View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

City Council


 

City Council Meeting Minutes

April 18, 2016

 

1.       Roll Call

Mayor Roe called the meeting to order at approximately 6:00 p.m.  Voting and Seating Order: Willmus, Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe.  City Manager Patrick Trudgeon was also present; with City Attorney Mark Gaughan arriving at approximately 6:15 p.m., having previously advised of his delay in arriving for tonight's meeting.

 

2.      Pledge of Allegiance

 

3.       Approve Agenda              

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the agenda as presented.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus, Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

4.       Public Comment

Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items. 

 

a.            Girl Scout Representatives

Mayor Roe recognized and introduced Brownie Troop #56903 for a presentation about their Brownie Quest to Help the Homeless, with their leader, Ms. Erin Azer.

 

b.            Sarah Barsel, 1276 Eldridge Avenue, CHAT Representative

Ms. Barsel reported on the recently held seminar, co-sponsored by the City of Roseville, along with other partners including Honoring Choices Minnesota, CHAT, Centennial United Methodist Church, and others emphasizing completion of advanced care directives during the month of April.

 

Ms. Barsel advised that eighty attended, including trainers, facilitators, various dignitaries, and several law students interested in this area with the day including a panel discussion followed by facilitated small group discussions.  Ms. Barsel noted Councilmember Laliberte served as the facilitator and that Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Greg Peterson was also present representing Roseville with the Department providing Vials of Life for distribution to those attending.  Ms. Barsel also advised that the seminar had been recorded by CTV for tape delayed broadcasting.

 

Of the twenty evaluations received following the event, Ms. Barsel reported that they were all highly enthusiastic of the seminar, and recognized those of the planning group involved in the logistics of making the event a success.

 

Ms. Barsel noted that the seminar would most likely serve as a model for other communities, as she was aware there were interested representatives from other communities at the event.  In conclusion, Ms. Barsel recognized the generous donations received for the event.

 

On behalf of the community and City Council, Mayor Roe thanked Ms. Barsel, CHAT, sponsors, planners and others involved in this successful and informativeevent.

 

5.      Council & City Manager Communications, Reports, and Announcements

Mayor Roe announced upcoming April activities, including Skatopoly; Roseville Clean-Up Day; and Baby Shower supplies being collected by the Roseville Police Department for the Harriet Tubman Center.

 

Councilmember Etten announced an additional work day for the Rice Street Community Gardens at the corner of Rice Street and Larpenteur (Maplewood side).

 

Councilmember Laliberte thanked Ms. Barsel for her report on the Advanced Care Planning event, and recognized the informative presenters and information shared.

 

Councilmember Laliberte reported on her attendance earlier today at the Naturalization Ceremony for new citizens, and her shared her impressions of this very moving, momentous and powerful event.  Councilmember Laliberte thanked city staff and the Human Rights Commission for planning and facilitating the event; and recognized the League of Women Voters for being available to register these newest citizens to vote.  Councilmember Laliberte noted that there were many to thank and expressed her honor in being a part of the day.

 

Mayor Roe thanked Councilmember Laliberte for standing in for him and Acting Mayor Willmus who were both unable to attend due to work commitments.

 

City Manager Trudgeon reported that staff anticipated closing on the Owasso Field site later this week, with final documentation being completed, confirmed by City Attorney Gaughan.

 

6.              Recognitions, Donations and Communications

 

a.   Proclamation Recognizing Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient Anna Carpenter

Mayor Roe read a proclamation recognizing Girl Scout Gold Award Recipient Anna Carpenter.

 

By unanimous consent the proclamation was adopted by the Council.

                                   

 

7.            Approve Minutes

 

8.            Approve Consent Agenda

 

9.     Consider Items Removed from Consent

 

10.        General Ordinances for Adoption

 

11.        Presentations

 

12.        Public Hearings and Action Consideration

 

13.        Budget Items

 

14.        Business Items (Action Items)

 

a.            Appoint Member to Finance Commission

McGehee moved, Etten seconded, appointment of Matt Harold to the Finance Commission to serve for a term to expire March 31, 2017.

 

Councilmember Laliberte noted the great group of candidates that applied, with concurrence from her colleagues.

 

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon advised that the new advisory commissioner training video was now posted on line for public viewing.

 

                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus, Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

15.        Business Items - Presentations/Discussions

 

a.            CTV North Suburbs Strategic Direction Discussion

Mayor Roe introduced Ms. Barbara Raye, a familiar facilitator to the City of Roseville, and recently hired as an independent contractor by CTV to serve as a facilitator for their strategic planning process, and review by the CTV North Suburbs Board of Directors to look at the services it provided.  Mayor Roe noted that Ms. Raye would be consulting with all nine member cities, area school boards and other stakeholders involved with CTV.

 

Barbara Raye

Ms. Raye briefly reviewed the strategic planning process being undertaken by CTV and as part of their franchise negotiations, creating a good time to take a step back and seek feedback from CTV and the North Suburban Communications Commission (NSCC).  Ms. Raye referenced Attachment A in the meeting packet that explained in more detail the organization and additional background information.

 

Prior to receiving feedback via a number of standard questions made available to each member participant, Ms. Raye shared a short video providing an overview of CTV and 2015 activities.

 

City Council Feedback

Regarding additional or enhanced CTV services and programming, Councilmember McGehee referenced workshops co-sponsored by the City of Roseville, initiated by its former Housing & Redevelopment Authority, and held at the Ramsey County Library-Roseville Branch.  Councilmember McGehee stated that it was her understanding that it was more difficult to record those workshops at that location, and questioned if there wasn't some way to partner to facilitate that programming for remove videotaping by CTV.  Councilmember McGehee also suggested area school districts and their adult and/or community education program offerings may benefit and have interest in providing that type of programming beyond sport, music and other taped offerings.  Councilmember McGehee questioned if there was some available space that was easy to use and could facilitate filming, such as is done in the Council Chambers.

 

Mayor Roe recognized that as an excellent point, and from CTV's perspective, noted some venues already in place with pre-installed assets available for broadcasting (e.g. sporting events).  Mayor Roe suggested that, if existing infrastructure was already in place, with the Roseville Library connected to the City's fiber network, that possibility should be examined.

 

Regarding additional services or programs, Councilmember Laliberte observed that there seemed to be considerable time between commission meetings on Channel 16 that could be made available for other programming, whether from CTV or city staff to make better use of the 24/7 availability.  Councilmember Laliberte suggested there may be programming already available to use from city archives or YouTube that isn't being utilized or available to the general public.

 

In response to both of those comments, Councilmember Etten suggested the need to have another community space to record more programs, since CTV frequently plays the same programming for six months, when there surely must be additional programming they could offer, whether they needed an incentive to do so or if there were other ways to serve their members.  As one example, Councilmember Etten suggested looking at other events and activities happening in the Roseville and Mounds View School Districts that could be covered, or if there were ways to create physical connection points in the communities CTV served to make that infrastructure connectivity and allow more efficiencies in programming.

 

Regarding what CTV did well, Councilmember McGehee opined that she thought the easy access to government coverage on issues worked well and was an essential mission for CTV to continue. 

 

Advising that she heard that same comment from every city she met with, Ms. Raye agreed that people were watching whether in the audience or at home, and this was an important and valuable service for them.

 

Councilmember Willmus agreed with the comments of his colleagues so far; and specific to those of Councilmember Etten, suggested CTV try to get to daytime events (e.g. Naturalization Ceremony) or perhaps programming that school districts could tie into student course work, opining that would be another great opportunity for CTV programming.

 

Councilmember Laliberte concurred with Councilmember McGehee's comments about making government accessible and accountable.  However, Councilmember Laliberte noted there were frequent times when the visual or audio went out, which sometimes may be a fluke, but when happening more frequently was something that needed some problem-solving.

 

Ms. Raye recorded that comment related to inconsistent production coverage.

 

Mayor Roe concurred, noting that at the last City Council meeting, some technical difficulties were evidenced during the meeting, and caused frustration for those viewing from home.

 

Councilmember Laliberte opined that it would also be helpful other than simply saying the Roseville City Channel, to have actual program information available for Channel 16 if possible to guide viewers of upcoming programs to allow them to know when a program of interest to them was going to be played.

 

Ms. Raye noted that she had heard this from other member cities as well.

 

Mayor Roe suggested this may be getting onto the Comcast viewers guide as well as that of CTV, but recognized challenges due to differences for cities using the same Channel 16.

 

Specific to areas of improvement by CTV, Councilmember Willmus suggested direct outreach to those not having cable at this time, and driving them to the website or explain how they can receive free access to public education and government channels, which a lot of residents didn't realize was available.  Councilmember Willmus opined that this access wouldn't be readily available through a viewer's contact directly with Comcast.

 

Ms. Raye noted the need for additional outreach to provide more user information, or marketing moving forward.

 

As an example of providing upcoming program opportunities, Councilmember McGehee referenced the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) use of a box showing a snapshot of upcoming programs.

 

Councilmember Willmus noted that CTV was available and the service could be accessed by the general public, but he opined that many may not be aware of it.

 

Mayor Roe cautioned that, as soon as the franchise agreement(s) were finalized, that free universal service would no longer be available, possibly as early as next year.  Under those circumstances, Mayor Roe suggested care in how the free service was promoted, since it wasn't a long-term option.

 

In that case, Councilmember Willmus suggested an alternative should be made available and residents alerted as to how they can access it.

 

Mayor Roe briefly outlined how CenturyLink mosaics worked showing different channels to choose from, not limited to the nine member cities but including other cities within the metro area outside the network.

 

Ms. Raye reported that she heard from some cities that it may be useful to observe how another City Council dealt with an issue to inform their own decision-making; while other cities asked for more proactive leadership.  Ms. Raye recognized the City of Roseville as a good and big user of the system, with some other communities she had visited with referencing some of Roseville's programming as received in tonight's report, stimulating ideas for them.  Ms. Raye suggested it may be helpful to recruit CTV to do those programs for them and allowing them to make more use of it.

 

Councilmember McGehee asked how it would affect Roseville when CenturyLink and Comcast are both available; and if a resident didn't have cable, how they would access government and educational channels once they were not longer universally free and available.

 

Mayor Roe advised that in a majority of Roseville, both CenturyLink and Comcast were available now, at least north of Highway 36.  Outside cable television access, Mayor Roe advised that web streaming and other options were available.  Mayor Roe further noted that CTV tried to rotate its programming to keep the content fresh.

 

Councilmember Laliberte expressed her interest in having an annual meeting with CTV to generate ideas and receive input through them from other member cities or partners, as well as to share Roseville ideas.  Councilmember Laliberte also noted this would provide an opportunity for CTV to promote or provide proposals for additional programming or services.

 

Mayor Roe asked if this was intended at the City Council level; with Councilmember Laliberte responding yes.

 

In viewing his YouTube up, Councilmember Willmus reported that he didn't see any general government meetings, or school district, City Council or commission meetings, therefore making him question if it would be difficult to access or use.

 

Mayor Roe suggested there may be a need for more connectivity between member cities and CTV to access that programming.

 

In addressing CTV's strategic planning and seeking the perspective of his colleagues and from his role on the NSCC Board of Directors, Mayor Roe asked for the feedback they were receiving from the community as to the adequacy of CTV programming of community events (e.g. sports, concerts, parades, etc.) and whether or not it was important.  Mayor Roe opined that it would be helpful for CTV's planning process to understand how to represent it constituents, not just Channel 16, but especially for funding issues.

 

Councilmember Laliberte stated she hadn't heard a lot of specificity, but recognized the lack of awareness of many in that constituency on programming.  Councilmember Laliberte reported that she received frequent comments that viewers would like to see the full length of school board and other meetings similar to viewing a full City Council meeting, not just the business part of those meetings until cameras are turned off.  Councilmember Laliberte noted that those concerns stemmed from not being able to vie the full meetings of another government entity using taxpayer dollars, and preferences for the same transparency and accountability as municipalities.

 

Mayor Roe suggested that may be a policy issue of the school board as well.

 

Councilmember Willmus reported that he heard from residents from time to time, many looking for additional sporting, theater or musical events, particularly from grandparents wanting to view them.

 

Ms. Raye noted that she also heard from other cities that graduations were important to them.

 

Councilmember Etten reported similar feedback to that noted by Councilmember Willmus, suggesting it may be related to the age spectrum, but recognized that it did provide an important element to access.

 

Recognizing Councilmember Etten's role as an Irondale High School educator, Mayor Roe him about the value added in using more video for education purposes, or in the school district taking advantage of distance learning opportunities, or making people aware of adult educational opportunities, or perhaps programming ability to video tape an actual class.

 

Councilmember Etten noted that the Mounds View School District didn't have cable access any longer, as they were now all internet-based.

 

Mayor Roe noted that there is I-net and connections used to transmit information as part of the franchise agreement(s), and asked if the Mounds View School District was taking advantage of that or if their system was proprietary to the School District.

 

Councilmember Etten advised that high speed connections were available in all school buildings, but he wasn't sure about the connectivity between buildings.

 

Mayor Roe suggested CTV's follow-up with the school district.

 

If the school district was interested, Councilmember McGehee opined that there was a lot they could utilize, referencing the Fairview Community Center and adult literacy programs that would be beneficial to viewers or if a student was ill or even for parents to be aware of sample classes being offered.

 

Regarding programming, Councilmember Laliberte suggested it may prove beneficial for Roseville to create its own "Roseville U" content by department to provide a generalized view of services without becoming too specific that information would become obsolete. 

 

Recognizing that it was a Comcast issue and not one of programming, but specific to Comcast service in general, Councilmember Laliberte noted recent traffic on NextDoor.com regarding weak, intermittent services and outages, with numerous complaints and questioning if this was only occurring in isolated areas or regionally. 

 

If residents had those types of issues with either provider, Mayor Roe encouraged them to bring them to the attention of CTV staff at their general number.

 

Councilmember Laliberte noted that this information occurred last week, and offered to share that information and those comments with CTV.

 

Specific to future revenue sources, Ms. Raye asked if reduced revenues in the future were assumed, or if there was a need for additional revenues to expand programming, what would be most beneficial.  For instance, Ms. Raye asked whether a model using the skill set and assets of CTV staff should be offered as professionals to other entities (e.g. non-profits) to establish an earned revenue stream (e.g. production executives, camera operators, program designers) would be of interest to member city Roseville.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that one non-profit coming to mind was Northeast Youth and Family Services (NYFS) to hire CTV for video production.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she personally found that a good idea, but questioned the pros and cons of such a venture.

 

Ms. Raye responded that an issue may be to what degree CTV employees should compete in the marketplace with other businesses providing similar services or if the work of CTV should be exclusive in working with one government to another.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that she found the quality of CTV productions impressive.

 

Mayor Roe also asked if CTV services could produce something for airing exclusively or if it could produce videos to be used by the entirety for its own marketing (e.g. production staff of CTV for hire), or if there was a red flag among Councilmembers about such a source of revenue.

 

Councilmember Willmus stated he would be very cautious in moving in that direction, since the public aspect would be lost.  When considering the amount of programming content from area schools, Councilmember Willmus suggested that might dry up overnight if a for hire model was pursued.  Form the City's perspective, Councilmember Willmus stated he wouldn't be overly concerned, as a municipality had other avenues such as YouTube.  However, Councilmember Willmus stated that he would consider such a venture if it utilized youth training to televise school programs and events.

 

Mayor Roe reiterated the concern that productions for hire not diminish other types of CTV services offered.

 

Councilmember Laliberte stated that she would also be cautious with the competition with freelance businesses and consultants in that area; and suggested CTV remain focused on public services.  Councilmember Laliberte also questioned how CTV staff time would be spent, and their availability for public service, or how their priorities would be established.  If programming additional public offerings and freelancing the remainder of their time, Councilmember Laliberte questioned what time would be left for student education.

 

Ms. Raye recognized that education and television production was an important piece, with Mayor Roe adding that the education involved not only adults but students as well.

 

Councilmember Etten agreed with the need for some caution and timing, but also expressed his interest in training people to use their expertise.  Councilmember Etten agreed that there was no desire to lose programming, but opined that it would also be good to use younger trainees at a reduced versus more competitive cost.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that, if you have trained staff and not enough programming on view, it would be nice for youth and adult trainees to bring forward some ideas of their own (e.g. Karen population), opining she could think of a number of educational, civic things that could be done but couldn't be done by a freelance or consulting videographer needing to be paid market rates.  Councilmember McGehee opined that there were a number of non-profits needing such services but were unable to afford them.  However, if they were able to do so at reasonable rates, Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of it provided enough interested trainees were available and were experienced enough that a non-profit was willing to pay a reduced rate for such services.

 

Councilmember Etten noted that there was a considerable amount of free programming sent in by groups, most volunteering their time, and suggested there may not actually be a huge revenue source for CTV staff since volunteers enjoy producing things on their own schedules.  Councilmember Etten opined this indicated outside groups could then provide material as well as others working together for free to produce programming.

 

Mayor Roe noted this discussion reflected similar internal CTV Board of Directors conversations about concerns about competing with the private sector and the other end of the spectrum in the desire to provide services to non-profits needing programming services.

 

Ms. Raye also noted that that discussion had come up in her visits with other member cities as well.  While the interest is there that production content would be helpful to specialized populations and/or non-profits, Ms. Raye also noted many things in common among member cities that would provide good topics of interest for the viewing public (e.g. environmental and water quality issues) and providing opportunities for collaborative efforts.

 

Mayor Roe concurred, referencing watershed districts as one example of shared interests.

 

As a second question related to the CTV budget, Ms. Raye asked if the City of Roseville was satisfied with the level of budget transparency and information, frequency of the information, and the detail of that financial transparency as it related to programming and budgeting.

 

Councilmember Willmus stated that he had no problem if a representative of CTV provided a more formal presentation of the budget periodically, with information similar to the detail received in tonight's written materials.

Councilmember Etten agreed, using the examples of NYFS and the Roseville Visitors Association (RVA) and their annual reports to the City Council.

 

Councilmember McGehee agreed that she would find a brief presentation helpful going forward. Councilmember Laliberte agreed that the written information provided tonight was great; and suggested a dashboard report providing similar information going forward would be great.

 

Mayor Roe advised that he had also encouraged CTV to include the materials in Attachment A briefly describing how CTV and NSCC worked, and asked if his colleagues had found that helpful information.

 

Councilmember Laliberte responded that it had been helpful, and opined that whenever more information is available to let people know what they're getting and how it's paid for, all the better.

 

As part of the annual NSCC budget process, Mayor Roe noted that it was presented to member city staff in October, with the budget adopted in December; and suggested that city staff could then disseminate that information to the City Council.

 

Ms. Raye advised that this comprehensive report should be finalized by the end of May, and would then be submitted to member cities for their responses.

 

Mayor Roe thanked Ms. Raye for her attendance and tonight's discussion.

 

Mayor Roe requested that staff bring to the attention of CTV, those applicable portions of tonight's discussion made by Councilmember Laliberte about service glitches.

 

b.            2016 Policy Priority Planning (PPP) Document Update

City Manager Trudgeon provided the first quarterly report from staff on specific initiatives as outlined in 2016 Policy Priority Planning (PPP).  Mr. Trudgeon noted that this was intended as an overview and not get into extensive detail unless so directed by the City Council for a later meeting.   Regarding the report itself, Mr. Trudgeon opined that formatting needed further refinement, but focused tonight's discussion on Attachment B.

 

Attachment B

Infrastructure Sustainability - Categorize Infrastructure Condition (page 1)

City Manager Trudgeon reviewed the goals and focus areas, and timeline for this strategic initiative and provided the status update, referencing supporting documentation specific to assets of the Public Works and Parks & Recreation Departments.  City Manager Trudgeon advised that staff's intent is to have those specific advisory commissions review the document for further refinement.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the goal was to achieve consistency in the documents as the process moved forward.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that she personally found the Public Works rating system and amount of information could appear overwhelming initially, but found it very helpful.  However, Councilmember McGehee opined that she found the condition ratings of 2 (Fair) together with indications that a rating of "fair" was acceptable was problematic. Based on the feedback from periodic community surveys, Councilmember McGehee further opined that residents didn't have similar expectations either, and sought further discussion on those ratings.  On the positive side,
Councilmember McGehee noted that she found the last page of the Public Works Report (Page 18) useful in determining how the rating system actually worked. Councilmember McGehee referenced the bus shelter ratings at a 2 as an example, finding that especially troublesome especially from comments she'd received from riders, and the value of shelters to them. Based on past discussions and the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines, Councilmember McGehee stated that she found it unfortunate to set the bar so low and only at "fair."  Specific to the storm catch basin ratings, Councilmember McGehee noted that the poor condition of this asset had been discussed frequently in the past, and opined that the bar had been set low there as well, with many full of slit and not working well.

 

City Manager Trudgeon noted that this document also allowed the City Council to direct and set standards for the city's infrastructure, including operational and budgetary impacts.

 

Councilmember Willmus stated that one thing that didn't tie in with his review of the matrix was a corresponding maintenance figure for each goal that went along with those rankings.

 

Mayor Roe suggested several things to consider, as mentioned by Councilmember McGehee on the last page, he noted the average rating and individual ratings for each component.  If any piece is shown with a rating of 2, Mayor Roe stated that he read that as a high priority for rehabilitation or replacement.  However, Mayor Roe agreed that everyone needed a better understanding as to whether "average" was the target across the board or what that number is if the asset is at that level (e.g. highest level for attention).  Mayor Roe noted that individual Councilmembers may have different responses, as well as interpretations by the public, since the only rating index of any familiarity to the City Council and public at this time is that of the Pavement Management Program (PMP) and its condition indexing calculations. Mayor Roe opined that if the intent is to maintain an average ranking across the board, and the numbers drop below that average, then that asset moves up in priority for rehabilitation and/or replacement.

Councilmember Laliberte agreed with Mayor Roe's synopsis, stating that she found this helpful at a first glance.  However, Councilmember Laliberte noted that she also wondered about the cost for each level and where the average would get pushed down.  Councilmember Laliberte agreed with her colleagues that the important information was what pieces needed the most attention sooner rather than later.

 

Councilmember Etten also expressed appreciation for the information.  However, he noted his interpretation of inconsistencies in how the information was rated or broken down, with variables from 3, 5 or 10 point scales for that ranking.  Councilmember Etten recognized that some rankings were from other agencies (e.g. bridges), but asked if there was some way to make them more meaningful and connected (e.g. ADA ramps similar to curb conditions) and how the rankings could be more unified.  Councilmember Etten admitted that perhaps it was just a learning curve for individual council members.  Also, Councilmember Etten noted that some assets were rated for a certain number of years (e.g. a thirty year life span), but replacement isn't indicated until at forty years.  Councilmember Etten stated that it seemed the maximum life span differed from the replacement date, and again admitted he needed to understand that better or have more information in order to effectively consider programming for those assets.

 

City Manager Trudgeon advised that this discussion was already helping staff refine internal policy discussions for recommendation to the City Council and develop deeper conversations in how to utilize this framework.  Once this initial draft proceeded to the advisory commissions and was further refined form one iteration to the next, Mr. Trudgeon advised that additional information could be added.  For example, Mr. Trudgeon noted that dollars could be assigned, even though some may be firm while others would remain speculative until they were able to be more refinement.

 

While each asset had a rating goal, Councilmember McGehee opined that the document seemed to indicate that "fair" ranking was what was being aimed for, but questioned if in general that was the actual intent.  If so, Councilmember McGehee noted that some were falling far below that goal.  Specific to format, Councilmember McGehee stated it would be nice to have a similar format for the Parks & Recreation assets with that provided for the Public Works assets.  While the categories seem to be similar, Councilmember McGehee noted that they appeared more focused on lifespan, and suggested tying these categories together with the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) document to use this information and anticipated life spans to inform the CIP rather than doing so by hand.  Councilmember McGehee suggested accomplishing that collaboration either through existing or better software if available, or even if able to be developed by staff to chart and define a more accurate cost estimate to accomplish what was needed.

 

Mayor Roe noted if changing "fair" to "good," it may simply be a terminology issue with one sounding better than the other.  Mayor Roe suggested better descriptors were needed to understand the definition and whether or not the Council was reacting to "fair" by thinking that level of service as unacceptable.  Mayor Roe used the comparison of a "D" defining the level of service at intersections actually being acceptable performance from a traffic engineering perspective, but not relating to most perceptions of a "D" based on a negative school grade.

 

On that point, Councilmember Laliberte opined that language did matter, and the public shouldn't be expected to understand that distinction, but that the city needed to better translate the rankings into something universally understood.

 

Mayor Roe agreed, opining that the intent of his comments was that the rankings should be more intuitive, and if a ranking is an acceptable standard, terminology be used that the general public is able to understand and relate to.

 

Councilmember McGehee pointed out that, whether "fair" is ranked as a "2" or a "3," in looking at existing city rankings, only a few are listed as "fair," while the residents' assessment from surveys is that their perspective is that the city is doing a "good" job.  Councilmember McGehee opined that this conformed to that with only a few places in the survey where that rating dips below, with similar information showing up in this document as well.  Councilmember McGehee clarified that her point was to caution that the goal not be less than what is
intended.

 

Not in any effort to further beleaguer linguistics, Councilmember Laliberte stated the need to make sure language being used to assess status or quality matched what was being publically surveyed in order that it translate to how things were being tracked.

 

Mayor Roe agreed that was a good point; and City Manager Trudgeon thanked individual Councilmembers for their feedback and this discussion.

 

Infrastructure Sustainability - Ensure Capital Improvement Funding (page 29)

City Manager Trudgeon noted the identified need for a more consistent asset management program.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that some tracking of assets had been done for years, while others were just being developed and remained works in progress, including addressing standards for those assets.  Mr. Trudgeon reported that one requirement for staff was to make sure they were cataloging and monitoring assets and then using that database information to inform the CIP and annual budgets.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that to some extent, this was already being done, but others were still in the talking stages. 

 

As part of that process, City Manager Trudgeon referenced referred to a draft policy (page 30) that addressed that review, inventory and maintenance of those assets; and regardless of what software was used, could the data be retained, retrieved and used as available.  Mr. Trudgeon also noted the need to have a database with easy-to-understand and follow information as it related to asset history, asset standards and allowed for their periodic review.  Again, Mr. Trudgeon advised that this initial draft would be presented to advisory commissions for their input and then resubmitted to the City Council.

 

Councilmember Willmus questioned the cost of implementing a citywide asset management program; with City Manager Trudgeon responding that staff already tracked their time sheets per project, so there would only be an incremental cost in addition to any annual software license fees.

 

Councilmember Willmus used the example of considering ag-lime for softball fields, and questioned if more time was being spent tracking than actually reconditioning the field.  Councilmember Willmus suggested this was something that needed to be taken into consideration, to identify a point where staff time should be spent on various components versus simply maintaining a fixed schedule to address a particular component or asset and determining how and where an asset management program is tailored.

 

Public Works Director Mark Culver

Mr. Culver recognized Councilmember Willmus' point, and clarified that, within the draft asset management program policy itself (lines 20-22) that concern was addressed per department.  Mr. Culver noted this provided a list of which assets were being tracked: when, how and why; and provided examples of some equipment that was simply replaced on a set schedule since it made no sense to evaluate it.

 

Along those lines for tracking, Councilmember McGehee stated that what she personally found missing was maintenance history for city facilities (e.g. Public Works building, City Hall, all six new park buildings, the new fire station, and the skating center).  While evaluating ag-lime applications may be too much detail, Councilmember McGehee opined that when tracing maintenance histories of buildings, things could be learned about what is actually worth tracking and what wasn't, that might actually change that life span and maintenance history accordingly (e.g. LED light bulbs as a new technology that may evolve over time after its initial experimental stage).

 

City Manager Trudgeon stated that the components of each of those components were included, including their HVAC and electrical systems, for each of those buildings mentioned by Councilmember McGehee, including the six new park buildings.  Mr. Trudgeon reported that the fire station had still not been fully implemented, but for the other buildings, those larger functional systems and components were included, while more aesthetic things (e.g. carpets or chairs) were not typically ranked.

 

Based on his reading of the draft policy language, Mayor Roe agreed that other than the park buildings in the 4th bullet point ((line 45-46), there was no reference to other city-owned buildings and facilities or similar parenthetical items, and suggested language recognizing that.

 

City Manager Trudgeon duly noted the need to make the policy document more inclusive as suggested.

 

Housing and Economic Development - Focus on SE Roseville (page 32)

City Manager Trudgeon referenced page 33, and the draft outline for a proposed concept for focus group meetings to engage the broader community.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that potential stakeholders had been initially reviewed by staff, but had yet to be vetted by the City Council, and once sorted out would be presented for formal action to the City Council.

 

On page 33, Councilmember Etten suggested including staff from other communities bordering the area (e.g. Maplewood).

 

Mayor Roe noted they were included in the working group list on page 33.

 

Housing and Economic Development - Focus on SE Roseville (page 34)

City Manager Trudgeon reviewed those items listed.

 

Housing and Economic Development-Foster Twin Lake Redevelopment (page 35)

City Manager Trudgeon reviewed those items listed.

 

Housing and Economic Development - Create Move-Up Housing Opportunities (page 36)

City Manager Trudgeon advised that staff had been reviewing previous housing studies, and in May intended to have more discussion with the City Council on housing initiatives.

 

Housing and Economic Development - Increase Residential Housing Values (page 37)

City Manager Trudgeon reviewed those items listed, reiterating that additional discussion with the City Council was scheduled for May.

 

Housing and Economic Development - Facilitate City-wide Economic Development (page 38)

City Manager Trudgeon noted this priority would be discussed further as the next agenda item.  Mr. Trudgeon opined that some of the dates in the timeline shown in the update may be somewhat aggressive, and suggested the City Council may wish to consider a Special City Council Meeting or separate Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting in May beyond a regular meeting to allow more intense discussion over the next six weeks.

 

c.            Discuss Roseville Economic Development Strategy - Phase I

Mayor Roe recognized Interim Community Development Director Kari Collins, who in turn introduced Ms. Janna King, recently hired as an Economic Development consultant to the city specific to review economic development needs for the city.

 

Janna King, Economic Development Services, Inc.

Ms. King stated that the first place to address potential development of strategies to help navigate is to start by listening to the City Council and their individual and corporate ideas.  Ms. King referenced a bench handout provided and attached to this RCA providing examples of other communities and sharing of fiscal implications of particular development types and ways to influence tax density in a community.  Ms. King suggested this may help the city get a handle on the budget if particularly interesting or adaptable programs appealed to them.

 

Ms. King noted that this process and discussion is intentionally tied into the City of Roseville's budget process, and reviewed the steps she had taken to-date including a citywide tour with staff last week.

 

Ms. King provided a discussion guide (Attachment A) for this Phase I scope that asked a series of questions for response by the City Council.

 

What do you think are the three most important economic development issues or opportunities for Roseville over the next 18 months?

Councilmember Etten

Councilmember Etten stated the three areas lagging and needing revitalization from his perspective were:

1)   SE Roseville in addition to west along Larpenteur Avenue and north along Rice Street where housing and businesses are not at the same level as other areas in Roseville.

2)   Positive clean-up or redevelopment of brownfields outside the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area; and identifying other ways to encourage a positive turnover and use for those areas by upgrading them for the benefit of the community.

3)   Investment in housing stock throughout the community, noting a number of programs developed and used by the former Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA), recognizing the need to continue encouraging investments and tap into resources for citizens, creating a continuous cycle of updating and upkeep of Roseville housing stock.

 

Mayor Roe

Mayor Roe identified his three most important issues as follows:

1)   Remain focused on the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area as a prime opportunity area over the next eighteen months.

2)   How we look at business expansion and relocation within the Roseville community and opportunities to make connections with those looking at other sites.

3)   Marketing Roseville as a great place to relocate; or dealing with the city's past image with developers and negative perceptions that had developed over the last few years.

 

Councilmember McGehee

Councilmember McGehee stated that she had used a different approach, and her focus was on Head of Household jobs, and as part of that increasing the city's industrial or commercial tax base.

 

Councilmember McGehee stated that she would also like to see a focus on developments going forward, and if that involved service/retail, ensure that they served the residents of our community and based on a human scale with viable and easy connections for the Roseville resident demographic allowing them to shop and participate in their comfort zone.  With elder residents, Councilmember McGehee noted that larger format retail was not user-friendly for them; and to-date the city had not focused transportation efforts so its own residents feel safe as pedestrians and in vehicles, to access those things they need in their own community.

 

Councilmember Laliberte

Councilmember Laliberte agreed that there were corridors lagging other than Twin Lakes, but was unsure where that fell within the list of priorities.

 

Mayor Roe clarified that the focus of his response was based on the questions defining the next eighteen months.

 

1)   Councilmember Laliberte expressed agreement Mayor Roe about the need to address businesses or companies that may feel the need to leave Roseville because they were running out of space or needed different access to or for their business.  Councilmember Laliberte stated that she had held conversations with Roseville businesses owners who, because of employee growth and/or the need for larger meeting spaces for those employee connections, were looking outside Roseville.

2)   Councilmember Laliberte agreed that a bad reputation in the developer community had followed Roseville over the last decade, or the reputation of being difficult to do business with; and spoke in support of anything that could be done to eliminate that perception.

3)   Councilmember Laliberte expressed her interest in seeing corporate headquarters or larger companies locating in Roseville to employ people living in Roseville.

4)   Councilmember Laliberte noted that she had spoken with former Community Development Director Paul Bilotta about rehabbing existing commercial buildings that may look like warehouses, and while perhaps zoned appropriately, may not be aesthetically pleasing and only requiring a low expenditure for landlords to cost-efficiently rehabilitate those buildings.

5)   Councilmember Laliberte noted a number of large scale, national brand businesses in Roseville, but a trend now for local or smaller ones; and expressed her interest in seeing those smaller efforts supported in Roseville to build on Roseville as a destination place.  While this focus may be beyond just the next eighteen months, Councilmember Laliberte noted programs used by other cities to attract those smaller, independent businesses.

 

Councilmember Willmus

Councilmember Willmus agreed with the comments of his colleagues, particularly those of Councilmembers McGehee and Laliberte.

1)   Beyond SE Roseville and Twin Lakes, the City Council as a body needs to make a decision going forward and have a solid understanding of current market positions to avoid swimming upstream like was done with the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area over the last thirty years.  Rather than fighting various market conditions, the first step should be to get a handle on the market happenings, commercial and housing, and properly position the city to accommodate that market.  Councilmember Willmus noted that this is a big priority for him to determine what was happening in the marketplace; and to realistic adjust to that market versus what the city or a particular City Council or its citizenry may want beyond that reality.

2)   While Councilmember Laliberte touched on revitalization, Councilmember Willmus noted the need to bring developers, landlords and property owners together to discuss building facades to see what they need and how they project Roseville rents in the short- and long-term.  Similar to the aesthetic improvements made by Roseville Properties on some of their buildings, Councilmember Willmus suggested getting those perspectives and use their expertise and experiences for the benefit of those other property representatives, whether or not it requires any city participation beyond getting them in the same room to share ideas, opportunities and challenges.

3)   Councilmember Willmus stated that he'd love to see Head of Household jobs in Roseville, and was certainly willing to provide public assistance to attain it; but wanted to have a good idea of its viability or whether a development will sit vacant for ten years.

4)   love to see HH jobs, certainly willing to provide assistance to attain that, bur want to have good idea of its viability and whether it will sit vacant for 10 years

 

Are there any economic development programs from other communities that you would like to have considered as possible models for Roseville?

Councilmember McGehee noted some recent programs like Excelsior and Grand in St. Louis Park that had achieved a successful end and provided an interesting area for revitalization.

 

Mayor Roe clarified that this question wasn't limited to the next eighteen months; with Ms. King responding that some things started in the first eighteen months may simply lay a foundation going forward.

 

Mayor Roe stated his leeriness in using a tax abatement approach for development that tended to lure the Amazons of the world into Roseville (e.g. Shakopee) expressing concern with the long-term impact to the community and its tax collections.  While understanding their rationale, Mayor Roe noted there wasn't too much competition for local sales tax initiatives to any great degree at least for specific economic development programs; but remained unsure if he'd want to consider it as the flip side.

 

Ms. King sought clarification of the interest in looking in general at financing tools or options.  Ms. King stated that one thing she'd like to do it make sure when incentives area used, it was done responsibility and the tool was tied into the process to address particular challenges or financial gaps for a specific business.  Ms. King opined that she found this a wise approach for the accountability with their public for public sector agencies to provide.  While it may be fine for one particular too for a certain period based on a case-by-case situation, Ms. King suggested looking at various tools and the City Council defining parameters for if and when they'd use a particular tool.  Ms. King offered to provide those nuances for the City Council that could serve to make the community more competitive but also not create situations where they felt any need to apologize to their constituents for doing so.

 

Along the lines that Roseville may want to see development above and beyond what a typical developer or their client wants to spend, Mayor Roe agreed with developing a policy or purpose for each tool and to have those policies in place ahead of time for timeliness and practicalities sake.  As an example, Mayor Roe mentioned using public funding for additional amenities, such as pedestrian connectivity.

 

Ms. King stated that she encouraged communities to have those public policies upfront for the developer or business to know their being dealt a fair and consistent hand, as well as the public, and to allow staff more confidence in their initial discussions with developers and those parameters.  By having those policies in place, and preapproved by the City Council, Ms. King noted it ended up benefiting the city's balance sheet versus that of a company/developer.

 

Mayor Roe used the recent Sherman Project as an example in talking about a policy in place compared to the Sherman process and piecemeal approach to facilitate grant application deadlines before knowing the whole picture.  Mayor Roe noted that the sooner that could be put in writing, the better, putting staff in a better position as well.

 

Councilmember Laliberte thanked Ms. King for offering that list of tools and to provide that synopsis, opining it would prove very helpful.

 

If SE Roseville is redeveloped, Councilmember McGehee referenced several interesting programs she'd learned about, similar to that used for University Avenue businesses as the Green Line developed and funding facelifts as part of a new community to avoid damages to those businesses because of that new construction, and also addressing environmental issues.

 

Ms. King referenced other programs used on a limited basis in the metropolitan area, such as Twin Cities Lift that funded several areas.  Ms. King advised that she had been involved in a three-year evaluation of those areas and served as a coach to keep the program moving.  Ms. King noted that there may be some real principles for the City of Roseville to consider based on that program especially as it looked at that SE Roseville node.  Ms. King noted that much of the program involved the Main Street Program retooled for urban commercial areas.  If the foundation for Roseville is to address safety and crime, or a perception of both or either, Ms. King noted the need for business and property owners to organize and communicate with each other to allow them to understand their economic niche.  Ms. King opined that it could be a challenge to define a market for a particular corridor that was realistic and could be maintained long-term to be sustainable, and provide realistic rents and expectations based on market realities.  Ms. King noted the potential successes when everyone understood that reality and an area developed as a neighborhood or destination servicing a certain clientele, and reflecting an area's heritage as well.  Once that economic niche is better understood, Ms. King noted it then provided an opportunity and made it easier for that image to be reflected in the area and actually provides more impact to market and promote an area consistently beyond just aesthetics along the corridor.

 

With the city's implementation several years ago of a "build forward" urban design concept, Councilmember Laliberte noted that the design standards were found to not necessarily work across the board, and questioned if Ms. King found that to be true in other communities.

 

Ms. King responded that while initially the concept had met with some resistance based on the initial prototype model, many communities have now adopted that urban design concept as a new prototype had been developed.  Ms. King admitted that sometimes it required developers or property owners to work harder; and noted that there were some situations with access or sight lines that proved too tricky and needed revision.  However, Ms. King noted that the result wasn't either/or, but somewhere in between.

 

Mayor Roe noted that the concept wasn"t a one-size-fits-all, since that urban design made some sense in some areas and didn"t make sense in others within a community.

 

Councilmember Willmus recognized that there were unique situations where building forward may not work, or if a code is proven too restrictive causing a developer to look at another community if it became an issue for that business.  If forced to go through a Variance Board, or Planning Commission and City Council process, Councilmember Willmus noted that it may simply be easier for that developer to move down the road to another community with their project.  Councilmember Willmus stated his interest in identifying beforehand those particular challenges or restrictive areas that the city was creating for itself.

 

Ms. King agreed that was a good point, and with the building forward initiative if the community attempted that uniformly throughout the community it could be a mistake.  Ms. King noted there were two differing viewpoints of how that urban design standard addressed crime and safety, as well as other considerations, and depending on particular situations, suggested a more nuanced approach may prove more beneficial/

 

Mayor Roe recognized the two differing viewpoints as well, and the need for flexibility and thinking smart as a city to determine in which areas that design would best work and how to work with developers and facilitate discussions versus having them locate or relocate elsewhere.

 

Councilmember McGehee raised another issue from the perspective of a person who wants to build in Roseville but the community doesn"t accept their project, creating the need for a more nuanced approach but still be mindful that many consider Roseville to still be a suburb and expect a green space amenity rather than a situation like that of Washington Avenue in Minneapolis.  Councilmember McGehee stated the importance to her that the city view itself as a complete unit, not just a complete streets situation, and recognize that while Roseville needs a viable tax base, it already has some large industries and retail (e.g. Rosedale) and needed to provide its residents smaller scale businesses as well for user-friendliness and access for its elderly population.  Councilmember McGehee noted the need for the City Council and community to plan strategically and carefully to remain inviting and not simply as the place you drive through on your way to TCAAP. Councilmember McGehee opined that could be a real possibility as TCAAP develops. While Roseville may have some problems, Councilmember McGehee noted that it also has many wonderful opportunities, including its parks and other amenities, but needs to be careful that the community doesn't develop into or become known only for Rosedale and a number of nursing homes.  Councilmember McGehee opined that Roseville could actually be a complete community versus emphasizing
those two existing areas now most evident.

 

Councilmember Willmus agreed with Councilmember McGehee's comments.

 

If other things come to mind after tonight's meeting, Ms. King encouraged individual Councilmembers to email city staff to forward that information or additional ideas to incorporate one way or another to her prior to her next meeting with her scheduled for late May.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined it was important to plan for the Roseville community, not that of the Cities of Edina or St. Louis Park.

 

Interim Community Development Director Collins noted examples of many communities using their websites for a significant level of outreach to its businesses, with a page designated for such a spotlight.  Since the business community is very much a part of Roseville as well, Ms. Collins sought feedback from the City Council as to their interest in developing a business spotlight on the City's website.

 

Councilmember Willmus noted that the City News newsletter already had a full page focus for businesses.

 

Ms. Collins recognized that, but also noted opportunities to focus on particular businesses in the community (e.g. biotech hub) and unique virtual tours that the City could provide for public information.  Ms. Collins noted that Greater Minneapolis/St. Paul had been pushing such spotlights for growing industries such as were occurring in Roseville, providing certification for these regional areas.

 

In late May, an evolution of the matrix on the following page (Attachment A) will provide the Council /EDA with a range of options for enhanced economic development activity in the community.  Suggestions for changes to draft categories identified; and discussion of each element including individual Councilmember thoughts about Roseville's current status and desirable future direction.

Ms. King advised that she had developed this list in part from her review of available city documents; and asked if the City Council had an appetite for more aggressive approaches in any of these categories.

 

Mayor Roe and Councilmembers Willmus and McGehee responded affirmatively.

 

Councilmember Willmus stated his interest in seeking a realistic strategy versus simply a wish list.

 

Councilmember McGehee expressed her interest in developing policies.

 

With that knowledge in hand, Ms. King advised that she would lay out a plan to accomplish those goals.

 

Based on her experience, Councilmember McGehee asked if Ms. King had any cities she'd recommend within the metropolitan area that had policies and strategies that may be useful to Roseville.

 

Ms. King offered to provide that information as well when she returned May 23rd, including examples from other communities, and specific tensions, challenges and/or opportunities they had experienced in the long-term.  As an example, Ms. King advised that she had worked with the City of New Brighton and their initial vision for the Old Highway 8 Corridor.

 

Strategy Categories

Councilmember Laliberte noted some of categories listed had been shared earlier during this discussion, but reiterated her interest in corporate headquarters and small business recruitment, and revitalizing or re-visioning existing buildings.  Related to façade replacement program incentives noted by Ms. Collins, Councilmember Laliberte used the Bent Brewstillery as an example of a use in a building or area that may not be aesthetically pleasing and how their space could be rehabilitated to not look like another dock door.

 

Ms. King noted one of the challenges was similar to that expressed by the mayor or Burnsville, MN in recognizing an aging industrial area with lower ceiling heights and facades in disrepair; and how those buildings may end up attracting charter schools, antique auto storage, churches or other uses common to that type of property.   In places where you formerly had Head of Household jobs that are no longer happening, Ms. King noted now with other uses, it created disconnects or areas with disparate uses, where truckers didn't want to travel where children were present for safety concerns, or other situations created in multi-tenant buildings with differing uses. 

 

Ms. King noted that the City of Minneapolis was also concerned enough to perform a considerable inventory to identify how much of their industrial property had switched to non-employment-oriented.  While some of those buildings may be becoming obsolete, Ms. King referenced the economic downturn in 2008 that created such a high vacancy rate in metropolitan area industrial properties, that property owners/landlords were forced to find uses that they could fulfill.  Ms. King advised that this topic was one she intended to share with brokers and developers as part of her assessment for subsequent presentation to the City Council initially as part of her assessment to understand where Roseville is at in that cycle or how far down that road Roseville may go.  Based on their perspective, Ms. King expressed interest in hearing from them if the cycle would correct itself or if the city needed to intervene.  As an example, Ms. King noted that the low ceilings in some of those older industrial buildings created challenges for some uses.

 

Mayor Roe opined that Roseville seemed to have a good trend in rehabilitating existing older industrial buildings or tearing them down for new construction; with not many from his perspective other than perhaps in mixed use buildings.

 

Councilmember Willmus cited several examples of office showroom/retail around the County Road B-2 area (e.g. REI and old roller rink now serving as a Petco).  Councilmember Willmus noted that the city had slowly seen that transition over the last fifteen years, and opined it seemed to be continuing, but agreed that it was certainly a consideration when looking at retail.

 

Regarding the category "competitive financing tools and policies" Councilmember Etten emphasized the need to look at the building forward design to avoid blocking the city into a corner.

 

Ms. King advised that she included that discussion under the "business-friendly processes and reputation" category.

 

Meeting Schedule

City Manager Trudgeon sought feedback as to whether the City Council wanted to schedule a separate Special Council meeting or EDA meeting in May to allow more time for discussion.

 

Discussion ensued regarding timing, topics for discussion (e.g. larger overview of housing and funds available); and economic development components; upcoming action items on the City Council agenda versus Worksession format; and potential opportunities.

 

Mayor Roe suggested, subject to City Attorney review and approval, it shouldn't matter if the meeting was a Special City Council or EDA meeting.

 

Councilmember Etten spoke of the importance for the City Council to commit to this economic development effort and necessary discussion.

 

By consensus, the City Council agreed that an separate additional meeting was the best option, with consideration for potential dates other than a Monday.

 

City Manager Trudgeon was requested to look at dates for the meeting.

 

Proposed Ramsey County Legislation

For background purposes, City Manager Trudgeon provided the City Council with his latest information learned last week about companion bills in the Minnesota House and Senate proposing the creation of a Ramsey County EDA.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that, from his understanding, the bill being considered by the legislature would deviate from the normal process of allowing committee hearings and recommendation that allowed an opportunity for Ramsey County municipalities to review and comment on it.  Essentially, Mr. Trudgeon advised that the left those communities out of the decision-making, and also didn't address existing statutory references, requirements and levy implications.

 

From staff's initial review of the legislation, City Manager Trudgeon reported that it appears that it is not referencing the current statutory language for a city to opt out of the county EDA, negating their ability to opt out of that additional levy.  In his conversations with Ramsey County staff (Ms. Worthington), Mr. Trudgeon reported that, while it may be intended that Ramsey County would consider communities and interested projects to opt out, there was no direct mechanism for a Ramsey County municipality to do so.  Mr. Trudgeon stated that Ms. Worthington indicated that the County's policy board (Board of Commissioners) would not want to do an EDA levy without local support, there was no specific provision outlining that intent. 

 

On the Senate side (Senate File 2774), City Manager Trudgeon advised that he understood that the bill was out of committee and on the floor; while on the House side (House File No. 2957), it was not yet out of committee but he was unable to determine its status.

 

City Manager Trudgeon reported that there was a separate and similar bill for Washington, and while it was hard to determine its status at this point, there was a strong desire to get the bill approved before the legislative session ends this month.

 

Mayor Roe addressed existing statutory authority for counties to establish EDA's based on his review, noting that the current language addressed the need for that EDA process to include representatives of each municipality within the county. Mayor Roe noted that a major part of the concern from his perspective was that in bypassing that part of existing statutory language at the beginning and being silent as to any opt out provisions in this proposed legislation, it seems to allow Ramsey County to establish a county EDA without providing an opt out for municipalities within that county jurisdiction, especially the ability to opt out of any additional tax levies, making numerous Ramsey County communities uncomfortable.

 

Councilmember Willmus questioned how aware the legislature was of municipal concerns with this potential legislation and concerns going forward that could drastically impact the City of Roseville's own programs to render assistance and city-specific programming for its own residents.  Councilmember Willmus emphasized the need to be prudent in how the City Council looked at this proposed legislation and impacts to Roseville's taxpayers and overall tax base.  With the City of Roseville's strong commercial tax base, Councilmember Willmus noted the potential for tax receipts to flow outside the city to a greater extent than they even currently do.  Councilmember Willmus sought a broader discussion with Ramsey County Board members as to the intent, scope and purpose of this legislation.  Absent that discussion and the timing for ending this session, Councilmember Willmus opined it would behoove the City to provide a formal statement of that position to the State legislature.

 

Mayor Roe advised that Ramsey County had initiated conversations with community representatives (e.g. Mayors and area Chambers of Commerce) about their general economic development activities.  Mayor Roe reported that the outcome of that discussion was a consensus that more discussion was needed.  To then find out that special legislation was already being considered this session, Mayor Roe stated was a concern for him.  As stated by Councilmember Willmus, Mayor Roe agreed that formal communication with the Legislature was needed.

 

Councilmember McGehee agreed, opining that it struck her as a variant of the Fiscal Disparities Program, under which the City of Roseville served as a provider of many resources.  Since Ramsey County seems to have a lot of big plans (TCAAP, infrastructure needs, St. Paul soccer stadium, etc.) Councilmember McGehee agreed that the City of Roseville needed to take care of its own first.  Councilmember McGehee noted that the City of Roseville was now on a program course that it had long sought, and she was not interested in the city's resources going toward the needs of other  municipalitiesbefore those of Roseville.

 

Councilmember Laliberte agreed, and also expressed her concerns with no transparency in this process for residents, who would potentially be paying this tax to another new taxing authority, not being able to weigh in.  In her review and comparison of Washington County's Community Development legislation, Councilmember Laliberte advised that they had studied the possibility for three years, including conversations during that time with all municipal city councils and townships, seeking resolutions of support from each and having those available when bringing the request before the State Legislature.  Councilmember Laliberte also agreed with a formal registering of concerns.  If it is such a great idea but didn't succeed during this session, Councilmember Laliberte noted that it would then allow other communications and public transparency issues to be addressed, and would still be the same great idea for the next Legislative Session. Councilmember Laliberte noted that the City of Roseville had just created its own EDA, and this appeared to be a dual taxation for Roseville residents; while Washington County had combined their community development and economic development efforts versus Ramsey County attempting to have the ability to levy under a new EDA levy while retaining its current HRA levy.

 

While unable to answer for sure at this point, City Manager Trudgeon advised that he suspected Ramsey County may be seeking to move their existing HRA into a new EDA, but he had been unable to discern that from his reading of the proposed legislation. 

 

City Manager Trudgeon advised that staff had prepared a draft resolution for consideration by the City Council at tonight's meeting of a future meeting.

 

Consensus of the body was to consider the resolution tonight; with Ms. Collins displaying the draft resolution while being reviewed the City Council, and providing a brief review of the proposed language to address City of Roseville concerns.

 

Councilmember Laliberte agreed that Ramsey County had been a great partner with the City of Roseville; and while this draft resolution focused on the opt out piece, she had other concerns about the transparency and public awareness issues that she also wanted added to addressed the existing committee process going away from the very beginning.

 

Mayor Roe suggested language to address that existing statutory requirement, such as: "WHEREAS, the City of Roseville is not clear why existing legislation with requirements for public input for creation of an EDA and opt out options do not suffice"

 

Councilmember Willmus asked that language in the resolution title "as it is currently written" be struck (lines 11 - 12).

 

Mayor Roe agreed, since it remained an unknown as to when the legislation may be written and/or read.

 

Councilmember Etten noted similar language on page 2, line 43.

 

City Attorney Gaughan noted language on page 2 of the draft resolution (lines 46-47) addressing the proposed role of the Ramsey County EDA and provisions or limitations of the opt-out language in proposed legislation.

 

Councilmember Willmus, with agreement of his colleagues, suggested striking that entire paragraph.

 

Regarding Councilmember Laliberte's concerns as to whether or not a dual tax is implied or stated, Councilmember Etten referenced lines 26 - 27, but suggested additional language such as: "WHEREAS, the proposed legislation was created without input from affected municipalities and their citizens.'  Mayor Roe suggested language such as: "WHEREAS it is not clear to the City of Roseville why the rigorous community engagement requirements of existing statutes for creating a county EDA would not be followed with this new legislation."

 

Councilmember Willmus also noted "as it is currently written" was also in line 37 (page 1) and needed deleting. 

 

Councilmember Laliberte expressed her continuing concern with the potential for Ramsey County to have a separate EDA and HRA and dual levying potentials for each.  Language was suggested as follows: "WHEREAS, it is not clear to the City of Roseville why the rigorous community engagement processes are not deemed adequate or being followed under existing stature requirements for establishment of a County EDA are not adequate in this instance.

 

Recess

Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:54 p.m., and reconvened at approximately 9:04 p.m.

 

Upon reconvening, staff presented a revised draft resolution incorporating the discussion and distributed as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon reviewed the revisions made by staff according to tonight's discussion, and additional language added respectively at lines 23, 35 and 43 and removal of the "as currently written" statements as noted.

 

McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11313 entitled "resolution Not Supporting the Proposed RC EDA in House File (HF) No. 2957/Senate File (SF) 2774;" as amended with minor punctuation corrections.

 

At the request of Councilmember Laliberte as to "next steps" once approved and signed, City Manager Trudgeon advised that, at the discretion of the City Council, staff could provide a copy to area legislators, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, and the authors of the bills at a minimum.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus, Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe. 

Nays: None.

 

Mayor Roe agreed, and without objection, requested that staff disseminate the resolution to local legislators, local government chairs and Bill authors in the House and Senate, and Ramsey County Manager Julie Kleinschmidt.  Mayor Roe directed staff to process the approved resolution as soon as feasibly possible.

 

16.           City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Trudgeon provided a preview of upcoming agenda items.

 

Councilmember Laliberte reminded staff of her interest in discussing the turn lane on Lexington Avenue at the Ramsey County Library - Roseville Branch sooner rather than later in light of the Lexington Avenue bridge construction and potential for additional traffic congestion at the northern most turn into the library, preferably at the next meeting.

 

Mayor Roe suggested that staff prepare a draft resolution for possible action versus a general discussion without action.

 

17.        Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

None.

 

18.        Adjourn

Etten moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 9:12 p.m.

 

                                    Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus, Etten, McGehee, Laliberte and Roe. 

Nays: None.