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

City Council

City 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.


2.            Approve Agenda

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.


            Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.


3.         Public Comment

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 Announcements

          Mayor Roe announced upcoming Rosefest Events for this annual community event from June 27 through July 4, 201l.


5.            Recognitions, Donations, Communications


6.         Approve Minutes


a.            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 packet.


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.


                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.


7.            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.


a.            Approve Payments

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.         


ACH Payments







                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.


b.            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

Cigarette/Tobacco Products

Dave’s Roseville Auto Care, Inc.

2171 N Hamline Avenue

Gasoline Station

Therese Picha @ Wellspring Therapeutic

Massage; 1315 Larpenteur Avenue W, Suite A5

Massage Therapist

Vonnie Hoschette @ VMH Therapies

3101 Old Highway 8, Suite 202

Massage Therapist

VMH Therapies; 3101 Old Highway 8, Suite 202

Massage Therapist



                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

                        Nays: None.


d.            Approve Joint Powers Agreement with TIES for access to City-owned Fiber Network

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.


                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.


8.         Consider Items Removed from Consent

a.            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

2)    Additional 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.


                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.


12.         General Ordinances for Adoption


13.         Presentations



Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 6:11 pm and reconvened at approximately 6:14 pm.

a.            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 the following:

·         Community vision has been captured through the planning process to-date;

·         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 those facilities.


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 clarification.


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 have eliminated.


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 community.


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 demographics.


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 facilities.


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 pm.


b.            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 Commissioner).


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 them.


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 recommendations.


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 working groups.


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:

1.            Deteriorating items/facilities in existing parks to make them safe and upgraded;

2.            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 residents;

3.            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;

4.            Bonding money is relatively cheap right now; and

5.            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 information.


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 accomplished. 


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 misperceptions.


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 quickly.


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 responding affirmatively.


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 pathways.


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 funding options.


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 infrastructure needs.


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 possibility.


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 center.


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 those communities.


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 well.


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 community.


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 other things.


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 possible.


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 Recreation Department.


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 8:30 pm.


c.            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 Plan).



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 expenditures.


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 back in.


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 RCWD.


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 local resource.


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.


14.         Public Hearings


15.         Business Items (Action Items)


a.            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 accomplishment.


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 Improvement.


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.


Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Willmus; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: McGehee.

Motion carried.


b.            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.


                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.


c.            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.


d.            Consider a Resolution to Approve a Development Agreement with Sienna Green II Limited Partnership Dedicating Tax Increment from TIF District No. 18

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 questions.


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 need.  . 


                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; and Roe.

Nays: McGehee.

Motion Carried.


c.            Consider Accepting a Livable Housing Incentives Account Grant for Sienna Green II and Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with AEON

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.


                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Pust; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.


16.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


a.            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 hereof,


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 required.


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 needs further.


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 recommendation.


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 taxes.


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 documentation.


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 paying jobs.


17.         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.


18.         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 to attend.


16.      Adjourn

Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:02 pm.