1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Mayor Grimm, Robert Bell, Jay Bunting and Steve Rauenhorst.Council excused: Jamie Davis.
Staff present: Chuck Burnham, City Planner; Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Scott Lange, City Engineer; Jeff Luther, Police Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Open Forum. Wally O’Dell to speak under agenda item 7.03
3. Presentations. None.
4. Approve agenda. The following items were added to the Agenda:8.01 Discussion on the newspaper - Rauenhorst8.02 Carry-over of funds for Seniors - Bunting
5. Consent Agenda. 5.01 Approval of Minutes from April 28, 2009 City Council Meeting5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims 5.03 Approval of Rockin’ Rogers Days Parade Permit5.04 Approval of a 4 Day Temporary On-Sale Liquor License for the Rogers Lions at 21201 Memorial Drive and the North Community Park for June 25th – June 28th5.05 Approval of Minnesota Lawful Gambling Exempt Permit for Mary Queen of Peace for Bingo, Raffles and Pull-Tabs for Their Annual Festival on September 26th and September 27th, 20095.06 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-17, A Resolution Authorizing Execution of Agreement for Rogers Police Department to Participate in Safe and Sober Communities From October 1, 2009 Through September 30, 2010
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to approve the consent agenda. Motion carried 4-0.
6. Public Hearing. None.
7. General Business. 7.01 Memo (Attorney Carson) Regarding Process on Certificate of Occupancy Escrow Fund ReleaseAttorney Carson reviewed the certificate of occupancy escrow process with the Council. Carson proposed the following five items to be created into policy: 1) The escrows, once collected, will only be released to the fee owner of the property. (The escrow form now contains language stating this) 2) Escrow amounts will not be released until the needed finished work is completed and inspected. 3) If finished work is not completed within one two year of the escrow deposit, the City may, in its discretion, use the escrow amounts to perform the finish work. (The use of escrow by the City would depend on the circumstances of each individual case, but is designed to keep the property from becoming devalued.) 4) If, after the one two-year period, the escrows remain, and it is not recommended that the City perform the finish work, the escrows would be transferred to the City general fund. 5) If the escrows remain after the one two-year period and the finish work has been performed, the City would release the escrow funds to the fee owner of the property. Carson informed Council that the original memo called for a one year period to complete the work, however, staff has requested it be a two year period.
Mayor Grimm asked why two years and referenced a property within his neighborhood that did not have sod completed for quite some time.
Public Works Supt. Seifert provided explanation for having a two-year period. There was discussion about the unused escrow funds being transferred to the City’s general fund.Seifert also provided a historical perspective of the escrow process.
There was continued discussion regarding escrow collection and the enforcement by the City on lots that are not improved and how developer’s agreements play a role in the process.
Councilmember Bell questioned item number 4 and under what type of scenario would The City be transferring the money into the general fund.
Attorney Carson stated that after having tonight’s discussion, he is not envisioning this circumstance and recommended striking number four from the policy.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to authorize the City Attorney to prepare the policy changing the language of one year to two years and deleting item number four. Motion carried 4 – 0.
7.02 (cont.) 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update and Final Submittal Planner Burnham addressed the Council on the request for final submittal of the City’s comprehensive land use plan. Burnham stated staff reviewed the South Side Lumber parcel in particular, following Council direction to revert that parcel back to industrial. To accomplish densities, staff has increased mid-density residential from four to eight to five to eight units per acre.
Councilmember Bunting asked staff looked at the possibility of changing the South Side Lumber parcel from industrial to commercial to create buffer between residential and industrial, allowing for mixed-use commercial/residential.Burnham stated the focus was for mixed-use to be in the downtown area first. Burnham then referred to the text language in the comprehensive plan that would allow councils to agree the property could go residential.
Bunting stated everything to the west of South Side is industrial. Everything to east is mixed-use downtown with retail/residential component. Bunting stated he thinks the property would do well in a true commercial form.
Rick Hughes, owner of South Side Lumber, expressed his concern regarding his ability to sell it as industrial property. He stated he is afraid if zoning is changed, it could have a serious impact on ability to do anything with the property.
Councilmember Rauenhorst, doesn’t like it being zoned residential, but doesn’t have a problem with it being industrial.
Councilmember Bell stated residential not the greatest thing to put there since it is directly impacted by the interstate. Bell is open to commercial or industrial zoning.
Bunting stated he is fine with the parcel staying industrial for time being, if there are issues with the property, or if property owner so desires, he would like to see it rezoned commercial.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to adopt resolution 2009-17, A Resolution Granting Preliminary Approval and Authorizing the formal Submission of the City of Rogers Comprehensive Plan to the Metropolitan Council as Required by Minnesota State Law (Metropolitan Land Planning Act). Motion carried 4-0.
7.03 Authorization of Final Design for 101/I94 Grade SeparationSeifert addressed Council regarding scope of work being requested to continue the approval process for the 101/I94 Grade Separation Project at South Diamond Lake Road; task one and task two as described in the project scope from SRF, not to exceed $25,000.
Wally O’Dell addressed the Council on a packet that he had distributed to Council and staff. Mr. O’Dell spoke on the priorities as identified in his packet. Also discussed was the Brockton Interchange. Mr. O’Dell then read four questions from his packet regarding the flyover project: 1. What will it look like? 2. How will it be constructed? 3. How will traffic be handled during construction? 4. Effect on business properties off South Diamond Lake Road?Mayor Grimm asked Seifert when we will be able to determine how the traffic will be handled and how to protect the businesses as best as possible.
Seifert addressed several of the points made by Mr. O’Dell.
Seifert stated the difference with this project from other 101 projects in the area is they will be working on a new lane of traffic not impacting any existing lanes of traffic. The only time impact will be made will be to construct beams on the bridge for the overpass.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to approve the scope of work for limited final design with SRF Consulting. Motion carried 4 – 0.
7.04 Voluntary Furlough ProgramAdministrator Stahmer addressed the Council on the proposed voluntary Furlough Program, in a partial attempt to address 2009 budget constraints. Stahmer stated staff is proposing the Council consider and approve a policy whereby City employees may take up to 80 hours of unpaid time off within the current calendar year.
Councilmember Bunting questioned how this will be addressed within the police department. By officers taking time off, will it be replaced with other officers working overtime, knowing two officers on the street is the goal?
Chief Luther stated since the packet has been out, there have been no comments from any officers. The Chief stated he considers the officers to be essential employees and the department may need to fill vacancies using administrative presence rather than using overtime.
It was reiterated that requested time off still needs department head and City Administrator approval and then will be granted if able to accommodate the request.
Bunting stated it is good to see action starting on this in a voluntary way. He stated he has been contact by several employees of the city who expressed concern with this voluntary furlough program. He stated he wants to make it very clear that this is completely voluntary and will not impact their employment and will not be used against them.
Rauenhorst stated we can’t punish people for trying to help out, or reward them. Rauenhorst also stated this is something we may need to do on a permanent basis next year.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to approve the City of Rogers 2009 Voluntary Furlough Program. Motion carried 4-0.
7.05 Request by Rogers Royalty for Community Room Fee Waiver/ReductionLeah Colby addressed the Council requesting a permanent waiver of fees for the use of the community room for the Rockin’ Rogers Royalty events during Rockin’ Rogers Days.
Rauenhorst asked if the City can or does rent the room to anyone else during the event. Mayor Grimm stated the money requested is not for rental revenue, but to reimburse for hours of labor. Grimm stated this particular charitable organization is specific to promoting Rogers – that is what they do. Grimm asked Ms. Colby if there is willingness to participate in the set up and tear down for the events? Ms. Colby stated they could provide the labor. Ms. Colby also requested one staff member to be present in case of any problems.
Council consensus was to have volunteers do the labor but to have a staff member present.
Bunting stated he will be abstaining from voting due to contributions he makes and will continue to make to the Rogers Royalty. Doboszenski stated the reason this is on the agenda is because staff cannot waive fees for the community room; it takes Council action to waive fees.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bell to waive the fee for the Rogers Royalty for use of the community room during Rockin’ Rogers Days, provided they will do the labor and clean up and the City will provide one staff member.
Grimm stated the request is for a long-term waiver. Grimm stated if the group meets the City’s requirements this year, they will consider a longer waiver next year.
Rauenhorst stated he is okay with a one year waiver and to have them come back next year.Motion carried 3-0-1; Bunting abstaining.
8. Other Business. 8.01 Discussion on the Newspaper – RauenhorstCouncilmember Rauenhorst stated there is still an issue with the Elk River Star News newspapers not being delivered to certain areas of town. Rauenhorst suggested asking for a reduction in advertising rates, since the basis for the decision to make them the legal paper was due to the circulation. Rauenhorst stated he has heard from residents in South Pointe, Sunnyside Estates, and Mallard Estates.
Administrator Stahmer stated he has spoke with someone at paper who admitted they had problems with some distribution and believed those problems were resolved.
Mayor Grimm stated part of reasoning for naming them the legal paper is the distribution – they need to understand that.
Councilmember Bell stated the points made are valid, however, he has the same delivery issue occurring with the North Crow River News and is not sure the City has a viable alternative.
There was continued discussion regarding the legal newspaper. Staff was directed to contact the Elk River Star News expressing the Council’s displeasure and to give them until the first meeting in June to rectify their delivery issues.
Pat Johnson from the Senior Advisory Board stated that there are more than just delivery issues with Star News. The Council stated those issues are to be discussed outside of a Council meeting setting.
8.02 Carry-over of funds for Seniors - BuntingCouncilmember Bunting stated he wants $150 of funds for seniors from 2008 carried over into 2009.
Stahmer explained that for single line-item expenditures on small amounts unspent, the City does not carry those over into the next year’s budget. Larger, planned expenditure items are carried forward and approved by the Council, and that happened at the last Council meeting.Finance Director Wieland stated that under government accounting standards the City budgets for one year, with the unspent portion contributing to fund balance. Staff is following an accounting practice and standard.
Stahmer stated Council can authorize the overspending of the 2009 budget by $150.
Council consensus was to approve the overspending of the 2009 by $150; a total of $1350.
9. Correspondence and Reports 9.01 April Police Reports 9.02 March 2009 Financial ReportsNo action taken.
10. Adjourn to the following consecutive Closed Session items:A. Closed session to discuss sale of property at 12522 Main StreetB. Closed session to conduct City Administrator six-month performance evaluation – reconvene to open meetingMotion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to adjourn to closed session at 8:24 p.m. Motion carried 4 – 0.
Council reconvened from closed session at 9:20 p.m.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to accept the offer from Northridge Fellowship for $900,000 for the property located at 12522 Main Street, contingent upon a closing date that will work for the defeasance of City bonds, and refers the offer to the City’s Economic Development Authority. Motion carried 4-0.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to accept the step increase for Administrator Stahmer.
Mayor Grimm stated the rationale for accepting the step increase is based on the employment agreement with Stahmer. Rauenhorst agreed with Grimm. Motion carried 4-0.
11. Adjourn Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adjourn at 9:22 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.
Respectfully submitted,Stacy DoboszenskiAssistant City Administrator/Clerk