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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

July 18, 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 July: Pust; Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe).  Mayor Roe announced that Councilmember Pust was delayed and would be arriving later during the meeting if her scheduled allowed.  City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.


2.            Approve Agenda

Mayor Roe requested the addition of Item 12.d entitled, “Consider Reopening HRA Appointments.”


Councilmember McGehee requested removal of Consent Item 7.d entitled, “Consider a Resolution Approving Mayor’s Reappointment to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.”


Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the agenda as amended.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.


3.         Public Comment

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


a.         Candy Winkleman, 2835 Dellwood Avenue (at Terrace Drive)

Ms. Winkleman asked to address her perception of the lack of arrests being made in and near Cottontail Park.  Ms. Winkleman noted cars parking on County Road C-2, near the homes on Hamline to Woodhill Avenues, and entering the park with empty backpacks, and returning with full backpacks from apparent drug dealers.  While Ms. Winkleman acknowledged some police presence and action in the early morning hours on occasion, she opined that drug-related activity continued to increase.  Ms. Winkleman provided several examples of drug activity and transactions she and other neighbors had witnessed at the park; and asked that more diligence be given the situation by the Police Department. 


Ms. Winkleman also noted, based on her experience as a ride-along participant with Ramsey County officers, the increased tagging and vandalism of restroom facilities at Lake Josephine Park. 


As a resident in the area, Councilmember Willmus noted the pathways in the park referenced by Ms. Winkleman; and encouraged her and neighbors to immediately contact the Police Department when observing suspicious activity.


Mayor Roe noted the presence of Police Chief Rick Mathwig in the audience, and suggested that Ms. Winkleman take an opportunity to visit with him tonight off camera; and echoed encouragement for any citizens to report suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1 immediately.


4.         Council Communications, Reports and Announcements

Mayor Roe announced the upcoming Parks and Recreation Implementation Community Meeting #3 scheduled for Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 7:00 – 8:45 pm at the Roseville Skating Center Rose Room.


Mayor Roe personally thanked Rosetown Playhouse for inviting his participation in the recent production of the Wizard of Oz production; and thanked the many volunteers for their participation and continuing this ongoing community activity.


Mayor Roe thanked the City’s First Responders and Public Works employees for their emergency response in their various and multiple roles in dealing with recent major rain events.


5.            Recognitions, Donations, Communications


a.            Proclamation of Night to Unite

Mayor Roe read proclamation for the annual “Night to Unite;” and also reminded citizens of the upcoming Central Park Family Night as well.


Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, proclaiming August 2, 2011 at Night to Unite in Roseville; and authorizing the Mayor and City Manager to execute the Proclamation.

Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.


6.         Approve Minutes


a.            Approve Minutes of July 11, 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.


Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the minutes of the July 11, 2011 meeting as amended.



Councilmember McGehee submitted corrections to Pages 7, 10, 13 and 15 presented as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof, in addition to those corrections previously submitted and incorporated into the draft. 


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; 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

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.    

ACH Payments


63263 – 63320





Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.


b.            Approve Business Licenses

McGehee­­­ moved, Johnson seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for those applicants as follows:



Type of License

Erica Pointer Kobett at Mind, Body and Soul Wellness Center

2201 N Lexington Avenue, #103

Massage Therapist

Misty M. Meier at Serene Body Therapy

1629 West County Road C

Massage Therapist

A Caring Doctor (MN), PA,

d/b/a Danfield, Pet Hospital #1971

2480 Fairview Avenue

Veterinarian Examination & Inoculation Center


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.


c.            Cancel August 15, 2011 City Council Meeting

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, cancelling the August 15, 2011 City Council meeting; and directing staff to provide notice of the cancellation.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.


8.            Consider Items Removed from Consent


a.         Consider a Resolution Approving Mayor’s Reappointment to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Former Consent Item 7.d)

Councilmember McGehee asked for clarification on the process for appointment to the HRA.


Mayor Roe advised that appointments to the HRA are specifically addressed by State Statute, as well as through HRA Resolution; with applications normally not sought unless a vacancy existed, or the Mayor chose not to reappoint a Commissioner. 


McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No.10914 (Attachment A) entitled, “Resolution Approving Mayor’s Reappointment of William B. Masche to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority in and for the City of Roseville for a Term to Expire in 2016.”


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.


12.         General Ordinances for Adoption


13.         Presentations


a.            John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney

Mayor Roe recognized and welcomed Ramsey County Attorney John Choi.


Ramsey County Attorney John Choi thanked the City Council for their time allowing him to address them and its citizens for the purpose of extending his hand in partnership to the City of Roseville’s City Council and its residents.  Mr. Choi noted his positive and good partnership with Police Chief Rick Mathwig, and his great respect for him and his work.  Mr. Choi advised that he had also had recent meetings with City Attorneys Caroline Bell-Beckman and Mark Gaughan; and advised that, as a former City Attorney, he was looking to think beyond typical jurisdictional restrictions to accomplish mutual goals.


Mr. Choi reviewed some of the new initiatives he’d put into place since taking office, including addressing an area of his concern, the “decline rate” of cases presented to his office for prosecution, which were too high in his opinion.  Mr. Choi advised that he had put into place a “second look” initiative to review that data and efforts of his office in prosecuting cases in partnership with law enforcement; and offered his willingness to put additional resources toward this initiative, by assigning a veteran prosecutor to review cases.  Mr. Choi noted that the initiative also included more resources to train law enforcement officers to ensure stronger cases were brought forward to successfully charge.


Mr. Choi noted the expense to jurisdictions and their taxpayers for storage and processing of vehicle forfeiture cases, advising that he had inherited a huge backlog of such cases, and had put new protocols in place to process those cases more efficiently.


Regarding juvenile crime issues, Mr. Choi advised that this was a major issue for him in getting kids currently on the wrong track back on the right track; and had therefore separated the juvenile division with a new policy in place.  Mr. Choi advised that, under that new policy, he and other colleagues had met and agreed to no longer prosecute children who were being victimized (e.g. prostituted), but to help them, through programs such as the Runaway Intervention Program, and help children out of those situations, and look at them as victims needing protection, not offenders or delinquents.


Mr. Choi addressed the Dangerous Repeat Offender Program (DROP) and data indicating that the majority of repeat offenders continue in a life of crime; causing his office to recommit to reinstating the career criminal statute throughout the entire process by providing deterrents, such as lengthy incarceration, to dissuade incentives to continue that criminal life.


Mr. Choi advised that his office would continue outreach with City Attorneys on domestic violence cases to achieve better outcomes overalls a homicide prevention initiative. 


Mr. Choi expressed his interest in working with elected officials, and serving Ramsey County and Roseville residents to ensure more public safety efforts and encouraging livable communities in Ramsey County.


Mr. Choi’s assistant provided a brochure and business card from the County Attorney’s Office.


Mayor Roe thanked Mr. Choi for his attendance; and for his ongoing efforts for children and against violence; and efforts with domestic violence situations to prevent worse things from happening.


Councilmember Willmus thanked Mr. Choi for his attendance; opining that he couldn’t remember the last time a County Prosecutor had come to a municipal Council Chambers.


Mr. Choi advised that this was his operational preference, to work closely with various jurisdictions on common goals.


Councilmember Johnson personally thanked Mr. Choi for his attendance; and expressed his hope that they could get together in the near future for further discussion in a more informal setting.  Councilmember Johnson asked Mr.
Choi if he had any feeling on an additional sales tax for the Viking Stadium one way or the other.


Mr. Choi advised that, while being an elected County Attorney, he also had a duty to his client, the Ramsey County Board, to represent their policy decision and position, whatever that turned out to be; and noted that his personal opinion was irrelevant.


Mayor Roe reiterated Councilmember Willmus’ comments on the attendance of a County Attorney at a municipal meeting; and thanked Mr. Choi for his attendance and comments.


b.            John Ðoàn, Metropolitan Council Representative

Mayor Roe recognized and welcomed Mr. John Ðoàn, newly-appointed representative to the Metropolitan Council for District 10 that included the City of Roseville, and basically those cities along both sides of the I-35 W Corridor.


Materials related to the purpose of the Metropolitan Council, and Mr. Ðoàn’s representation, were provided as a bench handout by Sector Representative Lisa Barajas, also in attendance.


Mr. Ðoàn reviewed the responsibilities of the Metropolitan Council, from buses to flushes; and noted that he served on the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committees.


Mayor Roe expressed his appreciation for Mr. Ðoàn’s service on the Transportation Committee; noting that this was a major interest of the City of Roseville to refocus the Metropolitan Council back on the NE Diagonal and regional transportation issues.  Mayor Roe noted concerns of residents in ongoing discussions and potential cuts to the Roseville Circulator service.


Mayor Roe thanked Mr. Ðoàn for his attendance and comments.


c.            Joint Meeting with the Human Rights Commission (HRC)

HRC Vice Chair Gary Grefenberg advised that Chair David Singleton was ill and sent his apologies for being unable to attend.  Vice Chair Grefenberg introduced those Commissioners in attendance at tonight’s meeting: Kaying Thao; Jill Brisbois, and Youth Representative Anthony Barrett.  Vice Chair Grefenberg noted that Anthony’s term would expire in two months due to his recent graduation from the Roseville Area High School.


Vice Chair Grefenberg reviewed accomplishments and 2011 revisions to the HRC’s Strategic Plan and Commission Initiatives, initially adopted in 2009, and included as part of the meeting packet (Attachment A).  Vice Chair Grefenberg noted that the Commission had worked extensively to update and/or put in place rules and procedures to present a more organized approach for the HRC in accomplishing its goals.  Vice Chair Grefenberg noted that this served to more quickly orient new Commissioners; with updated by-laws pending Commission approval; and allowing the HRC to achieve its major objectives.


Vice Chair Grefenberg reviewed the specifics of the Strategic Plan, as outlined, and recognized the preliminary work of former HRC Commissioner Peg Kennedy in identifying and coordinating minority youth at area high schools for their involvement in human rights efforts.


Vice Chair Grefenberg noted that Commissioner Brisbois was taking the lead in planning for the Project 515 Program scheduled for October 4, 2011 at the Skating Center’s Rose Room, to discuss same-sex issues under Minnesota law.


Vice Chair Grefenberg advised that the HRC was taking a more professional and sustained approach and effort to develop a network of Roseville residents and businesses to garner more interest in and provide a more effective response to human rights issues as they came forward.


Vice Chair Grefenberg noted the work of the HRC’s “Roseville Neighborhood and Community Engagement Task Force,” and its membership and representation across the City to serve as a working group, with sub-committees as it moved forward.  Vice Chair Grefenberg noted that the Task Force would be seeking a meeting with the City Council in the near future to receive their feedback on efforts to-date.  A bench handout consisting of a map showing those members and their locations throughout the City was provided, and attached hereto and made a part hereof.


Related to the Sub-committee addressing 2010 census data, Mr. Grefenberg advised that this committee was no longer working since its members had recently resigned from the HRC; but did note that it had been determined that approximately one-third of Roseville residents are renters.  Mr. Grefenberg noted that this served to indicate that public notification efforts should include them (e.g. zoning notices) and those leasing businesses from other developers that could avoid some issues when only property owners are notified of pertinent items of interest (e.g. the former asphalt plant).


Vice Chair Grefenberg advised that the HRC was no longer pursuing other sources for additional funds for their efforts.


Vice Chair Grefenberg advised that the HRC had scheduled a public hearing on September 14, 2011, in the Rose Room at the Skating Center, for neighbors to advise them of their opinion of civic engagement.  Mr. Grefenberg suggested it may be informative for the City Council to attend; and that there had been some discussion of Mayor Roe moderating that event.


Members Thao and Brisbois clarified that the HRC was not intending to drop its mediation service discussion; however, it was postponing those discussions until next year.


At the request of Vice Chair Grefenberg, Member Barrett advised that, in his role as youth liaison between high school youth and the HRC, his project over the last few months had been to organize a way for different social justice, cultural and ethnic groups to connect with the HRC.  While not coming into effect until May of 2011, Member Barrett expressed his hope that future youth commissioners would continue to pursue that effort and continue to collaborate with the HRC.  Member Barrett noted that, while the Roseville HRC’s youth commissioners had no vote, there were some commissions that provided youth members as voting members.  Member Barrett advised that this opportunity had served as a good experience for him in city government.


Related to future mediation service efforts of the HRC, Councilmember Willmus expressed concern in potential duplication of duties; and concerns with costs to the City when it is already done at a state level; and questioned if a local program would be more effective than that provided at a state level.


Councilmember Willmus expressed his interest in seeing the HRC approach and be more involved with diverse ethnic and cultural communities in Roseville to get those groups more engaged in the community, and suggested the HRC use the work done to-date by Independent School District 623 as a resource, or as a potential partner for those groups.


Related to mediation and the HRC’s reassessment of such an initiative, Vice Chair Grefenberg advised that the HRC would not offer a blanket recommendation to the City Council, but would provide rationale and firm structure for moving forward with it.


Member Brisbois advised that it was Chair Singleton’s main priority to pursue mediation; however, she noted her discussions with Chair Singleton of major hurdles, primarily citizens giving up their state rights to the City.  Member Brisbois noted that the City of Bloomington had its own in-house legal counsel; but that it would be a huge expense to the City of Roseville to pursue the initiative.  While supporting the concept in theory, Member Brisbois expressed concern with the practicality given ongoing budget issues; and citizens giving up their state rights, in addition to lack of in-house legal counsel.


Councilmember McGehee questioned if it was possible to identify various ethnic groups in the community to provide presentations to the community about their culture, rather than the annual forum hosted by the HRC.  Councilmember McGehee noted one such successful event held by the City of Falcon Heights and the Somali Community.  Councilmember McGehee opined that Roseville residents would like to understand the various cultures represented in Roseville.


Member Thao opined that it was a great suggestion; and advised that the HRC was meeting later this month to discuss that very issue.


Vice Chair Grefenberg noted declining attendance at the annual form; and the HRC’s concern that the same invitation was being sent to the same people.  Mr. Grefenberg advised that Roseville Visitors Association (RVA) Executive Director Julie Larson had suggested that the HRC take their forums to other locations, such as the Sienna Green Apartments that represented a diverse neighborhood, to involve them more directly in planning the event itself.  Mr. Grefenberg advised that the HRC was open to all ideas.  Mr. Grefenberg noted the differing cultures that did not see City Hall or government as a friendly place, based on their past experience with and abuses by government authority.


Commissioner Thelma McKenzie arrived in the audience at this time

Mayor Roe suggested resource potential of the International Institute and the St. Paul Civic Center’s Festival of Nations.


Vice Chair Grefenberg expanded further on the work of the HRC’s twenty-one member “Roseville Neighborhood and Community Engagement Task Force.” 


Councilmember Johnson questioned if the HRC was finding the Parks and Recreation constellation concept a natural for their group; or if they were heading in another direction.


Vice Chair Grefenberg advised that the neighborhood constellation as used as a model; however, the Task Force had yet to decide; as their role was to improve and make civic engagement happen throughout the City.


Councilmember Johnson thanked the HRC for their update; and expressed his interest in hearing their progress reports as they moved forward.


Vice Chair Grefenberg, from his personal experience and perspective, sought any assistance to the HRC from City staff in providing a more professional assessment of 2010 census data.


Mayor Roe expressed his favorable impression with the Task Force’s introductory meeting and the city-wide representation.  Mayor Roe strongly encourage the HRC continuing to pursue other financial resources, partnerships and grant funding to leverage the City’s budget, especially in outreach efforts and pursuing cultural discussions. 


Vice Chair Grefenberg noted that City Manager Malinen was a participant at HRC meetings; and provided input on what was achievable from a city perspective.


Councilmember McGehee concurred with Mayor Roe’s observation and impressions with the introductory Task Force meeting; and their obvious enthusiasm.


Mayor Roe thanked HRC Commissioners for their attendance and the informative discussion; and expressed his interest in the September meeting.


d.            Crime Report Presentation

Community Relations Coordinator Sarah Mahmud and Police Chief Rick Mathwig provided a presentation on CrimeReports, as detailed in the staff report dated July 18, 2011. 


In order to facilitate technical issues, Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 7:18 pm and reconvened at approximately 7:24 pm.


Councilmember Pust arrived at this time; approximately 7:20 pm.



Community Relations Coordinator Sarah Mahmud provided a presentation on this tool for the Roseville Community to understand and fight crime at a neighborhood level; advising that it had been used by the Police Department for approximately six (6) months now.  Ms. Mahmud revised “CrimeReports,” advising that it was an easy-to-use online crime mapping tool that allowed police and citizens to view crimes at a neighborhood level in near real time; assisted in tracking developing crime trends using Google Maps to visualize crime information; and encouraged citizens to sign up for customizable e-mail alerts in order to monitor crime in their neighborhoods.  Ms. Mahmud advised that crime data was available from June of 2010, and could be customized by the individual at their discretion.  Ms. Mahmud opined that this was a great tool for block clubs. 


Ms. Mahmud reviewed the various ways to access the data: RV Website:; the Police Department website to access “crimemapping;” or by an iPhoneApp downloadable through the iTunes Store; or at their website.  Ms. Mahmud advised that this was her preferred method, as it provided a broader picture and larger screen.


At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Ms. Mahmud advised that the data included that from other jurisdictions and crossover areas, depending on how individual users preferred to use it.


Ms. Mahmud provided a brief overview of how to search for crime data by entering the city, state, date range, and by selecting different incident layers or types of crime; how to create a personalized crime alert for a preferred area (e.g. neighborhood or school district); and how it provided a great tool for the Police Department to get information via email lists and block captains on crime incidents or alerts.  Ms. Mahmud noted that it provided residents the ability to view crime incidents by general area, case number, time and type of crime.


Ms. Mahmud advised that this program was part of the LETG Records Management package, and therefore came at no additional cost to the City or its citizens.  Ms. Mahmud noted that, at this time, more than 1,000 cities across North America are sharing crime information through CrimeReports; with several surrounding communities having signed on as well.  Ms. Mahmud opined that CrimeReports was an excellent opportunity for the Police Department to partner with the public in proactively fighting crime at a neighborhood level; and that it provided a better and more cost-effective method for accessing that data rather than the expense of GIS training for staff.  Ms. Mahmud further opined that this was a great tool for virtual block clubs.


Discussion among Councilmembers and staff included how the data was continually updated through one laptop by the City’s Information Technology (IT) Department almost as soon as a report is filed; encouragement for staff to get the word out to residents on this tool; collection of accumulated data from the system depending on how it was filtered; and ease of use, as acknowledged by Councilmember Pust who downloaded the program to her iPhone during the discussion.


Mayor Roe expressed his personal interest in how easy the program was to use; and how it provided another way for residents to access information.  In continued discussion on the e-block club concept, Mayor Roe encouraged staff to work with block captains to point people to the program.


Ms. Mahmud advised that there would be an article in an upcoming city newsletter consisting of an actual interview with a block captain; and further advised that a number of block clubs were using e-mail communications and developing virtual block clubs; opining that is offered an exciting opportunity and another avenue for community connections.


Mayor Roe thanked staff for their presentation.


13.      Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


b.            Discuss Contract with Ramsey County to Administer City Elections

Since the meeting was ahead of schedule, and the Consultant for Agenda Item. 10.e had not yet arrived, Mayor Roe amended the agenda to cover some internal items in the interim.


City Manager Malinen provided a summary of a potential contract with Ramsey County to provide administrative, logistic, clerical and physical support for elections for the City of Roseville, as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated July 18, 2011; and proposed contract (Attachment A) between the City of Roseville and Ramsey County for Election Services for 2012.


City Manager Malinen advised that staff was recommending that the City pursue this in 2012; noting the difficulty in obtaining internal back-up support for the one (1) City employee (Caroline Curti) charged with administering elections for the City as needed.  City Manager Malinen opined that this would effectively be a neutral cost; but it served to free staff time and eliminate or reduce other miscellaneous costs such as Public Works employee time, back-up staff support for Ms. Curti, postage, and other costs estimated at an overall savings of approximately $10,000.  Mr. Malinen noted that the contract provided that Ramsey County would conduct all elections for the City beginning in 2012 at a cost similar to that of the City and paid on a quarterly basis, as per the agreement.  If the City Council was supportive of this proposal, Mr. Malinen advised that staff intended to bring it forward at a future date for action. 


Discussion included 2009/10 financial impacts and budget line items; and referencing of City Manager Malinen of a supplemental report on estimated costs provided by Ms. Curti.


Councilmember McGehee thanked City Manager Malinen for the clarity of the report; and spoke in support of the proposal, specifically the one week negotiated for citizens to vote at City Hall and run by the City as in the past, and allowing for last minute absentee voting.


Councilmember Pust opined that she saw this proposal as a cost increase, some embedded as staff costs, but not line items; and unless City Manager Malinen was proposing a cut in staff, it appeared that an additional $107,000 was being added with this Ramsey County contract; while maintaining current staff costs; and questioned how this was cost-neutral.


City Manager Malinen advised that his City Manager-recommended budget presented last week he had reduced the Elections Budget and adjusted the Communications Budget accordingly; and that within that budget, this proposal was cost-neutral.  City Manager Malinen advised that he was not reducing the current position by any FTE hours; but adjusting the General Fund Budget, with the intent to develop and implement the long-deferred goal to get the City’s records online as part of the Communications Department administration costs.  Mr. Malinen advised that this $107,000 contract supplanted the costs of current costs; and that he would provide additional information on those costs folded into the contract.


Councilmember Pust asked for additional information and a better explanation of how this was cost-neutral; what tasks staff would be allotted to in order to free $107,000 from the budget; and how much was getting pushed from the Communication Budget into this budget.


City Manager Malinen advised that he would provide a better explanation as requested.


At the request of Councilmember Johnson, he asked that City Manager Malinen provide also provide a breakdown on the $25,000 referenced by City Manager Malinen from Ms. Curti’s notes and an analysis of Ms. Curti’s salary breakdown accordingly.


Councilmember Willmus spoke in support of taking a look at this; and along the lines of Councilmember Pust’s concerns, he would be open to discussing a reallocation of costs.


Councilmember Pust spoke in support of pursuing this proposal; however, she opined that she wanted to make sure there were no costs being added on top rather than shifting those costs.


Councilmember Johnson expressed his appreciation for the City Manager’s report; and opined that it may have some direct benefit to staff stress in trying times when all departments were being asked to do more and more; noting that it may provide a wellness benefit as well.


City Manager Malinen expressed appreciation to the City Council’s recognition of that.


Mayor Roe also noted that pursuing a Wellness Program for the City was one of the City Manager goals.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, City Manager Malinen advised that this item was not time sensitive, and would be slated to return to the City Council at their July 25, 2011 meeting, but discussion could continue beyond that date if necessary.


e.            Receive County Road C-2 Traffic Study

Mayor Roe noted the arrival of the consultant for this item; and City Engineer Debra Bloom introduced the topic and Mr. Craig Vaughan with SRF Consulting Group.  Ms. Bloom noted that it was the purpose of tonight’s meeting to receive the traffic study report only; and that no Council action was requested.


Mr. Vaughan briefly provided his credentials; and his firm’s charge to conduct the

County Road C-2 Subarea Origin-Destination Study.  Mr. Vaughan advised that his presentation would be similar to that presented at the neighborhood open house held last week.


Detailed information was provided in the agenda packet materials; as well as a copy of Mr. Vaughan’s actual presentation.


Slides 5-8

With Mr. Vaughan responding affirmatively, Mayor Roe clarified that if time was equal, half of the trips would choose one way or the other; but as time increased, more trips would use the indicated route.


Mr. Vaughan reviewed travel pattern shifts for 2011 and 2030 conditions; and focused on the east/west routes through that area.


Figures 12 and 9

Councilmember Willmus asked that Mr. Vaughan speak to the regional impact of 350 vehicle trips in 2011 and comparisons for 2030.


Mr. Vaughan spoke to the regional shift values based on the Metropolitan Council’s regional model, a base network dated 2010, and updated every five (5) years to understand existing patterns from a regional perspective; and 2030 projections, using the same exercise to determine if County Road C-2 was put in place along with other projected transportations improvements, how those traffic patterns would change, with the value reduced by 350 trips, and not coming from east/west roadways, but other potential roadways.


Councilmember Willmus observed that this would serve to pull traffic off County Road C and put it onto County Road C-2 if it were opened.


Mr. Vaughan concurred, based on his firm’s analysis.


Mayor Roe questioned if the County Road C impact number was different from the regional number; with Mr. Vaughan responding that they were two different numbers, and was cumulative.




Figure 12

Mr. Vaughan reviewed this graphic in detail from various area roadways for 2030; and at the request of Councilmember Pust, specifically reviewed base numbers for Josephine Road and County Road C-2 without County Road C-2 being opened, as defined in the legend for each figure.


Page 20 of the Report

Mr. Vaughan summarized his firm’s traffic operations analysis by providing an overview for 2011 and 2030 p.m. peak hour intersection capacities; with and without the County Road C-2 connections; and impacts for two (2) key intersections, as well as impacts to all key intersections. 


Mr. Vaughan advised that he had made the point during the open house, and wanted to reiterate it at this time, that without the connection, there would be a side street delay at the intersection; and that it would degrade to an unacceptable level and require mitigation; but could be done incrementally.  Mr. Vaughan reviewed potential mitigations from a twenty (20) year perspective through striping the roadway appropriately for left/right turns; or installation of a traffic signal at that locations for access to the roadway under 2030 conditions.


Councilmember Willmus noted two (2) segments of County Road C-2 not under discussion: east of Lexington and west of Hamline; and questioned impacts on those two segments.


Mr. Vaughan advised that those impacts were addressed under Figures 9 and 12 for 2011 and 2030 average daily traffic projections.


Mr. Vaughan addressed the feasibility portion of the traffic study, which his firm had been asked to provide one (1) conceptual, not detailed, design providing for a broad brush stroke for a potential connection put in place and what would need to be done in the area or across the entire segment to “feather” the edges.  Mr. Vaughan reviewed a profile of the roadway; and areas for fill or elevation, based on a 30 mph roadway design.  Mr. Vaughan reiterated that this is a concept only, and only one concept; and if the connection were investigated further, there would be other alternatives for consideration.


City Council/Consultant and Staff Discussion following the Presentation

Mayor Roe thanked Mr. Vaughan and staff for their presentation of the study results; and advised that the City Council would set an opportunity in the future for public comment.  Mayor Roe recognized the interest of the audience; and didn’t want to preclude their ability to make comments at a future meeting; after which the City Council and staff would attempt to respond to those questions and comments, in addition to those received at the recent open house. 



Councilmember Johnson expressed his appreciation to that approach; noting that the City Council was just receiving the report tonight, and he wanted to give it his due diligence before hearing public comment.


Councilmember Willmus requested staff recommendation on the road and rights-of-way when this item returned.


Councilmember McGehee questioned Figure 4 and whether it represented the shortest route or whether there was not enough data in the future for sufficient analysis.  Councilmember McGehee questioned, units on x and y coordinates, the percent of non-minimum paths and how travel time was measured in feet, minutes, or seconds.


Mr. Vaughan advised that Figure 4 represented a route diversion curve, a compilation of all that data.  While not referencing the Institute of Traffic Engineers, Mr. Vaughan noted that this data was based on a compilation of surveys from NY where travel time information was gathered and analyzed, providing this type of graphic, and that this travel time route diversion curve was intended to provide the City Council with a determination for their consideration.


Mayor Roe noted, with concurrence by Mr. Vaughan, that the question of units on the graph was not really relevant as the data on the graphs was expressed as percentages.


At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager estimated that the next available agenda for this discussion and public comment would be August 8; however, he noted that this meeting also allowed for public comment on the 2012/13 budget.


Mayor Roe suggested that the August 8 meeting be considered; and requested that the September 12 meeting remain focused on setting the Preliminary 2012 Budget and Tax Levy. 


Councilmember Johnson spoke in support of the initial public comment being held on August 8 and continued to a future date if necessary.


Councilmember McGehee expressed her preference to not break the public comment into two meetings if possible.


Mayor Roe advised that he and City Manager Malinen would continue to review potential dates; and noted the timing needed for staff to provide that meeting information notice to the public.


Councilmember Johnson recognized how respectful both sides had been on this issue; and expressed confidence that it would continue; opining that ninety (90) minutes should suffice.

Mayor Roe suggested that 25 minutes be allotted for budget discussions; and the remainder for the County Road C-2 public comment.


Councilmember Pust thanked the public for their passionate discussion to-date; and recognized the strong views on both sides; however, she asked that they consider presenting their views in an organized manner, rather than multiple comments from each side simply reiterating their views.  Councilmember Pust noted that this would prove respectful of citizen time as well as that of the City Council; and would still allow that everyone’s view was expressed.


Councilmember Pust asked that staff, in addressing the substantive and technical questions from the public on the study, provide their responses to not just the person asking the question, but to the public in general.


Ms. Bloom advised that staff could explore different ways to provide those responses; noting that she had a page on the Engineering website committed to neighbors at the meeting; and intended to send another mailing about the date of the meeting where those responses will be addressed.  Ms. Bloom suggested that, as part of future e-mails, she could make sure questions were obtained by a date certain, and then post responses on the website by date.


Councilmember Pust expressed her preference in not having to mail responses; but to have answers sufficiently in advance that it will shorten the time needed to ask the same questions repeatedly.  Councilmember Pust noted the great customer service skills of Ms. Bloom; and asked the cooperation of residents in getting their comments/questions to her for her to provide a timely response.


Mayor Roe suggested that staff provide a summary of questions received to-date, as a brief part of staff’s presentation at that future meeting.


City Manager Malinen asked Ms. Bloom if staff would be capable of responding to questions or if additional consultant time from SRF was needed.


Ms. Bloom responded that most questions should be answered by SRF; noting that Mr. Vaughan had actually done the study; and personally observed traffic during the study.  Related to the intent of City Manager Malinen’s question, Ms. Bloom advised that the City Council would need to approve any additional time for Mr. Vaughan, as the funds approved to-date had been expended.


Councilmember Pust suggested that City Manager Malinen research whether funds from the City’s Communications Budget could be utilized, since the City Council was attempting to provide additional understanding for the public; and previously authorized funds had been exhausted.  Councilmember Pust opined that this should further prompt residents to consolidate their questions in an organized manner to allow them to be answered more cost-effectively, since it was their tax money.


With City Council concurrence, City Manager Malinen advised that under his budget authority, staff could work with SRF to answer public questions.


Councilmember Pust suggested that City Manager. Malinen handle it under his budget authority, with no special appropriation.


Mayor Roe advised the public that staff would keep everyone informed on the steps in the process.


14.         Public Hearings


15.         Business Items (Action Items)


a.            Consider a Resolution Approving Twin Lakes Sub-Area 1 Regulating Plan; and Consider an Ordinance Amending Text in the City Code pertaining to the Regulating Plan

City Planner Thomas Paschke provided opening comments related to the request before the City Council to approve the Twin Lakes Sub-Area 1 Regulating Plan (PFOJ0017); as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated July 18, 2011 and attachments as included and referenced.  A revised draft resolution (Attachment E) was provided as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof, incorporating additional recommendations of the City Attorney and other minor corrections.


Mr. Paschke introduced Consultant Michael Lamb with Cuningham Group for the presentation of the proposed Regulating Plan.


Mr. Lamb presented a schedule of the Plan and Regulating Map to-date; various versions prior to this current iteration; the three (3) proposed frontages and various examples of each of those typical frontage scenarios.  Mr. Lamb noted that the primary focus of the Regulating Plan was to provide future development with the ability to connect into the existing Langton Lake Park and Lake as an amenity of the area and addressing those public connections to the park and lake in relationship to the Regulating Plan.  Mr. Lamb noted existing and unauthorized trail connections from adjoining private properties already making connections to Langton Lake Park; indicating the popularity of this resource and amenity, and providing the importance of preserving those connections to the amenity, while recognizing it as a potential development too.  Mr. Lamb noted the pre-1900 Heritage Trail site on the south side of Langton Lake (Schacht Smokehouse)


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Lamb addressed the relationship of the Regulating Map to AUAR thresholds, with the AUAR referencing thresholds that dictate some uses and footages in the area for existing rights-of-way and easements, as well as park land within the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.  Mr. Lamb noted that parcels, utilities, and buildings were addressed in the overlay for the extent of Sub-Area 1 in this Regulating Plan area, with Sub-Area 2 east of Fairview and not addressed as part of this Plan.


Councilmember Pust noted the amount of time spent on this project to-date; and various iterations of the map, and lack of those previous iterations in tonight’s presentation.  Councilmember Pust opined that the map being presented tonight was vastly different than the map presented at the May 26, 2011 Community Meeting.


Mr. Lamb advised that the map entitled Version 1 was the earlier version presented at the open house.


Councilmember Pust advised that she was referencing the greenways showing the park as an amenity and green space drawn into that park and correspondingly keeping development form eating up that green space.


Mr. Lamb advised that V.2 of the Regulating Map provided a specific overlay that met the Metropolitan Council’s easement; and those three (3) locations in combination with the three (3) dashed circles indicated where public connections were needed into Langton Lake Park.


Councilmember Pust questioned the greenway onto Prior.


Mr. Lamb advised that during the public vetting process and subsequent meetings with land owners, it had morphed into the area requiring a connection (Letter C on V. 3 map) corresponding with the greenway frontage defining that connection to Langton Lake Park.


Councilmember Pust, in her review of the proposed minimum connections addressed in page 7 of the RCA, didn’t reflect her understanding of the original proposal to provide ways to allow the public and community to have access to that asset.  Councilmember Pust opined that this provides apparent connections from private development to the park, but doesn’t add to the public asset.  While not attempting to be negative, Councilmember Pust opined that it appears that the City has compromised away the intent  of the project; and questioned what value added this now has to the City, when parking was allowed up to the build-to line for flexible frontage properties and even buildings up to that edge and surrounded with parking.  Councilmember Pust opined that this was not in the first plan; and her understanding of what was trying to be accomplished and why this concept was being considered, to keep a sea of asphalt from the park.  Councilmember Pust opined that it was also her understanding that the public liked that original plan; and questioned how much of this change has been weighted to the public versus private business.


Mr. Lamb advised that he felt strongly that this Regulating Plan as presented tonight provided very specific public connectivity and public access from private parcels from all directions; and it was the attempt to define more flexibility with delivery than drawing a hard line.  Mr. Lamb noted minimum 25’ setback requirements and rights-of-way issues; while allowing that all access points be maintained as public access, and those connections clearly identified and defined.


Mayor Roe sought clarification in reviewing the Map and definitions, of connections from public rights-of-way or street through private properties; not just as described from a particular private property, but through a public point to the park.


Mr. Lamb referenced page 7 as the attempt to indicate those required connections.


Councilmember Pust questioned where it was defined that a greenway was required, or simply a visible connection point drawing the public in; and while recognizing that descriptions were limited; she couldn’t see how the City could regulate a developer from an intent different from that of the City in retaining that green space and public connection.  Councilmember Pust used the outdoor market area at the recently-renovated Rainbow Foods at the corner of Larpenteur and Fernwood Avenues as an example of a potential development and use of a structure and public connection on an asphalt parking lot, yet accessible for the public.  Councilmember Pust opined that her overall concern is that it feels like the City has compromised so much and why bother if everything is going to be flexible, as long as a fence screened the property; and questioned why a plan was needed and what was actually changed.


Mr. Lamb noted page 7 of the RCA defined public connections and the relationship of build-to areas and public connections being addressed by the Regulating Plan; suggesting that physical form is defined by buildings in public space; once that public connection is provided.


Councilmember Pust questioned, however if that public connection had to be green.


Mr. Lamb advised that specifications by the City anticipated that it would be green, landscaped, with trees planted; however, greenway was a broad term and would need to be worked out during the landscape process.


Mr. Paschke advised that it was envisioned that the Parks and Recreation would determine what the connection should be with the plan created by staff for pathway connections; type of pathway construction; trees; landscaping; and how that corridor connection was determined.

Mayor Roe questioned if parking was allowed within that area; with Mr. Paschke responding negatively.


Councilmember McGehee concurred with Councilmember Pust; that this was not a green plan and provided nothing new; and in fact, opined that the Master Plan provided a better plan in terms of impervious surface, with more regulation, rather than relying on verbal authority versus the vision the public wanted.  Councilmember McGehee noted the vigorous discussion at the Planning Commission level on the build-to line; and questioned whether this Plan represented what residents really wanted.  Councilmember McGehee opined that Langton Lake was a wonderful amenity and that the proposed greenways were not spelled out well enough; and questioned what access Mr. Lamb had to the AUAR during this process.


Mr. Lamb noted that he was aware of the limit of allowable square footage as defined by the AUAR, and that it had been a reference document throughout the process, and provided broad linear frontages for the entire area.  Mr. Lamb addressed multiple story structures and their relationship to frontages that could or could not be delivered; with the Plan focused more on the defined physical relationship with the lake and building lots to accommodate connections around Langton Lake.


Councilmember McGehee opined that without height restrictions in this area, it could look like downtown Chicago with the proposed frontages.  Councilmember McGehee noted that there is a greenway throughout the entire area, but focused all right around the Lake, and questioned where the connectivity was along County Road C in the vicinity of the medical building and adjacent parcels.  Since County Road C is considered the City’s Gateway, Councilmember McGehee suggested a nice path along that boulevard, but questioned how to get there.  Councilmember McGehee questioned how the proposed boulevard area between the build-to line could accommodate a healthy tree; and questioned where green space improvements were evidenced.


Mr. Lamb noted that Prior and Arthur had portions of sidewalk on both sides; but how to connect with the existing network was still pending; along with Twin Lakes Parkway, the east side of Mount Ridge; and other existing public amenities that do not currently connect to the Lake itself.  Mr. Lamb noted that one feature of the Regulating Plan at this time is how to take existing pathways and connect them to Langton Lake.


Councilmember Pust questioned the accuracy of Area A on the Regulating Map, designated as greenway in relationship to Areas C and D, unless at the corner of Arthur and Iona; opining that it appeared that urban frontage was held on a few corners, with flexible frontage ringing most parcels, depending on their ownership; an questioned how the percentage of flexible versus urban frontage was determined.  Councilmember Pust opined that it would appear that a business owner could put their structure on 85% of their lot and still meet that regulation.


Mayor Roe rephrased the concern in how the greenway and/or urban frontage was enforced, and where the transition point was or who determined where that line was.


Mr. Lamb noted, on the first u-shaped building on Iona or the first parcel, there was the ability to place both corners at urban frontages, or stretch it out and shorten those bays.


Mayor Roe questioned if urban frontage was indicated along a particular parcel, what the length of that line would be from an enforcement perspective; opining that it would appear to open up to endless arguments with developers.


Mr. Lamb noted that there were no dimensions on the Plan, but that they could be scaled at the City’s discretion.


Mayor Roe asked City Planner Paschke how staff would know where the distinction was at between frontages on one particular parcel.


Mr. Paschke advised that the City would be working from a larger-scale map, with different layers through the GIS database within Ramsey County’s property information, which would clearly define right-of-way widths, and widths, depths and square footages of lots.  Mr. Paschke opined that he didn’t see this Regulating Map acting any differently; and that it would clearly provide build-to areas and their widths; the width for greenway frontages; and the length of the lines for various frontages; with it becoming the Official Map; not the one used in this size format for discussion purposes.


Mayor Roe noted the need for a reference in code for such a document to address developer questions. Mayor Roe noted Attachment F (ordinance language), line 249, referenced a section that is currently blank and needing to be filled in before adopting the ordinance; and suggested that was the City’s landscape section of the zoning code.


Councilmember Pust noted a similar blank at line 203 of the document.


Mr. Paschke advised that it was referencing Section 5 within this ordinance.


Mayor Roe suggested, with concurrence by Councilmember Pust, a more clear reference for internal purposes and defining specific for staff enforcement and to avoid potential issues in the future.


Councilmember McGehee reiterated her concerns with build-to lines and sufficient space for trees or how plantings would be defined and regulated.


Mayor Roe suggested refocusing on how all the pieces fit together, with the AUAR based on square footage limits or other factors on each lot; and the reality if a particular parcel designated a frontage area, at least some portion of the building had to be in that frontage; limiting the type of building.  Mayor Roe questioned if that was how this all fit together for regulation, with the 85% coverage limitation defined within those frontages limiting what else could be done on that particular parcel.


Mr. Lamb concurred to a certain extent; however, he noted that every square foot had not been pinpointed, but based on feedback received to-date, the attempt had been made to hang onto the public realm opportunities that were most important to allow access and connection to Langton Lake Park; to define building frontages and restrict development on those parcels immediately adjacent to the park and lake; then to allow more flexibility the further out the parcels went and around the outer perimeter of the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.  Mr. Lamb noted that storm water management requirements would also serve to regulate development and flexibility.


Councilmember Pust questioned if the legal obligation of the AUAR was to create more green space; and if so, was that being accomplished.


Mr. Paschke advised that the AUAR talked about a number of required mitigations, such as a buffer area for the park and certain woodland species of trees; but that it didn’t go so far as to define certain percentages of open space.


Councilmember Pust questioned if this Plan created more buffer space that required by the AUAR.


Mr. Paschke responded negatively; noting that the AUAR stood alone and judged every individual development.


Councilmember Pust questioned how developers would be required to provide additional buffering; and if that would be built into the design of any adopted Plan and legal requirements to build more buffering around the lake.


Mr. Paschke advised that each development would be reviewed separately, in relationship with the AUAR and other City Code requirements.


Mr. Lamb advised that the development review process would be taken into consideration one site and parcel at a time; and additional buffering had been shown in Diagram 1; however, he didn’t characterize the Regulating Map as anything other than a development tool.


In follow-up to Mayor Roe’s question related to urban versus flexible frontages, she used the example at Rainbow Foods at Larpenteur and Fernwood again, and the structure in the parking lot; and if and how a similar structure could meet urban frontage requirements to put a building/parking lot anywhere a developer chose.


Mr. Lamb noted that it was a good question of whether a non-enclosed structure would meet urban frontage requirements.


Councilmember Pust suggested more thought needed to be given to that and similar examples.


Mayor Roe asked that this discussion be continued to a future meeting to get to remaining agenda items.


Councilmember Willmus opined that before moving forward, the City Council needed to receive more definitive detail for how the pedestrian corridor would be made up, based on the comments and concerns addressed by Councilmembers Pust and McGehee; specifically looking at pedestrian corridors and build-to areas adjacent to them.  Councilmember Willmus further opined that, if he were a property owner in the Twin Lakes area, he would prefer to use the zoning code and comprehensive plan as his regulating documents.  Councilmember Willmus opined that the prior plan was extensively urban frontage.  Councilmember Willmus noted that he does not like urban frontage and that this plan is an improvement.  Councilmember Willmus suggested that, if a plan was needed to guide development, more work was needed or the City needed to step back completely.


Councilmember Johnson questioned if he could share in such an option; however, he noted when meeting with the Planning Commission recently, Chair Boerigter had brought up to the City Council his concern in how the Regulating Map looked at that time and how it may restrict some developers or detract from an already tight development market.  Councilmember Johnson opined that he viewed these changes as being more adaptable to different types of development scenarios, which may not be a bad thing.  Councilmember Johnson concurred with Councilmembers Pust and McGehee on the apparent ambiguity of connectivity and green space; and his preference to not give up anything until he saw more green components illustrated.  Councilmember Johnson recognized Mr. Lamb’s comments that green components became less important farther from the lake; however, he supported a stronger green component in every development; while noting the need to rely on the expertise of the Parks and Recreation Commission in their oversight of development as it related to park dedication through land or fees.


Mayor Roe echoed the comments of Councilmember Johnson; and the need to better define the landscape and to determine what is or is not acceptable in greenway corridors.  While understanding that it states a development has to be developed to City standards, Mayor Roe opined that he wanted to see as much included as possible.  Mayor Roe recognized the urgency of staff in getting zoning in place for land use and development in the Twin Lakes Area in order to move development forward, he noted the need to further define it and have more discussion. Mayor Roe suggested that Councilmembers provide their questions and comments to staff at their earliest convenience to allow staff to respond to them with their next update before the City Council.


Mr. Paschke concurred, noting that the more information provided to staff, the more could be taken into consideration.  Mr. Paschke noted that consensus was the key, and advised that staff didn’t’ want to make numerous changes without that consensus, and the ultimate goal of a plan suitable for adoption.


Mayor Roe asked that staff review the questions/comments of individual Councilmembers and report back to the full council to determine if they should be incorporated or not. 


From a technical basis, Mayor Roe questioned City Attorney Gaughan on what extent the City Council could change the document before it went back to the Planning Commission for a Public Hearing.


City Attorney Gaughan’s legal conclusion was that the document could not be significantly changed without reverting back through the Planning Commission process.


Mayor Roe thanked staff and Mr. Lamb for their work today; opining that tonight’s discussion was not saying the document was not a good one.


                   Consider Viking Stadium Tax Resolution

Mayor Roe briefly introduced this item for City Council consideration.  Mayor Roe noted that the St Paul Mayor and City Council members had requested that other Ramsey County communities pass resolutions similar to St. Paul’s, in opposition to the county sales tax funding component of the Arden Hills stadium proposal.  Mayor Roe also noted that Ramsey County Commissioner Bennett had submitted materials and requested that Ramsey County communities pass resolutions of support for the stadium proposal.


Councilmember Johnson noted that, since all of Roseville residents lived in Ramsey County and none lived in St. Paul, it carried considerable weight for his consideration; and advised that he was not comfortable taking a stance one way or the other and preferred not to address it at all. Councilmembers Willmus, Pust and McGehee concurred.


Mayor Roe concurred as well; and given the unanimous point of view, advised that the City Council would not be taking any stand at this time.  Mayor Roe asked if any members of the public in attendance had any comment on their action or lack thereof related to this item.


No one spoke other than RVA Executive Director Julie Nelson, who simply applauded the City Council for not taking an action.


b.            Consider Scheduling Long Range Planning Meeting

Mayor Roe suggested possible regular meeting dates possible for long-range planning discussions: September 12, 19 or 26. 


City Manager Malinen advised that staff would need until after Labor Day to get information together for the City Council as previously requested.


Mayor Roe noted that the September 12 meeting focus would be on the Preliminary 2012 Budget; and suggested that it not be considered.


Councilmember Willmus confirmed that he was not aware of any schedule conflicts in September.


Councilmember Johnson opined that two (2) hours should prove sufficient, and spoke in support of using a meeting date already scheduled: September 19 or 26.


Mayor Roe expressed his preference to not have other things on the agenda other than this item to allow sufficient discussion; and offered to continue to work with staff on an acceptable date, preferably a regular meeting date.



            d.         Consider a Resolution Approving Mayor’s Reappointment to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority

Mayor Roe advised that he had received only one (1) application to-date; and suggested that the City Council seek more applications.


Councilmember Willmus noted that the one applicant had also applied to serve on the Human Rights Commission as well.


Discussion included timing from staff’s perspective on advertising and period to receive applications; summer schedules creating a lack of applicants at this time; and whether there was any urgency to appoint to the HRA.


HRA Executive Director Trudgeon advised that the HRA still had six (6) members serving; and continued to meet on a regular schedule, with no quorum issues to-date.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the only problem would be with a tied vote; however, he noted that most items are worked out well in advance of meetings and opined that there should be no negative impacts.


Councilmember Pust suggested that, given vacations and summer schedules, appointment be deferred until September.


Mayor Roe advised that he didn’t want to extend appointment too far in to the fall and preferred an appointment in September; suggesting an August 12 deadline for applications and appointment on September 12.


Councilmember Pust suggested staff provide an e-mail to HRA members for them to encourage their recruitment of interested citizens to apply.


Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, extending the application period for HRA candidates to Friday, August 12, 2011.


Discussion included whether the HRA remained operational with this vacancy; with Councilmember Pust advising, and Mayor Roe concurring, that they were fine with this extension; and if necessary the application period could be further extended if there were still no or limited responses.


Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


16.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


a.            Policy Discussion on whether to provide Utility Customer Notices as part of Rate Setting Process

Mayor Roe noted that this item had been included on the budget calendar for consideration of whether specific notices to property owners be provided for projected utility increases.  Mayor Roe noted that utility rates may increase annually, but were not part of the projected tax-supported property tax statements mailed to all property owners, and providing a specific date for them to be heard related to proposed increases.  


Councilmember Pust questioned why this was being suggested.


Mayor Roe provided a more detailed discussion comparing setting rates and fees with setting property taxes, with statutory requirements for those notices in a formal manner.  However, Mayor Roe noted that while annual fees and rates may signify similar increases, there was no notice provided to residents, even though they were impacted as much by those as with property taxes.  Mayor Roe noted the significant increase proposed for this next budget cycle for fees and rates; and questioned if it was prudent to create a mechanism to provide notification to residents on proposed changes and a formal opportunity for them to speak to those changes. 


Councilmember Pust noted the huge jump in utility rates proposed for the 2012 budget; and opined that it made sense to provide notice to residents this year; and further opined that it probably made sense to provide notice when they instituted the conservation rate structure previously.  While supporting public notification this year, Councilmember Pust spoke in opposition of enacting an ordinance requiring such notice be done every year; and instead suggested that efforts be made to highlight to residents when the City Council anticipates changing fees, expecting residents to keep track with those changes, but not requiring a formal ordinance or doing to on a continuing basis.


Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of a letter to residents when a rate increase seemed likely, depending on the amount of that rate increase.  Since the City had little say in increases from St. Paul Regional Water Utility for water and/or the Metropolitan Council for sewer charges, Councilmember McGehee suggested some type of notice would be more transparent for residents; however, she didn’t support a major expense on the part of the city in providing that notice.


Councilmember Johnson concurred with Councilmembers McGehee and Pust for using a mailing or the most effective way to get to utility customers, especially since a potentially large increase was being recommended for 2012; however, he didn’t support making it an ordinance at this time.  Councilmember Johnson noted that the recommendation of the CIP Committee was to virtually freeze utility rates after this major increase to address capital needs, and questioned whether an annual letter was necessary.


Councilmember Willmus concurred with Councilmembers Pust and Johnson.


Councilmembers McGehee and Johnson questioned if a simple and generic sentence on utility bills would suffice, without too much specificity requiring additional staff time.


Mayor Roe addressed the frequency of utility billing, with approximately one third-or one-fourth of the City billed each month; and how the timing of mailing rate increase notices on utility bills would realistically work out from staff’s point of view.  Mayor Roe suggested that a generic statement on bills alerting residents to their ability to speak publically on rate and fee increases was available to them at the formal property-tax supported public hearing.  Mayor Roe asked staff to consider the practicality of such a generic notice as it related to timing of the bills for the 2012 budget, and report back to the City Council at a future meeting.


Councilmember Johnson questioned if the latter suggestion was as transparent as he would like; and opined that the City Council should be transparent if that was their intent.


City Manager Malinen advised that staff would report back to the City Council in approximately one (1) month as requested; with Mayor Roe asking that the report include the timing of potential notice; and the type and information to be included based on that timing.


b.            Discuss Contract with Ramsey County to Administer City Elections

This item was taken up earlier in the meeting, between 10.d and 10.e.


c.            Discuss an Ordinance Amending Zoning Text pertaining to Variances

Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon provided a brief summary of the request for approval of a zoning text amendment pertaining to variances (Proj-0017).  Mr. Trudgeon advised that recent legislation had provided more reasonable language allowing cities to grant variances; necessitating revisions to City Ordinance that would be consistent with state statute, as drafted by the City Attorney.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that this was for City Council review; and that staff planned to come forward at the next meeting for action.


Councilmember Pust suggested the zoning text amendment be approved at tonight’s meeting as presented.


Pust moved, Willmus seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 1413 (Attachment A) entitled, “An Ordinance Amending Selected Text of Section 1009.04 (Variances) of Title 10 “Zoning Code” of the City Code.”


At the concurrence of City Attorney Gaughan, and due to its brevity, staff was directed to publish the entire ordinance rather than a summary.

Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.


17.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Malinen reviewed upcoming agenda items.


18.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings


16.      Adjourn

Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:00 pm.

Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

Nays: None.