1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Jason Grimm, and Steve Rauenhorst.
Member excused: Jamie Davis.
Staff present: Gary Buysse, Liquor Operations Manager; Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Jeff Luther, Police Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Director; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Brett Weiss, City Engineer.
2. Open Forum.
Wally O’Dell stated he would like to speak under the agenda item regarding the fly-over bridge.
3.01 Presentation by Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council
• Introduction of Kristie Hoyt
Susan Blood, Executive Director of the Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council (NHHSC) and Matti Gurney, Regional Community Researcher, made a presentation to the City Council and referenced the information provided to Council in a packet. Discussed was NHHSC’s budget, their funding, and the programs offered by NHHSC.
Ms. Blood then provided an explanation of the position of advisory position member, stating Kristie Hoyt was unable to make the meeting, and was recommended to the Advisory Board by Judy Hanson.
There were no questions from Council. Bell stated he appreciates the valuable services NHHSC provides. Council thanked Ms. Blood and Mr. Gurney for their presentation.
No formal action taken.
4. Approve agenda.
Agenda set as submitted.
5. Consent Agenda.
5.01 Approval of Minutes from July 28, 2009 City Council Meeting; July 28, 2009
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-24, A Resolution Approving the Temporary
Closing of Memorial Drive for the Police and Fire Open House on August 20, 2009
5.04 Approval of On-Sale Liquor License for the Rogers Lions Club for Oktoberfest on
September 25 and 26, 2009, located at 21201 Memorial Drive
5.05 Approval of Minnesota Lawful Gambling Exempt Permit for Rogers Youth Hockey
Association to Conduct a Raffle on December 13, 2009 at the Rogers Activity
Center, Located at 21080 141st Ave. N.
5.06 Request for 1 Year Extension of the CUP for Holiday Station
5.07 Support Letter – MPCA Green Corp
5.08 Authorize Staff to Contract HVAC Repairs
5.09 Adopt Ordinance No. 2009-06, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. 2002-06
Authorizing the City to Dispense Intoxicating Liquor at the Rogers Activity Center
5.10 Accept Resignation of Officer Dana Anton
5.11 Approval of Release Letter for Mary Queen of Peace
5.12 Appointment of Kristie Hoyt to the NHHSC Advisory Commission
Bell pulled consent agenda items 5.01, 5.02, and 5.11.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bell to approve remaining consent agenda items. Motion carried 4 – 0.
5.01 Bell stated there is a small correction to the minutes; call to order shows Grimm present instead of Davis. Grimm was excused; Davis was Acting Mayor.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Rauenhorst to approve 5.01 with the correction noted. Motion carried 4 – 0.
5.02 – Check sequence 34 Fenstra Lawn service
Bell inquired about the lawn service invoice.
Public Works Supt. Seifert stated Fenstra does the rough area mowing around ponds and areas the parks department doesn’t maintain, stating it only happens a few times per year. Bunting asked if we have the equipment to do it. Seifert stated we have borrowed the equipment in the past from Hassan.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to approve 5.02. Motion carried 4 – 0.
5.11 Release letter for Mary Queen of Peace
Bell wanted to say thank you to Mary Queen of Peace for offering up their property for the Public Safety Open House.
Motion by Bell, seconded by Bunting to approve 5.11. Motion carried 4 – 0.
6. Public Hearing. None.
7. General Business.
7.01 Authorization to Hire Two (2) Paid On-Call Firefighters
Chief Feist addressed the Council regarding the request to hire two paid-on-call firefighters. Feist stated the hiring committee has selected Toby Heinz and Gregory Mork. Mr. Heinz is on the Hanover Fire Department and Mr. Mork works out of his house and is available to help with daytime response. Chief Feist stated with these two additions, we will have 34 active fire fighters; one firefighter is currently on administrative leave.
Mayor Grimm asked for questions from the audience.
Micheal Iwanok, 12189 Walnut Drive. Mr. Iwanok stated he has been on the Rogers Fire Department for 8.5 years. He stated he wants to let Council know that we have two volunteers during the daytime responding to calls that is costing the city nothing. He stated he feels bad the hiring went this far, commenting the question should have been asked back in April. Mr. Iwanok stated Mike Sable and Carl Olson (Public Works employees) brings the total up to 35 with the two volunteers. Mr. Iwanok stated he doesn’t feel we need the additional two people.
Administrator Stahmer stated the City’s daytime response policy, adopted in 2007, states the City would no longer hire regular city employees to be firefighters. Stahmer stated there are– many issues, both positive and negative, on those arrangements of having full-time employees who are also paid-on-call firefighters. The policy addresses double dipping on pensions. If the two volunteers where included, it would bring the department up to 35 members without the two new hires.
Chief Feist stated the two hires would bring the department to 35 active members receiving pension and receiving pay.
Bunting asked for the definition of an active member. Feist stated an active member would not be a true volunteer.
Grimm clarified there are two volunteers and questioned why they are not on the department.
Stahmer stated the two volunteers requested to become part of the department after the policy was put in place.
Chief Feist commended the two volunteers and explained their daytime response for the City.
Stahmer stated as some point in the future, the daytime response policy may deserve revisiting. At the time the policy was put into place, the City was looking toward the future of having a duty crew, however that is not the case now
Bunting questioned the double dipping. Grimm stated they can’t do it - period.
Grimm stated he would like to re-evaluate the policy before hiring new firefighters.
Bunting suggested tabling action on this item.
Grimm stated this will force the Council to reevaluate the policy based on potential decisions the City was going to make for daytime response.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to table the hiring of two new firefighters to the next meeting pending discussion on daytime response policy. Motion carried 4-0.
Bridget Iwanok stated she has several comments to make in how the department is treating daytime staff and will email the council with those to be discussed in two weeks.
Scott Weltzin stated he also has comments to make. Mr. Weltzin stated at the time the policy was presented, we agreed with a take it or leave it policy, since that time, we sat down and changed the policy somewhat because the policy was flawed. Weltzin stated he was on the interview panel for the two new hires. Weltzin commented he doesn’t believe it was a good policy to end the response by Public Works going forward.
Grimm commented on the ebbs and flows of the public body.
Stahmer stated he would want to talk about the pro’s and con’s of the policy – there are some potential downsides, but the upside is a strong daytime response. Stahmer also commented on Seifert and Feist being able to manage the employees with the policy, stating there are critical things that happen within the public works department.
7.02 (cont.) Reorganization of the Public Works Dept.
Stahmer stated at the July 28th city council meeting, this item was tabled and was briefly discussed at budget workshop and in the staff memo. Stahmer stated staff is recommending the reorganization of three positions without any loss of FTE’s. Stahmer stated the recommendation is an option for the Council to take action tonight or put out to some point in the future to bring back as appropriate.
Grimm asked Council if they had any questions.
Bell stated from looking at the reorganization, it makes sense, the department head and leadership of the City says it needs to be done. At some point we just have to move ahead and get this done.
Bunting stated he want to do this along with staffing eliminations.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to table to a future date as recommended. Motion carried 4-0.
7.03 Authorization to Fill Vacant Police Officer Position
Chief Luther stated with the resignation of Dana Anton, he would like to proceed with the hiring of another officer to fill the position. Luther stated the reasons for filling the vacancy were discussed at a previous meeting. Luther stated the goal of the department is to have two officers on at all times and commented on the considerable amount of time it takes to get an officer on board. Luther stated the most recent new hire will start on August 24, 2009 to be sworn in on August 25, 2009. Luther stated he will need the interview panel assembled to interview the next three candidates.
Grimm questioned the hiring list Luther is working off of.
Luther stated he and his staff has come up with up with three that would be candidates.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to begin the hiring process to fill the vacant police officer position by scheduling final interviews to the top candidates from the existing hiring list. Motion carried 4 – 0.
7.04 Pavement Management Program
Engineer Weiss addressed the Council regarding a number of items to be discussed regarding pavement management:
(1) Currently the City does not have a pavement management program in place and asked the council to consider developing a program.
(2) Delay 2009 seal coating until 2010 and assemble a few years of funding to take on a project.
(3) Expand 2009 crack sealing program. Weiss stated crack sealing will keep water out of the street’s sub-grade to extend the life of the pavement. This will come back for action at a subsequent meeting.
(4) Order feasibility report for Edgewater final pavement installation. Weiss stated there are unfortunately not enough dollars to complete all the necessary items within the subdivision. Currently $290,000 is being sought after by the City Attorney. Weiss asked the council to order a feasibility report to consider the activities that need to be done to complete the project and assess the vacant lots within the project. Weiss stated he is not sure how long it will take to get the $290,000 and this project is on a tight schedule to complete this year and get done with a 429 process.
Grimm questioned if we already discussed assessing mailboxes with the homeowners association.
Staff stated the postmaster is willing to work with the City regarding the timeliness of addressing the mailbox issue.
Weiss stated the feasibility report cost would be approximately $3500 to put together an assessment program.
(5) Order feasibility report for mill and overlay for Commerce Boulevard area streets. Weiss stated he has had a pavement specialist look at the Commerce Boulevard area and mill and overlay will take care of the problems and extend the life 10 to 15 years. Weiss stated he is asking Council to call for a feasibility report stating these types of programs are assessed at 100%. The cost of the feasibility report is $2500. Weiss stated the timeline would be order plans and specs at next meeting.
Bunting stated the Commerce Boulevard project would be nice to get done before next year; get it done as quickly as possible.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to order the feasibility study on the Commerce Boulevard project. Motion carried 4-0.
Grimm stated he doesn’t want to criticize, however he is used to seeing the dollar amounts for feasibility studies in the Council packets.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bell to authorize the feasibility study for the Edgewater project.
Finance Director Wieland stated depending on the cost of the project, Council will need to consider if they want to bond for the project or finance/cash flow the project internally.
Motion carried 4 – 0.
7.05 Transportation Workshop Update – Material Selection for Bridge Section
Engineer Weiss stated he is not sure it is necessary to make a decision at this meeting regarding the color applications for fly-over project. Weiss handed pictures to the council of different samples of bridges. Weiss stated a single color application would cost just under $37,000; two-color is $3 per square foot or approximately $55,000; and multi-color application is $4.50 per square foot or approximately $82,800. Weiss stated he would recommend anti-graffiti coating on all options at $1 per square foot. Weiss stated although the numbers are substantial, he encouraged the Council not to let them influence their decision too much. Weiss reminded Council of the MnDOT expert from the workshop meeting who thought two-color was the one to go with.
Weiss stated the business meeting open house is on August 19th and the Council can decide on the color at their August 25th meeting, after getting feedback from the business community.
Bunting stated the bridge will be the focal point of the community.
Grimm questioned moving a pier from the north side to the south, in an effort to open the south side up. Grimm expressed concerns of having potentially the largest business district in the City and not being able to see it until you get by it. Grimm stated he is in favor of doing this, but with the least amount of impact to business.
There was discussion between Council and staff regarding the extra span that has already been put in place on the north end and the possibility of adding another span on the south end.
Council asked staff to get information from MnDOT regarding an additional span to the south.
Grimm asked if there is lighting under the bridge. Weiss stated conduit will be put in under the bridge for lighting if needed.
No formal action was necessary.
John Darkenwald commented with project of the size and magnitude why doesn’t the City have detailed elevations looking at the bridge from all directions. This is a major barrier between the two major commercial areas of Rogers on the north side of the freeway.
Darkenwald asked the City to come up with meaningful elevations before it is built.
Engineer Weiss stated the Council did ask for additional elevations, and they will be at the business meeting from every different direction.
Wally O’Dell talked about cost benefit ratios and asked if anyone has learned about the cost to the business owners on the south east side of South Diamond Lake Road and Highway 101. Mr. O’Dell stated the City should be doing the best job they can with the least damage to the properties that will have to deal with it for a long time. Mr. O’Dell commented on the amount of traffic that goes through there every day. Construction is going to take place in the middle of the best business months. He asked that the City keep the businesses accessible during the construction process. Mr. O’Dell stated he is looking to Council to maintain the most visibility and accessibility.
Engineer Weiss reassured council that there will be little impact to access to the businesses during construction.
7.06 Budget Workshop Update
Grimm stated he would be skipping this item and going to agenda item 7.07 first.
7.07 Approval of Villas of Fletcher Hills Developers Agreement
Attorney Carson stated the development agreement prepared for Villas of Fletcher Hills is in line with what council discussed several weeks ago in terms of the development. Carson stated Exhibit B has been reviewed by staff. Staff is recommending Council approve the agreement. Carson further stated mylars will be signed, and the Letter of Credit will need to be delivered in accordance with the City’s LOC policy, and payment will need to be made for the escrows of $301,000. All those things will create the ability for the mylars to be filed with Hennepin County and the building permits can be pulled. Stahmer pointed out that a building permit has already been submitted for future action.
Carson stated page 4 of the Developer’s Agreement addresses the items approved by Council at a previous meeting.
Wieland pointed out a correction to be made to correspond with exhibit B; however it doesn’t change any obligation of the developer.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to authorize execution of the developer’s agreement. Motion carried 4-0.
7.08 Budget Workshop Update
Mayor Grimm stated this is a continuation of the earlier discussion from the budget workshop.
Grimm stated Councilmember Bell was talking about options 3 and 4 at the end of the workshop.
Bunting asked about a mandatory furlough and the savings that can be realized. Stahmer stated he believes one day per employee was estimated at $10,000 per year per individual day if every employee took one day.
Bell commented except the police department; Stahmer stated that could affect the $10,000.
Bell stated it is an interesting concept.
Bunting stated that staff reminded him of this concept.
There was a discussion on furloughs.
Stahmer talked about the way other cities have implemented furlough programs. Stahmer stated that anything more than one week causes issues with unemployment. There was discussion on unemployment impacts.
Bunting questioned if it would need to be negotiated with the union. Carson stated he believes it would need to be negotiated.
Rauenhorst stated that a furlough would be an idea for the City to consider and would like to see the potential savings for a two week non-consecutive furlough. Discussed was having 12 calendar months between the two weeks served.
Rauenhorst expressed concern with sworn officers and the ability to cover shifts. Rauenhorst stated they would fall in the category of essential employees for safety reasons.
Grimm wants to have staff look into the furlough program and have the discussion at the next meeting.
Rauenhorst stated putting the furlough program back on the table may keep some employed.
Grimm discussed doing a furlough program in lieu of a 3 % across the board reduction in salary; doing this instead of directly impacting ongoing salaries.
Grimm then commented on implementing a severance package, as discussed in the workshop.
Rauenhorst stated the furlough could keep the City from dipping into the reserve fund. Rauenhorst stated the furlough includes department heads as well.
Stahmer commented on looking at the furloughs as a total package; take one less day of pay but not requiring the employee to work that day also.
Bunting commented on reviewing the City’s health insurance; asked to look into a HSA plan.
There was a discussion on the health insurance plans for 2010; stating a HSA option will be available in 2010. Stahmer stated it would take some education for management, Council, and the employees to implement an HSA.
Doboszenski stated it would be adding a fourth plan to the three plans already available to employees. Doboszenski discussed not being able to reduce the aggregate value of health insurance benefits for union employees. Doboszenski also stated it will need to be looked at in the future, as health insurance companies will not continue to bid such rich plans.
Stahmer summarized the action requested by Council and asked for a motion.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to research and bring back to council potential savings on a furlough plan, investigate further the severance issue with the City’s labor attorney and staff, and review the HSA options. Motion carried 4-0.
8. Other Business.
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 July Police Reports
No formal action taken.
10. Adjourn to closed session to discuss Michel’s litigation – reconvene to open meeting
Motion by Bell, seconded by Rauenhorst to adjourn to closed session at 8:41 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.
11. Reconvene from closed session
Attorney Carson stated in closed session Council and staff discussed the potential litigation on behalf of the City against Michel’s corporation for damage that occurred in 2006.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to authorize the League of Minnesota Cities to bring a claim on behalf of the City of Rogers against Michel’s Corporation. Motion carried 4-0.
Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to adjourn at 9:00 p.m. Motion carried 4–0.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk