1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, December 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; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Bret Weiss, City Engineer.
2. Open Forum. No persons addressed the Council during open forum.
3. Presentations. 3.02 Staff Recognition Program – RWASLiquor Manager Buysse addressed the Council regarding staffing awards who understand the importance of refusing sales of alcohol and tobacco to minors and also the staffing awards go toward the apprehension of shop lifters.
Davis questioned if we have ever failed a compliance check. In his seven years, he hasn’t seen a failure.
Buysse stated no, he has very good staff and has not failed a check.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Davis to approve the award to Jeremy Miller. Motion carried 5-0.
4. Approve agenda. Additions to Other Business:8.01 City Billboards – added by Bell
5. Consent Agenda. 5.01 Approval of Minutes from December 8, 2009 City Council Meeting; Approval of Minutes from December 8, 2009 City Council Workshop 5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims 5.03 Approval of Preliminary Plat of Rogers Plaza 2nd Addition 5.04 Waiver of Community Room Fees for Political Precinct Caucuses for 2010 5.05 Planning Commission Appointments 5.06 Authorization to Purchase of Outlot A, Sunnyside Estates 6th Addition 5.07 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-62, A Resolution Providing For Special Assessments (Scherber) 5.08 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-63, A Joint Resolution Between the City of Rogers and Rogers Area Lions Club Authorizing the Creation of a Joint Task Force for the Purpose of Making a Recommendation for a Potential Lion’s Park 5.09 Approval of Claim No. 15 from Dec. 8, 2009 meeting - Custom Sales and Marketing 5.10 Approval of Ordinance No. 2009-12, An Ordinance Creating a Senior Advisory Commission Within the City Of Rogers and Approval of Summary Ordinance No. 2009-12 5.11 Approval of Daytime Response Policy Amendments pulled by Bell 5.12 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-64, A Resolution Acknowledging the Expiration of Tax Increment Financing District No. 9 (Department 56) of the City of Rogers, Minnesota 5.13 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-65, A Resolution Authorizing An Interfund Loan For Advance Of Certain Costs In Connection With Tax Increment Financing District No. 13Bell pulled 5.11 for discussion.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting, to approve the Consent Agenda, less 5.11. Motion carried 5-0.
5.11 Daytime Response PolicyBell asked for a quick highlight on how the changes in the daytime response policy were arrived at. Administrator Stahmer stated staff and two members of the Council looked at the issues spelled out in previous memos; double-dipping on pension funds, response by city employees, and the reasons why the past councils went away from those practices. At the time the policy was first put in place, the city was thinking of hiring a duty crew. Something to look at in the future. Stahmer reviewed the punching in and out concept. Stahmer reviewed the changes with council, to offer a stipend to calls attended during the work day for all non-salaried city personnel who respond.Stahmer briefly discussed the possibility of looking long term at creating a fire district with surrounding jurisdictions
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to approve 5.11. Motion carried 5-0.
6. Public HearingsNone.
7. General Business 7.01 Proposed Personnel Policy Amendments effective 1/1/2010Doboszenski reviewed the proposed amendments to the City’s personnel policy which incorporated some of the language and benefits from the former IBEW contract.
Council did not have questions regarding the proposed changes.
Bunting questioned the amount of sick time employees are able to accrue and the pay-out upon severance and stated in future years he would like to see it go away. Doboszenski explained the City does not cover employees for short-term or long-term disability and the sick time benefit is in lieu of disability insurance. Bunting asked staff to re-examine the cost of disability insurance and stated that he would like to see the sick time policy revised or phased-out.
Stahmer stated other cities have similar policies and pay-outs, and some cities may cap a pay-out at something less than 50%.
Wieland explained the limit in her past experience being higher than what is in Rogers.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to adopt the revised personnel policy as presented. Motion carried 5-0. 7.02 Approval of Travel PolicyCouncil discussed maximum allowance versus per diem language. Also discussed was the dollar amount of the maximum allowance for out-of-state travel.
Davis stated the allowance should be tied to the location
Council discussed replacing bullet point #2 under the “Allowance” section and replace with language that addresses the city traveled to, according to the GSA website. This change would also reflect a change in bullet point #7 for out-state travel.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst, to adopt the travel policy with the noted changes to “Allowance” section numbers 2 and 7.
Bell pointed out a typo; personnel instead of personal on page one. Motion carried 5-0. 7.03 Interim Use Permit for Billboard Use at 21308 John Milless DriveAdministrator Stahmer introduced this item to the Council and provided background information along with the discussion that occurred at the Planning Commission meeting stating the Planning Commission ultimately voted 4-3 for approval with a five year sunset.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Grimm to accept the Planning Commission recommendation for a five year sunset Interim Use Permit with the current upcast lighting.
Rauenhorst, stated because it is not compliant with the zoning code, and prior council recommended removing it along with the Planning Commission, he does not support keeping the billboard.
Bell stated without the downcast lighting he cannot support it. Bell stated when the City has opportunities to apply standards, and down-cast lighting is best practice, he thinks it needs to have it.
Bunting stated he is more in favor of granting a five year Interim Use Permit because of the poor economy and the affect on the businesses in town.
Stahmer stated that after checking with MNDOT there are no regulations regarding down-cast lighting.
Mike Noto, Planning Commission Chair addressed the council. Noto updated the Council with the discussion held at the Planning Commission; down-cast lighting, taking down the billboard, and the spirit of the sign ordinance.
Rauenhorst stated the spirit of the prior council was to remove it.
Noto addressed the economy. Rauenhorst stated that is not a good enough argument.
Bunting stated, as a business man, it is a good enough argument. This is a band-aid; a 5 year plan.
Noto stated he was not involved in the 2004 discussion, but does think it should be allowed, not proliferating the billboard issue by allowing it to stay.
Motion failed 3-2; Grimm and Bunting voted aye; Davis, Bell, and Bunting voted no.
Attorney Carson stated a resolution of denial will be brought back based on the discussion.
Bunting asked if staff would bring back the amount of tax revenue lost due to the billboard being removed. Stahmer stated, if the council so directs. Grimm stated, so directed.
Bell wanted to bring the item back up for discussion to propose a motion to include down-cast lighting. Attorney Carson stated a prevailing voting member can bring the item back on the table for discussion.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to bring the item back on the table for discussion.Motion carried 3-2 with Bell, Bunting, and Grimm voted aye; Davis and Rauenhorst voted no.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to allow the interim use with condition #3 for down-cast lighting.
Sabot, asked if the lights were turned off all together, would that be allowed.
Bell stated that works for him.
Motion carries 3-2 with Bell, Bunting, and Grimm voting aye; Davis and Rauenhorst voting no. 7.04 I-94/TH101 Flyover – Discussion of Underground vs. Overhead Power LinesEngineer Weiss addressed the council regarding installation of underground utilities between Maynards and heading south at $171,000 in additional cost to the fly-over project. Weiss explained the options to the Council of either having overhead utilities, or to bury utilities associated with the fly-over project. Weiss stated it takes a month for Xcel to order the project and a month to get the project ready.
Weiss stated the bids for the fly-over project came in very good and reduced the city’s obligation from $1.6 to just over $700,000. Weiss stated, not that we need to spend those dollars right away, but it does become a safety issue to move it away from 101; safety issue related to the development along Rogers Drive and maintenance of the utilities.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to bury the lines and designate the funding source as TIF one. Motion carried 5-0.
8. Other Business. 8.01 City Billboards - BellBell commented about the city owned billboards stating the sign ordinance in place is different now and the City should practice what we preach. Bell would like to get Council’s approval to direct staff to work with the vendors to switch to downcast lighting as well.
There was a discussion on the number of billboards and the revenue generated from the billboards being used to pay down the debt incurred when assisting in the construction of the high school.
Wieland stated the tower and billboard lease fund is over $700,000 in the hole. Grimm stated we are 20 years away from paying that off; Wieland stated 13 years.
Bell asked for Council consensus for upcoming lease renewals, to have the staff ask the question of down-cast lighting. Council stated they don’t mind the question being asked.
9. Correspondence and Reports 9.01 October 2009 Financial ReportsNo action taken.
10. AdjournMotion by Grimm, seconded by Rauenhorst to adjourn at 7:51 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Respectfully submitted,Stacy DoboszenskiAssistant City Administrator/Clerk