1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Jason Grimm, Rick Ihli, and Maureen Stanley.
Staff present: Gary Buysse, Liquor Operations Manager; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Steve Grittman, City Planner; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Bret Weiss, City Engineer; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Open Forum
3.01 Rep. Joyce Peppin – Update on Legislature
Representative Peppin was not present at 7:00 p.m. and was heard later in the meeting.
4. Approve agenda
The following item was added under Other Business:
8.01 Recap of trip to DC – Bunting
8.02 Another meeting to discuss Brockton Interchange – Bunting
8.03 Email received from principal from Rogers High School - Grimm
5. Consent Agenda
5.01 Approval of Minutes from November 8, 2011 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Funding Request for I-94 Chamber Coalition – 2011-58
5.04 Approval of Resolution No. 2011-59, A Resolution Annexing the Remainder of Phase III Properties of the Orderly Annexation Agreement from the Town of Hassan into the City of Rogers, (MBA Docket OA-992)
5.05 Retailer/store agreement with Life Media
5.06 Reliakor Snowplow Contract
5.07 2011 Audit Engagement Letter
5.08 Approval of Contract with Prime Advertising
Stahmer noted a revised dollar figure on the I94 Chamber Coalition contribution; the new number $4298.50. The Chamber is not asking Rogers to pay for the additional Hassan population in 2012.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 5-0.
6. Public Hearings
7. General Business
At this time, the Mayor invited Joyce Peppin to address the Council. Ms. Peppin spoke about the last session and the upcoming legislative session. Peppin stated her frustration with the session is the failure of the legislature to use a priority based budget system stating she prefers a zero-based budget system. Peppin then discussed a piece of legislation she has been working on, the Minnesota Sunset Commission – and it did pass and was adopted by the Governor. Peppin described the Sunset Commission as a reviewing body of any state funded program, to see if there are things that can be done differently. Peppin then focused on the upcoming session; preliminary budget forecast in November. Peppin stated they are still expecting another budget shortfall of $500 million to $1 billion. Peppin stated the house leadership has been doing a state reform 2.0 package; trying to outreach to cities, counties, school districts, and local governments to look for ideas to reduce meaningless mandates or mandates that overlap and invited ideas from Rogers.
Peppin stated, on a final note, an issue that has locally been affecting residents is the merger between Rogers and Hassan, stating there has been a lot of discussions, disagreements, and hard feelings. Peppin stated as she stands here tonight and she knows that we are one community, the merger is going forward, and offered to do what she can to see that the merger goes through smoothly. Peppin stated she is here to work with City staff and Hassan board members to make that transition as smooth as possible.
Peppin asked for questions from Council. No questions were asked. Peppin thanked the Council for the opportunity to speak.
7.01 Liquor Liability Insurance – Pulled from Agenda
7.02 Approve the plans and specifications for the construction of the North Ground Storage Reservoir and Pumping Facility Project
Engineer Weiss asked Peppin for any transportation funding she can secure.
Weiss addressed the Council on the ground storage reservoir and provided a presentation on the design and functionality of the ground storage reservoir. Weiss stated to leave the tank above ground would be 27 feet high. Weiss proposed some options to Council; a standard tank, tank with pilasters, and a tank with pilasters and arches. Weiss stated he would recommend bidding with the alternatives of pilasters and pilasters with arches. The estimated project cost is $2,450,000 with funding through WAC and bonding using a portion of the available WAC and bond for the remainder. Tonight staff is seeking authority to approve plans and specifications and bid alternates. Weiss also discussed a separate project of a water main loop.
Bunting stated there might be some people in the audience wondering why we are putting in a two million gallon reservoir. Weiss stated it allows the City to pump at night when it is less expensive to operate. Weiss and Council discussed water shortage issues within the City.
Bunting moved, Bell seconded a motion to approve the plans and specifications for the construction of the ground storage reservoir and pumping facility located south of 147th Avenue and east of James Road. Motion carried 5-0.
7.03 Adopt Ordinance No. 2011-07, An Ordinance Rezoning Property Within the City of Rogers From B-2, Commercial Business to L-I, Limited Industry (Imperial Wire)
Administrator Stahmer stated the rezoning request is in line with the City's comp plan and was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission and Planner.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2011-07, An Ordinance Rezoning Property Within the City of Rogers From B-2, Commercial Business to L-I, Limited Industry (Imperial Wire). Motion carried 5-0.
7.04 Sign Standards Adjustment for Rapid Marine, Located at 21150 Rogers Dr.
Administrator Stahmer stated the request by Rapid Marine is to transfer the 80 square feet of allowable signage from the rear to the front for a total allowable square footage of 160.
Planner Grittman's memo indicates the following:
Since the applicant has not proposed a freestanding sign, but would be allowed one such sign at up to 100 square feet, staff had recommended that the applicant transfer some of the all freestanding sign area – under the sign adjustment process – to the proposed wall sign. At the Planning Commission meeting, the applicant noted that they would not be needing a sign at the rear of the property where they have access to Commerce Drive, but plan to request a pylon sign in the front at some point in the future.
As a result, the Planning Commission recommended approval of a Sign Standards Adjustment that would transfer the 80 square feet of allowable sign area from the rear wall to the front, allowing for a maximum sign area on the front wall of 160 square feet. The Commission's recommendation was based, in part, on the understanding that a similar approval was recently granted to the Stonelounge Restaurant – maintaining the total square footage allowance under the code, but using the Sign Standards Adjustment process to shift the location of the sign area on the property.
This recommendation was accompanied by an observation that the rear wall would no longer be eligible for sign requests in the future. The Planning Commission further noted that the applicant would be allowed a freestanding sign, but it would have to meet the code requirements.
Grimm stated we approved the sign based on the same circumstances before and doesn't see a lot of issues. Bunting and Stanley both agree with the Planning Commission recommendation.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded to approve along with the following four conditions included in the packet:
1. Front wall sign area of a maximum of 160 square feet.
2. No rear wall signage permitted.
3. Future pylon sign construction limited to the allowances of the code, without adjustment.
4. Resolution of the measurement question relating to sign area.
Motion carried 5-0.
7.05 Authorize Entering into Contract with Harris Energy Services for Implementing the RAC Recommissioning Capital Improvements
Public Works Supt. Seifert introduced Trevor Drake, MN Green Corp grant position for energy conservation. Seifert provided a presentation on the recommission study of the RAC.
Seifert discussed in detail the enhancements to the RAC's HVAC system as a result of the recommissioning; over $400,000 savings in 20 years. Seifert stated total project costs are $57,000. If implemented before November 30, there would be additional $1700 in grant funds/rebates.
Ihli questioned the life span on the equipment. Seifert stated the telemetry and control panels have a 20 year life span.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion authorizing the performance contract with Harris Energy Services for implementing the Rogers Activity Center (RAC) Recommissioning Capital Improvements. Motion carried 5-0.
7.06 Budget Workshop Recap
Stahmer provided a brief update from the budget workshop stating we are seeking a flat tax rate and a vast majority of residential properties will receive a reduction of property taxes for 2012. Stahmer stated Council and staff reviewed a number of budget changes from 2012 to today. The final adoption of the 2012 budget is scheduled for December 13th.
No formal action was taken.
8. Other Business
8.01 Recap if trip to DC – Bunting
Bunting asked that the recap prepared by Administrator Stahmer prepared be placed in the minutes in its entirety. Bunting continued to discuss the reasoning for the trip; to secure funding to ensure our residents can get around our city in an efficient/timely manner.
Bunting stated it was beneficial for three Councilmembers to meet with Paulsen's staff on Friday evening. Bunting said that $600 to $700 was spent out of their own pockets to ensure we could meet with those people, stating he thought it was that important. Hopefully the people of Rogers appreciate that we are determined to secure dollars to benefit our community and surrounding communities.
Grimm stated the project we are talking about is County Road 144 and Highway 101 project which has $9 million in SAM funding from the state.
Stanley stated she thought the meetings went well and spoke on Klobuchar committing to contact the Met Council and FHWA to support the project.
Ihli thanked Administrator Stahmer and Bret Weiss for preparing the Council for their trip and various meetings.
The following is the memo prepared by Administrator Stahmer:
Mayor Grimm; Councilmembers Bunting, Ihli and Stanley along with City staff recently traveled to Washington D.C. in a continuing effort to bring much-needed regional transportation dollars to the City of Rogers. During the trip, City representatives met with individual members of our federal Congressional delegation to discuss both transportation projects specific to Rogers, as well as the general need for a federally-approved six-year transportation funding bill.
The Rogers contingent had a very productive meeting with Senator Amy Klobuchar and her senior staff member, Travis Talvitie. The Rogers projects were discussed along with the transportation funding bill issues. Rogers representatives explained how the lack of a long-term transportation funding bill is putting local projects in jeopardy. In particular, the TH101/CR144 interchange project faces the risk of losing the $9.2 million in funding already secured through Mn/DOT if a transportation bill isn't passed, because the State money must be encumbered by the end of 2013. The group also discussed that, due to the lack of a long-term bill, the Metropolitan Council/Mn/DOT will not add the TH101/DR144 project to the State Transportation Improvement Program because future funding is not guaranteed.
Senator Klobuchar shared the City's concern with these issues and made a strong commitment to communicate with Mn/DOT and Met Council representatives regarding the funding issues and the need to include such projects in the STIP. She voiced her continued support for solving these regional transportation issues. She further stated that the Senate has passed a two year bill with increased funding that she hoped would give the Met council some comfort that future transportation funding would be available.
Rogers representatives also met with Congressman Erik Paulsen regarding the same issues noted above. Congressman Paulsen is very aware of the regional transportation issues in and around Rogers and has been very supportive in the past. He is strongly in favor of a long-term financing plan.
Meetings were also convened with Senator Al Franken and Congressman Chip Cravaak (formerly Oberstar's seat). Both expressed support for the concept of a long-term transportation funding strategy and a six-year funding plan.
Rogers representatives also left informational materials for numerous other members of congress including Congressman Tim Walz (through a meeting with Walz' staff transportation advisor), Congresswoman Michelle Bachman(during a meeting with her transportation staff) and the respective Chairs of the House and Senate Transportation Committees, Representative John Mica and Senator Barbara Boxer.
The 2011 D.C. trip was one of the more productive and effective efforts undertaken by Rogers with regard to the support and commitments received from our federal elected officials. Staff and Council will be following up with letters and informational material related to those commitments made by our respective members of Congress.
8.02 Another meeting to discuss Brockton Interchange – Bunting
Bunting stated he would like the opportunity to re-evaluate the decision from the first time, and is willing to listen and meet further about the proposed Brockton Interchange. Ihli and Stanley both agreed. Council stated to put it into a work session for discussion.
8.03 Email received from principal from Rogers High School – Grimm
Grimm stated an email was received from Principal Pierskalla for representation on diversity issues in the high school – seeking Council representation on the committee. Looking to meet every two months. The first meeting scheduled for December 5th at 7:00 p.m. and then put the committee opening on the list of appointments in January. Ihli stated he has volunteered to meet on December 5th.
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 Park Board Minutes – Oct. 13, 2011
9.02 October, 2011 Financial Reports
No formal action was taken.
10. ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION TO FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT LABOR SERVICES LOCAL 364 CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS – RECONVENE TO OPEN MEETING
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to adjourn at 7:40 p.m.
The meeting reconvened from closed session at 8:31 p.m.
Bell moved, Bunting seconded a motion to ratify the 2011-2013 contract between the City of Rogers and LELS Local 364 as presented in the tentative agreement dated October 14, 2011. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to authorize staff to proceed with the 2012 personnel services budget documents as presented with COLA at 2% for former IBEW employees and 3% for non-IBEW/non-police employees effective January 1, 2012. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting stated that he recognized the sacrifices made by employees over the last few years. Bunting also stated he but wants staff to find roughly $10,000 in budget cuts before the December 13, 2011 meeting.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion directing staff to find $10,000 in budget reductions, upon staff's discretion and Council's approval with the final budget. Motion carried 5-0.
Bunting moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adjourn at 8:34.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk