1. Call to Order. The regular work session of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Bunting on December 10, 2013 at 5:08 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Jay Bunting, Don Hall, Rick Ihli, Darren Jakel, and Maureen Stanley.
Staff present: Jeff Beahen, Police Chief; Gary Buysse, Liquor Operations Manager; Brad Feist, Fire Chief; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; Stacy Scharber, Assistant City Administrator; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Fee Schedule
Finance Director Wieland provided a copy of the proposed 2014 fee schedule to Council. Wieland stated all changes have been highlighted in the document. Council and staff reviewed the fee schedule changes.
Public Works Supt. Seifert explained how ice rental fees are bridged over two years because of the season starting in the fall.
Bunting asked if prime ice time rates are comparable to other communities. Seifert provided an explanation that prices in the southeast metro are higher, and we are the highest of the neighboring communities.
Bunting stated the general tax payer's portion has gone up by a significant percentage while the users are not seeing the same amount of increase. Bunting stated he doesn't necessarily want to keep it (ice rates) down to be in line with neighboring cities, but not too high that we would lose ice rentals. Seifert spoke on youth hockey being the biggest customer. Stahmer reminded Council that youth hockey also provides an annual pledge for the capital cost of the building.
Ihli asked how much is being pledged. Staff stated youth hockey is $65,000 and boosters is $20,000; above and beyond their ice rental fees.
Jakel echoed Bunting's comments; bring the ice rates back to the arena commission and visit with the school district regarding the ice rental rates.
There was discussion on capital repayment commitment that is over and above the hourly ice rates and on a bonding mechanism for possible refinancing of the ice arena bonds. Stahmer discussed the way abatement bonds work. Wieland discussed the current revenue bonds.
Jakel stated to make sure we keep pushing the envelope and leading the charge with the ice rates.
Hall asked if revenues are paying for the operational costs of the building. Seifert stated in years past, but the last two years we have had to adjust. Wieland explained that it is in the budget; $475,000 is budgeted, of that $300,000 cost of revenues not covering the operating expenses. Wieland explained the expenses which includes a $110,176 inter-fund loan payment.
Ihli discussed the 2013 permanent transfer that was intended to be a one-time transfer.
Wieland proceeded through the fee schedule with Council. Wieland highlighted the fee changes in the building permits section of the fee schedule.
Seifert reviewed the WAC and SAC fees with Council.
Wieland proceeded to the Community Room. Seifert stated the rates remained static for many years and the dollar amounts being proposed are more align with the uses and other communities.
Engineering fees; need to add in area charge for the Brockton lift station. Staff discussed how to collect the one-time charge. Seifert explained it is only against a certain number of parcels that can be done by resolution and will be identified in the developer agreements. It was decided that the lift station area charge won't be added to fee schedule; but will be brought back by resolution.
Fire fee schedule; added tent fees and commercial fire inspection fees. Chief Feist explained that this collection is for return trips to the same business. Wieland stated the other addition is billable staff time.
Wieland stated there is no recommended change to liquor license fees and there are only small changes in park and recreation.
Bunting questioned the wine and beer combination license fee. Scharber explained.
Planning and zoning; page 11 section 9 the bottom wording was read to Council. Wieland explained that part of the planner's time will be charged back against the project escrows.
Police fees were reviewed with the addition of false alarm fees.
Public Works fees; account numbers were corrected.
Section 12 - Utilities; utility rates have been updated. There was discussion on the state mandated fees that are going to be placed on the utility bills as its own line item.
There was a discussion on storm water utility rates and how they are applied across the entire city. Seifert discussed the annual cost of the Watershed association; now $38,000. Seifert stated the fee is only taking care of administrative costs, but not future capital costs.
RAC advertising revenues were then reviewed with Council.
Wieland stated the fee schedule is on the consent agenda for approval at the regular meeting. It will be published as a summary ordinance and will come online on January 1st.
Jakel questioned if we did not apply the utility increase, would we not be able to cover our cost. Wieland stated we are not covering 100% of depreciation.
3. Enterprise Fund Budgets – Liquor Funds
Finance Director Wieland provided the liquor budgets to Council as part of the large budget document.
Bunting questioned how much revenue in on-sale is attributed to the community room. Buysse stated it varies from year to year. For this year he thinks about $20,000 is revenue from the community room. Buysse also commented on possible improvements that can be made to the room to offer more events and increase the revenues generated from the room.
4. 2014 Proposed Final Budget & Levy Discussion
Wieland provided the 2014 budget document to Council. Wieland explained the process for the regular meeting; allowing for public comment, speaking to LGA funds and the change to the sales tax laws and the sales tax savings.
Staff directed Council's attention to the property tax levy tab of the budget document; Wieland explained market value, tax capacity, and tax capacity after fiscal disparities stating there is a net loss 15.7% of our tax capacity to fiscal disparities.
Wieland proceeded through the items included in the general levy and special levies. Wieland stated Hennepin County continues to send updated property values.
There was a discussion on the history of tax rates. Staff also informed Council that the budget document has changed the wording of sinking funds to capital improvement project funds.
Wieland asked if there are any other questions to the budget and levy. There were no questions by Council.
5. Other Business – Discussion on Scannell/FedEx
Engineer Weiss provided an update on the Scannell property development. Weiss discussed the following with Council:
• Transportation trunk fees from the Scannell/FedEx property and surrounding properties would pay for the city's share of the project costs.
• If the Council is comfortable, the City could up-front funding with the cost to be assessed back to the benefiting properties.
• July, 2015 would be their desired open date
• Rogers Drive extension would occur in 2014's construction season
There was discussion on taking the project in phases if the funding is not available
Bunting commented on FedEx being a good community partner. Hall agreed stating they would bring jobs to the community and be a good business partner.
Jakel stated he would like to have FedEx as a good corporate partner. Jakel suggested forming a committee to communicate with Dayton regarding the proposed traffic improvements.
Stanley stated she would like to see the data from the other FedEx sites; traffic counts and elevations.
Stanley moved, Ihli seconded a motion to adjourn the work session at 6:40 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk