1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Acting Mayor Bunting on Tuesday, March 27, 2012 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.
Member excused: Jason Grimm.
Staff present: Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Robert Shellum, Police Chief; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Bret Weiss, City Engineer; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Open Forum
4. Approve agenda
The agenda was set as submitted.
5. Consent Agenda
5.01 Approval of Minutes from March 13, 2012 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Adopt Ordinance No. 2012-02, An Ordinance Creating a Floodplain Ordinance and Summary Ordinance No. 2012-02
5.04 Concept Review – Brockton Meadows Re-subdivision
5.05 Approval of Kone Elevator Contract
5.06 Consider the Re-designation of State Aid Streets (Resolution No. 2012-15)
Bell moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 4-0.
6. Public Hearings
7. General Business
7.01 2012A General Obligation Bonds (Resolution No. 2012-16)
Finance Director Wieland introduced the item of the bond sale. Wieland stated after the bond results presentation by Dave Callister of Ehlers, her recommendation is to approve the resolution awarding the sale of the $2,130,000 General Obligation bonds.
Mr. Callister addressed the Council regarding the bond sale and highlighted the Moody's rating call maintaining an Aa2. Three bids were received on the bonds with low bid at 2.1% true interest cost.
Bell asked for an explanation on the reduction in the principal amount. Callister stated the winning bidder put a premium bid in and explained how the bidding works with a premium bid; higher coupons to offer to their retail investors.
Bunting explained to the audience the reason behind bonding for two years of equipment certificates.
Wieland stated there are issuance cost savings as well as interest rate savings by combining the bonds.
Ihli moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adopt Resolution 2012-16 awarding the sale of $2,130,000 General Obligation Bonds, Series 2012A. Motion carried 4-0.
Dave Callister announced this is his last meeting for the City and introduced Shelly Eldridge from Ehlers.
7.02 Hassan Audit Presentation and Acceptance of 2011 Audit
Finance Director Wieland introduced Richard Hill, former Hassan finance officer, and Tom Koop with Clifton Larson Allen. Wieland wanted to publically thank Richard Hill for his assistance in transitioning the Hassan finances.
Mr. Koop presented a quick overview of the findings of the Hassan audit. Koop stated the audit has a clean opinion. Koop addressed the finding in the audit regarding the retro-active payment to former Hassan employees. Commonly the State does not follow-up with legal compliance findings as was noted.
Bunting asked if there is something that comes back from the State Auditor's office, what would be the worst case scenario. Mr. Koop stated it would be difficult for the State to have ramifications against the City.
Koop then addressed the balances in Hassan's funds found on pages 6 and 7 of the audit.
Bell questioned the letter page 2; two paragraphs on the bottom. Mr. Koop explained the language and the reason behind it is Hassan ran on a cash basis accounting system.
No further questions were asked. Council thanked Mr. Koop for the presentation.
Bell moved, Ihli seconded a motion to receive and order filed the Hassan Township 2011 audit. Motion carried 4-0.
7.03 Appointment of Rogers Fire Department Chief 11 and Chief 21
Chief Feist addressed the Council and introduced the candidates for Chief 11 and Chief 21 and recommended the appointing of Chad Krumwiede for Station 1 and Graig Burt for Station 2.
Bunting stated he appreciates the internal process for these positions.
Ihli moved, Stanley seconded a motion to appoint Chad Krumwiede to the position of Chief 11 and Graig Burt to the position of Chief 21. Motion carried 4-0.
7.04 iPad Purchase Discussion
Web IT/Communications Specialist Greninger addressed the Council and presented them with various options for tablets for the Council to consider for paperless packets.
Bunting stated this is more of an efficiency and effectiveness measure for the Council; not a cost savings measure.
Staff explained how consultants and department heads are moving toward paperless packets. Staff also stated a dedicated router will be installed for the community room for wireless access for the City Council.
Stanley stated she is excited to move to paperless packets.
Bell is in favor, but with any technology item, this is on a downhill slope. Bell suggested iPad 3 instead of iPad 2, but doesn't have to be the high end model. This enables to keep it a little longer. Bell stated he prefers the keyboard option for the tablet.
Bunting discussed his preferences and stated he would also like to have a keyboard option.
Stahmer stated iPad has a larger market share and more of the standard. Staff discussed what other cities have done.
Bunting and Bell briefly discussed data practices law as they relate to emails.
Council discussed the iPad versus the Asus and their preference with keyboards. Council decided to wait with the keyboard and Council can choose the one they prefer.
Council agreed there is no reason to spend the additional dollars for a cellular contract.
Staff stated this would be coded against the general fund under the Council's budget.
Bell stated he would like to encourage attention by staff to make the iPads useful tools for the Council. As noted in the memo, troubleshooting and servicing would be done out of house. Staff wants to focus on making it functional and useful for Council.
Bunting asked from Greninger's standpoint, would it be helpful to start with just a few or to order all five. Greninger stated he didn't see an issue with ordering all five.
Bunting moved, Ihli seconded a motion to purchase the iPad 3 16 gig with wi-fi (black), a two year care package, and the etching option. Motion carried 4-0.
7.05 Approval of Resolution No. 2012-17, A Resolution Denying a Request by NRD Powersports for a Variance to the Height and Square Footage Allowed to Remodel an Existing Freestanding Sign, Located at 20700 Rogers Drive
Administrator Stahmer provided history on the CUP approval for NRD, specifically the condition to remove the sign or have a variance approved to come into compliance with the CUP. The applicant is still waiting for City signature for their trailer sales license, and other items that need to be cleaned up to come into compliance with the zoning and CUP.
The applicant tried to conform the existing sign, however it is still out of compliance with the City's sign ordinance. The proposed sign would be 208 square feet with a height of 39 feet. The current sign ordinance maximums are 100 square feet and 15 feet in height.
Stahmer stated the staff recommendation and unanimous Planning Commission recommendation was to deny the variance. Other signs there (along Rogers Drive) are much larger, but are legal non-conforming signs.
If the Council adopts the resolution denying the variance, there are other options for the applicant. One idea is the application for an interim use permit that could coincide with the term of the lease.
The applicants were present; Rick Hajny, 20700 Rogers Drive, stated in this case the applicant was not aware of the history of the sign and the property. Had they been, they would have approached this differently. The application submitted drastically reduces the size of the sign. Mr. Hajny stated what they are proposing seems reasonable for that environment/corridor.
Bunting stated he appreciates the difficult situation. Bunting informed the applicant that all four Councilors were on the Planning Commission at the time the current sign ordinance went through.
Ihli addressed Monte Howerton (co-applicant) regarding an interim use permit. Howerton stated the owner will not do an interim use permit. The owner has told the tenant that they will have to relocate.
Bell stated he is sympathetic with the situation, but the ordinance was in place prior to the applicants leasing the building.
Howerton doesn't care about the sign, but doesn't have the power to do anything about it and is simply a pawn between the City and Mr. Marmas, the property owner.
Bunting stated it is not the City's place to take down signs; the ordinances are enforced by allowing things to happen such as a certificate of occupancy.
Howerton stated if it is non-compliant and illegal, then the action should be taken against the property owner, but the burden is being placed on him as the applicant.
There was continued discussion between the Council and Monte Howerton.
Howerton stated the property owner believes he has already conceded a much larger sign to get this sign approved and it should be grandfathered in – he is adamant about that.
Stahmer stated the City's leverage lies with the zoning approvals and zoning controls. Stahmer discussed the ordinance and referenced state statute in regard to the use of the property, not the ownership of the property. Stahmer stated the owner was notified of the sign needing to be removed once the property was vacant for over a year.
There was continued discussion between NRD and the Council regarding the sign and some possible options. Staff can explore the option of having the sign go black, but needs to make sure future commitments are not being made by allowing the pole to stay.
Bunting stated he would like to try to find a way for a compromise, with a completely different sign or to get this within our current regulations.
Bell moved, Bunting seconded a motion to approve Resolution No. 2012 – 17, A Resolution Denying a Request by NRD Powersports for a Variance to the Height and Square Footage Allowed to Remodel an Existing Freestanding Sign, Located at 20700 Rogers Drive. Motion carried 4-0.
7.06 Award Contract for Construction to Brenteson Companies for the 2012 Arthur Street Drainage System Repair Project
Engineer Weiss provided the background of the Arthur Street Drainage system repair project. Weiss stated the Engineer's estimate was $68,700 however manholes were upsized. Five bids were received.
There was a discussion regarding the manholes. Weiss stated the castings are being buried.
The funding is out of the storm water trunk fund.
Bell moved, Ihli seconded a motion to award a contract for construction to Brenteson Companies in the amount of $72,158.05. Motion carried 3-0-1 with Stanley abstaining.
7.07 Discussion on Review of Sign Ordinance
Administrator Stahmer stated Ihli was asked to bring this item back to the Council as a discussion item. Staff will take any direction the Council may have.
The Planning Commission stated a 15' sign maximum may be too restrictive along the I94 corridor.
Mr. Martin, Planning Commissioner, addressed the Council for direction for the Planning Commission to revisit the sign ordinance.
Bunting thinks the corridor is unique and cautions the Planning Commission, really does not want to see 50 and 60 foot signs along the freeway. Bunting stated relooking at the sign ordinance would be a good idea.
Bell stated years ago when we looked at this we did it because we were giving out variances, etc. We paid a consultant, did research, found best practices, and the ordinance that was crafted was a compromise between the existing ordinance and the more restricting ordinances such as Maple Grove. Maple Grove's ordinance is very similar to ours today. The ordinance that we have is a good one and needs to be upheld. We are going to have these tough decisions as we transition. We can be sympathetic, but being sympathetic and changing ordinances for misdirected reasons are two different things.
Bunting brought up the issue of issuing variances for wall signage. Bell stated that was done under the boundaries of the ordinance. In this case we are faced with an owner that does not want to cooperate and that does not create a hardship.
There was continued discussion among the Council about allowing the Planning Commission to revisit the sign ordinance.
Ihli stated he is in favor of allowing the Planning Commission to revisit the sign ordinance as it pertains to the I94 corridor. Bunting agrees to allow it.
Stahmer stated a project like this will cost some additional planning dollars to revisit.
Ihli moved, Stanley seconded the motion to allow the Planning Commission to review the sign ordinance to review the I94 corridor overlay for their review and send recommendation back to the City Council.
Stanley asked if we should restrict the number of hours spent.
Motion carried 3-1 with Bell opposed.
8. Other Business
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 Transportation Task Force Meeting Minutes, March 19, 2012
9.02 Preliminary December, 2011 Financial Reports
No action taken.
Ihli moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adjourn at 8:38 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk