1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, and Jason GrimmCouncil excused: Jamie Davis 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; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Brett Weiss, City Engineer.
2. Open Forum. Discussion Regarding Selling of Christmas Trees in Cabela’s Parking LotTrent the “tree guy” addressed the Council regarding his request to sell Christmas trees out of the Cabela’s parking lot. Trent stated he has an agreement with Cabela’s to operate the tree lot and identified himself as a local Christmas tree grower.Council was informed of the high traffic zone map that does not allow the transient merchant in the Cabela’s lot. Trent then asked to fall under the definition of “peddler” in the solicitation ordinance and obtain a temporary permit.Attorney Carson stated the problem isn’t the definition it is the location.Grimm stated by ordinance, we can’t allow you to have a permit, unless we change the ordinance.Trent asked if a variance was a possibility.Grimm stated the issue isn’t a variance; issue is to change the ordinance.There was continued discussion between the Council, the City Attorney, and Trent regarding location of a Christmas tree lot, the high traffic zone map, and any possibility of obtaining a permit.Grimm stated the City is not in the position to change the ordinance.Attorney Carson stated a variance is not an option.Councilmember Bell suggested he move to another area in Rogers not listed on the high traffic map.No action taken.
3. Presentations. 3.01 Swearing in of Officer Kris KorollChief Luther introduced Kris Koroll to Council and explained the testing process Koroll completed to be selected as the most qualified candidate. Luther also provided Koroll’s background information as a law enforcement officer and dispatcher. Luther stated Koroll has successfully completed the medical, physical, and background investigation.Doboszenski then swore in Officer Kris Koroll.
Kris Koroll addressed the Council and Chief and expressed her gratitude.
4. Approve agenda. None.
5. Consent Agenda. 5.01 Approval of Minutes from September 22, 2009 City Council Meeting 5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims 5.03 Adopt Ordinance No. 2009 – 07, An Ordinance Amending Sec. 30-21 Prohibiting Dumping In Certain Public Or Private Places 5.04 Rogers Youth Hockey Association Hockey Contract 5.05 No Parking Signs Request by Northwest Machine Technologies, for October 28 and 29, 2009 5.06 Approval of Resolution for Limited Use Permit with MnDOT for CSAH 81 Re alignment Project in Rogers 5.07 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-40, A Resolution Hiring Kris Koroll As A Full Time Police Officer 5.08 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-41, A Resolution Certifying Public Employee Retirement Association Police Officer Declaration – Kris Koroll 5.09 Setting Annual Review of Administrator Stahmer – Closed Session 5.10 Motion to Set Enterprise Funds Budget Workshop for 5:30 p.m. on October 27, 2009 at Community RoomMotion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 3-0.
6. Public Hearing. 6.01 Public Hearing on Proposed Assessments for Edgewater Development Final Construction Completion Items ProjectEngineer Weiss addressed the Council regarding the bids received and financing options for the Edgewater Development final construction completion items project. Weiss stated options will be presented that will not require the assessment public hearing if the council so chooses.The presentation highlighted the following: project scope, scope of public bid, project cost, and funding alternatives. The funding alternative option would require the public hearing to be held. The second alternative, to assess all lots, would also require notification and an assessment hearing. The third alternative is to use the letter of credit revenue.Weiss stated staff has consulted with both the bond attorney and the City attorney and the letter of credit proceeds obtained by the City could be used to make up the $69,000 difference in funding after receipt of the Lexon bond. Weiss stated Finance Director Wieland is in agreement with funding option three.Weiss stated he has Lexon’s word that $290,000 will be forwarded to the City however; he does not have a letter. Weiss suggested the Council award the contract contingent on the City receiving the $290,000 payment from Lexon, and to authorize the City Attorney to work with Lexon to execute a waiver of claims agreement for the $290,000.Weiss stated he has met with some of the property owners and shared the information regarding option three and they were pleased the City was working hard to reduce the costs. Bell asked the pros and cons of the use of the letter of credit.Wieland stated a portion of the assessments are under TIF 1 and assessment payments coming in are slow with annual payments being approximately $350,000. Wieland stated the use of $70,000 will not substantially impact the ability to make bond payments.Administrator Stahmer stated if we were talking about full project costs then the risk becomes much larger, given the small dollars relative to the total project cost and the $1.3M letter of credit there is minimal risk. Attorney Carson updated the Council on the status of Heritage stating they are not registered with the State. In talking with some of the attorneys representing the lenders, they are looking for them also and we were told they disappeared. There are millions of dollars ahead of the City and it is his expectation those properties will belong to the financial institutions. Carson commented the $1.3M was provided by Heritage, there is some justice in the use of that.
Bell and Grimm both stated they are comfortable with using the letter of credit proceeds.
Carson then provided recommendation to the Council to select by motion option number three, proceed with the award of the contract to the low bidder, and authorize the Mayor and Clerk to execute a stipulation with Lexon for the receipt of the $290,000.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to select option three as a funding source (use of letter of credit proceeds) with no public hearing necessary. Motion carried 3-0.
Bell made a comment regarding this was the hopeful outcome and the City had to go through a certain course of action to safe guard things and hopes that everyone understands and is happy with this outcome and asked that the newspaper can report this side of things as well.
Grimm also commented on the process and stated it has worked out for the best.
Bunting stated the City is being a good neighbor and asked that the home owners association contact the City Administrator before the next meeting, and tell him which of his neighbors are not paying their dues. Bunting stated it behooves all of the neighbors in that area to pay their share of those bills. 7.01 Consideration of Accepting Bids and Award Contract Edgewater Development Final Construction Completion ItemsCouncil discussed awarding the contract contingent upon receipt of the Lexon $290,000.Bell noticed there is one of the bidders that bid on both projects (Industrial park and Edgewater). Bell asked if there is there any cost benefit to award the contract to the same bidder for both projects.Weiss explained the low bid process, and as long as ASTECH Company is the responsible low bidder, the bid needs to be awarded in this fashion.There was discussion with Mr. Carson to add some limitation on the award. Weiss stated his is comfortable with October 23, 2009 as a final date as a receipt of the funds from Lexon.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adopt Resolution No. 2009 – 42, A Resolution Awarding Bid for the Edgewater Development Construction Completion Items Project, contingent upon receiving $290,000 from Lexon by October 23, 2009. Motion carried 3-0.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to authorize staff to enter into a stipulation agreement with Lexon, upon receipt of $290,000 releasing, Lexon from further liability. Motion carried 3-0. 6.02 Public Hearing on Proposed Assessments for Industrial Mill and Overlay ProjectWeiss provided presentation on the Industrial Park mill and overlay project including assessment methodology, project costs, and bid results indicating Knife River as the low bidder.Weiss discussed a mistake in the calculation in the feasibility report for the tonnage. The feasibility report would have increased by $78,000 making the actual engineer’s estimate $78,000 higher. Weiss apologized for the error stating it was not acceptable. While the construction cost is up from the feasibility report bids were down substantially and the project is still able to be within the $19.92 per front foot figure. Weiss stated the stormwater utility and water fund will participate in the project.Weiss provided Council with three options: adopt assessment roll as prepared, adopt with changes, or table the assessment roll for adoption at a later date. Being no questions from Council, motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to open the public hearing at 7:39 p.m. Motion carried 3-0.
Bob Prince, Tonka Building Supplies, 20550 Commerce Boulevard:Mr. Prince addressed the Council stating he owns a corner Lot with assessments around $15,000. Prince stated this is devastating to his business. He sells building supplies and doesn’t need this assessment. Prince stated the work can be delayed until economy starts to recover. It would behoove the city to work with businesses that have been struggling with this economy. If there is a way to push this off into the future, strongly encourage the Council to consider that.
Wally O’Dell on behalf of Darkenwald:Mr. O’Dell addressed the Council stating he was impressed with the compassion shown by the Council with the last assessment. O’Dell asked if it is appropriate for the city to do this work at this time. Darkenwald over the years have pumped in a lot of money in taxes. During this entire period, city hasn’t done anything in terms of ongoing maintenance. It’s disappointing to say the least. O’Dell spoke on the donation of right-of-way for South Diamond Lake Road, previous assessments paid and never asking the city for a dime, except for fair treatment and he doesn’t think Darkenwald got it. If the right result is 100% assessment, so be it. Quite often cities pick up a share of the costs and that is an option the city should be looking at. Would like a little compassion to flow in our direction and take another look at whether or not to assess the entire project.
Bunting questioned staff what is typical for maintenance and what have we done? Weiss stated general maintenance such as crack sealing and many cities do seal coating on a seven year basis however, some cities don’t do them at all. Weiss discussed a maintenance program of pot hole patching, seal coat, and crack seal program. Weiss stated the road is at a 20 year standpoint. A mill and overlay will get the street out to a 35 year program.
Seifert stated what has been done is in correlation in what was available to be done. The entire road has been crack sealed previously, did not receive a seal coat. Rogers did not receive State Aid maintenance funds until 2004. As the city gets more MSA miles and more funding we can sustain the maintenance programs.
Bunting asked staff if historically the City has assessed 100% of the project. Staff responded yes with Industrial Court and John Milless Drive; both were assessed at 100%.
Bunting asked the engineer if it is his opinion this should be done at this time and not delayed.Weiss spoke on the deficiencies of the current road and not letting it get to the point of full reconstruction.
Being no further public comment, motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to close the public hearing at 7:49 p.m. Motion carried 3-0.
Grimm asked the number of years and interest rate of the assessment.Weiss stated it is a 10 year assessment at a 4.75% interest rate.Weiss stated if the assessment were longer, the concern would be the assessment would outlive the life of the pavement. After a certain point, the interest accumulates so high due to higher interest rates for longer term assessments.
Bunting stated with everything we heard from staff, this project needs to be done now. It will be at a higher cost in the future if not done now. Bunting stated he understand the issues with the economy however, putting the project off is not an option. Concessions were made on properties with unique shapes; don’t know what else can be examined.
Grimm stated his biggest concern is turning a $5000 assessment into a $20,000 because we did nothing.
Bell and Weiss discussed corner lots and the value of having a corner lot with two accesses.
Administrator Stahmer reported to Council the City has received assessment formal objections from the Darkenwald and Tonka Building Supply properties. 7.02 Consideration of Accepting Bids and Awarding Contract for the Industrial Park Mill & Overlay ProjectMotion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to adopt Resolution No. 2009 – 43, A Resolution Awarding Bid for the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project. Motion carried 3 – 0.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adopt Resolution No. 2009 – 45, A Resolution Adopting Assessment for the Improvements to the Industrial Mill and Overlay Project City of Rogers, Minnesota. Motion carried 3-0.
7. General Business. 7.03 Approval of the City of Rogers Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan Chief Feist addressed the Council asking for approval of the pandemic influenza plan to make it part of the emergency operations plan for the City of Rogers.Grimm asked who is in charge in the event management becomes ill. Feist provided a hierarchy of order. Grimm then discussed a continuity of business operations for the entire City if staff becomes ill. Stahmer stated staff has attended one workshop having to do with preparedness and is looking into putting together a more formal policy for continuing business operations.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve the city of Rogers Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan. Motion carried 3-0. 7.04 Recommissioning/Lighting at Police StationSeifert explained this is a joint project of city staff working with Xcel Energy. The only building to capitalize on the rebate is the police department building. The return on investment would be less than 2 years with 47% of the capital cost covered by the rebate. The funding source would be within the existing building maintenance budget.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to authorize awarding low bid to Electric Resource Contractors and allow City staff t submit a rebate application to Xcel Energy for the guaranteed rebate amount of $2,377.56. Motion carried 3-0. 7.05 Rogers High School Ice ContractsSeifert reported the Arena commission is addressing the ice sales contract with the High School. Seifert provided background on last year’s efforts to work on the school to do a lease levy to accommodate the dedicated locker room space; that did not move forward. Seifert stated the Commission looked to other options and looked at what Elk River has done with gate fees - the first $1 goes toward the bleachers and locker rooms. Seifert stated this will not cover the entire amount of capital in less than 40 years, but about a $5000 annual seed toward that project.Seifert spoke on the contract accommodating the master fee schedule, the increased security cost, and additional $1 for entrance ticket. Seifert stated the consensus of the Arena Commission was to bring this contract forward for council consideration.
Grimm asked where are we are at with the Booster Club lease.Seifert stated they have paid the last two years, but the decision before us is restricting access of dedicated space, or move forward with completing the space.Bunting stated he was hoping to get the cooperation of the school to build that out, but that is not forthcoming. Bunting discussed the financial issues and the lack of contribution from the school for the dedicated space.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve the ice contract for Rogers High School Hockey. Motion carried 3-0.Seifert stated the contract will be forwarded to the school board for their execution and any revisions will come back before Council. 7.06 South-West Wetland Restoration/Tile Line ProjectSeifert and Weiss addressed Council regarding the drain tile project being proposed for the Jerry Knapp property as part of the 129th Avenue wetland restoration project. Council discussed the staff memo and stated it is good to have this project completed by next Spring.Seifert stated the long term final solution is a 36” concrete pipe that will go across 129th to the Edison property. The payment required the other developments to come back to make those improvements. This is not a final solution.Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to authorize the execution of a declaration of restricted covenants. Seifert stated it is not necessary to have the declaration; rather we will obtain an easement. Need two motions. Bell and Bunting withdrew the motion.Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to award the contract to Morris Excavating for the drain tile installation. Motion carried 3-0.Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to authorize staff to work with property owner to obtain a drainage and utility easement. Motion carried 3-0.
7.07 Consideration of an All-Way Stop Condition at the Intersection of Oakwood Drive and Aspen DriveAdministrator Stahmer passed out an updated information piece prepared by the residents of the neighborhood requesting a stop sign at Oakwood Drive and Aspen Drive.Weiss provided an extensive presentation prepared by his traffic engineer. Weiss addressed the items brought forward by the petitioner; Christy Paulson, 13587 Oakwood Drive.Weiss provided presentation and illustration of the area and had the findings of no need for an all-way stop at the intersection.Council and staff discussed the possibility of reducing the speed limit on Oakwood Drive and the necessary signage to make a reduced speed, less than 30 mph, across the entire City and the cost to do the signage. Weiss continued with the presentation and discussion on advisory signs.The recommendation from staff is to enforce the speed on Oakwood Drive as speeding was the primary issue identified.Council and staff discussed increased patrol and the placement of the speed trailer.There was also discussion on stop signs being put in locations that are not expected giving a false sense of security that someone is going to stop just because there is a sign. Weiss also spoke of the possibility of speeding between the signs because people are forced to stop.Weiss provided a summary of his findings and stated the recommendation by staff is to deny the request, have the police department do additional enforcement and add the speed trailer on a more regular basis to educate motorists. The alternate recommendation is to install the all-way stop sign.Grimm invited Ms. Paulson to the podium.Mr. & Mrs. Paulson addressed the Council regarding their concerns and a request for an all-way stop.Bunting stated he has a great deal of empathy for their situation. Bunting would like to give increased enforcement a try before installing a stop sign. Give it six months and give it serious enforcement. Mr. Paulson requested that in late spring or next summer the City do another study and make sure it has made a difference.There was discussion on enforcement methods.Bell stated these types of problems (speeding) are behavior problems.Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to deny request for all-way at Oakwood and Aspen, to use increased enforcement by the Police Department, and install the speed trailer in this area and other high traffic areas. Grimm stated he would like a targeted response from the police department; a plan on what the department is going to do in this particular situation. Motion carried 3-0. 7.08 Discussion on the Request by Hassan Township Regarding Consideration of Annexation TimelineStahmer stated at the request of the Council, this item is on the agenda for discussion purposes. Staff recommended in the memo if there is any thought to change terms or dates of the OAA, a work session is a less formal environment to discuss these issues; or moving the date to mid-year 2012.Grimm stated there have been points brought up that he thinks should be discussed. Also, a request to have a citizen’s task force, three from each community, to go through the issues to remove the politics and allow the citizens to discuss has been made.Grimm stated, as far as he is concerned, this moves it forward and gives other opportunities to present themselves. Grimm stated he is not asking we stop the movement forward, but that we allow for this task force go forward to give the Hassan residents the opportunity to view their opinions with the residents of Rogers.
Bunting was in favor of creating a forum or workshop with a formalized group, whether it is all citizens or contains a board/council member, but not a forum that is created for the sole purpose of stopping the accelerated annexation but rather a podium for positive and negative views and suggestions or concerns. Not a one sided place for people to air that out. Bunting stated it is important for Rogers’ staff to have the ability to research the concerns and come back and give a response. Move forward with the assumption that it is going to happen as it is set to happen now.
Bell stated Rogers has done many things to try to make this feasible. Getting the communication out there will help everyone understand and maybe the concerns can be relieved. Issue of representation is still a valid concern. Bell has advocated other ways to get around that in the past; find a way for representation to happen.
Bunting asked staff to bring forward suggestions at the next meeting on what type of body this would be and who would be involved.
Stahmer referred to language in the OAA that calls for two representatives from each community and the administrators to meet. Those fell off the table at some point and have not happened since the accelerated annexation.
Grimm stated those at some point were replaced with joint meetings.
Carson stated there was also a joint planning board created that hasn’t met for some time.
Council continued to discuss a joint citizen’s task force.Grimm stated the group would be an advisory group to the Council. Grimm stated he does want to give Hassan citizens the opportunity to express their views to the Council.
Stahmer stated he still sees benefit of having a work session to discuss this.
Grimm stated the group has until the end of January to discuss their issues. Allow them to meet as a group to go over issues they feel may be unresolved and by the end of January we are done with it. Meetings can be open to the public. A task force of appointed members from Hassan and appointed members from Rogers; non-elected officials.
Grimm asked for a press release and website posting for the application process.
Council direction was to have staff advertise for the joint citizen group. 7.09 Council-Staff Goal Prioritization Administrator Stahmer stated there is no action being requested. The information provided is the identification of the priorities of Council and staff.No action taken. 7.10 Council Workshop Update - Utility Rate StudyMayor Grimm stated he will entertain a motion to table the utility rate study given the discussion at the workshop. Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to table the utility rate study. Motion carried 3-0.
8. Other Business. None.
9. Correspondence and Reports 9.01 Discussion Regarding Selling of Christmas Trees in Cabela’s Parking Lot 9.02 September Police ReportNo action taken.
10. Adjourn to closed session to discuss Stanton/Shamrock purchase agreement – Reconvene to open meeting Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adjourn to closed session at 9:08 p.m. Motion carried 3-0.
11. Reconvene from closed sessionCouncil reconvened from closed session at 9:40 p.m.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to authorize staff to negotiate on the Shamrock property as per terms of closed session. Motion carried 3-0.
12. AdjournMotion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adjourn at 9:40 p.m. Motion carried 3-0.
Respectfully submitted,Stacy DoboszenskiAssistant City Administrator/Clerk