1. Call to Order. The regular meeting of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Mayor Ihli on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Community Center, 21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Mark Eiden, Bruce Gorecki, Rick Ihli, and Darren Jakel.
Member excused: Don Hall.
Staff present: Jeff Beahen, Police Chief; Gary Buysse, Liquor Operations Manager; Sheila Cartney, City Planner; Stacy Scharber, Assistant City Administrator; Steve Stahmer, City Administrator; John Seifert, Public Works Supt.; John Thames, City Attorney; Bret Weiss, City Engineer; and Lisa Wieland, Finance Director.
2. Open Forum
4. Approve Agenda
The agenda was set as submitted.
5. Consent Agenda
5.01 Approval of Minutes from March 10, 2015 City Council Meeting
5.02 Approval of Bills and Claims
5.03 Authorization to Back-Fill Vacant Police Officer Position
5.04 Approval to Promote Joe Reemts to Public Works Maintenance II - MEO
5.05 Authorization to Advertise for Public Works Maintenance I
5.06 Approval of Resolution No. 2015-10, A Resolution Declaring May 16, 2015 as the Rogers Clean-Up Day
5.07 Approval of Resolution No. 2015-11, A Resolution Granting an Extension of the Preliminary Plat of Vincent Woods
5.08 Approval of Appointment of John Wurm to Rogers Park Board
5.09 Approval of Resolution No. 2015-12, A Revised Resolution Correcting the Applicant Name on Resolution No. 2014-83
Eiden pulled 5.03, 5.04, 5.05 and 5.08 from consent.
Jakel moved, Ihli seconded a motion to approve the consent agenda less 5.03, 5.04, 5.05, and 5.08. Motion carried 4-0.
Chief Beahen addressed the Council to answer Mr. Eiden's questions.
Mr. Eiden stated he pulled the items for the benefit of the public. Mr. Eiden stated we are not inflating staff; this is how we should replace, with backfilling the position.
Beahen summarized his memo, explaining the reason for the vacant position and the need for the backfill. Beahen then provided background information on Amy Berglund, the candidate being recommended for hire. In hiring Ms. Berglund, there is a savings of over $9,000 per year because of being hired at the starting wage. Beahen emphasized this is not an addition to staff.
Ihli asked how long the training process will be. Beahen stated 16 weeks, but with her background and knowledge of the City, it may be quicker.
Jakel, appreciates Eiden pulling items off consent, and believes it's a good practice to call attention to them.
Jakel moved, Eiden seconded a motion to approve 5.03. Motion carried 4-0.
Public Works Supt. Seifert addressed the Council on the internal promotion being recommended to backfill the HEO position vacated by Carl Olson. Seifert stated this is also a financial savings with $4,000 to $5,000 savings to backfill with the MEO position.
Eiden moved, Jakel seconded a motion to approve 5.04. Motion carried 4-0.
Seifert clarified that it is a backfill of the vacancy created by the previous action.
Eiden moved, Jakel seconded a motion to approve 5.05. Motion carried 4-0.
Seifert explained there was a vacancy created by a resignation of a Park Board Commissioner. Three applicants were interviewed, and the Park Board is recommending appointing John Wurm to the Park Board.
Eiden stated he appreciates Mr. Wurm and the other two members for stepping up and applying for the position.
Seifert stated the other applicants were asked to stay involved and keep close to the happenings of the City in the case of another vacancy on any of our boards/commissions.
Eiden moved, Gorecki seconded a motion to approve 5.08. Motion carried 4-0.
6. Public Hearings
7. General Business
7.01 Approval of Information Services Network Technician Position Description and Authorization to Advertise for Full-Time Position
IS Director Greninger addressed the Council on the request to approve the IS Network Technician position description and authorize the advertisement for hire. Greninger provided a PowerPoint presentation on the requested hire. Greninger stated the new position is budgeted in 2015 and was considered a priority at the 2015 Council goal setting workshop.
Greninger highlighted the following items in his presentation:
• Information Systems Department overview
• Managing Servers and Growth
• Network Growth
• Software Growth
• Reliance on Technology by Department
• Mobile Data Computers
• BCA Requirements
• Service Levels
• IS Department Resources
• IS Network Technician
• Alternatives to Hiring
Ihli thanked Greninger for his presentation and thanked him for his dedication. Ihli does not question the need for the position.
Jakel, appreciates the detail given in the presentation. Jakel thanked Greninger for his work. Jakel commented on staff and residents being lucky to have Greninger.
Gorecki stated he echoes what is said and is surprised that we have only had one person managing everything. Gorecki stated he is very impressed and has no problem moving forward.
Jakel moved, Gorecki seconded the motion approving the Information Systems Network Technician position description and authorizing the advertisement for the full-time position.
Eiden stated he is the odd-man out tonight. Not because he doesn't believe there is a need, it is just that he has a lot of questions on the analysis to know where we are going. In taking on a full-time position, there is more than just the cost of the wage. Eiden stated he doesn't understand the difference between the costs of a full-time hire and the possibility to hire consultants to do the same. Eiden stated it seems like there is an opportunity to separate your highest needs into separate buckets and asked if the highest needs can be taken on by Greninger and the rest can be taken care of by a consultant.
Gorecki stated there was a lot of analysis put into what is being discussed.
Eiden stated his point is Rogers isn't alone in this, other cities are in this position.
Chief Beahen addressed the Council and tried to answer Eiden's questions. Beahen explained the MDC’s and the applications on them and history with consultants hired to work on the MDC's. Beahen provided a number of examples of when a person/position is needed. Beahen stated the department is pulling away from the County for assistance because they are over-loaded. Beahen asked that the Council trust Greninger's recommendation for the need to hire the Network Technician.
Eiden stated he has a certain level of comfort at this point and suggested that the motion on the floor be acted on.
Jakel commented on throwing another body as a mass of problems and is it the right solution; in this case be believes it is.
Eiden stated, as a final point, he is not just against it for being against it, he just doesn't know enough to make a decision.
Mayor Ihli called for a vote. Motion carried 3-1; Eiden opposed.
7.02 Authorize Initiating Public Involvement/Information for Implementing a Franchise Fee Program for Financing the Pavement Management Program
Engineer Weiss provided a presentation on the public involvement/information process related to financing the City of Rogers Pavement Management Plan. Weiss provided background and history of the 79 miles of paved roadways in Rogers. Weiss stated 70% of the streets were constructed about 15 years ago during the housing boom, and they will all come due for maintenance at approximately the same time.
Weiss talked about three different methods for paying for the pavement management plan; levying for the costs which would increase the tax rate, assessments in combination with a City share via levy, and franchise fees. Weiss provided examples of cities that use franchise fees to support their pavement management programs. Weiss provided a brief explanation of franchise fees, which are fixed fees collected through the electric and gas utilities.
Weiss discussed how the streets have been rated into the program that has been created for the City. City Council needs to make a decision on which way to go to fund the program. Weiss asked for a decision by July 1st. The newest estimates are approximately $20 million over the next 20 years to maintain our current roads.
Weiss stated tonight's request is to put together a public information program to educate the public. Weiss provided a number of questions that will need to be addressed in the future as we move forward with the franchise fee discussion.
Weiss explained the difference of a reconstruction versus the initial paved road and how that relates to gravel roadways stating that everyone needs to pay for their fully-improved road once.
Weiss provided some cost estimates for the public involvement/information process, totaling $8500 with some assumed City staff time/shared responsibility.
Weiss stated the City of Elk River just went through this process and we will get a lot of information from them on how to proceed.
Weiss recommended a motion authorizing expenditure up to $8500 for public involvement/information to finance the City of Rogers Pavement Management Program.
Ihli commented on this process and stated it should have been started years ago. As Council, the main concern is how we can do this as painless as possible.
Jakel complimented Weiss on doing a nice job in laying the program out. Jakel commented on residents asking for their streets to be fixed.
Eiden wanted to clarify; the purpose of the expenditure is to do the analysis and to show the pros and cons of each funding mechanism. To see the data and choose the plan that is best for everyone.
Weiss stated it would be to lay out the options and do what is best for Rogers. We have the flexibility to decide the direction we want to go in future.
Ihli stated we need to be transparent so people know what this is all about when we hold the community cafes. Ihli commented on assessments being cumbersome for some of the residents.
Gorecki stated he wanted to comment on the biggest issue; current assessments or assessments that may happen in the interim. Gorecki asked for an explanation on how people will not be double assessed.
Gorecki moved, Jakel seconded a motion to authorize expenditure up to $8500 for public involvement/information to finance the City of Rogers Pavement Management Program. Motion carried 4-0.
7.03 Approve Scoping Work for Industrial Blvd, Authorize Finalizing Feasibility Report, Call for Public Hearing, and Approve a Proposal for Engineering Services for the 2015 Industrial Boulevard Street Improvements (Resolution No. 2015-13)
Engineer Weiss provided a presentation on the 2015 street improvements for a portion of Industrial Boulevard. Weiss provided history of the existing Industrial Boulevard and what is being proposed for the improvement; 2 inch mill and overlay in the drive lanes with patching and a 1.5 inch overlay over the entire roadway surface. Weiss stated the cost estimate is approximately $496,000. There is funding available for the entire project through maintenance funds. Weiss stated, the challenge is that it would not leave dollars for the Rogers Drive project. It is not likely both projects can be done without finding other funding sources. Weiss then provided a project schedule to the Council which includes calling for an April 28, 2015 public hearing.
Ihli asked about the estimated cost for the repairs on Rogers Drive. Weiss has not done cost estimates for Rogers Drive yet. He stated he believes it would be a larger project. There will be a variance process to go through if using state aid funds. If the City is able to use State Aid funds, then there can be a funding mechanism. Weiss discussed wanting to widen Rogers Drive to four lanes from the truck stop heading east toward Cabelas. Weiss explained urban section versus a rural section stating he is not recommending urban section for Rogers Drive.
Ihli stated it makes him nervous to use all the funds on Industrial Boulevard. There was a discussion on how much of Industrial could be assessed. Weiss estimated a 40% assessment.
Jakel stated at the February 24th meeting we approved the scoping for this project, and asked Weiss if it provide enough data. Weiss stated in the past a full blown feasibility report would have been requested, but we still have a good idea of what the costs would be. The City can get the project accomplished with the funds we have today, without bonding.
Gorecki questioned the variance procedure for use of State Aid funds. Weiss explained the State does the variance process only about four times per year. If the variance is granted, then the project could proceed with the $250,000 previously received from the County and the rest covered by State Aid.
Ihli stated he would like to see the priority of road projects. Weiss stated they have not been ranked, stating staff would rather be flexible in the schedule of projects and be able to leverage dollars as they become available. The County Road 144/Highway 101 project was used as an example.
Jakel moved, Eiden seconded a motion to approve scoping work for Industrial Blvd, authorize finalizing feasibility report, call for public hearing on April 28, 2015, authorize preparation of plans and specifications, and accept the proposal for the 2015 Street Improvement Projects – Industrial Boulevard, to be prepared by WSB & Associates, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $17,850. Motion carried 4-0.
Ihli moved, Gorecki seconded a motion adopting Resolution No. 2015 - 13, A Resolution Ordering the Public Hearing for the 2015 Industrial Boulevard Street Improvement Project. Motion carried 4-0.
7.04 Adopt Ordinance No. 2015-07, An Interim Ordinance to Permit Study and Amendments to the Official Controls Within the City of Rogers and Summary Ordinance No. 2015-07 (Tattoo/Body Art Moratorium)
Planner Cartney stated the City has received inquiries on tattoo/body art shops and currently our zoning ordinance does not speak to this type of business. Cartney commented on the businesses being licensed by the State instead of the municipalities.
Jakel commented that we should leave it up to the State to license these businesses.
Administrator Stahmer clarified that the moratorium would be up to one year. Staff stated the Planning Commission will start looking at this at their workshop on Monday.
Eiden moved, Jakel seconded a motion to adopt Ordinance 2015-07 an interim ordinance to permit study and amendments to the official controls within the City of Rogers. Motion carried 4-0.
7.05 Adopt Ordinance No. 2015-08, An Interim Ordinance to Permit Study and Amendments to the Official Controls Within the City of Rogers and Summary Ordinance No. 2015-08 (Solar Farms/Gardens)
Planner Cartney stated this is similar to the last request, a moratorium on solar farms or solar gardens. Cartney stated some larger acreage lots want to turn their properties into solar farms. Our current ordinances does not speak or regulate this use. Other cities are doing moratoriums on this as well.
Jakel questioned if this would affect building systems. Staff clarified that it would not; anything that is existing or has existing approvals would not be affected, this is strictly for farms/gardens.
Ihli speculated and asked if a property owner builds the solar farm, are they selling their power back to Xcel? Cartney stated that will be part of the research. Dennis Meadows, Planning Commission Chair, stated he has a lot of information on solar gardens that he will be bringing to the Planning Commission.
Ihli moved, Eiden seconded a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2015-08 an interim ordinance to permit study and amendments to the official controls within the City of Rogers. Motion carried 4-0.
7.06 Authorization to Purchase Transcription Software
Police Chief Beahen provided information on the request to purchase Dragon Voice Recognition software. Beahen stated he has been looking at ways on how the department can save money. Beahen discussed the time invested in transcribing dictated reports. This new system would eliminate about 95% of the current work load of transcribing. Beahen stated he predicted adding a third administrative position in the near future, but that can be pushed out a few years before the position is needed.
Beahen then explained the funding source being the forfeiture account and provided a brief explanation of the funds in the account.
Eiden questioned the financial impact. Would it be safe to say the impact is zero, is it a good guess that this will more than pay for itself in the first year?
Beahen stated this system will pay for itself within a matter of months.
Software maintenance issues were discussed.
Jakel moved, Eiden seconded a motion to authorize the purchase to allow the police department to purchase Dragon voice recognition transcription software for $9,387 from Grabar Voice and Data Inc. in Bismarck, ND. This purchase will be made using funds from the Police Forfeiture Account. Motion carried 4-0.
8. Other Business
9. Correspondence and Reports
9.01 Transportation Task Force Meeting Minutes for March 10, 2015
9.02 Elm Creek Watershed Management Commission Minutes – February 11, 2015
9.03 Rogers Park Board Minutes – February 12, 2015
9.04 February 2015, Financial Reports
No action taken.
10. Adjourn to Closed Session to Consider the Following:
• Land Purchase for Water Tower Site and Public Right-of-Way
• Discussion on the Holiday Property
Mayor Ihli adjourned the meeting to closed session at 8:35 p.m.
Council reconvened to open meeting at 9:33 p.m.
Assistant Administrator Scharber read the following motion to Council as it relates to the land purchase for a water tower site and public right-of-way: Motion to authorize staff to negotiate with the property owner as discussed in closed session. Gorecki made the motion, Eiden seconded. Motion carried 4-0.
Scharber read the following motion to Council as it relates to the discussion on the former Holiday property: Motion to authorize staff to negotiate with the neighboring property owner as discussed in closed session. Eiden made the motion, Gorecki seconded. Motion carried 4-0.
Jakel moved to adjourn at 9:35 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk