1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Bunting on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Don Hall, Rick Ihli, and Maureen Stanley.
Staff present: Gary Buysse, Liquor Operations Manager; Jeff Beahen, Police Chief; Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Lisa Wieland Finance Director.
2. Pledge of Allegiance and swearing in of Don Hall as Councilmember
Doboszenski swore in Don Hall as Councilmember; replacing Bunting's open Council seat.
3. Open Forum
4.01 Step to It Challenge Award
RAC Manager Bauer addressed the Council regarding the Step to It Challenge. Bauer provided a background of the program. Bauer stated two awards are given out each year to the 22 participating communities; Rogers being the recipient for one of the two.
No action taken.
4.02 Green Step Cities Recognition
Trevor Drake provided background on the Green Step program and presented the Green Step Cities recognition award to Council.
No action taken.
4.03 Donation by the Lions to Chief Beahen and the Rogers Police Department
Tony Waldon, President of the Rogers Lions Club addressed the Council stating the Lions are here to present Chief Beahen with a check for purchase of a motion activated viewer to curtail the copper theft in the City. Chief Beahen discussed how the cameras work and how they are monitored through Wright Hennepin Electric. Beahen stated he believes the cameras will be in use 365 days a year.
Council thanked the Lions for their generosity.
5. Approve agenda
The agenda was set as submitted.
6. Consent Agenda
6.01 Approval of Minutes from July 10, 2012 City Council Meeting
6.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
6.03 Award Contract for Construction to Twin Pines Earthworks for the 2012 Stormwater Maintenance Project
6.04 Approve a Reduction in Retainage for John Deere Lane Extension Project
6.05 Authorize Completion of NPDES Permit Application Checklist and Required Related Forms for the Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) Pulled by Staff
6.06 Approval of Minnesota Lawful Gambling Permit for Rogers Youth Hockey Association to Conduct a Raffle at the Rogers Activity Center, Located at 21080 141st Ave. N., on Sunday, December 9, 2012
6.07 Request to Approve Contract with CMT Diversified for Cleaning Services at the Police Dept.
Bell moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda less 6.05 as pulled by staff. Motion carried 5-0.
7. Public Hearings
8. General Business
8.01 Conditional Job Offer for the MS4/Non-Building Code Inspector Position
Administrator Stahmer provided background on the position and the interview process. Staff has made a conditional job offer to Tom Gile. The offer is conditioned upon affirmative vote of Council, pre-employment background and drug screen, and his acceptance of the offer. Staff is recommending council hire Tom Gile for the position of Water Resources Technician/Non-Building Code Inspector position.
Stanley moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve a conditional job offer for the Water Resources Technician/Non-Building Code Inspector position to Thomas Gile. Motion carried 5-0.
8.02 Solar Panel Project
RAC Manager Bauer, Trevor Drake, and Nick Nelson presented the solar panel project and recommendation to enter into a non-binding letter of intent. Nelson stated the project would be placing solar panels on the RAC, Fire Station, and Public Works building. Nelson explained the process of the program; no up-front cost to the City and reduced electricity rates for six years. After six years the panels become ours. Staff explained the panels would be insured under the City's insurance carrier, LMC.
Bunting what the potential downside would be in entering into the letter of intent. He questioned the maintenance cost of the system. Nelson suggested a once per year cleaning and stated the system is warrantied for 30 years and the inverters are warrantied for 10 years. Replacement cost of the inverters is $10,000 to $15,000.
Bell asked how the payment works. Nelson explained how the electricity is paid as an annual payment. Bell asked if we do something that reduces overall electricity use, what does that do to the payment structure? Nelson continued to discuss the payment structure stating the cost of the electricity is 20% less than the cost to purchase electricity through Xcel. Nelson also stated if the City does not use all the energy that is generated, that it would be bought back by Xcel.
Bunting stated it looks great on paper, an enormous amount of savings; almost too good to be true.
Hall asked a couple questions regarding the non-legally binding letter of intent.
Nelson explained the letter of intent stating it shows that the City is interested enough for them to apply for the rebates.
Hall asked what the panels would look like from 30 to 50 yards away. Hall requested some type of view/elevation from the ground as an example.
Nelson stated he is less concerned for the community room building stating the panels sit three to four feet high. At the community room you would see the top of the panels and back of the racking.
Hall asked what other communities have done this. Nelson stated the program is two months old; Red Wing, Crystal and Hanover have entered into the letters of intent. Red Wing's system will be installed next month.
Bell asked if the technology is new. Nelson stated they have installed the system on a Courtyard Marriot in Mankato. Nelson is familiar with the panels and the inverters stating he has used them for years.
Ihli stated he loves the idea of heading into the solar age. Ihli stated this is a lot of information for the Council to digest and is not sure he has seen enough to give it a go. Ihli stated he would like to research this more before making a decision.
Nelson offered to answer any questions. Bunting stated he may want to talk with Red Wing since they are further in the process.
Bell moved, Ihli seconded a motion to table consideration until the next meeting. Motion carried 5-0.
8.03 Approve a Value Engineering Study for the TH 101/CSAH 144 Interchange Project
Engineer Weiss stated the funding is in place for the entire project and it will move forward in 2014. The Value Engineering (VE) Study process is required for projects that exceed $20 million in total project cost. MnDOT has recommended that any project with a construction cost over $16 million go through the process so that it does not negatively affect the project in the final design process and ultimately push back the letting date. Weiss explained that MnDOT will lead the VE process for the project and will be hiring a consultant to facilitate the workshop. Approximately $35,000 - $40,000 of the proposed contract is dedicated to reimburse MnDOT for their costs associated with hiring the facilitator and conducting the VE workshop. Time for the city and/or WSB to represent the City's interests, is not included in MnDOT's costs.
WSB is requesting a not to exceed limit of $50,000 to complete all activities requested by MnDOT to complete the VE Process. Weiss explained the estimate for the project is currently in the $15M to $18M range.
Weiss explained the cost of the VE will be part of the City's $1M contribution.
Bunting stated one of the benefits is to correct the intersection at County Road 144 and Rogers Drive; a dangerous intersection in the City. Otsego has also committed dollars to this project. All funding sources are in place.
Ihli also spoke on the benefits of the project.
Hall moved, Bell seconded a motion to approve the proposal from WSB & Associates, Inc. in the amount of up to $50,000, which includes MnDOT's value engineering consultant, for providing professional engineering services as they relate to completing the Value Engineering (VE) Process for the TH 101 and CSAH 144 Interchange Project. Motion carried 5-0.
8.04 Approve Plans and Specifications and Authorize the Advertisement of Bids for the TH 101 and Northdale Boulevard/147th Avenue Watermain Loop
Engineer Weiss stated upon full operation of the ground storage reservoir, currently being constructed near James Road, this watermain loop will be necessary to provide more efficient flow of water in the distribution system. The watermain loop will provide a connection from Northdale Boulevard at 147th Avenue, north along the west side of TH 101 where the existing watermain terminates.
Bunting stated one of the reasons we looked into the water reservoir is that we were at dangerously low water levels a couple years ago; sucking sand and damaging pumps.
Weiss stated Council still has the opportunity to reject bids, this process just gets the project advertised.
Bell moved, Stanley seconded a motion to approve plans and specifications and authorize the Advertisement of Bids for the TH 101 and Northdale Boulevard/147th Avenue watermain loop. Motion carried 5-0.
8.05 Approval of Pavement Management Program
Engineer Weiss provided background on the proposed pavement management program.
Stanley asked if the gravel roads will be assessed as part of this project. Weiss stated that it does not get measured with this.
Weiss explained, once the initial assessment is complete, the proposal is to do a third of the system annually, which would cover about 70 – 75% of the roads assuming 25-30% are newer or in a status that does not require assessing. This process establishes that each year 25% of the roads will be rated.
Bunting talked about this being a financial tool to help plan for road repair and improvements.
Hall commented what doing is creating a baseline with the bituminous surfaces. Hall stated he would also like a tool to assess the gravel roadways as well.
Bell moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the proposal from WSB & Associates, Inc. in the amount of $45,339 for providing professional engineering as noted on the attached proposal for the completion of a pavement management system for the local street system in the City of Rogers. Motion carried 5-0.
8.06 Approval of Contract for LETG Police Records Management System
Chief Beahen provided a PowerPoint presentation providing background on the current records management system (RMS) and highlighted the benefits of the recommended LETG RMS.
Bell asked if the interfaces are included or if they would be an added cost. Beahen explained they are included. Beahen offered explanation on how the system works and where it is hosted.
Staff and Council discussed payment options, recommending using the IT sinking fund of $50,000 from 2012 and the projected $50,000 from 2013. Beahen stated payment would not be due until after Jan 1, 2013.
Council continued to question the cost of the licensing; Beahen explained all costs.
Wieland stated the ongoing operational/maintenance cost of $12,200 annually will come from the police department line item budget; general fund.
Bell questioned the additional products that would need to be purchased. Beahen explained the only additional purchase would be for a printer at approximately $90 and the necessary labels for tagging evidence.
Ihli stated it is important to allow the officers to get back to police work and supports the request.
Beahen stated the remote field reporting system keeps cops on the street.
Stanley spoke on one data entry point and the efficiency of the system.
Bunting talked about the current system being archaic. He stated he likes the email alerts as Beahen highlighted in his presentation and this seems like the right system and the right time.
Hall moved, Stanley seconded a motion to approve entering into an agreement with Law Enforcement Technology Group (LETG) to purchase and supply a new records management system for the police department. Motion carried 5-0.
8.07 Property Tax Rate/Fiscal Disparities Overview and Comparisons
Administrator Stahmer provided a PowerPoint presentation on an overview of property taxes, rates, TIF and Fiscal Disparities Impacts, highlighting the following:
• The Fiscal Disparities program is mandatory program enacted by the State Legislature in an attempt to address fiscal concerns within the seven‐county Metro area and to equalize tax base by requiring that all communities in the area contribute 40 percent of the growth in their commercial/industrial tax base after 1971 to a regional pool. The tax base is then distributed to cities.
• Rogers is, by far, the largest net contributor (net loser) to the pool in terms of the percentage of total tax base lost to the program.
• In 2011, Rogers contributed nearly 20% of its tax base to the pool on a net basis, resulting in a local tax rate that was 34.4% higher than if there were no Fiscal Disparities program
• Rogers previously had a very high percentage of tax capacity in TIF, from the low to mid 20's in any given year. Now the percentage is 1.83% after the expiration of TIF No. 1. Countywide, the number is at 5.31%.
Administrator Stahmer stated the presentation is for informational purposes only; no action necessary.
Staff and Council discussed the possibility of building a case to start some legislation for loss of tax capacity to fiscal disparities.
Bunting stated there is no other system in the country like fiscal disparities.
Finance Director Wieland talked about the various study groups she has attended and the study done on the program.
Bunting stated he would love to see a sunset date on this program. Rogers's best bet would be to lobby for some sort of cap or to change the date as we go forward.
No action taken.
8.08 Open Council Appointments
Council discussed the following appointments:
• Hall as Primary; Bunting as alternate on Arena Commission
• Bunting to fill the spot on the Fire Relief Association
• Ihli as primary; Bunting as alternate on Planning Commission
• Ihli as primary; Hall as alternate on the School Diversity Committee
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to make the appointments as discussed. Motion carried 4-1; Hall abstaining..
9. Other Business
10. Correspondence and Reports
10.01 Elm Creek Watershed Minutes – June 13, 2012
10.02 Rogers Park Board Minutes – June 14, 2012
10.03 Transportation Task Force Minutes
10.04 June, 2012 Financial Reports
Ihli moved, Bell seconded a motion to adjourn at 8:46 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk