been re-routed on 134th Avenue, the re-route has been successful. The money could have been saved if the rest of the deal didn’t go forward at all.
Mayor Grimm asked for further comments.
Chuck Christian, Commerce Boulevard:Christian, thanked everyone for listening to him, and appreciates it. Like the Darkenwalds, never got a penny of TIF. Christian spoke on his triangular lot and asked that it be taken a look at, to balance it out.
Weiss stated from a procedural standpoint, we will be mailing out assessments to all these individuals, mailing the highest assessments they would receive. Need a decision tonight on how to address the triangular lot. Removing the footage will increase the front footage number up which would affect other assessments.
Stahmer stated the key point to keep in mind is any reduction to a specific lot would cause a redistribution across other lots.
Bell asked for municipalities best practices for addressing these; a generally accepted way of dealing with this.
Weiss stated there are many different ways to look at the assessment. Size, width, and use of the lot plays a role. Industry practice is to use front footage. Spoke on corner lot assessments and their application for assessment is not consistent from one city to the next. Assessing for the full corner lot is not uncommon in this instance. Weiss stated he does have some sympathy on the triangular shaped lot, while it is still a large lot, you could combine the footage and have a lot larger area on that lot, starts to create some confusion to opening the door to challenge the assessment program.
Weiss referenced arrows drawn on the map and recommended it to be reasonable to square off the corner of the properties and use that as an assessment. Believe it is fair and equitable all using the street and all have front footage. This could slightly lower the assessment and make it more equitable.
Scott Story, owner of parcel #34, 13025 Commerce:Story stated he is part of a condo association of five parcels and he owns one of them. Story explained the five parcels are divided three ways. There was discussion between Weiss, Story, and the owner of the other parcels. The determination was the building is split 10,000 sq. ft., 10,000 sq. ft., and 5,000 sq. ft. and the engineer will work with the owners to break up the assessment to be 1/5, 2/5, and 2/5.
No further comments were registered from the public.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to close the public hearing at 8:08 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting and Weiss discussed the triangular lot and came to an agreement that 208 feet is acceptable, if it is acceptable with the rest of the council.
Grimm stated what he has proposed brings it to 204 feet. There was continued discussion between Weiss and Council regarding the assessment of the triangular lot. Weiss suggested a 400’ assessment. It would remove 200 front feet off of the calculation. Bring the assessment calculation to around $19.90 per foot.
Bell stated he understands the reason for the particular lot and something should be done. Bell asked if staff can come up with an algorithm that is reasonable and justifiable.
Weiss asked if council is okay with the other modifications; adjusting curb to standard width and adding the two lots, along with adjustments to parcel #34.
There was discussion on the term of the assessment being 10 years.
Bunting asked the property owners if 10 years is reasonable.
Stahmer commented on the finance director looking into options of carrying the debt without bonding for it.
Attorney Carson then read from a prepared draft resolution, Resolution No. 2009 - 37.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to approve Resolution No. 2009–37, a Resolution ordering the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project and calling for assessment hearing for October 13, 2009. Motion carried 5-0.
6.02 Public Hearing for Edgewater Development Final Construction, Order Project and Call for Assessment Hearing for October 13, 2009Engineer Weiss provided background information and presentation on the Edgewater Development Final Construction project. Weiss stated he will be discussing information received from property owners. Weiss proceeded with the presentation highlighting the following: background, remaining work to be completed, existing bond with Lexon Insurance Company, property owner objections, cost opinion, funding, assessments, project schedule, and alternative actions.
Grimm asked if we could put a lien on the Heritage owned lots for those amounts. Weiss stated this was a private improvement project. There is no land that we could go after to pay for some of these costs and staff is unable to determine why the lots are still Heritage.
Attorney Carson, it would be something we could look at, going forward with the project with an ultimate shortfall. The idea was that Heritage as the developer was going to pay the whole bill. We could satisfy the judgment against any property they own however, the property could be heavily mortgaged. Before proceeding, I would need to know the status of those lots.Bunting stated it would be worth going forward and finding out the status of those lots.
Bell asked about the status of the company. Carson and staff stated the City is not aware of any bankruptcy. Council and staff then discussed the classification of the lots to be assessed.Attorney Carson stated the authority granted to the City is to assess all of a certain class the same way. If the contest were made, and it went forward, the claim would be that all properties should be noticed. Worst case, if determined in court, we would be ordered to re-assess and spread it that way against all the properties.
Council discussed alternative remedies with staff.
Bell stated it has been commented several times about not having recourse against the developer.
Attorney Carson stated it is not that we don’t have recourse, it is that we don’t know the status of the developer. It may be viable, but you can’t count on it.
Bell stated it seems they are the ones at fault, take the $290,000 do what we can, and go after them for the rest.
Weiss stated even if we don’t collect any funds, we would still have to go forward with this process. Council needs to decide who will be assessed.
Attorney Carson stated it makes the most sense to proceed in the fashion proposed and assess what you will. If we were to get money from Heritage, we could apply those funds and cancel the assessment. That way we wouldn’t put the project on hold. In terms of getting something out of Heritage, put that in “after the project” mode.
Council and staff discussed cost savings on bidding the project now.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to open the public hearing at 8:57 p.m. Motion carried 5 – 0.
Patrick Lindmark, Attorney with Leonard, O’Brien, Spencer, Gale & Sayre:Lindmark addressed the Council stating these are real world consequences. This is a City problem; not a subdivision problem. This is a privately funded development. The City required security, the city decided how much to release the bond, the public had no input on that, now it is all being shifted back on the public because the city released too much. Cost of the problem should not be borne by the Edgewater properties. There is recourse against the developer. Sue them. This is a city problem, not a subdivision problem. Homeowners relied on the fact that the development would happen. Lindmark then referenced City ordinance 121-59 subd A. All at the sole cost of the developer, not to be borne by the public. These are real world consequences, because now an assessment is pending. Lindmark continued stated there is nothing special about Rogers compared to other communities. We are not in this all together, your are pushing it off on people who have not had a voice throughout this entire process. If you are going to assess properties, then assess all lots. Lindmark told the Council to be prepared to have the fight, these are real dollars and real consequences if you continue down this course of action. Defies logic and is arbitrary and capricious. Lindmark then made reference to Carson’s comments. Lindmark stated Bret (Weiss) put it best when talking about overlay, assess those benefited. Everyone benefits. Defies logic to only assess undeveloped lots. Take a serious look, and if you decide to hold up the project, see if the bonds come in, got to get rid of the pending assessments, it is destroying lot sales. Nobody can sell lots with a $1600 pending assessment and continued to comment regarding the amount pending. Lindmark encouraged the Council to take a hard look at spreading out to the City as a whole.
Grimm asked Lindmark if these lots haven’t sold in the last three years, why weren’t they selling two months ago. Is your law firm guaranteeing 30 lots to be sold?
Lindmark stated what has changed is the lenders are taking the properties back and have come to realities of what the situations are. Builders got too far ahead of themselves on models and other issues.
Grimm stated in reality the land was way over-valued. Grimm then asked what is the City’s obligation to do anything.
Weiss stated these are public streets. Carson added, whether or not the streets are accepted, they are public streets. You have to consider the need of the work to be done. Do you have to do it. No. If you don’t have a plan to do it, those lots are not going to sell with the work unperformed. Not really going to help sales to know there is unfinished work out there. Carson then spoke against a few points made by Lindmark relating the City ordinance agreeing that it does state the developer is on the hook for this. But if think about it, if the people in the subdivision and the developer are unavailable, and city does work, who pays? The public. That section of the code, in his opinion, can’t mean that only the developer can finish this work.
Lindmark stated if what he said came across that nobody should pay for it; it does need to be paid by somebody, and it should be the public at large.
Weiss stated he is not exactly sure when all lots were purchased. The builders had the opportunity to call the city and find the status of the lots. There were assumptions made that the development was going forward. Second, relating to pending assessments, there are ways to lower some of the costs. Pending council action, it is possible to lower assessments. Happy to hear Mr. Lindmark say $900 is more palatable. I’m sure Mr. Lindmark would like to clear his point that there is nothing special about the City of Rogers.
Attorney Carson stated although we don’t have a formal appraisal to tell us there would indeed be value added to the properties, we could get an appraisal by the 13th, but asked council to check themselves. Look for a home with work to have completed, which property are you going to pay more for because you are ready go? Carson stated he genuinely believes there is value to the work to be done out there.
Brian Iverson, representing The River Bank, that have interest in the properties: Iverson stated the situation you are looking at is not unique. Every city he has been in, it’s a can of worms. I do have a purchase agreement on 7 lots, it appraised 6 weeks ago and were sold at appraised value. In appraisal, calls out your development agreement, didn’t know there was a problem. So, now you are telling me that what you are doing to the value of my land is worth more money and I say you can’t assess me for the work that needs to get done. Somebody blew it. Be aggressive and go after the bonds. Iverson continued to speak on how bonds have been processed in other communities. We have no clear cut answer on how to actually do this. The assessment is actually $4700 not $1600. Iverson stated you will have to go after the bond aggressively. No clue how to assess individual property owners because you have to add value. You already represented that you are going to protect the residents (in developer’s agreement). Don’t see how you add value to that subdivision.
Darrel Eckhoff, People’s National Bank, 27 lots in Edgewater:Eckhoff complained about the notification of the meeting last week and blamed the credibility of the city staff for noticing it at the wrong location. Eckhoff then asked Weiss what the difference is for having a permit pulled on an undeveloped lot versus a lot that has a permit pulled.
Weiss stated the policy used was properties built on or permits pulled on them. This goes back to comments received in the past. If permits are pulled there is no ability to go back and collect from those property owners. Weiss then addressed the credibility of staff issue. You have the Rogers Community Center and Rogers Activity Center. Weiss stated his staff went on the website and erroneously used the wrong address. We stayed around and let the gentlemen use the facility after the meeting. Nobody missed the meeting. Mistake on the part of WSB, and he apologized at the meeting.
Eckhoff, if undeveloped lot owners have to pay their fair share, depending on their decision at the 13th, that’s one issue. To say the undeveloped went up in value, but the homes didn’t, he has a problem understanding the rationale behind that. Eckhoff sympathizes with homeowners not being able to pay for the assessment. The issue with the bond, was an issue I assume the City started two years ago. For two years you haven’t received those funds. Is it realistic that in two weeks you are going to magically receive those funds? We have all lost. The City of Rogers and the homeowners.
Cole Wykal, 13497 Big Sandy Lake Drive:Wykal stated as a homeowner, we don’t have a chance to re-coup, we take a hit as a homeowner. The builders don’t maintain their lots. As homeowners, we feel like we have been left out to dry. Wykal stated he would appreciate the City stepping up to the plate.
Stephen Poles, 24803 138th Circle:Poles stated since we have moved into the neighborhood, we have been paying for the neighborhood. Poles referenced a $20,000+ assessment, and a $13,000 law suit. Poles then spoke on homeowners maintaining the common property. Poles also commented that he would like the city to update the address for the Edgewater HOA. Poles stated he bought into a neighborhood that was promised a pool, a play set, and mailboxes. We have paid our dues, and are paying for Industrial Boulevard extension. Think we have paid enough. We do have records that Heritage owns sizeable properties. Poles then referenced a few properties.
Weiss commented on the notice, the one they would have received is for the “pool” lot and the address came from Hennepin County. As far as residents, they were not notified because they were not proposed to be assessed.
Jeffrey Curtis, 13423 Superior Drive:Curtis thanked Council for the time tonight. We have paid dearly for this entire neighborhood and we don’t expect we are going to win. Curtis stated he thinks the City should pursue the developer. Would disagree with assessing all of us, it’s an unfair solution. Curtis stated he assures the City they will pay and continue to pay the taxes and doubts they (HOA) will get that money back. Wish you the best in pursuing the developer.
Kelly Wykal, 13497 Big Sandy Lake Drive:In 2007, bought the lot with Steve Bona of Heritage Development. Talked about the pool, pelicans, beautiful lot, and an empty unmaintained lot and a City unmaintained lot. She challenged the City to find Mr. Steve Bona. He really duped all of us. We were promised a lot of things. Wykal commented on having to walk three blocks to get to the mailboxes, the work done by her and her husband to maintain lots and weed the common area. When we drive into the development, the car sinks. Doesn’t mind paying the burden, but wants the City to step up and help us out for a change. Whether it is the builders or lot owners, don’t know what the answer is. To expect the homeowners pay, we are losing sleep over it.
Jeffrey Curtis updated the City records to reflect the address of the Edgewater HOA; PO Box 693, Rogers, MN 55374.
Dave with Assured Financial:Dave stated they currently own 21 lots in the development. Just so we can get to hard facts and numbers, the lots were bought at $90,000 to $125,000 per lot with three years of interest tacked on to each loan. Currently the lots are selling for $45,000 to $55,000. Dave then commented on the length of time it took to receive the assessment notice and the cost of the pending assessment being $4273.87. He stated he has some lots sold and builders who want to build. In order to sell lots in the development, the assessment needs to be paid or escrowed at 150% of the pending assessment as a cushion. He stated this isn’t a $4200 issue, it is a $65000 issue on the settlement statement. The pending assessment is impacting the ability for builders to move forward until next spring. If you don’t care, leave pending out there. Purchase agreements will fall through if the pending assessment is out there.
Jim Weist, 13417 Big Sandy Lake Road:Weist stated this is a sad situation for all of us. He commended the association for their work. Weist stated we need to move ahead no matter what; can’t go through another winter. Need to do something now. Like what you have done so far; plan for the worse case, work for the best case. In the meanwhile, try to get something back from the developer. We are all in this together. As a homeowner, and looking around at the empty lots, we are not all in this together. Beautification of the neighborhood; we have been doing that work. If assessing all evenly, then make sure they are doing the work on those lots. Weist commented on building a $750,000 home, today worth $620,000. He spoke in favor of the staff’s recommendation to assess undeveloped lots.
Gary form Keyland Homes:Gary stated he is one of a few builders who own lots in Edgewater. He has one model and two specs he is trying to sell in this parade. Gary stated he is going to sit on his remaining 12 lots. Gary stated he paid $100,000 for all his lots that have a $91,000 mortgage with a value at $42,000. Gary stated he sympathizes with homeowners and has kept up his HOA dues. Doesn’t think it’s fair to homeowners, but not fair to him either.
Being no further public comment, motion by Davis, seconded by Bunting to close the public hearing at 9:39 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Weiss commented on the public hearing, stating it was what staff expected to hear. This is not good news on any front and good points from all people involved. Weiss explained why the pending assessments are for the highest amount. Weiss stated he doesn’t think it’s prudent to move forward unless we get those dollars. It may make sense to lower the pending assessments to a number that is more expected.
Grimm asked staff to find out what city can do to lower the costs, and if it is such a burden on the builders, meet with them again before October 13th; what is palatable for an assessment? The City can, on the 13th, postpone until next year, and if we feel we no choice but to try to assess everyone, it gives us more time to do that.
Attorney Carson stated we certainly do have an opportunity to assess those properties and is hopeful to hear about the bond by the 13th.
Grimm asked what is unique now that we will have an answer.
Attorney Carson stated he just gathered all the information the bond company was looking for not that long ago and he is trying to get the engineer with the insurance company here next week to see the project.
Bell asked if we have been pursuing the bond for several years. Carson stated no, just recently.
Bell stated he needs information about what we are going to get for the bond and what the bids are to do anything specific. It is still undecided if there is a large overage not covered by the bond. There are a lot of facts on both sides, and he doesn’t know what the answer is. Probably leaning toward assessing all lots equally, but not sure assessing is the right thing to do.
Davis stating he is wrestling with this. He referenced the $100,000 contingency in the preliminary levy and asked if it would work to use that on the project. Davis commented on the cost; $470k less $290k less $100k gets number down to $80k. There isn’t a clear-cut answer. Davis recommended using the contingency set up for this reason.
Bell and Davis discussed the use of the contingency. Davis stated he doesn’t think his decision two years ago was a good one. It’s a source, it’s an option. Something for Council to consider as bids come in.
Bell stated the use of the contingency doesn’t meet the test of something drastic enough to take that. Intent is to go back to zero for the final levy.
Grimm stated even if we consider putting the assessment against the current homeowners, not comfortable having a second public hearing and assessment hearing all on the same day. We would have a lot more public comment we would have to ponder.
Stahmer commented on the City’s ordinance that the intent for these improvements is for development to pay for itself. In looking at current situation, and looking at best of a lot of bad options, the option of doing nothing is not palatable and of putting the burden on the rest of city is not palatable. If the City is taking on some of the project, then developments in other portions of town will be paying for those improvements.
Bunting stated the one common thread is to pursue the developer to the fullest extent we can. Look into the bond and get full amount. Where does the blame lie other than the developer? Look in the mirror and say this is a learning experience. From general fund, doesn’t like the fact that people who live in other developments might be subsidizing cost of this. One area, may consider is potentially using TIF instead of general funds.
Attorney Carson commented he would be surprised if we could use TIF.
Bunting wants to see what we can learn between now and action in October.
Carson commented on entertaining a resolution incorporating action numbers one and two from the overhead presentation, which would get the matter to the October 13th special assessment hearing. Staff will have to notify, in order to assess, and we would authorize the clerk to notify tonight.
There was discussion on reducing the pending assessment. Bell stated lower the assessment by the $290,000 and include all lots to lower it down to $900 per lot. Gets us to proceed ahead with the idea.
Carson stated to assess everyone would be option three.
Council and staff discussed holding the public hearing on the 13th and get an idea of what the appeals would look like.
Staff and Council continued to discuss the options presented. Attorney Carson informed the council that it will take a 4/5 vote on the 13th to move the project forward.
Bell stated he would like more information, if it takes delaying it, so be it. Doing whatever we can on the 13th.
Weiss stated action number two gives us the most flexibility to see what the bids come in, what the bonds look like, and know on the 13th what the gap is.
Rauenhorst agrees with Weiss on option two.
Attorney Carson read verbatim from a prepared resolution.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve Resolution No. 2009 – 38, A Resolution ordering the Edgewater Development final construction project and calling for assessment hearing on October 13, 2009, as dictated by Carson.
Weiss asked about lowering the pending amount. Carson stated we are dealing with the higher numbers on the 13th.
Bell stated this is a motion to move ahead, he asked the audience not to feel like this is the final verdict.
Motion carried 5-0.
7. General Business. 7.01 Recap of 2009 Public Safety Open House – Authorize 2010 Public Safety Open HousePaulie Skaja-Bell, Rogers Community Chest Foundation spokesperson, and Chief Luther provided an update on the 2009 public safety open house. Skaja-Bell stated the Community Chest Foundation coordinated with the City and handled all the donations. Estimates of 2,000 and 3,000 people attended and over 2800 pounds of food was donated to Cross food shelf. The theme this year was “the community gives back”; we know it will be bigger next year.Skaja-Bell reported the following: $2725 in cash donations. $686 in expenses. Donations in kind totaling $525. The Community Chest Foundation is requesting to do the event August 19, 2010.
Chief Luther stated it is a privilege to talk about this and thanked everyone from the Community Chest and Terri Hanson. Luther discussed the various activities that occurred at the event. Luther stated he was asked to give an accounting of the city’s expenditure. With supplies and staffing, there was approximately $4,044 in total city expenditures.
Bunting thanked everyone.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Davis to authorize August 19, 2010 as the Public Safety Open House with the Community Chest Foundation as the lead. Motion carried 5-0.
7.02 City Health Insurance PolicyDoboszenski explained the recommended Opt Out policy along with the HSA plan/city contribution to Council.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Davis to approve the Health Insurance Opt-Out Policy and 2010 HSA benefits; approval for City to contribute to the employee’s HSA account not to exceed the maximum deductible amount per coverage plan taken. Motion carried 5-0.
7.03 Prepare Water Plan Submittal to DNR and Update Water Cad Model to the Current Comprehensive PlanEngineer Weiss stated the city is required to submit the water plan to the DNR in their format. Weiss explained the second part of the project is to update it to the current zoning standards.Weiss stated it is recommended that the proposal to complete the DNR submittal be approved in order to complete this work prior to the end of 2009 at a cost of $3,700. Recommendation to complete the update of the water cad model is not eminent but should be completed sometime in the near future. Payment for these activities would come from the water access fund.
Bunting stated he would like to put off the second part, and approve only the first.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve the DNR submittal for $3700. Motion carried 5-0.
7.04 Schedule Transportation Task Force MeetingCouncil and staff discussed the future scheduling of a transportation task force meeting.After discussion on dates, Council consensus was to schedule the next meeting for Monday, October 19th at 4:30.
Seifert updated council on a recent request by MnDOT to have the City identify a party who has the authority to sign-off on sets of plans. Seifert stated in the past it has been either him or Scott Lange. Seifert stated he recommends the city engineer to sign-off on plan sets.
Motion by Davis, seconded by Bunting to authorize Bret Weiss to be the signatory for the city on plan sets relating to the fly-over project. Motion carried 5-0.
7.05 Sausage Pond Sediment RemovalWeiss reported that as part of normal maintenance activities, the city council previously authorized SEH to prepare documents to complete this project. That work was not started by SEH and needs to be completed this year so we are proposing to move forward. The Sausage Pond, has a significant volume of sediment that is reducing storage, and the concern is the sediment could impact the ability for the storm water system to discharge into and out of the pond.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to authorize city staff to obtain quotes for the sediment removal to be brought back to a future council meeting for council authorization. Motion carried 5-0.
Motion by Davis, seconded by Bunting to approve WSB proposal for $8,000 for survey and engineering services. The payment for the work is proposed to be paid from the storm water utility fund. Motion carried 5-0.
7.06 NWHHSC Opt Out of Joint Powers AgreementStahmer explained the structure of the Joint Powers Agreement with Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council. Stahmer stated Susan Blood here a few meetings ago with an overview of services provided and listed a few of the services. The recommendation is to become an inactive member.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Davis, to become an inactive member of NWHHSC. Motion carried 5-0.
8. Other Business.
9. Correspondence and Reports 9.01 Park Board Minutes – August 18, 2009 9.02 Magazine Article Featuring Rogers Activity Center “Curb Appeal” 9.03 Request by Hassan Township Regarding Consideration of Annexation Timeline 9.04 August 2009 Financial Reports No formal action taken.
10. AdjournMotion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to adjourn at 10:35 p.m. Bell stated he thought Council would be discussing 9.03. Hassan has presented us with a request, but not ready to make any type of decision. Bell stated he was anticipating a joint meeting between the Council and Hassan to talk about some of those issues from those questions. Rauenhorst stated if the Council wanted to discuss this item, it can be put on a regular agenda.Bunting stating he would second a motion to put it on a future agenda. There was discussion among Council regarding the placement on an agenda and possible misinformation being discussed regarding the annexation.Bunting commented that he has received very little feedback from anyone in Hassan saying they understand Rogers does pay for an enormous amount of things, commenting that he hasn’t seen a whole lot of the negative as he assumed he would.Council directed staff to add this as an item on the next agenda.Grimm stated he has voted against this in the past and is open to hearing what Hassan residents have to say. Being quite honest, there is not a lot of incentive for the other four members to change this. Needs something to come forward from Hassan other than “just change the date”.Bell commented that Rogers has been working for years to prepare for this. We have directed our staff to give us reports and plan for this. Rauenhorst stated there is no good argument why to postpone the date. Davis stated he has not had one person come up to him and say it’s a bad idea to go forward, until residents from Rogers voice a legitimate concern which would be the annexation having an adverse affect on taxes.Grimm called for a vote. Motion carried 5-0 to adjourn at 10:42 p.m.
10. AdjournMotion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to adjourn at 10:35 p.m.
Bell stated he thought Council would be discussing 9.03. Hassan has presented us with a request, but not ready to make any type of decision. Bell stated he was anticipating a joint meeting between the Council and Hassan to talk about some of those issues from those questions. Rauenhorst stated if the Council wanted to discuss this item, it can be put on a regular agenda.Bunting stating he would second a motion to put it on a future agenda. There was discussion among Council regarding the placement on an agenda and possible misinformation being discussed regarding the annexation.Bunting commented that he has received very little feedback from anyone in Hassan saying they understand Rogers does pay for an enormous amount of things, commenting that he hasn’t seen a whole lot of the negative as he assumed he would.Council directed staff to add this as an item on the next agenda.Grimm stated he has voted against this in the past and is open to hearing what Hassan residents have to say. Being quite honest, there is not a lot of incentive for the other four members to change this. Needs something to come forward from Hassan other than “just change the date”.Bell commented that Rogers has been working for years to prepare for this. We have directed our staff to give us reports and plan for this. Rauenhorst stated there is no good argument why to postpone the date. Davis stated he has not had one person come up to him and say it’s a bad idea to go forward, until residents from Rogers voice a legitimate concern which would be the annexation having an adverse affect on taxes.Grimm called for a vote. Motion carried 5-0 to adjourn at 10:42 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,Stacy DoboszenskiAssistant City Administrator/Clerk