1. Call to Order. The budget workshop session of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Grimm on Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 5:35 p.m. at the Rogers Community Room, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Jason Grimm, Jay Bunting, Rob Bell, Jamie Davis, and Steve Rauenhorst.
Staff present: Gary Buysse, Liquor Manager; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator/Clerk; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Jeff Luther, Police Chief, John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Overview of the City of Rogers Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
Administrator Stahmer led the discussion providing background on approving a formal five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP will tie into the Financial Management Plan (FMP). Stahmer turned the meeting over to Finance Director Wieland to go through her memorandum.
Wieland provided an explanation for the purpose of the document, including use by staff, special interest groups, future councils, auditors, and bond rating companies. Wieland compared the difference between a five year and ten year CIP.
Wieland gave a brief summary of the following five areas of the CIP; Utility infrastructure and equipment, transportation/street projects, facilities, parks and trails, and equipment.
Wieland provided an overview of the current debt issuances outstanding for facilities; fire station, public works/city hall, and the RAC. In 2012 the repayment of the debts will start coming out of the levy for payment back to the RSAC funds.
There was a discussion on the building of new facilities. Stahmer explained economies of scale if facilities where constructed together.
Grimm stated it’s a guarantee that facilities won’t happen if the population doesn’t grow.
Bunting asked how much the population would have to grow in order to cover the existing costs to keep the same rate. How many more households/industrial buildings at what value are needed to cover the expenses?
Council discussed not being able to build this large of a CIP on the tax base existing today.
Seifert discussed the annexation and needed facilities even without growth.
There was continued discussion with council requesting their priorities for facilities.
Luther discussed the issues with the existing police station. Luther questioned if the area around the current site is where the council would like to see a future site. Luther referenced Elk River’s campus area which is located outside of downtown.
Davis discussed the locker room facilities at the current police department and agrees there is a need for a facility. He stated it would be his number one priority.
Bunting commented on waiting until you see growth happening outside of the annexation.
Luther stated we are starting to experience the growth and is optimistic that it will come back sooner rather than later. Luther stated staff will make do with what we have until the money is there.
Grimm questioned if staff is considering city hall and police to be done at same time?
Stahmer discussed a combined project and the economies of scale.
There was a discussion on the community room/fire department facilities and the possibility of a shared public safety facility.
Council and staff proceeded through the proposed CIP.
Bunting asked about the Cowley Lake property stating it is off by itself; a lot of money to an isolated area. Bunting also questioned the lighting at North Community Park football field.
Davis questioned if the grant funds available by Hennepin County could be used for park facilities. Seifert replied for youth facilities, yes.
Council and staff then discussed a local sales tax, special legislation, and referendums.
Wieland proceeded with the CIP memo and discussed the fifth item; equipment. Wieland stated everything built into the CIP will take an equipment certificate or debt levy. Also discussed were life cycle methodologies, maintenance versus new, equipment paced with growth and new service levels.
There was discussion on preventative maintenance programs within the city and whether or not a position is justified to do preventative maintenance on all city equipment.
Bunting asked for a cost benefit analysis on the position of mechanic to see if it would save the city some money.
Seifert discussed matrixing the position with another public works position. Seifert added there are over 100 pieces of motorized equipment within the city.
Bunting spoke on the potential of doubling up on positions with the annexation and briefly discussed the annexation.
Staff explained there was enough money saved in the public works capital project fund to complete the mechanics bay.
Luther discussed with Council his preventative maintenance program on his squads stating the largest expense is tires.
Feist provided a handout to Council on how the fire department has set up a replacement schedule.
Administrator Stahmer discussed the pull-tab revenue not being able to cover the total cost of the vehicles as they have in past years. Feist stated pull tab revenue is down 30%.
Bunting asked if staff has looked into fire districts (possibly Dayton). Is that something that would increase or decrease our costs and what equipment they might have that would postpone us from buying new equipment?
Feist stated he doesn’t know about the age of their fleet.
Stahmer directed council’s attention to the 2013 for $100,000 for land for future station two.
Bunting discussed retro-fitting a building. Are there buildings out there for sale right now that would work?
Council discussed moving $100,000 from 2010 to 2013 for station two land. The police department needs are happening before the growth.
Bunting stated the police station is a priority.
Grimm discussed the possibility of a joint public safety at current fire station.
Davis questioned how long city hall can remain at the public works site. Stahmer stated it will work for quite a while.
Grimm asked if Council needs to approve more than a one year CIP now.
Stahmer stated a five year plan is needed for most planning.
Grimm stated we need to start educating the public on our future expenses and needs especially if we don’t grow. Grimm also stated he would like to see the staff/council pursue a ½% sales tax.
Bunting asked if the CIP can be discussed further at a regular meeting before approving. Wieland stated yes, but would like to have approval with the full budget document.
Grimm stated he would like to see additional discussion on sales tax options.
The meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk