1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Jason Grimm on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 7:02 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Mayor Jason Grimm, Robert Bell, Jay Bunting, Jamie Davis, and Steve Rauenhorst.
Staff present: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Asst. City Administrator; Scott Lange, City Engineer; Jeff Luther, Chief of Police; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Amy LeMieux, Recording Secretary, JASS.
2. Open Forum. Jim Sarkilahti, 22655 Breezewood Lane, commented on items 8.01, 8.03, and 9.01 from the January 13, 2009 minutes. He inquired regarding the date and method of advertising for open positions on the Police Commission, disagreed with the Council's decision to give a 1.5% wage increase to salaried and non-union workers since the economy does not appear to support wage increases, and disagreed with the Council's decision to spend $150 on commemorative plaques for Gary Eitel and Keith Oldfather.
3.01 Rogers Lions Club - Rockin' Rogers Days. Don Hall of the Rogers Lions thanked the Council for past support and assistance with this event and requested continued partnership in 2009. The event will take place June 25 through June 28, 2009. Council members were invited to attend the planning meetings for this event.
Grimm stated an intention to continue to support the Lions in this event.
4. Approve agenda. Police Open House, Annual/Semi-annual Review for Administrator, Citizen of the Year and Council Composition were added as items 8.01, 8.02, 8.03, and 8.04, respectively. Staff requested that items 7.02 and 7.03 be removed from the agenda.
5. Consent Agenda
5.01 Approval of Minutes from January 13, 2009 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Qualified Investment Safekeepers
5.03.01 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-03, A Resolution approving the Assistant City Administrator/Clerk and Finance Director to Open an Investment Account Through the U.S. Bank Money Center for the Safekeeping of City Investments
5.04 Final Plat Approval for Walter Dehn Commerce Center 6th Addition
5.05 M and I Request for Standard Sign Adjustment
5.06 Plowing Route Map
5.07 Hennepin County Data Sharing Annual Agreement
5.08 Park Dedication/Implementation Study
5.09 Salary Clarification, Rec and Facilities Manager Position
Motion by Davis, second by Bunting to approve the consent agenda excepting items 5.01 and 5.02. Motion carried 5-0.
5.01 Approval of Minutes from January 13, 2009 City Council Meeting. A correction was made to the minutes, adding item 9.01 Commemoration for Service under 5. Approve Agenda.
Motion by Bell, second by Rauenhorst to approve. Motion carried 5-0.
Further amendments were made at the end of the meeting as follows: A correction was made under item 8.01 ...to appoint Bell as primary and Grimm as secondary Bunting as primary and Grimm as secondary representative to the Arena Commission.
A correction was made under item 8.03 Motion by Bell, second by Davis to approve a 1.5% increase for salaried and non-union employees effective January 1, 2009 and to review the budget and salary charts on July 1, 2009 when the City's updated income information becomes available, no later than July 1, 2009.
Motion by Bell, second by Davis to approve the minutes with the corrections above. Motion carried 5-0.
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims. Upon request for clarification on checks #30 and #41 for union dues, Doboszenski explained that the City withholds dues from union employee paychecks and makes one payment on their behalf. Under the Liquor Department, there is a music station in the muni that requires a license to be paid.
6. Public Hearing. None.
7. General Business.
7.01 (cont.) Annual Appointment Process.
The appointment of the official newspaper was tabled at the previous meeting to allow time for staff to gather information. The two publications being considered are the Star News and Crow River News. Costs to post required notices were $6,800 in the Star for 2007 and $4,300 in the Crow River in 2008. The Star is a free publication, delivered to 2800 Rogers residents. The Crow River is a paid subscription that costs $35 per year and has a distribution of approximately 700 Rogers residents.
Davis noted that, in speaking with Charlie Blesner from the School Board who uses the Star to advertise community programming, the Star was not delivered to everyone due to a distribution problem.
Pat Johnson, 13047 Brookside Lane N, asked the Council to also consider the monthly senior newsletter.
Jim Sarkilahti, 22655 Breezewood Lane, stated that the Council should use the Crow River since it saves approximately $2,500 per year.
Motion by Bunting, second by Bell to accept the Star News as the paper of record. Motion carried 3-2, Davis and Rauenhorst opposed.
The annual cost to renew membership with the Northwest League of Municipalities is $200. Benefits of membership have not been apparent. The City could be better served by joining a different municipal organization such as the Association of Metro Municipalities, which provides representation at the legislature and other services but whose dues are much higher. Staff will research.
Motion by Davis, second by Bunting to cease membership in the Northwest League of Municipalities. Motion carried 5-0.
7.04 Set Transportation Workshop meeting date. Motion by Bunting, second by Bell to set the transportation workshop meeting for Wednesday, February 11, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Public Works Building. Motion carried 5-0.
7.05 Municipal State Aid Update. Randy Jennings from SEH, Inc. presented information to the Council regarding Municipal State Aid Streets. Out of 53 miles of city streets, 11 miles can be Municipal State Aid Streets. Usually State Aid Streets are major roads for the city. They must be tied to another County State Aid Highway, Trunk Highway or Municipal State Aid Street. Currently, 20% of the City's streets are allowed to be Municipal State Aid Streets. In 2009 approximately $110,000 will be generated for State Aid streets based on population and an additional $98,000 based on repair needs and the age of the streets, for a total of $208,000. New calculations show that number may be closer to $220,000. The existing balance in the State Aid account is $640,000. Each year, 25% of the annual allocation is designated for maintenance.
There is a decentive program that if the balance in the City's account reaches $1,000,000 fewer funds will be allocated to the City, so the funds will need to be used for projects in 2010. The incentive is to spend the funds on the Municipal State Aid street projects. As transportation is discussed, this is one of the City's funding mechanisms.
7.06 Letter of Credit Policy. Staff is requesting adoption of the proposed Letter of Credit Policy. Letters of Credit are the City's primary financial assurance method for development projects. The two main areas of the policy will ensure that all Letters of Credit are reviewed by the Finance Director prior to approval, and that Letters of Credit are only accepted from FDIC-insured institutions.
Motion by Davis, second by Bell to approve the Letter of Credit Policy. Motion carried 5-0
7.07 Authority to Hire Recreation Programmer/Administration Position. The position description and authority to advertise for the position was approved at the December 23, 2008 meeting. This is a part-time position with no benefits scheduled for fewer than 20 hours per week. There is currently no other position in the City that could job-share this position.
The Recreation Programmer/Administration position is the result of restructuring which eliminated the Recreation Coordinator position. The restructuring saves approximately $40,000 in salary per year.
Motion by Bunting, second by Davis to authorize Staff to hire for the Recreation Programmer/ Administration position. Motion carried 5-0.
7.08 Youth Action Committee. The Youth Action Committee was established by the City Council in 2001 but never acted upon. Grimm volunteered to be the primary Council representative to the Youth Action Commitee.
Motion to direct Staff to work closely with Rogers High School and any applicable school program to select appointees to the YAC and to appoint Grimm to the Committee as primary and Davis as secondary Council representatives. Motion carried 5-0.
7.09 Christian Realty - Listing Contract. The old Word of Peace building at 12522 Main Street is listed for sale. The contract with the listing agent, Christian Realty, expired on November 15, 2008.
Motion by Davis, second by Bunting to extend the listing contract with Christian Realty to July 15, 2009. Motion carried 5-0.
7.10 Purchase of Police Vehicles. As part of the 2009 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), the police department is scheduled to replace two of the marked police units at a cost of $33,000 each funded from the 2007 Equipment Certificate. Since Unit 6820 was struck on I-94 and deemed a total loss, a third unit must be purchased. The cost to replace Unit 6820 will be funded by the insurance claims to Allied Insurance and the League of Minnesota Cities, although additional funding may be required. Unit 6820 was scheduled for replacement in 2010 through the CIP. If replacement of this unit is approved in 2009, Staff recommends the CIP be revised to reflect the purchase of only one squad car in 2010.
The retiring vehicles will be stripped to transfer as much equipment as possible to the new vehicles. However, new LED light bars are safer and have higher visibility. The Chevrolet Impalas currently used will be replaced with Ford Crown Victorias through a state contract. While there is some concern regarding changing to a rear-wheel drive vehicle, the change in vehicle model will allow more room for officers and equipment and should result in lower maintenance costs.
Motion by Rauenhorst, second by Davis to approve the purchase and outfitting of three vehicles as police squad cars with two of the vehicles funded from Equipment Certificate Fund 400 and the other by insurance. Motion carried 5-0.
7.12 Extending a Contingent Job Offer for Police Officer. Since Officer Chris Triplett resigned in September 2008 the Council gave approval to fill the open position and over 300 applications were received. Through the hiring and interview process, the field was narrowed to four candidates who were interviewed last night by Staff and two Council members.
Staff requests authority to extend a contingent job offer to Dana Anton, a resident of Coon Rapids, for the open Police Officer position based on successful completion of background check, physical and psychological exam and testing.
Motion by Bunting, second by Grimm to extend the job offer to Dana Anton, contingent on successful completion of a background check and physical and psychological exams. Motion carried 5-0.
7.11 Discussion of City Presence at the National League of Cities 2009 Congressional Conference. Councils have previously attended this conference in Washington D.C. The main goal has been to lobby for dollars to help the City address its transportation needs. Davis noted that when Rogers and Hassan attended together in the past, they were able to get more attention. Since the Council has historically spent more time lobbying than in the conference's classes, the $655 per person for classes could be saved.
Last year St. Michael hired a lobbyist to represent the city, which resulted in $7-8 million in funds going to the city. This will be the third year the Rogers Council has lobbied on their own. Hiring a lobbyist directly may be an option to consider in 2010 if the Council is unsuccessful in obtaining funds.
Council directed Staff to arrange the travel and lodgings to allow them to be in Washington D.C. on Monday and Tuesday to lobby during the conference. Staff was also directed to discover whether other local cities will be attending and their openness to adopting a resolution that may enhance the Council's lobbying efforts.
8. Other Business.
8.01 Police Open House. This event was cancelled in 2008 due to concerns regarding police solicitation for donations and overtime hours for police officer participation. Bunting inquired whether the event can occur in 2009 since it was great PR for the City and a wonderful event for the children of Rogers.
Grimm suggested engaging charitable organizations throughout Rogers to help with donations of school supplies and funding for the event. Davis asked whether donations were necessary since the intention is to let people and children meet the police officers, see the equipment and build a relationship between the police force and the community.
Bruce Korecki of the Rogers Lions Club stated that the Lions would welcome the opportunity to work with other area non-profit organizations to support the open house and suggested including only school supplies as a giveaway during the open house instead of backpacks.
Paulie Skaja-Bell, 13465 Pheasant Circle, stated that Community Chest would be interested in working with the Lions to support the open house event and suggested holding the event on the third Thursday in August.
Chief Luther added that the focus of the event should be on education, crime prevention and building relationships. The giveaway aspect is a great opportunity for private entities and non-profits to spotlight themselves, but isn't the focus of the open house. The police department is currently discussing collaboration with Corcoran and Dayton on the Amber-stick program, which is a thumb drive parents keep with all their children's pertinent information stored in case of emergency.
Council directed Staff to use tonight's discussion to make contact with other non-profits, create a plan for hosting the open house and to add to a future agenda.
8.02 Review for City Administrator. A review date should be set for Stahmer on his six month anniversary of hire of approximately March 20 and then on an annual basis starting October 2009. Harry Brull, the agent used by the City to fill the position, included in his contract completion of the six-month, one-year and two-year reviews. This review can be completed in a closed session prior to a regular Council meeting.
8.03 Citizen of the Year. The Council would like to see an application or nomination process, a citizen review panel, and a more formal recognition made for this award. The Council would also like to add a Business of the Year award created. The intent is to have the award process be structured and include public input. Council directed staff to add to a future agenda.
8.04 Council Composition. In the original merger agreement with Hassan, the City Council and Town Board would merge, creating a larger Council than the current five seats. However, with the new annexation agreement, the Council will not change the number of members. The annexation will be complete as of January 1, 2012. At that time, all Hassan residents will become Rogers residents and have the opportunity to run for City Council in November 2012.
Bell noted that a larger Council may be beneficial by resulting in fewer close votes on significant action items. Carson will investigate whether the City can move to a seven member Council.
9. Correspondence and Reports.
9.01 Park Board Minutes November 18, 2008. No action necessary.
9.02 Park Board Minutes December 16, 2008. No action necessary.
10. Adjournment. There being no further business, motion by Davis, second by Bunting to adjourn. Motion carried 5-0. The meeting was adjourned at 9:23 p.m.