1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at 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: Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Jeff Luther, Police Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; Lisa Wieland, Finance Director; and Bret Weiss, City Engineer.
2. Open Forum. Paul Przybilla – 2010 BudgetMr. Przybilla addressed the Council regarding the minutes and documentation relative to the 2010 budget. Przybilla commented on the $100,000 contingency being considered by Council for the preliminary levy. Przybilla stated a 2.7% increase in a government budget is not a small amount and is unsure of what the Council’s concern is for having the contingency.Mayor Grimm stated he doesn’t plan on using it. Przybilla stated he is used to setting the preliminary levy, and leaving it. Przybilla stated he had good staff that did a great job of monitoring spending. Przybilla offered an apology for speaking during the budget workshop regarding the contingency and stated that is what the reserve is for; a contingency fund to be tapped into during difficult times - the contingency along with the City’s insurance coverage. Przybilla stated he would caution the Council (about setting the levy $100,000 higher), and would see it differently.Przybilla then commented to Bunting about bringing private sector policy ideas to government. Przybilla stated government falls into certain parameters and commented where government and private sector is divided; how severance is indoctrinated. Przybilla stated if the Council is varying from current policy, and is making an exception, they are possibly setting precedent. Przybilla stated he appreciate the decisions Council is making are difficult. As a taxpayer, you really have to give some consideration. Przybilla thanked Council for allowing him to speak.Mayor Grimm thanked Mr. Przybilla.
James Sarkilahti – 2010 Budget and SeveranceMr. Sarkilahti thanked city staff for the great job the staff is doing. He stated he would love to give anyone a bonus if we had to lay them off. Sarkilahti commented on being in the union for 30 years, and has never heard of a severance package. Sarkilahti asked the Council to reconsider a severance. Sarkilahti then provided comments regarding his retirement package as a Teamster, commenting on social security not having an increase for two years, his wife’s hours being reduced, and taxes increasing. As much as it is hard for me to say no, don’t give a severance package. Sarkilahti further commented on the number of lay-offs he is seeing and the attendance rate at colleges increasing. He asked the Council to reconsider the severance. He then thanked Council for the time to speak.Mayor Grimm thanked Mr. Sarkilahti.
3. Presentations. None.
4. Approve agenda. 8.01 Bunting – Brief conversation on Police Open House
5. Consent Agenda. 5.01 Approval of Minutes from August 18, 2009 Transportation Workshop; August 25, 2009 City Council Meeting; August 25, 2009 Workshop meeting 5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims 5.03 Acceptance of a $500 Grant from Target to Support the Rogers Police Reserve Officer Program 5.04 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-25, A Resolution Extending The Final Plat Subdivision Request With Previous Conditions For Fox Creek West 9th Addition, And Further Identified As Outlot C, Fox Creek West 8th Addition 5.05 Approval of Renewal of On-Sale Liquor License for Maynard’s Restaurant (Northwest Restaurant Group, Inc.) 5.06 Resolutions Canceling Debt Levy Requirements: 5.06.01 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-26, A Resolution Canceling Debt Levy Requirements for 2008B General Obligation Improvement Refunding Bonds (Industrial Boulevard Improvements) 5.06.02 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-27, A Resolution Canceling Debt Levy Requirements for General Obligation Improvement Bonds of 2003 (Rogers Drive Phase 2, South Diamond Lake Road Phase 5, and Industrial Court) 5.07 2010 Final Budget and Levy Public Hearing Date 5.08 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-28, A Resolution Relating to the Edgewater Development Final Construction Completion Items Project 5.09 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-29, A Resolution Relating to the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project 5.10 Approval of Resolution No. 2009-30, A Resolution Providing Municipal Approval to the Issuance Of A Minnesota Lawful Gambling License to the Rogers Fireman’s Relief Association To Conduct Pull-Tab Sales At The Rogers Municipal Liquor Store 5.11 Safe Routes to School – Wetland Mitigation – Approval of Resolution No. 2009-31, A Resolution Approving The Wetland Boundary Location, And Application To Fill Of 5,141 Square Feet Of Wetland To Facilitate The Construction Of Rogers Safe Route To School TrailMotion by Bunting, seconded by Bell, to approve the consent agenda as submitted. Motion carried 4-0.
6. Public Hearing. None.
7. General Business. 7.01 Authorization to Hire Two Paid On-Call FirefightersFire Chief Feist addressed the Council and provided an update on the meeting with Bunting and Rauenhorst relating to review of the daytime response policy. Feist stated that all present at the meeting came to the same conclusion that we need to hire two paid-on-call firefighters to maintain at 35 fire fighters. Staff stated a survey will be drafted and sent to city employees with approximately three to five questions seeking input on daytime response policy. Feist recommended the hiring of Greg Mork and Toby Heinz, to maintain 35 fire fighters on the department at all times.Rauenhorst stated we will continue to meet once the survey is back and see if there are changes that need to be made. Rauenhorst stated the City will continue the practice of not hiring City employees as paid-on-call firefighters.Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting, to hire Toby Heinz and Gregory Mork as paid-on-call firefighters. Motion carried 4-0. Chief Feist introduced Mr. Hines and Mr. Mork to Council.
7.02 Updates on Flyover Project: a. Clarification on Design Questions Regarding Right Turns on RedPublic Works Supt. Seifert provided an update for Council stating right turns on red will be allowed for those eastbound South Diamond Lake Road to southbound Highway 101. b. Potential Business Sign Mitigation Efforts Seifert discussed the meeting held with the owner of Maynards regarding their sign and the different sight lines at different locations both on the bridge and on Highway 101. No formal action was taken.
7.03 Approving Plans/Specs and Authorization to Advertise for Bid for the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project Engineer Weiss addressed the Council regarding the plans and specifications for the industrial park mill and overlay project. Weiss stated the public information meeting will be held on September 16th prior to the 101 business meeting.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adopt Resolution No. 2009-32, A Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement for Bids for the Industrial Park Mill and Overlay Project. Motion carried 4-0.
7.04 Approving Plans/Specs and Authorization to Advertise for Bid for the Edgewater Development Engineer Weiss stated a public meeting will be held on September 10th with affected property owners. Weiss recommended approval of the plans and specifications and authorization to advertise for bids.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adopt Resolution No. 2009-33, A Resolution Approving Plans and Specifications and Ordering Advertisement for Bids for the Edgewater Development Project. Motion carried 4-0.
7.05 Auction of Police VehiclesChief Luther addressed the Council requesting permission to auction a 2002 Chevrolet Impala with 93,000 miles. Luther stated the City may be able to obtain $4500 back into the general fund from the sale of the vehicle.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Rauenhorst to approve the auction of the vehicle. Motion carried 4-0.
7.06 Donation to the Rogers Police DepartmentChief Luther addressed the Council regarding a letter and donation received by the department. Luther provided background information on a motorist assist conducted by Sgt. Foster. Luther then read the letter verbatim to the Council. Chief Luther stated he talked with Sgt. Foster and Foster would like to purchase mouth pieces for the PBT’s with the $100 donation money.Motion by Rauenhorst, seconded by Bunting to accept the donation and authorize the use of funds to purchase PBT mouth pieces.Rauenhorst and Council thanked Sgt. Foster. Motion carried 4-0.
7.07 Budget and Levy Items: 7.07.01 Budget Workshop UpdateStahmer stated this item is a placeholder on the agenda for the Council to discuss anything they would like to add to the budget discussions. Stahmer stated staff has nothing to add at this time. Mayor Grimm moved to the next item.
7.07.02 Adoption of 2010 Proposed Preliminary LevyStahmer stated staff has incorporated the consensus 2010 budgetary action in to the preliminary budget and levy. Stahmer then reviewed the following levy assumptions with council: 1. Intentional use of $30,345 in fund balance/reserves. 2. Implementation of the non-staff budget reductions and modifications as previously presented and discussed. 3. Elimination of the Engineering Tech IV position 4. Reduction of the Payroll/AP Clerk to half time 5. Postponing replacement of the City Planner position until 2010 or later; outsourcing during the interim 6. Implementation of the proposed Public Works reorganization
Stahmer then provided two levy options to Council: Proposed Preliminary Levy Option A: 0% Increase Over 2009 General Fund/RAC Levy $3,043,516 Debt/Special Levies $549,705 Total Levy $3,593,221
Proposed Preliminary Levy Option B: $100,000 (2.7%) Increase over 2009 General Fund/RAC Levy $3,143,516 Debt/Special Levies $549,705 Total Levy $3,693,221
Stahmer commented on the current draft line item budget may provide for a slight decrease of $47,000, not including any severance package costs. Stahmer stated staff has recommended option B with the additional $100,000 with the goal to keep at a zero levy increase, or better, for the final levy.
Motion by Bunting, seconded by bell to adopt levy Option B, a Resolution Establishing the Proposed Preliminary 2010 Tax Levy Payable in 2010 for the City of Rogers, Minnesota.
Rauenhorst stated he will be voting no. He stated he doesn’t see adding $100,000 is in best interest of the City.Bell stated the reason he is doing it is to provide a buffer for any unforeseen circumstances. The final levy intent is not to include the $100,000. Bell stated he sees no reason to tie Council’s hands and eliminate the possibility.Motion carried 3-1.
7.07.03 Staffing ReductionsStahmer reported on the recommendation to eliminate Engineering Tech IV and reduce the Payroll/AP Clerk position to half time. Stahmer stated this was directed by Council at the August 25th City Council meeting to incorporate those actions in the preliminary levy.Stahmer provided an update from the budget work session. Those Councilors entertaining any severance package were leaning toward severance package #1; two week notice, two weeks pay per year of service, and a $2000 education reimbursement, to be offered to any fully eliminated position; not offered to reduced positions. Stahmer reported on the general fund impact of those parameters of approximately $25,700, which includes severance plus potential unemployment costs. Unemployment is $17,000 and the severance is approximately $8,700 to the general fund. Total cost to all funds is in the range of $39,000. Grimm stated this would be the worst case scenario. This assumes the eliminated employee would not find a job and assumes the person being eliminated is the person in that position.Grimm stated this is saving $47,000 based on budget discussed, and use of $8,000 of reserve funds. Grimm stated staff should be commended.Grimm reiterated the severance agreement; a two week notice, two week severance per year of service, and a $2,000 education reimbursement to be used in a year only for a fully eliminated position. Grimm stated with this comes a waiver the individual must sign not holding the City responsible. Grimm made this into a motion. Bunting seconded.Rauenhorst stated he will be voting against this stating it is in the City’s best interest to be trying to lower cost and not incur more cost for employees that are being eliminated.Bunting provided a past working experience and stated he saw what a difference this (severance) can make in a person’s life. Bunting stated it is the right thing for the City to do.Bell stated he echoes Bunting’s comments and understands what may set as a precedent in the future. Bell stated hopefully this precedent will not happen in the future. He stated it is the right thing to do and commented on the good it does for the impacted employee. Motion carried 3-1.Stahmer asked for a motion on the elimination of position.Motion by Grimm, seconded by Bunting to eliminate the position of the Engineering Tech IV and reduce AP/Payroll Clerk to half-time or 20 hours. Motion carried 4-0.
7.08 Consultant Planner Selection ProcessStahmer stated this is an update and request from Council to discuss what Council would like to see for input on planning services. Stahmer commented on the work being done and stated Deputy Clerk Splett is doing the front end work. Stahmer recommended the selection process for a consultant planner to be similar to the selection process used for the engineer. Stahmer stated he currently has four firms who have expressed interest. Stahmer asked for Council input and possible appointment of two Council members to work on a selection committee.Council commented Bell and Rauenhorst were involved in the engineering selection.Motion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to appoint Rauenhorst and Bell to a task force to select a consultant planner. Motion carried 3-0-1; Rauenhorst abstained.
8. Other Business. 8.01 Public Safety Open HouseBunting commented at the last meeting it was discussed to have this item on the agenda for this meeting. Bunting stated it would likely be discussed at the next Council meeting.No formal action taken.
9. Correspondence and Reports 9.01 Public Works Project Update 9.02 August Police ReportNo formal action taken.
10. AdjournMotion by Bunting, seconded by Bell to adjourn at 7:41 p.m. Motion carried 4-0.
Respectfully submitted,Stacy DoboszenskiAssistant City Administrator/Clerk