1. Call to Order. The workshop session of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 5:50 p.m. at the Rogers Community Room, 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/Clerk; Jason Foster, Police Sgt.; Jeff Luther, Police Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Supt., Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Bret Weiss, City Engineer.
2. CBS Outdoor Billboard Rent Reduction Request Discussion
Administrator Stahmer stated the City is currently receives $72,000 for the two billboards on the Public Works property. CBS Outdoor is requesting a reduction. The first request was a reduction down to $60,000 and a second request is to reduce the contract down to $40,000. Stahmer discussed the 90 day notification clause for CBS Outdoor to back out of their contract with the City.
Staff and Council discussed the revenues going toward the 2002 G.O. Water Bonds through the year 2018. The outstanding debt is approximately $1.1 Million. Staff explained how the fund is projected to be paid off in 2018 through revenues generated by towers and billboards.
Stahmer discussed asking for prior year financial statements before agreeing to any type of reduction. Another recommendation would be to reduce the rent with a lock-in for a longer period of time.
Davis asked what is needed for a cash flow standpoint to cover the cost of the bonds. This led to a discussion on what would happen if the contract was not renewed.
Davis stated he is inclined to go back to $60,000 to see if CBS would accept.
Bell stated that when he was campaigning, billboards were a concern of the residents and added that he is not a fan of billboards.
Staff and Council discussed the G.O. Bond and the potential impact to taxpayers if bond payments cannot be met with revenues generated by towers and billboards.
Council then discussed locking in the term with $60,000 and the 90 day notification should the City decide to want out of the contract.
Consensus of the Council is to seek $60,000, lengthen the term, and give the City the ability to have a 90 day opt out.
Bell requested downcast lighting to be placed into the request.
Council agreed to make downcast lighting a negotiable term of the discussions with CBS Outdoor.
3. Discussion of Police Department Staffing Levels
Administrator Stahmer stated there are really two items to be discussed; the process for backfilling Wegner’s position while on deployment and moving forward into the 2012 annexation with at least three additional officers to be in place in time of the annexation.
Administrator Stahmer stated there are currently 11 sworn without the Chief and Captain. Staff discussed it takes 5.1 FTE’s to cover 24 hours a day for police coverage.
Chief Luther addressed the Council regarding the progress the department has made during the last two years. Luther provided examples of how busy the department has become. Luther stated to maintain the same level of service, we are either going to have to pay for the service or the service level will be decreased. Luther provided a powerpoint presentation regarding the levels of service issues for the department. Luther stated the last hire adding to the compliment was in 2006.
Luther discussed the number of calls for service by the Rogers Police Department occurring in Hassan.
Bell asked what the normal duties of a Sheriff’s department are when a city has a police department. Luther stated the statutory requirement for the Sheriff’s Department is to maintain the jail. There was continued discussion on the responsibility of the County and the State Patrol.
Also discussed was shift coverage by using supervisors.
Luther discussed proposed solutions:
• Hire replacement officer for Wegner
• Hire additional officer, which will allow the promotion of a second supervisor (Sergeant)
• Hire an investigative position to address growing investigative needs
• Hire full-time support staff to assist patrol division (transcriptions – report dictation, etc)
• Options discussed:
o Moving Capt. Miller to other night shift as a supervisor
o Decrease service levels (i.e. lock-outs, private property accident reports, etc)
o Apply pressure to the Sheriff or State Patrol.
Luther stated there are decisions that need to be made on how to move forward. Luther then provided hand-outs with statistics.
Stahmer stated the most immediate discussion and question for the council is the backfilling of Wegner’s position.
Stahmer discussed the financial management plan and the 2011 anticipated use of reserves of $300,000. Stahmer stated adding an officer is a 2.5% levy increase. Stahmer stated he may be arguing for an inflationary increase during the budget session and he acknowledged there would be some amount of short-term pain in the hiring of additional officers.
A mid-2012 Annexation has been a discussion, but the annexation date of 1/1/2012 has not changed yet.
Davis, asked Luther if he has given any more thought to cadet level hiring? Luther talked about a possible candidate to hire. There was continued discussion on hiring officers at a different starting level (cadet).
Luther discussed the amount of patrol he is doing in his role as Chief.
Bell talked about hiring temporary employment; more coverage for less money. Bell then inquired what service levels would be cut or how do we fund additional officers? Bell asked Council and staff to see if we can think about alternatives for staffing. In regard to service levels, Bell questioned what the less important ones are that would be considered to be reduced. Luther provided examples.
There was discussion among Council regarding cutting services or raising taxes.
Grimm stated he wants staff to provide numbers (dollars) to the recommended list provided by the Chief.
Stahmer stated to do the most immediate point of Wegner replacement is a $60,000 addition to personnel for 2011, and $85,000 per year in subsequent years.
Rauenhorst stated something like the cadet or CSO program could be a savings to the City and maybe entails a restructuring of the police department.
Luther stated he would appreciate permission to hire an officer to replace Wegner. Luther stated there are salary savings this year, and a $60,000 cost next year. Luther also requested permission to promote from within, an additional supervisor (sergeant).
Rauenhorst stated he is in favor of replacing Wegner and likes the idea of promotion.
Bunting stated he agrees with the Wegner replacement. Bunting also wanted to point out that the new hire, 10 months from now, boosts the department by one.
Rauenhorst stated we are going to have to have more cops and we are going to have to pay for them.
Grimm paraphrased Rauenhorst’s comment that he is okay with a tax increase for public safety. Rauenhorst concurred.
Bunting would like to stop at the Wegner replacement tonight and look at other options at an upcoming meeting. Bunting wants to see numbers on how this affects budgets going forward, what has to be given up, and what will happen with the levy.
Council concurred a motion will be made at the regular meeting to authorize the hire.
Bell moved, Davis seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:05 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator/Clerk