1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Acting Mayor Bell on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Rick Ihli, and Maureen Stanley.
Council excused: Jason Grimm.
Staff present: Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Rose Lorsung, City Planner; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; John Thames, City Attorney; Bret Weiss, City Engineer; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Open Forum.
Patricia Johnson – Seniors
Mrs. Johnson addressed the Council stating about four years ago about 200 seniors signed a letter asking for senior services in the community. She stated she is now standing here disheartened, disappointed, and disgusted. Mrs. Johnson then read from the following prepared statement:
Mayor Grimm, Council Members, Administrator Stahmer;
Please accept my resignation from the Senior Advisory Commission effective May 1, 2011.
I have served on the Board/Commission since its inception, first as the chairperson and now as an alternate. The original Board accomplished much during the first two years with the cooperation of the City and different organizations also working with the Teen Advisory Board. After dedicating myself to the goals we set out and the needs of the senior population of Rogers for over 5 years, my family and friends have urged me to spend more time with them and take some time for myself. My dedication to the seniors and their welfare will remain, but not as my main priority as it has been.
I urge the City to remember that you (and prior councils) have encouraged the building of senior housing buildings to bring the senior population into the City and now they are here along with many other seniors that live in private homes, townhomes and apartments and it’s time to show the respect due them, offer the services that are needed for their welfare and a place for them to meet for enjoyment, classes and meals. The Wellness Group that I helped to organize and was Director of for 4 ½ years offered exercises to help people remain independent for as long as possible in addition to bringing them timely information on all aspects of daily living. Also during my time as chairperson we initiated the Vial of Life and Rogers Registry programs which a good number of people have taken advantage of and is ongoing. When we filed for our 501c3 the City was no longer able to work closely with us so with some guidance we set up a Corporation which now handles all funds except for the line item in the City budget. I will continue as Treasurer of the Corporation until my term ends. There are a number of other accomplishments that the original Board members put in place - some ongoing, some lasted a short time, some failed but that is how we learned what works and what doesn’t. We worked along with two other groups to put an entry in the Rockin’ Rogers Parade which took first place, some of us have worked with the Booster Club at Rogers High School and found it very rewarding. The youth that we got acquainted with are the future of Rogers, or wherever life takes them, and it’s important that they know that seniors care about them. I don’t know what has become of the Teen Advisory Board, or if there is one at this time which is disappointing.
Recently I was invited to spend some time with the newer residents at Heritage Place so they would know what is offered for seniors here. I prepared for 20 minutes and due to questions and comments spent about an hour. Some of them were appalled to find out how little money is allowed the senior program in the City budget and commented on how the building owners pay property taxes as do other senior homeowners and residents support the local businesses. They also wondered why we don’t have a center where we can provide low cost meals, classes, meetings within the City limits. I explained to them about the space we do have in the Hassan building that is our temporary Center that we worked hard to update and spent our only funds at the time on fresh, clean carpet, all of which increased the value of their building. However, there is no kitchen. Most all of our possessions are stored there including a fireproof file cabinet where records are kept. My advice to them was to get involved and make themselves heard. As of about two weeks ago the demographics of the 2010 census were not available so I do not know the number of seniors living in Rogers or in Hassan, but my guess would be in the ballpark of 8-900 total. (There are 150-200 on our street alone.) Many of that number are taxpayers and most are voters so you see what effect seniors could have.
In the beginning the Advisory Board was told that more funds would be available for us when the TIF money began coming back. This is the year, however, we have not heard or seen anything about that happening. The Corporation is working to fund a part-time director to do the organizing and program planning for the group. It’s time for the City to take a look at what can be done to help - I know you say the budget is tight, but wouldn’t it be better to put the money into helping people than into concrete medians as was planned for 129th Avenue? Think about it. I would very much like to sit down with this Council at one of your workshops - along with a cross section of other seniors* - to discuss what can and should be done and also urge you to respond to the request given to you in January regarding congregate dining. Seniors come from all sorts of backgrounds and are quite capable and resourceful adults. (*Perhaps a cross-section of seniors - the Advisory Commission, some residents of senior buildings and other homeowners.)
At this time I as a citizen, and having been in a leadership position, am requesting this Council to take a look at your agenda and the goals for the near future - is it taking the City in the direction it needs to go? Is it helping the citizens of the City? Is it causing us to have pride in our hometown? Is it a City that businesses will want to locate in - or run from? You were elected by the citizens - you have a duty to them, not to your own desires. From comments we hear at this time, people are looking for explanations, an official statement about what has and is taking place - as much as can be divulged - no excuses will be accepted. The taxpayers and voters have a right to know. My comments are made as a citizen and taxpayer of Rogers and on behalf of the seniors of the community who are seeking answers.
It has been an honor for me to serve the seniors of Rogers/Hassan and to work with the City. However, I know and you know that you can and need to do better and I look forward to some positive news for the senior community.
No other city of this size that gives less than Rogers gives to the seniors.
4. Approve agenda.
No items were added to the agenda. Agenda was set as submitted.
5. Consent Agenda.
5.01 Approval of Minutes from April 12, 2011 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Approval of Minnesota Lawful Gambling Exempt Permit for Word of Peace Lutheran Church to Conduct Raffles on August 18, 2011, for their 2nd Annual Corn Feed, located at 21705 129th Ave N.
5.04 Donation to the Rogers Fire Department from Rogers Fire Auxiliary
5.05 Approve Dayroom Lease Contract with North Memorial Health Care
5.06 Sewer Use Ordinance Update
5.07 Adopt Ordinance No. 2011-02, An Ordinance Amending Section’s 125-190 and 125-191 Related to Rural Estate Single-Family Zoning Districts and Section 125-323 Related to Accessory Structures and Summary Ordinance No. 2011-02
5.08 Approval of Resolution No. 2011-11, A Resolution Supporting the Construction of a New Sheriff's Office 911 Communication Facility
5.09 Approval of Separation Agreement and Release of All Claims - Luther
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 4-0.
6. Public Hearings
7. General Business
7.01 Approval of Resolution No. 2011-12, A Resolution Supporting the Funding for 2011 Surface Transportation Program (STP) Funding Application
Engineer Weiss addressed the Council stating the requested resolution is a continuation of items for the proposed interchange at CSAH 144 and Highway 101. This resolution would be included in the STP funding application stating you are committing to $1.5 million of local funds to the project. The County is working on their funding which will reduce the original city share of the project and staff is continuing to look for other ways of lowering the City’s share of the project.
Weiss provided an update on the layout of the project. Weiss stated the two options being considered are a single point diamond and a tight-diamond layout.
Bunting stated it is important to note this is a project we have been discussing for two years with the kids leaving school and the congestion in the area. This has been on our sheet of projects to do for quite some time.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to approve Resolution No. 2011-12, A Resolution Supporting the Funding for 2011 Surface Transportation Program (STP) Funding Application. Motion carried 4-0.
7.02 Consideration of Funding Sources for Burying Power lines on 129th Avenue
City would pay for the net cost of burying versus moving the power lines. The net cost, highest would be $500,000. Expecting it would be less than that amount. At the time the Council stated it was too much money and the decision was to move the power lines. Where the right-of-way changes, there is a jog in the line. There are three different areas where the wire would be taken across the road to stabilize the power line. Xcel also discussed the option of a composite pole stating less poles would need to be used, however they are five feet in diameter and add an additional cost of $200,000.
Weiss stated staff wants to provide the Council with all of the available information. A potential funding source is franchise fees; put on everyone’s electric bill. They are dollars that can be used for various types of lighting and electrical projects. A fee that wouldn’t necessarily come off until the Council takes it off. The fee would hit all the users of the electric system; some people consider it another tax. Another option is CRFS (Community Requested Fee Surcharge) which has a maximum of three years and a maximum of $4.50 per home per month for project specific purposes. The third option is the transportation trunk fee. Staff discussed also using a combination of funding sources.
Bunting questioned if it would be an interfund loan that would be paid back as properties develop.
Wieland stated there is $300,000 in the transportation trunk fund which is not project designated.
Engineer Weiss stated he is looking for feedback from the Council if they have an interest in looking at a franchise fee or CRFS surcharge. If you do, then staff will further investigate the funding options.
Seifert provided an explanation on the surcharge fee (CRFS). Seifert provided history of addressing overhead three-phase power lines along Main Street and how to find dollars to do those projects. Seifert discussed the option of a franchise fee which is allowed by state statute and PUC. In 2004, the Council elected to allow the process to be allowed for a franchise fee, but elected not to do a franchise fee at that time.
Staff and Council continued to discuss the options available.
Ihli stated he would like to see the numbers come back regarding the funding options proposed. Bunting concurred.
Weiss stated at the May 10th meeting, staff will be bringing back all project information; financing, assessments, and information regarding funding options for the power lines.
Bell is not opposed to the idea of bringing the numbers back, but is not fond of the idea of the surcharges.
No formal action taken.
8. Other Business
Seifert requested adding an item under other business
Seifert offered to meet with Pat Johnson and in the transition asked for Council permission to discuss possible programming options for the Seniors.
Stahmer added that staff has discussed internally the idea of looking at the rec programs and community education programs we have now and figure out a way to incorporate more items and services for Seniors.
Wieland commented that neither TIF nor Transportation funds can be used toward senior programming.
Council agreed to have staff discuss programming options with Mrs. Johnson.
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 Purchase of Rescue Vehicle
9.02 Kawasaki Mule/MN Wanner Sprayer
9.03 Transportation Task Force Meeting Minutes, April 18, 2011
10. ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION TO DISCUSS THE FOLLOWING:
• LAND PURCHASE
• ROGERS vs. M L LIMITED PARTNERSHIP
RECONVENE TO OPEN MEETING
Council adjourned to closed session at 7:30 p.m.
Council reconvened to open session at 7:55 p.m.
Bell read the following motion: Authorize staff to proceed with a purchase agreement under the terms discussed in closed session. Bunting made the motion, Ihli seconded. Motion carried 4-0.
Bell read the following motion: Authorize staff to dismiss the suit with ML Limited Partnership and void the outstanding accounts receivable invoice. Ihli made the motion, Bunting seconded. Motion carried 4-0.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to adjourn at 7:55 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk