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Council Meeting Minutes
June 20, 2011
1. Roll Call
Mayor Roe called to order the
Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed
everyone. (Voting and Seating Order for June: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee;
and Roe). City Attorney Charlie Bartholdi was also present.
For clarification purposes and to
note minor adjustments for City Council review prior to their consideration and
potential approval, City Manager Malinen requested removal of Consent Item 7.c
entitled, “Approve new Information Technology JPA with the City of Maplewood.”
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded,
approval of the agenda as amended.
Ayes: Johnson; Pust;
Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.
Mayor Roe called for public comment
by members of the audience on any non-agenda items. No one appeared to speak
at this time.
4. Council Communications, Reports and
Roe announced upcoming Rosefest Events for this annual community event from
June 27 through July 4, 201l.
Recognitions, Donations, Communications
6. Approve Minutes
Approve Minutes of June 13, 2011 Meeting
Comments and corrections to draft
minutes had been submitted by the City Council prior to tonight’s meeting and
those revisions were incorporated into the draft presented in the Council
McGehee moved, Willmus seconded,
approval of the minutes of the June 13, 2011 meeting as amended.
Page 30, Lines 1 – 5 (Willmus)
Correct to read: “Councilmember
Willmus questioned whether a biennial budget could actually be accomplished
without a one [advised the Council that it cannot legally adopt a
biennial budget. Councilmember Willmus stated the Council can adopt an annual]
year budget and [with] strong guidance for the second
year;” as provided as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereto.
Approve Consent Agenda
There were no additional changes to
the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the request of Mayor Roe,
City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under
the Consent Agenda.
Mayor Roe noted and summarized
that a portion of the significant payments listed was in part due to a revised
financial arrangement by the North Suburban Cable Commission (CTV) from using
the City of Roseville as a fiscal agent, for the purpose of their receipt of a
Letter of Credit and withdrawal of funds for transfer to another entity.
Willmus moved, Johnson seconded,
approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.
Approve Business Licenses
Willmus moved, Johnson
seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1)
year, for those applicants as follows:
Type of License
J. R. Fielding Co.; 1767 Lexington Avenue N
Dave’s Roseville Auto Care, Inc.
2171 N Hamline Avenue
Therese Picha @ Wellspring Therapeutic
Massage; 1315 Larpenteur Avenue W, Suite A5
Vonnie Hoschette @ VMH Therapies
3101 Old Highway 8, Suite 202
VMH Therapies; 3101 Old Highway 8, Suite 202
Approve Joint Powers Agreement with TIES for access to City-owned
Willmus moved, Johnson seconded,
approval of a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA - Attachment A) between TIES
(formerly known as Technology Information Educational Services) and the City of
Roseville for the purposes of providing access to the city-owned fiber network.
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
Approve new Information Technology Joint Powers Agreement with
the City of Maplewood (Former Consent Item 7.c)
At the request of Mayor Roe, City
Manager Malinen provided a brief summary of the RCA dated June 20, 2011,
differing from previous JPA’s since this will be a tow-way agreement for both
the City of Maplewood and the City of Roseville. Mr. Malinen noted two (2)
bench handouts, attached hereto and made a part hereof:
1) Amended language
to Section 11.5 of Page 8; and
language to Section 8.5, as recommended by the City Attorney (Letter dated June
20, 2011 from City Attorney Bartholdi to Finance Director Chris Miller)
McGehee moved, Willmus seconded,
approval of a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA – Attachment A) between the Cities of
Maplewood and Roseville for the purposes of sharing information technology; and
amended agreement to Section 11.5 of Page 8; and; and additional language to
Section 8.5, as recommended by the City Attorney as above-referenced.
General Ordinances for Adoption
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 6:11 pm and
reconvened at approximately 6:14 pm.
Leisure Vision Parks and Recreation Survey
Parks and Recreation Director
Lonnie Brokke and Assistant Parks and Recreation Director Jill Anfang were
present for tonight’s presentation, in addition to a majority of the Park and
Recreation Commissioners. It was noted that the City Council had received a
copy of the full report on June 10, 2011; and a public copy of the full report
is available in the Parks and Recreation Department at City Hall.
Mr. Brokke advised that Ron Vine,
President of Leisure Vision was scheduled to attend; however, due to flight
delays in Chicago, was unable to make tonight’s meeting. Therefore, Mr. Brokke
introduced Mr. Vine via conference call to address the meeting by speaker phone
and provide a summary of the statistically-valid community interest and opinion
survey results from Leisure Vision, Inc. for presentation to the public and
City Council. Mr. Brokke noted that the purpose of the survey, immediately
following the Parks and Recreation Master Plan process, was to formally present
and gauge the level of interest and comfort level of citizen financial support
and to assist in identifying step one projects identified during the process.
Mr. Vine apologized for being unable
to attend; and with staff, the presentation was done by Power Point.
Mr. Vine noted that the level of
interest exceeded expectations; with 760 responses received, over and above the
anticipated 600 surveys and indicating a random sampling level of 95%, with a
margin of error of +/-3.6%. Mr. Vine advised that the initial breakdown of
results was done as follows: households with or without children; location of
residence; gender; age of respondents; number of years in Roseville; amount of
additional taxes they were willing to pay for their preferred
improvements; and voting.
Mr. Vine reviewed survey results
and graphs by question and in detail, including items such as current usage and
satisfaction with the Roseville parks and recreation system, with Mr. Vine
noting that the usage is very high through all four (4) survey sectors of the
City, with walking and biking trails indicated as the most-used facilities.
Highlights made by Mr. Vine included 81% of the households surveyed had visited
Central Park over the last twelve (12) months, with that being the most-visited
park in the City at 74%; and usage of parks at an 89% level in each sector,
significantly higher than the national benchmark of 72%.
Mr. Vine noted that the excellent
ratings of the community’s parks were higher than the national benchmark of
31%; with 40% of the respondents rating them excellent, 55% rating them good,
and 40% rating them excellent; with only 5% rating them as fair. Mr. Vine
alerted the City Council that, as policy maker, their decisions on service
levels could be based on best practice budgeting for results, both short and
long-term, and whether to retain the status quo or do better.
Further highlights included
specific facilities visited or used, many dependent on whether the household
had children, or was specifically targeted to individual needs and/or
interests, and included the skating center, City Hall/civic center meeting
rooms, HANC; with 79% of respondents having used some facility over the last
twelve (12) months. The overall rating of those facilities’ physical conditions
(or most visited/used) indicated excellent at 40%, good at 57%, and fair at 3%.
The second part of the
presentation included the level of support of respondents for the “community
vision” for the future of the City’s Parks and Recreation system, indicating
Community vision has been captured through the planning process
Maintenance of the current system is of high importance;
A high percentage of households would use indoor facilities;
A high percentage of households would support acquisition of open
space and parkland; and
A majority of households with children would support improvements
of sports facilities.
Mr. Vine noted that, throughout
the survey, 15-23% of respondents were satisfied with the status quo and chose
“none” as their typical response.
The “top three” priorities
indicated from the survey results indicated that over 50% of the households
would “vote in favor” or support the following: maintenance of existing trails
and sidewalks; additional walking and biking trails in existing parks; and
additional sidewalks along streets. Mr. Vine advised that throughout all
sectors, the most important and least controversial improvement supported by
households and their support for funding with tax dollars was improved walking
and biking trails.
The “top two” priorities indicated
acquisition of properties that preserve local open spaces; and acquisition of
properties adjacent to existing parks.
Related to indoor programming
spaces, over 80% of responding households indicated that they would use at
least one indoor programming space if available (walking and jogging track);
however, Mr. Vine noted that there were many differences in preferred indoor
water use features (e.g. leisure pool; lanes for lap swimming; warm water for
therapeutic purposes). Options to fund the costs for operating a new indoor
multi-purpose community center indicated that 68% of respondent households feel
costs should be paid through user fees and taxes, with fees supported by a
majority of respondents.
Support for outdoor athletic
fields and programming spaces indicated similar support, whether for lighted
baseball, soccer or softball fields, and similar in all four (4) survey
sectors, with support for a football / Lacrosse field the highest in the NW sector;
with 60% of respondents indicating operating costs should be paid through a
combination of user fees and taxes; however, Mr. Vine noted that this may be
based on 70% of the responding households not having children in the home using
Funding and voting on the
“Community vision” indicated the following:
A majority of households would support some level of tax support
for improvements that are most important to their households; and
A majority of households would vote in favor, or might vote in
favor, of improvements that are most important to their households
Based on a scenario for funding
over the next twenty (20) years at $3.00 per month, per household, 61% of responding
households indicated that amount was about right; 14% would not support it; 6%
thought it was too low, and another 6% thought that amount was too high.
Questioned on the maximum amount per month from $4 to $25, responses ranged
from 9% to 20%; with Mr. Vine noting that the type of projects for requested
funding was the key for the majority of respondents. If a bond election or tax
increase was brought forward for the public for the type of project their
specific household would support, and at the amount of money they indicated
they’d support, 69% of respondents in all sectors indicated they would, or
might, support such an increase. In those households with children, at least
80% indicated they would, or might, vote in favor; again, if those improvements
were those for which they expressed a preference.
Based on national comparisons, Mr.
Vine advised that a 15-18% level of support was a decent number, and it was
preferred to see at least double of that (40%) supportive of a referendum prior
to any educational efforts. Mr. Vine advised that Roseville’s results were
comparable, and showed a lot of consistency throughout the City. Mr. Vine
advised that the results indicated that, if it was the community’s goal to
bring in families with young children or to get people moving into Roseville as
a destination community, the indicated responses seemed to indicate
community-wide support. For those respondents stating that they were not sure
or would vote against such a referendum; half indicated it was based on them
not supporting any additional tax increase, which was comparable nation-wide;
and for those who may support it for a shorter number of years, most stated
that they would require additional education or information on such a request
before making a firm decision.
Related to the community’s level
of support for state legislation for a local option sales tax for residents and
non-residents purchasing goods in Roseville, those respondents not supportive
were at 32%; those somewhat supportive were at 26%; very supportive at 18%; and
those not sure at 24%.
At the end of the presentation,
Councilmembers and Mr. Vine discussed various indicators for further
Councilmember Johnson sought
clarification on Question 19 related to the 14% undecided on a tax increase;
with Mr. Vine advising that this percentage was lower than normally seen, and
based those results on the awareness of residents, based on the education and
information currently before them as a result of the Master Plan process, making
residents more informed that normal.
Councilmember Pust questioned
answer parameters and distinctions between “might vote in favor” and “not sure”
and those responses indicating that they also may become a “might vote against”
vote; and in the City Council’s analysis of answers, whether those categories
of “not sure” and “might vote in favor” should be one (1) category.
Mr. Vine advised that this
question was also discussed with the Commission, and noted that it was not
unusual for the “might vote” category responses to end up with less than half
of those voting against in the end; however, he did suggest caution in that
analysis; noting that a respondent’s feelings may be strong at the time of the
survey, and while they may support some things, they may not vote in favor of a
referendum. Mr. Vine reiterated that support would depend on which projects
were chosen for a referendum, how important they are to the public, and the
total dollar amount on the budget, in addition to the amount of education done
about such a referendum: its purpose and expected consequences.
Councilmember McGehee noted that
Leisure Vision had done surveys for the Cities of Edina and St. Paul, and
questioned if he could share any information on how Roseville compared with them
as local communities versus nation-wide results. Councilmember McGehee also
questioned if Mr. Vine had results available of the online survey; why the firm
had chosen households only from voter lists, and how many households that may
Mr. Vine advised that neither
Edina nor St. Paul surveys were based on a potential referendum. And their
usage of parks was not as high as Roseville, even though they each had
traditional park facilities and services. Mr. Vine noted that in St. Paul, the
purpose of their survey was based on three preferences: the zoo, swimming pool
operations, and their strategic plan; however, he reiterated that none went
before a voter election. Regarding the online survey, Mr. Vine noted that was
a city function and that his firm was not involved in any of that data; and
advised that Leisure Vision had not chosen households only from the voter
registration lists, so no people were eliminated that way; however, he noted
that Roseville simply had a high percentage of voters. Mr. Vine advised that
it was not his firm’s preference to use voter lists, as they were often
outdated and Leisure Vision preferred to draw randomly from the entire
At the suggestion of Ms. Anfang,
Mr. Vine briefly reviewed demographic information not already addressed, with
44% of respondents being male and 56% women; with Mr. Vine noting that it was
typical that women filled out more surveys than men, as well as knowing more
about their families than men. Home values of respondents indicated those
within the $200,000 to $299,000 range were 43%, and those with the range of
$100,000 to $199,999 were 25%, with 6% not providing that information.
Councilmember Johnson asked how he
could best make determinations from survey results for allocation of funds and
implementation to ensure all bases were covered equitably based on those
Mr. Vine suggested that the survey
data could be broken down in any number of ways; and his firm was willing to
provide additional information as needed; with all survey data geo-coded so it
can be entered in to the City’s GIS database to address demographic breakdowns,
crossovers within those demographics, and to identify and address unique
Councilmember Pust questioned if
the 6% of respondents not choosing to provide the value of their residence
indicated those were renters.
Mr. Vine, and Mr. Brokke,
responded that while the question of whether renting or not was not a survey
question, it was typical that those households were rentals.
On behalf of the City Council,
public and staff, Mr. Brokke thanked Mr. Vine for his participation by phone
for tonight’s presentation and discussion.
Mr. Vine thanked the excellent
Roseville community for their participation; and thanked the City’s staff for
their assistance through the process; and again offered his availability to
answer additional questions at a later date as applicable.
Mr. Brokke thanked Parks and
Recreation Chair/Organizing Team Chair Jason Etten; Jim Stark lead on the
survey; and citizen committees who reviewed many drafts of the survey before it
was finalized; and thanked the community for their willingness to provide
input. Mr. Brokke opined that, in the end, it was a good survey providing
needed information; and thanked Parks and Recreation staff as well for their
work, specifically Jill Anfang as staff lead for the survey.
Mayor Roe echoed those thanks on
behalf of the City Council.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 7:11 pm to
reposition the Council Chambers for the Parks and Recreation Commission and
City Council at the presentation table; and reconvened at approximately 7:20
Joint Meeting with Parks and Recreation Commission
Mayor Roe welcomed Commissioners,
and recognized Chair Etten to proceed. Staff present included Jeff Evenson,
Jill Anfang, and Lonnie Brokke. Chair Etten asked each Commissioner to introduce
themselves, noting that some are also on the Organizing and/or Citizen Advisory
Team (CAT). Those present were: Greg Simbeck, Erin Azer, Mary Holt, David
Holt, Gale Pederson, Lee Diedrick, Harold Ristow, and Bill Farmer (CAT, not a
Chair Etten provided brief opening
remarks for this joint meeting immediately following the survey presentation;
noting that the Parks and Recreation system operated through many volunteers.
Chair Etten noted that the system provided many amenities in the community,
including but not limited to, improving property values (based on the results
of a recent McKnight Foundation survey) that benefitted all of Roseville.
Chair Etten requested that tonight’s discussion focus be based on the survey
information and how to make Master Plan items into realities, whether short or
long-term and potential funding mechanisms to accomplish that; and asked that
Councilmembers first provide their initial comments to the Commission.
Councilmember Willmus thanked the
Commission for their work to-date on the Master Plan process and survey over
the last few years; and in order to provide guidance to the Commission, based
on recent “decision packages,” what was the Commission most comfortable with.
When looking at survey results, Councilmember Willmus opined that he was
amenable to bonding or a referendum, with subsequent discussions needed among
the Commission and eventually the City Council. Historically, Councilmember
Willmus opined that Roseville’s parks and schools are why people chose to live
in this community; and further opined that he held the City’s parks system in
the same light as a core services as police and fire; and from a community
facilities perspective, he didn’t want to see any further deterioration of
Councilmember Johnson echoed the
comments of Councilmember Willmus related to bonding or a referendum. As an
elected official, Councilmember Johnson opined that it was his responsibility
to uphold and maintain what had been provided for the community in the past,
whether its parks or infrastructure; and advised that he had no problem bonding
for them. When talking about new facilities (e.g. a community center), Councilmember
Johnson advised that he could not support bonding for those. However, he may
support a referendum for new facilities.
Councilmember McGehee advised that
she had first read the “comment” section of the survey, and opined that it had
provided her with more information about the general community wishes than any
other information received to-date.
To that end, Councilmember McGehee
reiterated that she was very uncomfortable deciding long-range projects that
were expensive and piecemeal. Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of
maintaining parks and trails, and opined that she had no problem bonding for
them; and accordingly, if the Parks and Recreation Commission came forward with
something new, she was not as comfortable supporting that as maintaining
current facilities and amenities. Given recent information on the City’s
Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and the deficit or reduced status of reserves
and parks in general capital funding, Councilmember McGehee noted that some
hard choices would need to be made and significant increases indicated going
forward, such as raising base rates for water and sewer utilities.
Councilmember McGehee reiterated her preferences to improve the City’s tax base
through development and redevelopment to accommodate future needs and support
those things of value that enhanced Roseville. Councilmember McGehee noted the
need to consider the reduction in property values at the same time as these
other issues are coming forward.
While having no comments to offer
at this time, Councilmember Pust recognized staff and the Commission for the
amazing amount of work done through the Master Plan process and the survey; and
thanked them for a great job. Councilmember Pust opined that the survey
results were what they were, and she expressed her confidence that the
Commission would take the results seriously as they came forward with future
recommendations, and assured that she would then react to those comments and
Mayor Roe, from his personal
perspective, spoke in support of preserve existing facilities; and for those
new initiatives or needs, he suggested serious prioritization and
implementation time schedules based on information from the various implementation
groups currently underway, similar to the exercise recently completed by the
CIP subcommittee for the rest of the city and how those implementation
schedules and needs work out over time, and how and when resources should be
applied. Mayor Roe advised that the biggest priority would be short-term in
identifying maintenance of existing facilities and infrastructure; however, he
supported having that larger vision for the future, and in a broader sense, how
they related to each other for prioritization and timing; and to incorporate
that into the larger CIP picture to determine what funding makes the most sense
for a particular time, for current and future City Councils and Parks and
Recreation Commissions to provide guidance to them.
As for bonding, Councilmember
Johnson opined that it was important when requesting a bond for maintenance or
upkeep of park infrastructure, that the amount requested is realistic and can
ensure proven results in a given time frame, such as 2-3 years depending on the
type of bond under consideration. Councilmember Johnson asked that the
Commission keep that in mind as they attempt to achieve their financial goals.
Mayor Roe questioned how
individual Councilmember comments match Commissioner processes with various
Chair Etten noted that the
community and Commissioners were expectantly awaiting survey results, which had
served to validate the Master Plan process. Recognizing the current economic
times, Chair Etten advised that the Commission was cognizant that some things
in the Master Plan could not be accomplished now; however, he indicated that
many things could be done. Chair Etten provided five (5) reasons for short-term
needs to be addressed:
Deteriorating items/facilities in existing parks to make them safe and upgraded;
With the last 2-1/2 years involving substantial community engagement,
now is the time to address those needs while at the forefront of awareness of
Opportunities are available in SW Roseville for federal dollars for
trails, through coordination with the Public Works Department, but the money
needed to be available to get in the grant cycle;
Bonding money is relatively cheap right now; and
This City Council is deeply versed in the Master Plan, having been
intimately involved in its creation, updates, and understanding it, and future
City Councils may not have that much information.
Chair Etten opined that
Councilmembers seemed ready to look at various packages, and the Commission was
interested in facilitating this program now.
Councilmember McGehee advised
that, as a resident in SW Roseville with no real park, but a great trail, she
was most concerned with still being unable to cross Snelling Avenue, even
though the Public Works Department had been lobbied for years. Councilmember
McGehee spoke in support of a bridge crossing Snelling Avenue that would be
handicapped accessible, that would also allow access for those residents to
other community parks and facilities safely.
Chair Etten recognized those
concerns, and that a large part of the Master Plan included connections for
parks, including a possible bridge over Snelling Avenue, and how to get people
connected safely, whether recreationally or for commuting purposes.
Commissioner Pederson advised that
she also serves as a Ramsey County Parks Commissioner, and one of the duties of
the Ramsey County Active Communities initiative is looking at pedestrian/bicycle-friendly
trails throughout the County; and one of those big projects is proposed for
Snelling Avenue. Commissioner Pederson advised that she would provide
Councilmember McGehee with contact information with Ramsey County for additional
Chair Etten noted that this was
one of the tasks of the Commission to determine what other organizations are
already working on connections and how the City can partner with them.
Councilmember Willmus expressed
his surprise that skating center and HANC usage was as high as indicated; and
questioned if other things had come as a surprise or area of interest for Commissioners.
Commissioner Azer noted that,
while Roseville is a destination community, its parks were also destinations;
and noted that more parks would be utilized, or if existing parks were
increased (e.g. Lexington Park), it would only serve to further enhance
Roseville as a destination community. Commissioner Azer opined that she had
never been in a community where there was so much pride in its parks as there
was in Roseville; and opined that while currently a secret, that information
needed to get out.
Commissioner Simbeck, as a newer
member of the community, advised that one of the reasons his family had moved
to Roseville was due to its park system and amenities. Living across from
Reservoir Woods, Commissioner Simbeck recognized how great of a facility it
was; and how he and his wife kept commenting on how great it was to live in
Roseville, opining that people obviously recognize that as well and use
facilities, as indicated by survey results. Commissioner Simbeck expressed his
appreciation for tonight’s dialogue, given the important decisions before the
Commission and City, opining that things were moving in the right direction and
expressed his happiness at being a part of the process.
Commissioner David Holt opined
that the survey results indicating how many people were utilizing the parks
served to validate the system as well used and valued by the community; and
emphasized the theme begun last fall that the City Council and community
recognize the Parks and Recreation system as an essential service, and be
included in discussions when spending decisions were made and priorities
determined for infrastructure. Commissioner Holt opined that the value of the
parks and recreation system was why many chose to live in Roseville, in
addition to area schools, and while maintenance was a part of that, many wanted
more and people were willing to put funds toward those things they valued
most. Commissioner Holt further opined that the options and choices of what
the City Council purchased, and the community’s willingness to make that investment
in what they term as essential service appeared obvious.
As the longest-seated commissioner
off and on over the last twenty (20) years, Commissioner Pederson advised that
she had a lot of background in the parks and recreation system, and that she
also fit in the over-55 age demographic. While having raised their children in
Roseville, she noted that she and her husband still loved the park system, and
it was one reason they remained in Roseville. Commissioner Pederson opined
that parks and recreation is essential as it kept Roseville healthy, noting the
over-55 age demographic in the community evidenced not only people staying in
the community perhaps because their homes were being paid for and health care
was close by, but also those older residents were able to remain healthy longer
due to their ability to walk more, stay active, and get together socially due
to the park and recreation amenities, and the City’s parks and trails. For
those having used the amenities all of their lives in Roseville, Commissioner
Pederson opined that they were as essential as fire, police and roads, and also
served the family as a whole. Commissioner Pederson asked that this Master
Plan not be shelved, but be effectively used to first maintain and upgrade
existing facilities and infrastructure to keep people using it and to keep
bringing families into the community. As a long-term volunteer, Commissioner
Pederson opined that this community had something other communities didn’t, and
had a current City Council who understood that. With things having been pushed
aside for some many years, Commissioner Pederson asked that trails and park
systems be kept up to help take care of the community.
Commissioner Ristow thanked
Councilmembers for tonight’s joint meeting, noting that this group of
Commissioners was very aggressive and would pursue the initiatives identified
in the Master Plan process and survey. Commissioner Ristow specifically addressed
a local sales tax, having been a supporter for many years; and expressed his
frustration that the City Council didn’t take advantage of the interest
expressed by the City’s legislative delegation on the City’s pursuit of such an
initiative to tap resources from shoppers, whether Roseville residents or not;
and asked that current Councilmembers make a stand on whether or not to support
such an initiative once and for all, and if they were supportive, to get it
Councilmember Johnson, in response
to Commissioner Ristow, advised that he seriously considered a local sales tax
option until he saw the survey results, opining that such an initiative would
be a tough sell in the community. Councilmember Johnson expressed his regret
in not being more aggressive with it in the past, even though it could have
been a 3/2 City Council vote; however, if the measure would have failed it
would have closed that door for any future consideration.
Commissioner David Holt,
considering himself well-informed, advised that he was unaware of what a sales
tax meant in reality, and that similar misperceptions are still out there and
needed to be addressed for the public to eliminate unknowns and correct those
Councilmember Johnson concurred in
the need for additional education on a local sales tax option, with that education
also paying off immediately if and when a bond referendum was brought into
reality; however, he noted that the question was asked in the survey with no
application and not in any specific context.
Councilmember Willmus echoed
Councilmember Johnson’s remarks; and suggested that the group continue to look
at it as one possibility, recognizing that it may be a long-shot, but worth
consideration from both a referendum and legislative point of view.
Mayor Roe noted that the City of
Medford, with a population of approximately 700, recently received legislative
approval of a local sales tax based on the local outlet mall, and that it could
possibly happen, even in a highly-competitive environment.
Commissioner Ristow opined that
shoppers had money, and that a local sales tax option would not take money from
elderly residents or young families who may not have the money.
Councilmember McGehee advised that
she had lived in a community where a local sales tax option was used, and it
proved very successful. However, hearing what could happen across Ramsey
County from impacts of a potential Vikings stadium, she opined that the
opportunity may have been missed. Councilmember McGehee further opined that,
if the stadium should be located up north, it may present some new and unique
development opportunities in Roseville that could prove beneficial.
Chair Etten focused the discussion
back to the Master Plan.
Councilmember Johnson opined that,
when pathways and bicycle paths were taken out of the equation, residents
wanted what Public Works had to give them; and questioned if the Commission
would be coming forward with a Pathway Master Plan.
Chair Etten indicated that the
Commission may be seeking some dollars to implement the existing Plan more
Based on survey results,
Councilmember Johnson questioned if implementation of the Pathway plan more
quickly would be part of the Commission’s implementation plan, with Chair Etten
From a maintenance standpoint,
Chair Etten advised that was currently under discussion; and recognized the
City Council’s apparent interest in the Commission presenting a package for immediate
consideration, and advised that pathways were a part of the projected packages,
but the request would be for funds to address maintenance for old and new
Councilmember Johnson questioned
the competitive situation between Parks and Public Works needs; with Chair
Etten assuring the Council that it was a partnership, not an “us” and “them” situation;
with the Master Plan identifying many things, and consideration needed for
implementation of the various components for the community as a whole, not just
park and recreation amenities.
CAT Member Bill Farmer suggested
that there may be some confusion between the three (3) year and twenty-five
(25) year plans; noting that the first and most immediate issue was the
maintenance component and how to address it; with the second issue being the
community center for separate consideration since, while having a lot of
community interest, represented a large package and needed to be considered as
a single entity moving forward through an independent funding mechanism also on
its own. Mr. Farmer noted that the third step in moving the implementation
plan forward was to establish a timeframe for moving forward using traditional
Commissioner Azer questioned if,
while recognized that the initial bond was for maintenance and repair of
existing infrastructure, if it was indicated that a facility (e.g. parks warming
house) needed to be replaced for safety issues, would that be considered CIP or
Councilmember Johnson opined that
was an infrastructure item, replacing an existing facility with a new facility
to address safety concerns.
Councilmember Pust opined that,
for the record, in her initial review of the survey results, she was not
finding strong support for a community center.
Chair Etten clarified that the
survey indicated that 80% said they would use a community center, and were
interested in various opportunities and components available at a community;
however, he noted that the concern was in the financial aspects of such a
facility, and support was not there now, but in the long-term may be at a
different time and based on the funding mechanism chosen.
Councilmember Willmus noted that
community support for a community center has been very consistent for a long
time, but there was a lack of interest in funding it; however, Councilmember
Willmus spoke in support of the Commission continuing to explore such a
Mayor Roe, in attempting to
respond to Councilmember Pust, noted the listed uses or components and levels
of interest in those (survey questions 12 and 13) paralleling outdoor type activities
and the 80% interest in using one or more of those components in a community
Councilmember Pust opined that the
way the question was asked, it didn’t provide a fair read; with the question
wasn’t whether or not you wanted to build a community center and what do you
want in it, but having asked the question from the point of what components of
indoor programming would you use the most
Further discussion included
constellation system of parks and connectivity to trails and pathways.
Mr. Farmer opined that this was
not an independent document, and that the word was “interest” not ‘support,”
and over the Master Plan process, it was consistently heard that a community
center is an attraction that draws people, and during the process, caution had
been used to ensure that, while not knowing that “community center” means, when
the community hears it, they have a strong level of interest.
Councilmember McGehee, as a thirty
(30) year resident of Roseville, and as a former long-term member of the
Maplewood Community Center, suggested that consideration be given to amenities
in a community center other than physical activities such as that of Shoreview,
or something like the heavily-programmed Fairview Community Center.
Councilmember McGehee opined that a community center, if the purpose was to
attract young families to the community and encourage community building,
didn’t need to replicate surrounding community centers; and suggested that
partnering with other communities for outside funding (e.g. Lauderdale, Village
of St. Anthony Park, Falcon Heights) for shared resources that didn’t duplicate
those other centers, but provided something different to serve and partner
Mayor Roe suggested that
consideration be given to potential partnerships with the private sector or
other public entities as well.
Councilmember Willmus suggested
that if it was the intent of the Commission to come to the City Council with a
package, they separate the community center component out.
Commissioner Ristow opined that a
local sales tax option would be “pay as you go” allowing the City to maintain
and repair items, not to acquire land, and could serve to build a fund that
would eventually fund a community center, possibly that would be incorporated
with a school or existing facility (e.g. OVAL), while not costing the residents
anything. Commissioner Ristow spoke in support of partnership opportunities as
Commissioner McGehee spoke in
support of pursuing partnership as well as potential endowments for seed money
from long-term Roseville residents; but opined that a community center should
be kept as a separate item.
Chair Etten confirmed that a
community center not be included in a package coming forward, but in the
long-term a local sales tax option may be an excellent way to fund a regional
community center, drawing from neighboring communities; but that no significant
support was being considered by the City Council at this time based on survey
results and City Council comments expressed tonight.
Commissioner David Holt opined that
validation of the Master Plan had occurred through the survey; and noted that
the purpose of the Master Plan was for its intended completion in entirety over
a twenty (20) year cycle; and while the community center came up as a high
priority item over and over again during the Master Plan process, there was no
indication of how to pay for it or how it was going to look. Commissioner Holt
opined that the charge to the Commission was for a development of a future
community center, but no firm determination on how it was going to happen.
Commissioner Ristow noted how the
City’s Public Works Department partnered with other communities for equipment
sharing and other options; and opined that a future community center may be
another opportunity for such a partnership. Commissioner Ristow asked that the
sacrifices made over the past many years by the Parks and Recreation Department
be recognized by the City Council and that those funds now be made up and entrust
the Commission to make use of them in the best possible way to benefit the
Councilmember Pust, looking to the
Commission as community leaders, asked that when coming forward with their
proposals, they include as much detail as possible based on their work to-date
and informed decision-making done by the Commission and community.
Councilmember Pust noted the importance for that detailed information and
recommendation, based on ongoing CIP discussions of the City’s long-term and
previously-deferred needs; potential increases in utility fees, potential fire
station referendum and school district referendums, as well as impacts to
municipalities from state actions or inactions. Councilmember Pust noted that
the City Council would be looking at that overall picture as they made their
decisions; and noted that the more the Commission could lay out in detail the
proposals over that twenty (20) year period and based on their expertise and
intelligence, the more seriously the City Council consider it balanced with
Mayor Roe noted one aspect of the
survey results based on demographics, is that those community demographics
would also change over the next twenty (20) years, and the philosophical
question of who the community was most trying to attract. Also, addressing the
CIP, Mayor Roe assured the Commission that all along, the CIP Subcommittee had
looked at the park and recreation needs as part of the whole picture, as they
considered the community-wide picture; and had been intentional in awaiting
survey results before giving serious consideration to finalizing that CIP
study, with recommendations to-date based on best information available, and
picking low-hanging fruit.
Councilmember Pust concurred,
noting that it was understood all along that this process was going on at the
same time as the CIP study.
Councilmember Johnson opined that,
as the budget process was pursued for 2012, as well as the biennial budget, it
was critical for the City Council to get as much communication and detail as
Chair Etten advised that the parks
and recreation issue was on the City Council’s agenda for their next four (4)
meetings. Based on both the biennial budget process and CIP situation, Chair
Etten stated for the benefit of the community, that the Commission was very
concerned with the proposed 2% and 3.4% reduction in operating funds currently
under discussion and potential impacts to the Parks and Recreation Department
since it had already taken large hits repeatedly in the past. Chair Etten
noted that it was programming and services that brought people to the parks and
facilities, from small children to older children, and then as adults; and
reiterated the Commission’s concern for long-term impacts to the Parks and
In conclusion, Chair Etten thanked
the City Council for their interest, their discussion, and their direction; and
advised that the Commission was beginning to put together a package.
Chair Etten reminded the community
of the upcoming Rosefest events and encouraged the community to get involved,
including through volunteering to help make the event special for Roseville.
Chair Etten encouraged individual
Councilmembers or members of the public to get in touch with Commissioners
through staff to keep dialogue open; and advised that they would return to the
City Council at their July 11, 2011 meeting to present their initial package
for City Council consideration and public awareness.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:21 pm and
reconvened in formal session with the City Council at the dais at approximately
Grass Lake Watershed Management Organization (GLWMO) Board
Board member Jonathan Miller and
Chair Karen Eckman, as well as Administrative/Technical Advisor and Consultant
Tom Petersen were present to provide an overview and 2012 Budget request to the
City Council; as detailed in the RCA dated June 20, 2011.
Mr. Miller, through a Power Point
presentation, provided an overview of the organization, its purpose, current
funding through member cities in the water management organization (WMO) of
Shoreview and Roseville, makeup of the board, and funding variables currently
being considered under the mandates of the Minnesota Board of Soil and Water
Resources (BSWR) and updating of the Water Management Plan (Third Generation
Mr. Miller reviewed some of the
projects the WMO addressed as part of that mandate to address area water
quality in conjunction with other agencies and watershed districts; award to
the GLWMO of an MPCA Legacy funding grant of $109,000 to perform Total Maximum
Daily Load (TMDL) studies and water monitoring, data collection, and providing
best practices approaches to improve that water quality and eliminate or reduce
pollutant loading to area water bodies.
Mr. Miller presented two (2)
alternative budget proposals for consideration: one that would provide minimal
expenditures, to meet mandates; and the second to meet mandates, as well as
implementing projects to protect water quality, and ultimately property values,
over the next ten (10) years of the Third Generation Plan. Mr. Miller advised
that the proposed 2012 GLWMO budget had been chosen at $109,700, with funding
from the cities at $80,000 ($40,000 each), and the remainder funded from fund
balances, estimated at $57,000 by the end of 2011. Mr. Miller advised that
there would not be sufficient revenue resources in 2012 to meet current
Mr. Miller advised that the GLWMO
was recommending a funding proposal to implement a specific storm water utility
fee, as allowed under state statute, for those properties located within the
GLWMO to address current (2012) and future budget needs of the WMO. Mr. Miller
noted that the only other alternative would be to dissolve the GLWMO and have
the state (BSWR) merge it with another WMO (Ramsey/Washington Metro Watershed
District), which would result in a utility or tax assessment to property owners
in the GLWMO anyway, as well as causing Roseville to lose their control over
projects in the WMO.
In summary, Mr. Miller advised
that the GLWMO Fund balances continue to decline, and in the long-term are
unsustainable; and in order to meet state mandates, and to protect property
values, the environment, and quality of life, a resolution was needed.
At the request of some
Councilmembers, Mr. Petersen clarified state law related to WMO’s and if in
default, Ramsey County’s petition to have that WMO become an independent
district or merge; and current BSWR policy was to not create any new WSD’s in
the metropolitan area, but to merge them.
Discussion included options and
impacts, including significant loss of control for member cities if the WMO was
to merge with another and impacts for testing, monitoring, and data collection;
and advantages and disadvantages of various funding options.
Councilmember Pust questioned projected costs for staying as a separate government
entity and restricting their taxing authority to only those households served
by the GLWMO versus current funding through all properties through member
cities’ storm water funds.
Mr. Miller advised that
projections for an average single-family home in Roseville indicated a $25 per
parcel, annual storm water utility fee; and if merged with Ramsey/Washington,
costs for homeowners would be approximately $20.00 per $100,000 in home value.
Mayor Roe noted that this annual
$25 fee for those properties within the GLWMO would be in addition to the
amount still paid by residences and businesses in Roseville city-wide for storm
water management, with some net realized since cities would not be contributing
Councilmember McGehee opined that
for an average value single-family home in Roseville ($200,000), that would be
$40 per year with merging, versus $25 per year; further opining that there
should be considerably lower operating costs than through a merger.
At the request of Councilmember
McGehee, Mr. Miller advised that funding at $25/year for the GLWMO would enable
them to have sufficient funding to meet the initiatives detailed in the Third
Generation Plan (Plan B option).
Mayor Roe sought staff input on
the process to proceed, whether a City Council or WMO action.
Public Works Director Duane Schwartz advised that he and the City Attorney had
researched state statute on storm water utility fees, and it appeared that
under current law and equity laws, the City could create a separate fee without
anything other than City Council approval, showing a separate rate for
GLWMO-area properties and identifying that portion for the annual fee on
property tax statements.
Mayor Roe noted that the existing
Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) would also need modification.
Mr. Schwartz responded
affirmatively, noting that the JPA required other modifications as well based
on the Third Generation Plan.
Further discussion included
defining the actual boundary of the GLWMO as a government entity; and how other
water bodies are protected that are outside that jurisdiction, but included in
either the Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) or the Capitol Region Watershed
District (CRWD), with properties in those jurisdictions being under their
taxing authority at similar rates of $20 per $100,000 in value.
On an anecdotal note, Mr. Petersen
noted that, as a St. Paul resident in the CRWD, ten (10) years ago, his fee was
$17.00, and now it was $54.00.
Councilmember Pust opined that the
City Council needed to look at these numbers more thoroughly; further opining
that it appeared similar to the state formerly having multiple school districts
that were eventually merged when they became unaffordable. Councilmember Pust
advised that she needed to personally understand the pros and cons for reducing
this WMO and merging it with another WMO; expressing surprise that smaller
organizations could govern less expensively than a larger organization.
Mr. Miller advised that as a board,
the GLWMO was currently reviewing governance and finance options; recognizing
that there could be cost savings from mergers, but too early in the process to
make that judgment.
Councilmember Pust thanked the
GLWMO Board for their commitment to continue that review.
Mayor Roe questioned if the City
of Roseville participated in either of the Board of Directors for the CRWD or
Mr. Petersen advised that both the
CRWD and RCWD Boards were appointed by the Ramsey County Board of
Commissioners, with representation scattered throughout the geographical area
of those districts.
Councilmember Willmus echoed the
comments of Councilmember Pust, expressing his curiosity in the findings of the
GLWMO Board’s task force.
Councilmember McGehee questioned
the rationale for the GLWMO not seeking to link or be merged with CRWD.
Mr. Miller advised that the option
of who to merge with would not be under the control of the GLWMO if they
dissolved, but was at the discretion of BSWR.
Mr. Petersen advised that the BSWR
rationale in merging the GLWMO with Ramsey/Washington Metro Area Watershed
District was based on how the water flowed from one outlet to another, and the
state’s overall management of that hydrological system.
Councilmember McGehee, who
attended the open houses for the GLWMO’s Third Generation Plan, complimented
the GLWMO Board on their educational materials and approach to presenting that
information to the public; as well as the number of the public attending and
showing interest. While awaiting their final proposal, Councilmember McGehee
expressed her interest in keeping the GLWMO sustainable to serve as a more
In her further review of the JPA,
Councilmember Pust noted that it indicates that GLWMO Commissioners could be
compensated, and asked if they were.
Mr. Miller advised that there was
no compensation, that all were volunteer Commissioners.
Mayor Roe thanked the GLWMO Board
for their presentation and expressed interest in the results of the task force.
Business Items (Action Items)
Consider Contract to Prepare Environmental Documentation for the
Twin Lakes AUAR Subarea I Infrastructure Improvements
City Engineer Debra Bloom provided
a brief presentation on the request to hire a consultant to prepare
environmental documentation for the Twin Lakes AUAR Subarea I Infrastructure Improvements;
and provided a background for this request as detailed in the RCA dated June
20, 2011. Ms. Bloom advised that the specific request was for acquisition of a
63,000 square foot right-of-way, with the estimated cost for that acquisition
approximately $1 million, which had been funded through TIF balances and other
grant sources, already acquired. In order to proceed, Ms. Bloom advised that
necessary environmental documentation was required, thus the request as
presented. Based on the receipt of three (3) proposals received, and under
best value applications, staff recommended the consultant firm of SRF Consulting
Group, Inc. in the amount of $18,566.
City Manager Malinen commented that
the acquisition of this right-of-way as highlighted by City Engineer Bloom
would complete all of the right-of-way for the Twin Lakes Parkway, a significant
Councilmember McGehee opined that
the acquisition of this right-of-way did not represent a significant
accomplishment, since the infrastructure had originally been planned out in
1985, and now thirty (30) years later, there were no plans to open up that
roadway. Councilmember McGehee further opined that the community was continuing
to await improvements in the economy and what could be developed in the
community to increase the City’s tax base, and that in her consultation with
some of the landowners in the Twin Lakes area, this roadway would not be a big
benefit to them or Roseville. Once built, Councilmember McGehee opined, the
roadway would need to be supported by residents in paying for maintenance,
landscaping, snowplowing, and other expenses; basically for a roadway not going
anywhere except to Fairview Avenue to the north, forcing more expenditures onto
those residents living on Fairview Avenue to the north. Councilmember McGehee
opined that a better option would be that it open onto Snelling Avenue and that
Fairview Avenue north of Terrace Drive be closed. Councilmember McGehee
further opined that the City was providing a massive amount of infrastructure
that residents of Roseville would need to pay to maintain, with many of those
residents facing significant expenditures, to do something that may jeopardize
development in this area. With further consideration for the possibility of a
Vikings stadium north of Roseville that may make a significant difference in
how and if this area develops, and having a huge impact on what happens with
this roadway, Councilmember McGehee opined that she didn’t think the City
should go after federal funds for more staff expenditures that would ultimately
have the effect of impeding development in this area; and further burden
residents required to maintain roadways not designed for their use.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded,
authorizing the City Manager to contract with SFR Consulting Group, Inc. to
prepare environmental documentation for the Twin Lakes AUAR Subarea I Infrastructure
Councilmember Pust spoke in
support of the motion; opining that it was a great idea, and since grant funds
had already been applied for, and this was one of the only areas available for
development in Roseville, it seemed prudent to complete the investment already
made to-date by Roseville citizens.
Mayor Roe opined that the question
as to the need for the roadway had already been demonstrated by traffic studies
completed over the last decade, not thirty (30) years ago; and whether or not
the roadway would impede development, was up to the developers, even though the
roadway had been mapped for years.
Councilmember McGehee opined that
this was an example of the piecemeal work that comes to the City Council one
more time to put something in for which there was no real plan; and expressed
her disappointment in spending money on it.
Ayes: Johnson; Willmus;
Pust; and Roe.
Consider City Abatement for Unresolved Violations of City Code at
2941 Rice Street
Permit Coordinator Don Munson
reviewed the violation at this single-family detached home located at 2941 Rice
Street, currently in foreclosure with the owners, James and Sheril Dunaway, stating
they are to vacate the home by July 11, 2011.
Mr. Munson provided an update on
this public complaint of a dilapidated garage and shed in significant disrepair
and in danger of partial collapse. Mr. Munson noted that notice had been sent
to the property owner of record, as well as the bank holding the mortgage,
identifying the specific City Code violations, the act of condemnation, and
requesting that the detached garage and shed be repaired or removed within
twenty (20) days from that initial notice in May; and subsequent follow-up
inspections. Mr. Munson estimated that the abatement, involving demolition of
the garage and shed, and disposal of all structure debris and structure
contents would cost approximately $10,000.
Mr. Munson provided a photo update
of the property; and applicable City Code sections related to the process for
this proposed abatement; and advised that the homeowners had advised that they
would not be attending tonight’s meeting.
Discussion included the condition
of the home, deemed to be deteriorating not to this extent and probably only
needing cosmetic repairs that may be addressed by staff following this abatement
process; appreciation to staff for bringing this forward to abate a seriously
unsafe situation; and reiteration of the abatement costs initially funded
through the City but then if not paid applied to property taxes.
Willmus moved, Johnson seconded,
adoption of Resolution No.10909 (Attachment B) entitled, “Declaring the Garage
and Shed Located at 2941 Rice Street Unsafe Structures and Requiring their
Repair or Demolition;” thereby directing Community Development staff to abate
the unsafe structure violations at 2941 Rice Street by hiring a general
contractor to demolish both the dilapidated garage and shed; and to dispose of
the structure debris and content at a cost estimated to be $10,000.00; with
the owner first given an additional ten (10) days to remove or repair the
structures or remove any contents; and the actual abatement and
administrative costs to be billed to the property owner; and if not paid, staff
directed to recover costs as specified in City Code, Section 906.03J.
Consider Accepting a Livable Housing Incentives Account Grant for
Sienna Green II and Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with AEON
Community Development Director
Patrick Trudgeon suggested that action steps in Item d be taken first; then
followed by this requested action based on the action of those approvals if received.
Consider a Resolution to Approve a Development Agreement with
Sienna Green II Limited Partnership Dedicating Tax Increment from TIF District
Community Development Director
Patrick Trudgeon briefly summarized the requested action, as detailed in the
RCA dated June 20, 2011; and noted that Ms. Michaela Huot, with Springsted, the
City’s TIF consultant, was present, as well as AEON representatives for any
Johnson moved, Pust seconded,
adoption of Resolution No. 10910 (Attachment B) entitled, “Resolution
Authorizing Execution of a Development Agreement (Attachment A);” thereby approving
the development agreement between the City of Roseville and Sienna Green II
Limited Partnership dedicating tax increment from TIF District No. 18.
Councilmember McGehee spoke in
opposition, opining that she didn’t believe that Phase II should be built on
this site, as there was not enough green space on the site; and further opined
that there was not a need for more affordable housing in Roseville at this
time, and if built, there were more appropriate sites for it that would provide
additional green space. Councilmember McGehee further opined that she was
opposed to the use of TIF in this situation when there was an existing good
environment available for funding apartments and rental units; and TIF was not
necessary, and only served to take $938,000 from Roseville citizens and the
School District when it could be applied elsewhere for a more appropriate
Ayes: Johnson; Pust;
Willmus; and Roe.
Mr. Trudgeon briefly summarized
the requested action, as detailed in the RCA dated June 20, 2011; noting that
this was simply a pass-through grant processed by the City to AEON as costs
were incurred and invoices submitted to the City and directed to the
Metropolitan Council, the City reimbursed and then reimbursing AEON, and
specifically for funding of Phase II of the Sienna Green project.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval of
the grant contract (Attachment A) between the City of Roseville and
the Metropolitan Council for grant funds in the
amount of $300,000 from the
Livable Housing Incentives Account (LHIA); and approval of a Memorandum of
Understanding (Attachment B) between the City of Roseville, MN and Snelling
Avenue, LLC (AEON) that identifies the responsibilities and expectations of the
City and AEON pertaining to the sue of the LHIA grant.
Councilmember McGehee spoke in
support of this pass-through.
Mayor Roe opined that, in
accordance with the City’s TIF Policy, use of TIF for affordable housing was
appropriate; and personally questioned if this project taken place without TIF
funding the financing gap. Mayor Roe further opined that he wasn’t convinced
that this was taking any money from the School District or Ramsey County, and
since neither had informed the City of any objections when noticed of this
proposal, noted that if nothing was developed, there would have been no
additional tax monies available anyway.
Councilmember Pust opined that
affordable housing served as a direct benefit to the School District.
Councilmember McGehee reiterated
her position on the need or lack thereof for more affordable housing; and
provided her research with the Ramsey County tax department earlier today; and
opined that when affordable housing was provided it should be quality housing
for families with children, and not stuck on a frontage road with no green
space with the view of a major roadway; further opining that this was not what
she had in mind for affordable housing. Councilmember McGehee opined that the
location of this project was a terrible detriment, and in this housing market,
the City Council should have directed Mr. Trudgeon to recruit another developer
and/or another location.
Business Items – Presentations/Discussions
Part II of the CIP Recommendation Report
Councilmember Jeff Johnson
provided a brief overview of the second part of the Capital Funding Plan and Preliminary
Subcommittee Report dated June 20, 2011, as distributed as a bench handout, and
attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Councilmember Johnson, as
spokesman for the Subcommittee, highlighted the recommendations detailed in the
Report, as well as reviewing the recommendations in Part I of the Report presented
and discussed at the June 13, 2011 City Council meeting. After reviewing the
recommendations, Councilmember Johnson advised that it was the recommendation
of the Subcommittee to refer the proposed rate changes to the Public Works,
Environment, and Transportation Commission for their review and comment.
A Memorandum dated June 20, 2011
from the CIP Subcommittee Report entitled, “Capital Funding Plan and
Subcommittee Report – Appendices;” encapsulated the Subcommittee Report, and
was provided as bench handouts, and attached hereto and made a part
Councilmember McGehee questioned
if Public Works Director Schwartz had been consulted; and whether he had
verified the accuracy of the proposed rates and if those were applicable as
referenced for water, sewer and storm water.
Mayor Roe advised that Mr.
Schwartz was not on the Task Force, but that he and all department managers had
participated in cost projections and recommendations.
City Manager Malinen commented, as
the Mayor indicated, that staff prepared the numbers, relative to utilities,
and that Mr. Schwartz was responsible for providing the information depicted in
the graphs, with the City’s Public Works and Engineering staff developing those
numbers for the Task Force.
Councilmember McGehee questioned
the graphs and what the orange bars represented if not vehicles.
Mayor Roe advised that the second
graph referenced by Councilmember McGehee considered all capital needs,
including parks, the fire station, rolling stock, and utilities; but that
to-date the Task Force recommendations had only reviewed the rolling stock and
utility portions of the CIP needs, since additional information on the parks
and fire station remained pending at the time of their initial study. Mayor
Roe noted that the recommendations to-date still do not solve the total gap,
pending further discussion of those remaining factors; but would resolve the
utility and rolling stock CIP funding. Mayor Roe suggested that, over the
twenty (20) year span of the CIP, there would be obvious modifications
Discussion ensued regarding street
replacement and lighting remaining for future consideration; further refinement
for parks costs based on the timing of Master Plan implementation recommendations;
and potential impacts for property owners as all the pieces of the overall
picture were considered.
Councilmember Pust thanked the
Subcommittee for their work and for the clarity of the issues and their
recommendations through their reports. Estimating the potential impact for property
owners and residents on their utility base fees, the proposed 3.4% tax levy
increase for other needs, and potential bond referendum for a new fire hall
and/or parks CIP package; as well as the GLWMO presentation, and state, county
and school district components, she estimated base rates increasing from $621
to $638 for an average Roseville single-family home.
Further discussion included a
timeframe for consideration by the PWET Commission and final recommendation of
the Subcommittee to the City Council; with anticipated adoption later in the
budget process based on the current calendar.
In further review of these
recommendations and impacts, Councilmember Willmus questioned where the Subcommittee
may have considered a greater percentage in shifting operations to offset these
Mayor Roe, referencing the utility
side, advised that the Subcommittee had discussed a shift on operating costs
similar to vehicles; with the reality for utilities being that the primary operating
budget is paying the City of St. Paul for water and the Metropolitan Council
for sanitary sewer discharge; leaving little to work with; and other operating
costs used to otherwise maintain the system. Mayor Roe advised that the
Subcommittee was open to City Council discussion.
Councilmember Johnson advised that
everything presented are meant to be possibilities or one option; but that it
brought things out to make everyone aware that the situation is real and there
are issues that have been long-neglected that need resolution and this is that
reality. Councilmember Johnson noted that, while everything couldn’t be cured
overnight, as parks and the fire station became a more accurate part of the
picture, and the needs for streets over the next 2-3 years, the complete CIP
work would become more understandable.
Councilmember Willmus expressed
appreciation for those comments from Councilmember Johnson; and going forward
and as the City Manager-recommended budget was presented in July, opined that
it would be important to for the City Council to have a brief narrative from
staff on how those operational impacts would affect how they do business and
how shifts affected day-to-day operations. Councilmember Willmus expressed his
interest in the City Manager look at the Administration Department, since other
departments had gone through reorganizations, and see what could be
accomplished in the Administration Department, if there were any duplications
of positions; and possibly look to Ramsey County to run elections; and make
those recommendations part of the budget presentation.
City Manager Malinen advised that,
regarding elections, staff was already in discussion with Ramsey County about
such an alternative and may have that information available before the budget
Councilmember McGehee advised that
she had spoken with the City Attorney earlier today, as well as the League of
Minnesota Cities, related to a resident raising the issue of tax assessments
for significant infrastructure replacement, maintenance or updating; and the
inability to deduct those assessments on taxes. Councilmember McGehee advised
that some communities, in similar situations, choose to bond continually every
two years; and select neighborhoods to complete all infrastructure improvements
at once, with that debt service going on the tax roll and becoming part of the
Mayor Roe spoke to bonds being
used for utilities; and noted that as a Subcommittee they had spoken to community
representatives with expertise on bonding, and compared numbers to see if that
was a viable and/or prudent option; and noted that fund balances would be
diminished to pay interest on those bonds, not accomplishing anything in the
long run any more economically feasible than taxes.
Councilmember McGehee suggested
that City Manager Malinen be charged with researching shared resources with
Falcon Heights or the Lake Johanna Volunteer Fire Department as an alternative
to building a new fire station.
Councilmember Pust reiterated her
appreciation to the Subcommittee; however, to avoid any misunderstanding,
opined that the fact remained that there were going to be some tough decisions
to make; and while the Subcommittee report identified the problems very thoroughly,
it still only identified the hard choices ahead, not an ultimate resolution.
Related to the recommendations of
the Subcommittee, Mayor Roe noted that this was a “pay as you go” approach for
utilities and rolling stock, and would not serve to establish any savings
accounts, but fund years 1 through 20, while they would continue to diminish
and not grow. Mayor Roe noted that the City Council could discuss the use of
reserves for some of the items, but as experienced in the past, that practice was
not sustainable over the long-term and would only defer the difficult decisions
to be made.
Councilmember Pust sought
clarification from Finance Director Chris Miller on the median residential
properties and potential $588 increase versus the $621 potential increase and
where that discrepancy came from.
Finance Director Miller suggested
that it would depend on what year it was measured; and Mayor Roe, as the
author, suggested that it depend on whether the median was based on inclusion
of removal of the market value homestead credit (MVHC).
Councilmember Pust asked that
those numbers could be verified and made consistent prior to the Subcommittee’s
next or subsequent reports to ensure the City Council and residents were aware
of the actual impacts for taxes and/or fees.
Mayor Roe concurred that the
information needed consistency and should be standardized for future
In response to Councilmember
McGehee’s concerns, Finance Director Miller advised that the annual comparisons
provided on budget documents were 25% lower than the competition as a
community; and identified who that competition was by clarifying that the
Roseville tax RATE is 25-30% below peer average (including all sixty-two ((62))
cities in the metropolitan area serving populations over 10,000) with those
cities in that peer group having a tax RATE 28% higher than that of Roseville.
Councilmember Pust opined that a
better comparison would be Roseville over time, since those cities may change
and the median value or matching home value portfolios may change; but
Roseville property taxes over time and the changes would mean more to residents
than comparisons with other cities.
Councilmember McGehee concurred
with Councilmember Pust; and opined that the results are how the City has
engineered its current tax base into an aging suburb, with significant amounts
spent to develop assisted living and/or senior housing that drew from Roseville
as well as other communities, in addition to the significant amount of retail
per capita drawing from other communities, resulting in parking lots and low
City Manager Future Agenda Review
City Manager Malinen reviewed
upcoming agenda items.
Discussion included further
refinement of the City Manager goals for a future agenda following City Manager
Malinen’s consultation with Councilmember McGehee and subsequent City Council
discussion on appointment of a City Council subcommittee for future City
Manager evaluations; and potential cancellation of the August 15, 2011 City
Council meeting, since Councilmember Pust and Mayor Roe will both be
unavailable, and attempting to work agenda items around to facilitate a night
off for Councilmembers.
Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Councilmember Pust announced for
the benefit of the community the upcoming meeting of the Ramsey County League
of Local Governments (RCLLG) on June 24, 2011 at the Roseville City Hall with a
brief board meeting from 6:00 to 6:45 pm, followed by a presentation on
organized garbage collection, Councilmember Pust invited any interested citizens
Johnson moved, McGehee seconded,
adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:02 pm.