1. Call to Order. The workshop session of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Bunting on Tuesday, November 27, 2012 5:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Rob Bell, Jay Bunting, Don Hall, Rick Ihli, and Maureen Stanley.
Staff present: Jeffrey Beahen, Police Chief; Gary Buysse, Liquor Operations Manager; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Discussion on Line Item Budgets
Administrator Stahmer opened the meeting explaining the items that are to be reviewed during the workshop session. Council was then open to asking questions of staff members regarding any of the line item budgeted items.
Mayor Bunting questioned on page 34; sidewalks and asked Public Works Supt. Seifert if he is comfortable enough with $21,000 under sidewalks. Seifert stated this is for repair and maintenance of existing sidewalks. Seifert stated this isn't capital, most of that would be from the trail trunk fund. Bunting asked if any sidewalks came in with the annexation of Hassan.
Wieland noted that $23,659 was spent in 2012 to date. In 2011; budgeted $18,500 and $14,000 was spent. Council was then directed to the Financial Management Plan (FMP) where the capital items are budgeted.
Mayor Bunting questioned YTD revenue in the on-sale liquor and asked if there is a slight increase this year over last year. Liquor Manager Buysse stated YTD revenues are down at the Muni in 2012 compared to 2011. The facility is aged. Next year staff intends to come to Council to seek the Council's opinion of the on-sale and what should be done moving forward. Buysse discussed the smoking ban, the .08 law, and other societal changes. Buysse stated the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was a good night, but not as good as it used to be given the other competition in town. Buysse also discussed the rate of pay for bartenders in the public sector. These are issues that will need to be looked at in the next year. As it stands right now, the Muni is not inviting and with the competitive environment we need more tools to compete.
Mayor Bunting suggested discussing the future of on-sale at a staff/council retreat.
Wieland directed Council to lines 32 & 33, page 6 of the FMP; revenues from pull-tabs and the rent that is donated back to the fire capital equipment. If the revenue source is lost, the revenue would need to be an increase of taxes by $65,000 per year.
Hall asked if the pull-tabs are at Broadway Pizza too. Yes. So the whole $65,000 wouldn't be lost, there would still be some revenue from Broadway.
Buysse stated some lost revenues could be supplemented from RWAS as the Council sees fit. Buysse also discussed the positive effects that electronic pull-tabs have; he believes the Fire Relief is researching the electronic devices.
Ihli asked if the iPads are leased or purchased. Ihli asked if that is an item that may help promote the Muni.
Buysse continued to discuss some potential improvements that could be made at the Muni to make it more desirable. Buysse mentioned the possibility of doing what some small breweries in Minneapolis are doing; food trucks to compliment a food component. Buysse stated the Rib Shack did augment business; people brought their food into the Muni and ate it with a cocktail. This was discussed earlier this year at a liquor commission meeting.
Stanley asked what it would take to offer brewing classes. Buysse doesn't know if that would work best at the Muni. Buysse has brought in some revenue with private parties. Buysse stated he has allowed other private parties to be held at the Muni.
Council proceeded with line item budgets. Stahmer pointed out the senior line item; noting the staffing with a part-time senior coordinator. Stahmer asked Seifert to discuss the line item senior budget.
Seifert stated the increase from 2010 to 2012 was modest. Next year's number is contemplating contracting with Senior Services to do some programming for the City. The other increase is a full year of congregate dining.
Ihli stated Mike Bauer has worked hard at the congregate dining. Ihli asked if they are researching a different caterer.
Hall asked regarding page 35; Ice and Snow removal. He asked if labor was included in the number. Staff stated it is not. Hall asked if the wages could be tracked for snow and ice removal.
Wieland stated the general fund doesn't get to a cost accounting level.
Seifert stated to increase the budget by only $17,000 after annexing all of Hassan shows an efficiency in the governments merging.
Seifert and Wieland discussed the reduction in vehicle and equipment repairs with the budgeting of a mechanic.
Stahmer stated on the personnel services, the question was asked how many hours the contractual planner. $86,000 in total billings; $30,000 is pass-through development fees. Contractual versus in-house, you will get more hours and more productivity for in-house planning. Staff discussed a number of items that could be handled by an in-house planner.
Ihli asked if the City would get more out of an in-house planner for less money. Staff stated yes – with additional explanation.
Bell discussed billing out a full-time in-house planner. Council discussed finding a planner with community development experience.
Bell asked if the planner could also do building official/inspection work.
Hall commented that just because it's in the budget doesn't mean it is set in stone correct?
Staff stated the things the Council would see the second time would be large purchases and full-time hires. All purchases are included in the claims list.
Wieland stated any cuts the Council would want to make would be recommended to have the dollars shifted toward the sinking funds. Stahmer discussed tax rate and tax levy.
Wieland reviewed property tax levy information sheet.
Bell asked if the increase includes the annexation of Hassan under taxable market value. Wieland proceeded through the worksheet. Staff stated the City's portion of the overall property tax bill; in 2008 we were about 1/3; now we are between 25% and 27% of the total property tax bill.
Wieland explained that as our tax rate decreases our fiscal disparities distribution back to us will also decrease.
3. FMP (1 & 5 year focus), Proposed Final Property Tax Levy Review
Wieland reviewed the front page of the FMP with Council. Wieland discussed the tax rate with Council shown at the bottom of the FMP front page. There was discussion on the $200,000 transfer in from RWAS
Hall asked if the staffing plan for 2013 is included in the budget. Hall asked if staff can get the amount of increase for "just new" positions.
Wieland proceeded through the sinking funds.
Staff discussed the FMP showing a healthy fund balance and being able to sustain the future growth and needs of the City.
Stahmer stated this is the most exciting year moving forward for the FMP; the ability to sustain the projected needs.
Wieland discussed the debt payment line item and directed Council to page 2 of the FMP.
Wieland pointed out the staffing page on page 10; place holders with an estimated base salary and benefits.
Wieland then directed Council to page 12 of the FMP; growth assumptions.
Bunting stated the key thing to always remind people; a budget is a living/breathing document; things change. This is not set in stone.
Wieland stated the results of the pavement management plan will be key to the document.
Staff stated the Truth in Taxation notices went out; Wieland has been fielding a majority of the calls; 12 calls 10 of which from former Hassan residents all with homes valued over $400,000 with the exception of one. Wieland described the different conversations she has had with former Hassan residents.
Staff stated the fee schedule for 2013 will be discussed during the next Council work session.
Council thanked staff for their presentation.
Bell moved, Stanley seconded a motion to adjourn the budget workshop at 6:46 p.m. Motion carried 5-0.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk