View Other Items in this Archive |
View All Archives | Printable Version
Council Meeting Minutes
October 24, 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 October: McGehee; Willmus; Johnson; Pust;
and Roe). City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.
Executive Session Johnson moved,
Willmus seconded, to go into closed executive session to continue a discussion
of labor negotiation strategy, in accordance with MN Statutes 13.d.03.
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus;
Johnson; Pust; and Roe.
Mayor Roe convened the Roseville
City Council in closed executive session at approximately 6:05 p.m.
Willmus moved, Johnson seconded, adjournment
of the closed executive session, and return to open session.
[Closed Executive Session
participants included Mayor Roe, Councilmembers McGehee, Willmus, Johnson and
Pust, City Attorney Gaughan, City Manager Malinen and Human Resources Manager Bacon.]
Mayor Roe adjourned the closed
executive session at approximately 7:20 pm and reconvened the City Council in
open session at approximately 7:24 pm.
Councilmember McGehee noted that
she had general questions on four (4) of the Consent Agenda items, but didn’t
think that those items necessarily needed to be removed for those questions.
Mayor Roe suggested that Councilmember McGehee’s questions be addressed during
approval of the Consent Agenda.
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded,
approval of the agenda as presented.
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.
Council Communications, Reports and Announcements
Mayor Roe announced and invited the
public to attend the Farewell Ceremony for Fire Station No. 1 on Thursday,
October 27, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. at the station located at corner of Lexington
and Woodhill on the City Hall campus. Mayor Roe advised that the community
would gather to celebrate the history of Station No. 1 in the community prior
to its upcoming demolition, with refreshments served. For additional
information, Mayor Roe suggested contacting Fire Chief Tim O’Neill.
Mayor Roe announced upcoming School
Board elections on November 8, 2011, for School Districts 623 and 621; and
encouraged residents to vote.
Recognitions, Donations, Communications
a. Proclaim American
Mayor Roe read a proclamation
declaring November 2011 as National American Indian Heritage Month.
Pust moved, McGehee seconded, proclaiming
November 2011 as National American Indian Heritage Month in Roseville, urging
all citizens to join in appreciation for our rich and diverse community.
Willmus; Johnson; Pust; and Roe.
6. Approve Minutes
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
Approve Minutes of October 17, 2011 Meeting
Pust moved, Willmus seconded,
approval of the minutes of the October 17, 2011, meeting as amended and as
As a bench handout, Councilmember
Willmus had submitted additional corrections to pages 14 and 15 of the October
17, 2011, meeting minutes, attached hereto and made a part hereof.
City Manager Malinen noted that in
the Closed Executive Session meeting minutes of October 17, 2011, staff would
correct the reference to the applicable State Statute, which should be Chapter
Ayes: Willmus; Johnson;
Pust; and Roe.
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
Councilmember McGehee asked that
the City Council consider at a later time, having quarterly staff reports and updates
as regular agenda items for discussion, rather than simply presented as part of
the consent agenda.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded,
approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
65354 – 64388
Approve Business Licenses
Johnson moved, Pust seconded,, approval
of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for those
applicants as follows:
Type of License
Veolia ES, 309 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN
Solid Waste Hauler
Walters Recycling, P. O. Box 67
Circle Pines, MN
Accept $500 Donation for Fire Department from Magellan Midstream
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, acceptance
of the $500.00 donation to the Fire Department from Magellan Midstream Partners
– Roseville; and to deposit the funds in the Fire Department donation account
to be used at a later date.
Receive Quarterly Imagine Roseville 2025 Update
Johnson moved, Pust seconded,
receipt of the October 2011 Quarterly Update of the Imagine Roseville 2025
Medium and Long-Term Goals.
Receive Quarterly Shared Services Report
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, receipt
of the October 2011 Quarterly Shared Services Update.
Receive Quarterly City Grant Application Report
Johnson moved, Pust seconded,
receipt of the staff update for City Grant Applications in recent months.
Approve Request by CSM Investors, LLC for Outdoor Storage as a
Conditional Use at 2360 County Road C
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, adoption
of Resolution No. 10943 (Attachment E) entitled, “A Resolution Approving Outdoor
Storage as a Conditional Use at 2360 County Road C (PF11-025).”
Approve Pawn America Minnesota, LLC Currency Exchange License Renewal
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval
of the requests by Pawn America Minnesota LLC, 1715 N Rice Street, to renew
their licenses to operate currency exchange business in Roseville for the 2012
Award Contract for Audit Services
As a bench handout, attached
hereto and made a part hereof, and as requested by Mayor Roe, Finance
Director Chris Miller provided supplemental information regarding the new audit
services contract via an e-mail dated October 21, 2011.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, authorizing
City staff to approve a three (3) year agreement for audit services with Kern,
DeWenter, Viere (KDV), including the standard Professional Services Agreement.
Approve Contract with Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc. (KFI) to Update
the Geothermal Master Plan for the Roseville City Campus
Councilmember McGehee questioned
if this company was the original installers of the City’s geothermal system;
with City Manager Malinen advising that they were the original designers of the
Councilmember McGehee questioned
if staff had information on the cost savings of the last three (3) years with
the geothermal system in place.
Mayor Roe asked that staff provide
that information in report form to the City Council in the future.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval
of a contract with KFI in the amount of $5,000.00 to update the City of
Roseville Geothermal Master Plan for the Roseville City Campus using current
data and incorporating the addition of the new fire station.
Information on Various Budget-Related Initiatives
Councilmember McGehee apologized
that this information had not been provided to the resident requesting it in
the format they had originally requested.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, receipt
of a 2012 Budget Fact Sheet (Attachment A) depicting the ESTIMATED financial
impact on varying home values based on the 2012 preliminary tax levy; proposed
utility rate increases; and debt service impacts from the proposed bond
financing for a new fire station and various park improvements.
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
General Ordinances for Adoption
Public Hearing to Amend the City’s Redevelopment Plan and Industrial
District #1 Plan in Conjunction with the Sale of Bonds to Finance the Construction
of a New Fire Station and Park Improvements
Finance Director Chris Miller
introduced this item, as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated
October 24, 2011; and the background of the request to-date related to the
Parks and Recreation Master Plan Implementation process and to provide for City
Capital Improvement Program (CIP) needs. Mr. Miller noted that discussion on
the City’s fire station needs have been occurring for the better part of a
decade, and how to approach the community’s long-term emergency service needs;
as well as how to address long-deferred CIP infrastructure needs. Mr. Miller
advised that those discussions had also included numerous open houses,
community forums, City newsletter and on-line information on the City’s website.
Mr. Miller noted that tonight’s
Public Hearing was subsequent to the City Council’s direction to staff to
proceed with replacement of Fire Station No. 1 and the first phase of the Park
Master Plan Implementation Program of approximately $19 million, with $2
million allotted to the Parks Implementation Program and $8 million toward a
new Fire Station. Mr. Miller advised that subsequent bond issues specific to
the park system were proposed in 2012 and 2013.
While legal counsel was satisfied
that the City’s current Redevelopment Plan and Industrial Development District
#1 Plan, in the interest of being extra-transparent and extra-careful about the
City’s intentions, an amendment was being brought forward to the Plan that
would specifically call out redevelopment activities for a new fire station and
addressing the first phase of park improvements outlined in the Park Master
Mr. Miller advised that the City’s
Bond Counsel, Mary Ippel, was present in the audience to respond to any
questions of the City Council or audience during tonight’s Hearing and action
Mayor Roe clarified that the City
Council, immediately following the Public Hearing, would be considering three
actions, as outlined in the staff reports related to Items 11.a, 12.a and 12.b.
Councilmember Willmus referenced
the 2012 Budget Fact Sheet prepared by staff and included in tonight’s meeting
packet (Item 7.k) and the projected combined impact on a typical single-family
home of 25% over 2011, and what that projection was based upon.
Mr. Miller advised that the
impacts reflected a series of items: if the City Council continued with their
proposed 2012 tax levy, impacts of issuing $8 million in bonds for a new fire
station, impacts of issuing $19 million in bonds for parks, and proposed increases
to utility rates as outlined, all of which would equal an additional $25/month for
a typical single-family homeowner. However, Mr. Miller noted that this impact
would not be felt in its entirety in 2012, with approximately half felt in 2012,
with the rest phased in during 2013 and 2014, with the total maximum impact
arriving in 2014, contingent upon the City Council proceeding with each of
those items as they had originally indicated.
Councilmember Willmus clarified
that this impact would be reduced if the City Council didn’t raise utility
rates as much as anticipated; with Mr. Miller responding affirmatively.
Councilmember Willmus noted the
proposed allocation of this first $10 million bond issue between the fire
station and parks; and questioned if the City Council approved the bond issue tonight,
if there was anything preventing the City Council, in subsequent action, to
reallocate that 80/20 split between the fire station and parks.
Mr. Miller advised that, if the
City Council proceeds with authorizing the bond issue, the City’s Bond Counsel
would be holding subsequent discussions with bond agencies on the allocation;
and there may be general concern expressed by those agencies on whether future
action met the general intent of the bond issue terms and proceeds.
Ms. Ippel responded to
Councilmember Willmus by noting that, at the time the bonds are sold and the
City Council accepted the resolution accepting that bond sale and based on the
present schedule for a November 24, 2011, bond sale date, the City Council
should have established by then how the proceeds will be spent and specific
allocations for each of the two (2) projects.
Councilmember Willmus opined that
the Fire Department would not be utilizing all $8 million in the coming year,
thus his question; with Mayor Roe responding that the allocation would need to
be firmly clarified between now and November 24, 2011.
In an effort to follow-up on
Councilmember Willmus’ first question on the 2012 Budget Fact Sheet Councilmember
Pust asked staff to clarify the impacts to a typical single-family homeowner for
the next fiscal year being the fire station, and only $10 million of the total
$19 million for park improvements, creating a split impact, making the actual
percentage increase – if all items occurred – about 15%, not 25%.
Mr. Miller responded that, actual
impacts from the bond issue would not be felt until 2013, as there was a time
delay to get the bond issues in place and on property tax levies, with 2013
being the first year that the levy would appear. Mr. Miller concurred with
Councilmember Pust’s percentage projections; reiterating that the full impact
if everything was implemented, would not be felt until 2104; with about half
felt in 2012, and the other half coming due in 2013 and 2014.
Councilmember Pust clarified that
two (2) of the items had already been voted on, and residents were anticipating
larger than projected impacts, and the full 25%, as outlined, realized in 2014
if the City Council stayed on this path.
Mayor Roe noted that the projected
25% change in property taxes was not all collected by the City as property
taxes, but the amount paid for utilities and taxes were projected for an
average household in Roseville.
Councilmember McGehee referenced
to the 2012 Budget Fact Sheet, noting that the $11 amount for Market Value
Homestead Credit (MVHC) was also coming out of taxpayer pockets, and should be
included in this list of impacts.
Councilmember McGehee referenced
the State Statutes in the draft resolution to modify the Redevelopment Plan and
Industrial Development District No. 1 Plan, and their references to the City’s
Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), and questioned if the City’s Port
Authority was going to be used in the same area, why it had to be denoted in
Ms. Ippel advised that when the
redevelopment project area and industrial development area terminus was
established in 1990 and then enlarged in 1991, it was established as an HRA
area and industrial area, not focusing on the HRA plan or any industrial
development goals for these projects, simply speaking to the City’s HRA powers
which the City has as a part of being granted Port Authority powers in 1987.
Councilmember McGehee questioned
the rationale for using Port Authority powers, why not just use the City’s HRA
Ms. Ippel clarified, that as per
Minnesota State Statute, the City’s HRA did not have Port Authority
authorities, but the City had been granted Port Authority powers under Port
Authority laws; and that the City’s Port Authority also had the powers of an
Councilmember McGehee referenced
specific sections of State Statute, and her understanding of their provisions;
with Ms. Ippel advising that under HRA provisions, Port Authority and by cross
fertilizations of them, the City had powers under the Industrial Development
Act, with the City Council having multiple powers.
Councilmember McGehee questioned
if there was some conflict between the powers, with Port Authority calling out
things being marginal, or blighted under HRA definitions, and blurring the
Ms. Ippel advised that there was no
conflict, simply different statutory authorities that contain different
statutory powers for a City Council.
Mayor Roe opened the Public
Hearing at approximately 7:58 p.m.; and reviewed the purpose of and protocol
for speaking during the Public Hearing.
Dick Lambert, 800 Brenner
Mr. Lambert provided two (2) bench
handouts, attached hereto and made a part hereof, respectively entitled,
“How Roseville’s Per Person Costs would Compare to Other Ramsey County Cities
if the Fire Station and Parks Bonding Expenses Were Added to Actual 2011 Levy;”
and “Total Levy Per Person if Fire Station and Parks Bonding Expenses were added
to Actual 2011 Levy…”
Mr. Lambert advised that he was
speaking as a private citizen; and noted that by dividing the total levy amount
by the number of people in Roseville, the proposed bond issues would make the
City of Roseville at the absolute top for taxes; and questioned the absolute
need for all of the items proposed in the bond issue. Mr. Lambert asked that
the City Council reconsider spending this much money; and the significant
impact to citizens without their having the opportunity to vote such an
expenditure up or down through a referendum, rather than the City Council attempting
to “short circuit” the process.
Gerry McDonald, 2857 Dellwood
Mr. McDonald opined that this use
of the City’s Port Authority was not to manage any genuine port, but simply to
use that authority to sell bonds to be used for high dollar projects; and in
that project to avoid a public referendum otherwise required by law. While its
citizens usually supported such projects in Roseville, Mr. McDonald questioned
the City Council’s rationale in using such extreme measures to deny the public
its voice in this matter. Mr. McDonald further opined that it was sad that the
City Council felt it was necessary to use such administrative levers and
legislative loopholes, when the projects would most likely be supported by a
majority of the community and were in the best interests of the community.
Raymond Schreurs, 3058 N Wilder
Mr. Schreurs noted, as a long-time
resident of Roseville, that he had witnessed many changes in the village and
now city; and asked the following questions of the Mayor and City Council.
1) Is democracy
dead in Roseville; 2) Isn’t there a City Council policy to ask voters of Roseville
to decide on expenditures over $3 million; 3) Are you afraid of resident
voters; and 4) Would we not vote in the best interest of Roseville?
Dick Houck, 1131 Roselawn
Mr. Houck referenced media sources
and ongoing headlines about homelessness, diminishing senior retirement
incomes, joblessness, food shelf shortages, and other results of the recent
economic downturn, and questioned if the City Council was reading these same
headlines, questioning how they could up with this proposed bond issue if they
were doing so. Mr. Houck stated that there were severe hardships out there,
and opined that it was immoral in this economy to raise taxes. Mr. Houck
further opined that previous City Council’s would not have set a policy to
limit expenditures to $3 million without a referendum; however, this City
Council had authorized the City’s bond counsel to find a way to seek $27
million without public approval by a referendum. Mr. Houck opined that this was
a devious plan to pick the pockets of Roseville citizens; when if it was a
valid project, the City Council should be able to sell it to the Roseville
voters through a referendum, but that they should ensure that it was actually
the will of the people.
Bruce Dishinger, 2141 N Avon
Mr. Dishinger opined that by
declaring parts of Roseville blighted, the City Council could circumvent a referendum
going to people; however, he further opined that the very people responsible
for taking care of parks and fire stations, were the people who let the
situation reach a blighted condition. Mr. Dishinger used maintenance of his
home as an analogy and his responsibility for its maintenance without seeking
money from a lender to take care of something he should have been taking care
of. Mr. Dishinger asked that the City Council reconsider their decision, and
bring the issue before the voters, letting them decide what was or was not
right for Roseville. Mr. Dishinger assured Councilmembers that citizens could
decide what is right, and being good people who elected individual Councilmembers,
opined that Councilmembers needed to trustworthily and faithfully honor the
trust those voters had placed in each of them. While recognizing that there
were things that needed to be repaired in Roseville, he opined that the decision
should be up to the people of Roseville.
Bob Bierscheid, 1065 Harriet
In an effort for full disclosure,
Mr. Biersheid noted that he had over forty-two (42) years of professional
experience in the Parks and Recreation field, including a substantial number of
years in Roseville. Mr. Biersheid advise that his son was a new firefighter
for Roseville, and expressed concern about his health and welfare, with the
current condition of the City’s fire stations, which he opined were in critical
need of repair. In terms of the use of bonds for Parks and Recreation facilities
and their maintenance, Mr. Biersheid noted that bond funds were intended for
major maintenance of existing facilities, which had not been kept up-to-date in
the City for some time. Mr. Biersheid opined that the City’s risk manager
would say that the City had more exposure to financial risk through continuing
to neglect this maintenance. Mr. Biersheid opined that he had never seen a
more comprehensive asset analysis than that conducted during the Parks and
Recreation Master Plan process. Mr. Biersheid brought forth an old adage that
seemed applicable to him in this situation: to bring things up to standard now,
or in a few years, pay more to board them up, tear them down, or patch them up.
Carol Koester , 1739 Eldridge
Ms. Koester referenced the 2012
Budget Fact Sheet, opining that the potential negative impacts to Roseville
residents, many suffering from joblessness, loss of retirement income, or mortgages
currently under water, would be catastrophic. Ms. Koester stated that, while
dreams are nice, the reality was that parks improvements needed to be deferred
for 3-5 years until the economy improved; and also that the fire station plans
needed to be reviewed and scaled back. Ms. Koester opined that many Roseville
residents were not able to afford much more than they were already paying.
While recognizing that the City needed a new fire station, she questioned the
need for an $8 million fire station; and questioned if other alternatives were
considered to scale things back. If, at that time, it was determined that the
entire $8 million was not actually needed, Ms. Koester suggested that the
budget request be reduced, as well as reducing the cost for park improvements.
As an example, Ms. Koester questioned the need for a sprinkler system in
various parks, opining that this seemed to her to be an extravagance that the
City could do without.
Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks
Mr. Grefenberg noted that he and
Ms. Koester had been the requesters of the 2012 Budget Impact Fact Sheet
prepared by staff, and thanked Finance Director Miller for compiling that information
and provided it to the public, in order to provide a comprehensive look at the
cumulative impact on bonds being considered, along with the proposed utility
fee increase. Mr. Grefenberg encouraged all Roseville residents to seek out a
copy for their personal review; and opined that the number of residents in
attendance at tonight’s meeting could attest to the fact that many residents
had previously been unaware of the totality of the impact. Since so many
residents had apparently been unaware of these impacts before, Mr. Grefenberg
questioned the need for the City Council to rush in making this decision,
opining that he for one couldn’t afford an additional 25% increase to his property
taxes, similarly to other Roseville senior citizens, especially during this
time of economic uncertainty and underemployment. Mr. Grefenberg noted that
Roseville citizens, specifically many of his neighbors, were simply asking that
the City reprioritize, reshape and reschedule this bond issue and expenditures
by seeking other financing options beyond raising property taxes, such as
through the City’s reserve funds. Mr. Grefenberg opined that the City’s
property tax levy had increased 64% over the last decade, while at the same
time, the City maintained a reserve fund of at least $20 million; thus not
requiring the City Council to put any additional burden on its property
taxpayers. Mr. Grefenberg questioned if the City Council had considered
selling the existing fire station on Fairview Avenue, or other ways to recoup
costs. Mr. Grefenberg, while supporting the Parks Master Plan findings in
general, questioned what was served by issuing the entire $19 million at this
time within the next two (2) years; opining that the City Council needed to
make a decision on whether its citizens had the ability to pay for it. Mr.
Grefenberg asked that the City Council proceed cautiously and phase in the impacts
through a bond issue in a more conservative approach, allowing taxpayers some
relief at this time and in this current economy.
Randy Neprash, 1276 Eldridge
Mr. Neprash spoke in support of
the proposed increases in utility rates, from his perspective as being involved
in that field, and speaking from that authority in the field, advised that the
City was taking the right step in addressing its utility infrastructure through
increased fees for those capital improvements. Mr. Neprash opined that the
infrastructure costs would only continue to escalate in the future, as well as
become a legal requirement of the City, along with being a public health and
ethical responsible. Mr. Neprash advised that, in his work with League of Minnesota
Cities (LMC) staff, they were carrying the message across the State of MN that
inevitable increases in running utility systems would be forthcoming.
Therefore, Mr. Neprash opined that it only seemed prudent and responsible of
the City Council to take those actions now. Regarding the property tax levy
and proposed bond sale for a fire station, Mr. Neprash opined that this also
seemed appropriate and prudent; further opining that a new fire station was
However, Mr. Neprash spoke against
a bond sale for park improvements, as it seemed like too much money at the
wrong time in terms of the general economic climate and financial well-being of
Roseville residents; and opined that it seemed that the process was flawed, and
suggested that a reasonable step be taken back to further review this plan.
While having great respect for Mr. Biersheid, Mr. Neprash opined that regarding
a past lack of maintenance of the City’s park system and its facilities, he
recommended that the City Council seriously look at its maintenance procedures
and protocol throughout the City to rectify those problems from the past and to
avoid them in the future.
Shirley Bradway, 3024 Highcrest
Speaking on behalf of the area
League of Women Voters (LWV) and as a member of the LWV for over thirty (30)
years, Ms. Bradway provided a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part
hereof, entitled “Statement of the Roseville-Maplewood-Falcon Heights
Chapter of the Minnesota League of Women Voters.” Ms. Bradway summarized this
statement, noting that the LMV members supported the bonding issue passed by
the City Council on September 12, 2011, that provided for a maintenance bond
for the fire station. Ms. Bradway noted that public safety was a priority to
the LMV; and advised that LMV members had toured fire stations #1 and 3 in May
of this year; and that members concurred with the need for improved fire
station facilities, that had been studied for the last decade. Ms. Bradway
referenced issues with current facilities, including not meeting OSHA and ADA
standards, no sprinkler system in existing facilities; and a lack of gender
appropriate areas. Ms. Bradway opined that this was a public and employee issue;
and requested that the City Council reaffirm their decision for expenditure.
Ann Berry, 1059 Woodhill Drive
As a member of the LWV for over
forty-five (45) years, Ms. Berry concurred with the statement provided by Ms.
Bradway. While experiencing continuing declining values in her home, Ms. Berry
continued to support the bond issue; seeking City Council reaffirmation of
their decision to address this public safety issue for the Fire Department.
Ms. Roni Janos, 1778 Ryan
Ms. Janos expressed her pleasure
in being a Roseville resident, stating that it was a great city, but also held
a lot of family heritage for her. However, Ms. Janos opined that she felt she
was being taxed out of her house as a senior citizen, even though the City
needed a good fire department, she wanted to stay in her home until she died.
Scott Ritchie, 91 Mid Oaks Lane
Mr. Ritchie noted that he had
spoken several years ago about rising property taxes, and impacts on those
seniors and others on fixed incomes, with limited or no COLA. While the former
Mayor had predicted that the economy would start to improve by now, Mr. Ritchie
observed that this was obviously not an accurate prediction, and opined that it
would be a long wait for economic recovery to actually happen; and the housing
market until 2017 for values to get back to 2007 levels, if then. Mr. Ritchie
noted that those are the facts as residents see them; and to have all these
proposals come in a perfect storm on top of that economy for property
taxpayers, it was just too much. Mr. Ritchie noted that costs continued to
mount; and while not disputing that the City needed a fire station, he
questioned the statement that people would not move to Roseville without good
parks, thus the $19 million expenditure. Mr. Ritchie opined that people move
to a community for a good house and good schools; however, he further opined
that maintenance of those homes would continue to deteriorate when homeowners
could no longer afford to keep them maintained. Mr. Ritchie expressed his
cluelessness in understanding a proposal where a portion of bond funds would be
used for irrigation, noting that while the area was currently in an eight year
drought, the ballfields were green, and questioned why they needed to be
irrigated, and charge taxpayers to do, at the same time charging them an additional
60% for water rates. At a minimum, Mr. Ritchie opined that the City needed to
pare down the parks proposal, and questioned who the City Council was listening
to in the proposed need for $19 million for its park system in a declining
economy with beleaguered taxpayers who couldn’t afford it. While recognizing a
previous comment that the City Council phase in the park improvements, Mr.
Ritchie opined that the proposal still needed additional vetting by to make a
reasonable decision on this bonding proposal.
Ms. Lee Schreurs, 3058 N Wilder
Ms. Schreurs questioned why the
City Council had not budgeted annually for maintenance of its parks and fire
stations; or whether they had been included in the budget but not used for
those needs. Ms. Schreurs opined that if the City couldn’t maintain its
existing parks and facilities, or its fire stations, how could it maintain more
parks and a new and larger fire station. Ms. Schreurs further opined that this
seemed to be a problem in this decision-making process on a bond issue, with
taxpayers forced to pay significant interest on bonds when those funds should
be available in the budget to maintain parks and fire stations.
Harold Ristow, 2356 Tophill
Circle (Parks and Recreation Commissioner)
Mr. Ristow, as a member of the
Parks and Recreation Commission, opined that the reason there was no money for
parks maintenance and facilities was due to the Parks and Recreation Department
budget being cut year after year; now creating an urgent time when the money is
necessary. Mr. Ristow referenced the condition of park shelters, and examples.
Mr. Ristow opined that if the City continued to put its collective heads in the
sand, it would continue to go backwards instead of moving ahead; and further
opined that it could not continue to be deferred or left for the next
generation; but required action now through cooperatively working together.
Bill Davies, 464 Lovell Avenue
(Roseville Area Youth Baseball)
Mr. Davies, as a volunteer and
member of the Roseville Area Youth Baseball organization, spoke on behalf of
ballfields and irrigation of them. Mr. Davies reviewed the heavy use of the
fields by Roseville youth and those traveling into Roseville for games and
tournaments from various communities; and the comments of those visitors on the
deteriorating condition of ballfields. Mr. Davies noted that, using Evergreen
Park at County Road B and Fairview Avenue that fields may have been built at a
different time with different circumstances, and had no irrigation or
sufficient drainage systems, and presented real challenges to those using the
fields. Mr. Davies opined that the bottom line was that the City needed to
serve its youth and do so in a safe manner. Mr. Davies noted that the reason
the fields looked plush this year was due to the amount of moisture received.
Mr. Davies opined that his organization and the City wanted to be proud of
their community and provide a good product for those visiting the community for
summer activities used to keep youth involved in the community and to help them
learn team building skills to develop into young adults. Mr. Davies concurred
that the City was obligated to maintain its facilities and parks, in addition
to providing a fire station that was legal and met today’s standards, not just
because it was a legal requirement, but because it was the right thing to do.
Mr. Davies offered his services as a volunteer for the fire station process;
and recognized the differing opinions among younger and older residents. Mr.
Davies opined that the City had an obligation to move forward; and further
opined that residents wanted parks for their kids to play in.
Richard (Jake) Jacobson, 583 Owasso
Mr. Jacobson noted that he had
been a Parks and Recreation Commissioner for a number of years; and when he had
moved to Roseville the condition of the City’s parks and playground equipment,
especially Oasis Park in his neighborhood, was not that great. However, Mr.
Jacobson noted that, through his volunteer participation and the leadership of
Mr. Biersheid as Parks and Recreation Director at that time, a program was developed
for priority replacement of specific playground equipment, and advised that
often, rather than neglected maintenance, many things were simply due to equipment
and/or facilities at the end of their life cycle. Mr. Jacobson opined that,
when compared to facilities in other communities, such as hockey and ice
arenas, the City of Roseville’s facilities were very good; however, they did
need ongoing maintenance. As part of the Master Plan process for Parks, Mr.
Jacobson noted that this had been addressed, that was now being attempted
through the Implementation portion of the Plan. Mr. Jacobson noted that the
Master Plan process had been community-wide and solicited input from a multitude
of stakeholders and demographics in Roseville; and that now it was time to move
forward with that process. Mr. Jacobson expressed how overwhelmed he was with
the volunteerism in Roseville by individuals and various youth recreation
boards and association in keeping actual costs down, ultimately affecting the
bottom line. As a fervent believer in supporting the park system, Mr. Jacobson
noted that the deliverables from various implementation task forces spelled out
the priorities; and asked that the City Council consider those recommendations
seriously in their decision-making; with the Master Plan process in play for a
number of years, and now being the time to move forward.
Karen Schaffer, 2100 Fairview
Avenue (resident next to Evergreen Park)
While sharing in the viewpoints
and comments of many speakers tonight, Ms. Schaffer opined that the City
Council had been put in a box or in a spot, with a manufactured crisis. Ms.
Schaffer questioned what was so urgent that a City Council policy limiting
expenditures to $3 million without a voter referendum could be ignored. Ms.
Schaffer questioned the need for, rather than issuing a General Obligation
bond, the City Council felt the need to research arcane documents that the
average citizen couldn’t understand just to avoid a public referendum, alleging
that this was a less expensive financing option. While everyone was supportive
of the City’s park system, its maintenance and improvement; Ms. Shaffer
questioned why the City had not obtained a more recent study of fire station
needs, at least more recently than that done ten (10) years ago; and providing
for an independent capital improvement need (CIP) analysis of the location,
size, number, amenities and functionality of fire stations. With respect to a
CIP for parks, Ms. Schaffer opined that there were certainly more choices
between zero or $19 million; however, those choices had not been presented to
the City Council; thus the manufactures crisis similar to that found in
congress earlier this year; with the City Council needing more information to
exercise its discretion, which should be a routine process. While being
sympathetic to the box the City Council has been placed in, Ms. Schaffer asked
that they step back and exercise that discretion entrusted to them by voters.
Regarding Evergreen Park ballfields, Ms. Shaffer advised that, when they were
installed, they were financed by the Little League, as their neighborhood was
not going to obtain a regular neighborhood family park because someone
determined that the Little League needs were greater; and the Little League put
in the money. Ms. Schaffer questioned if the Little League was going to
continue with this funding, or if the City’s taxpayers were now being asked to
take that funding over, when the park could only be used for Little League, not
older youth or adults.
Jim DeBenedet, 808 Mil lwood
Mr. DeBenedet advised that he and
his wife Stephanie had been residents of Roseville for over thirty-five (35)
years, and noted he was here tonight to speak to the fire station issue only,
but would return in December when the City Council discussed utility rates to
share additional comments. Mr. DeBenedet opined that the proposed fire station
was a long-delayed project, and was not only addressing mold issues; but
further noted that the existing building could not be brought into compliance
with OSHA and ADA requirements, and continued to violate those codes. Mr.
DeBenedet further noted the changes in the firefighter models, with the force
no longer being a volunteer force, but operating with hired, coed staffing, operating
in facilities that were not adequate for gender separation as required. While
generally supportive of the City Council going to referendum and trusting the
good judgment of its citizens, given recent erroneous news articles and the
many risks the City could be facing with current facilities, Mr. DeBenedet
expressed concern that voters would look at the actual realities of the needs.
In performing an analysis of his personal Ramsey County tax statement and proposed
increases in raw dollars, Mr. DeBenedet advised that – should the City Council
hold with their maximum, preliminary tax levy at 4.2%, and other proposed
increases, he would experience a 2.5% increase in his property taxes. Although
he was also on a fixed income and shared concerns about increased costs, Mr.
DeBenedet opined that this increase was affordable and the right thing to do at
this time for the future of Roseville; and that the uses of the bond issue
should no longer be deferred or delayed; and opined that the City should do
what the law allowed it to do for the best value possible. Mr. DeBenedet
advised that this was what he had elected Councilmembers to do and asked that
they make the decision to move ahead.
Gale Pederson, 929 W Roselawn
Ms. Pederson, un-officially known
as the “Parks and Recreation lady,” and as a thirty-seven (37) year resident of
Roseville, noted that while her husband had retired and was on a fixed income,
she continued to work at a blue collar job. However, Ms. Pederson expressed
her firm belief in this community; and noted that the fire department worked in
outdated, hazardous facilities jeopardizing their health and safety while being
expected to save the homes and lives of Roseville residents and visitors to the
community. Ms. Pederson opined that they deserved a new facility, and she had
no problem paying for such a facility through her taxes. Ms. Pederson noted
that the City’s Parks Master Plan had been studied seriously over the last 3-5
years, receiving more community input than any other survey done in the community;
and should speak clearly about Roseville residents, and their recognition that
the situation needed to be taken care of and paid for accordingly. Ms.
Pedersen noted the continually declining funding in the Park Fund over the last
15-20 years, resulting in deferred maintenance and replacement of facilities
and equipment; and noted that this $19 million for the first implementation
phase was not asking for new parks or a great facility; but was simply to address
basic upkeep and maintenance of existing facilities and equipment, or to preserve
what the City currently had. Sometime in the future, Ms. Pederson admitted
that the Parks and Recreation Commission may seek new facilities or greater
improvements; however, she resented the statement that no new studies had been
done, when the Parks and Recreation Department through the Master Plan process,
and the Fire Department through a recently-updated and independent study, had
done their due diligence over and above expectations. Ms. Pederson noted that
the City Council was fully aware of these studies and ongoing updates over the
last several years; and respectfully asked that they do what had to be done;
and expressed her willingness as a citizen to pay for it. Ms. Pederson opined
that the community of Roseville was vibrant, and she only wanted it to be
well-maintained, further opining that this was what the City Council was
elected to do for its citizens.
Brandon Rettke, 2451 Farrington
Mr. Rettke recognized that
Roseville was a multi-generational community and that this probably created the
varying opinions being expressed tonight; however, he opined that kids needed
safe and quality fields, and that there were not currently enough now to handle
those needs. Regarding Evergreen Park, and his involvement with Roseville
baseball and basketball, Mr. Rettke noted that kid and parent volunteers did
the maintenance work there, and intended to continue doing so on an annual
basis, including equipment installation. While that volunteer work was
cooperatively done with other cities, associations, the School District and
private organizations to upgrade fields, Mr. Rettke opined that there remained
the need to move forward with maintenance at City parks, noting the record number
of youth baseball participants this year, and the difficulty in scheduling practices
and games at existing fields. Coming from a different angle, Mr. Rettke opined
that the City Council was elected to make hard decisions, and while those hard
decisions were often neglected or deferred on a federal or state level, and
pushed onto School Districts and local government, he still supported a voter
referendum to ensure democracy and let the voters decide if the bond issue was
the right thing to do.
Bob Murphy, 1667 Millwood
Mr. Murphy spoke in support of a
bond issue for the fire station; having served as a firefighter, as well as
deputy fire chief, and just having retired in 2001. Mr. Murphy advised that he
had been privileged to participate in the August 2010-2011 Roseville Fire
Department Building Facility Needs Committee, and displayed a copy of the
report from that Committee, provided to the City Council in March of 2011. Mr.
Murphy opined that a new fire station is not a City “want,” but a City “need;”
and would address continuing reduced response times, a centrally-located fire
station on city-owned land; and for those in tonight’s audience claiming that
additional study was needed, he provided excerpts of the above-referenced
study, and work of the Committee in addition to the 2008 study. Mr. Murphy
referenced an earlier speaker opining that it was “immoral to have a referendum,”
by opining that it was “immoral not to provide public safety” when the City had
the ability to do so. In addressing public comments regarding a preference for
the City to scale back and study other alternatives; based on the reports done
to-date, Mr. Murphy noted that the City was going from three (3) to one (1)
station while maintaining the same response time; was purchasing and using less
apparatus while maintaining the City’s ISO rating; and was doing so with the
same staffing; and questioned what more residents could ask for. Mr. Murphy
read the 2010-2011 study conclusions; and requested that the City Council act
on the proposed fire station bond issue.
Bruce Branigan, 2082 Cohansey
Mr. Branigan opined that Roseville
was a great City with exceptional volunteer efforts; and noted that two (2)
specific examples of exceptional departments were being discussed for bonding assistance.
Mr. Branigan noted that the City’s Fire Department was highly rated and
trained; and its Park Department was nationally recognized for its system of
good parks. Mr. Branigan noted that those were some of the reasons he and his
family had moved to Roseville; and noted that both of the issues currently
before the City Council for this bond issue had been studied repeatedly and
in-depth for years, and had been addressed through newspaper articles, the
City’s newsletter, and posted on line – all providing for well-published
information for citizens and discussing alternatives over the last few years.
Mr. Branigan opined that both departments had performed their due diligence in
bringing forward the best recommendation possible to serve current needs, as
well as planning for the future and the City’s ever-increasing and diverse
population, also a responsibility of Roseville citizens. While recognizing the
different views expressed by speakers tonight, Mr. Branigan noted that no one
had addressed current interest rates and the positive timing of a bond issue to
get historically low rates on the bonds, providing a great opportunity. Mr.
Branigan also noted the opportune time for construction and infrastructure
renewal contractors hungry for projects, providing for lower bids for the
proposed projects as well. Mr. Branigan opined that the City had a historic
opportunity to get a great bargain for their money, and now was the time to
move forward and approve these two projects, for current and future
generations, as well as providing for the safety of the City’s well-trained
John Kysylyczyn, 3083 N
Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that the
parks and fire station debate mirrored that of the Vikings stadium debate, with
people wearing blinders and not thinking clearly. Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that
the question was not really about long-term implications and the ability to pay
or not pay of their fellow residents; but actually what was right or moral for
the City Council and whether people should be able to twist laws to the point
of absurdity as long as they got their way. While all private citizens were
entitled to their own opinions, Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that the City Council
needed to rise above the fire station and parks issues, and as elected officials
care about how the process was done and about long-term implications and
interests of all residents, not just those attending a public meeting; and to
the bets of the City Council’s ability. Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that government
should be operated in the original intent of the laws and business conducted in
a moral and ethical manner; and recognizing that everyone supported the fire
department and park department; the actual decision before the City Council
tonight was whether it was ethically and morally correct to use laws written
for transportation needs to attempt to borrow an unlimited amount of money
without voter approval. Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that a facilities upgrade
project, ignoring the $3 million City Council expenditure limit on spending
without voter approval, and changing the City’s Industrial Development Plan had
little to do with the final goal of the City Council borrowing $30 million
without a voter referendum. Mr. Kysylyczyn reviewed his perception of the annual
and long-term impacts to taxpayers, and outlined a series of questions, all
with the same consideration: whether such an action was ethically or morally
correct. Mr. Kysylyczyn alleged that the legal opinions provided by the City’s
bond counsel had been withheld by staff from the public and City Council until
the last minute in an attempt to institute a plan that created the ability for
the City Council today and forever in the future to borrow an unlimited amount
of money for any imaginable project and to quadruple the community’s debt
through this process; all in a community with a long history of voter
referendums. Mr. Kysylyczyn alleged that the City currently had the cash
available today to build a fire station or to address parks, without any of the
proposed bond issue process. Mr. Kysylyczyn referred to his tenure as a City
of Roseville mayor and the choices he made in renovating City Hall, replacing
the Public Works building, and updating fire station; and his ethical and moral
choices in going to the voters at the ballot box, including a number of Public
Hearings, open houses, and other public opportunities to provide information to
the public before the election. Mr. Kysylyczyn noted that he had sent the City
Council’s proposal to several legislators, and while they recognized the City
Council’s authority to proceed, admitted that it would be circumventing voters;
and one of the comments he’d received indicated that some legislators are
stepping forward to eliminate this legislation and authority.
Bill Farmer, 640 Heinel Drive
Mr. Farmer advised that, when he
spoke proudly of Roseville, he listed several reasons for that pride,
including: 1) racial tolerance; 2) a spirit of volunteerism; 3) a great school
district; and 4) the overall environment of the community itself, including its
park system. Mr. Farmer apologized to the City’s first responders in not
including them in that list, since he appreciated them as well. In his fifteen
(15) years as a Roseville resident, Mr. Farmer noted that he had done a lot of
volunteering in various aspects, and noted the vision required to achieve and
maintain high standards. Mr. Farmer noted that, in relationship to the parks,
the Master Plan provided a twenty (20) year vision to restore the character of
Roseville’s park system to a high standard; not to enhance or greatly improve
them, but to simply restore them to a basic standard for Roseville parks,
opining that this was a long-overdue and needed investment. Mr. Farmer opined
that the City’s parks system had been underfunded over a long period resulting
in the current need to invest a significant amount of money to bring it back up
to standard. While recognizing the differing opinions, and the financial
hardships of some, Mr. Farmer opined that if citizens made a commitment to
follow-through with this now, a way would and could be found to accomplish it,
rather than continuing the malaise that created the current situation. Mr.
Farmer further opined that the longer things were put off, the more expensive
they would be; and asked that the City Council follow through and support the
bond issue to fund the park system as put forward.
Ernie Willenbring, 832 Lovell
Mr. Willenbring opined that, given
the amount of public media available, and the obvious need for the facilities
in question, to simply let the people decide.
As a bench handout, attached
hereto and made a part hereof, Mr. Grefenberg provided four (4) pages
total of a petition signed by SouthWest Area of Roseville Neighbors (SWARN) –
Midland Grove Neighborhood – summarized as follows:
“…All this at a time of economic
uncertainty, high unemployment, stagnant wages, and falling home values we
believe it is unfair to ask Roseville property taxpayers to bear the sole burden
of all these proposed initiatives, and respectfully ask the Council to
reconsider their support of these initiatives at their current proposed funding
level, and find other means of financing them.”
Karen Radjek, SW RV
Ms. Radjek noted that there was no
park close to their home except the Evergreen Park ballfield; and asked that
the City Council define the difference between a ballfield and a park, opining
that ballfields required a lot of maintenance, while parks didn’t. As a life-time
member of FOR Parks, Ms. Radjek noted that she was a frequent fundraiser for
parks not anywhere near her home simply because she valued parks so much. Ms.
Radjek expressed her confusion, with the obvious controversy of both of these issues,
why they were grouped together and not considered as separate issues; and
opined that residents should be allowed to vote on both issues. Ms. Radjek
opined that, without organized sports, parks were less expensive to maintain;
and further opined that irrigation systems could actually save water and money
in the long run. Ms. Radjek noted the significant volunteer core available in
the community, and their creativity in problem solving, as well as ball associations
and organizations; and opined that if you participate in those sports, you
should help maintain those fields; and again questioned if it was fair to push
this through without asking the public to vote on the parks portion.
Mayor Roe closed the Public
Hearing at approximately 9:35 p.m.; and thanked all for their comments; and
reviewed the three (3) actions before the City Council tonight.
Mayor Roe summarized and reviewed
the questions raised by the public; and asked that Councilmembers address those
questions and comments as part of their position statements and approach to the
various issues and upcoming requested actions to follow.
Mayor Roe asked if the City
Council adopted a resolution tonight amending the Plan or adopting the
ordinance, was there any restriction that they had to issue the other two (2)
bond issues subsequent to the first one.
Both Mr. Miller and Ms. Ippel
Mayor Roe questioned if the City
approved the $10 million bond at this time with the amendment to the Plan,
would the City be obligated to issue the other bond issues targeted to be
issued if proceeding, basically questioning the timing for the second and third
Mr. Miller noted the tentative
time line as set out in the RCA, with $10 million anticipated for issue in
November of 2011; with another issue in the spring of 2012, and then depending
on a number of factors, returning with another issue the end of 2012 and
leading into 2013; with the City Council making the final determination for
final consideration and action of remaining bond issues. Mr. Miller advised
that the rationale for and structure of this bond issue process and schedule
was to allow all $27 million of the financing improvements to be deemed bank
qualified, allowing for a larger pool of potential bidders that would drive interest
rates down further and save the City significant money.
Councilmember McGehee referenced
the sliding chart in Exhibit B of the RCA; questioning if this was like an
adjustable rate mortgage, and why the payments increased as the bonds aged.
Mr. Miller responded that this was
done to keep the City’s annual debt service even,; and that the longer the
investment horizon, the higher command on interest rates, with interest rates increasing
over time, and the principle decreasing over time; and in total, payments
remaining roughly the same on an annual basis.
Councilmember McGehee noted the
statement of Mr. Kysylyczyn that the City of Roseville held $20 million in
available reserves, and questioned the actual amount available and not classified
for a specific use.
Mr. Miller advised that the City
held approximately $4.5 million in unspecified reserves, while the remaining
amount in reserve, approximately $16-17 million, and were specifically
designated, either by an outside legal entity or by the City Council itself.
For those City Council-designated funds, Mr. Miller advised that the City
Council could choose a new purpose for those funds.
At the request of Councilmember
McGehee as to the current interest rate being realized on the City’s
investments and the anticipated interest rate on proposed bond payments, Mr.
Miller responded that the City was receiving approximately 4% on those
investments, and anticipated less than 4% interest rate on the bond issue,
depending on the timing of their issue.
McGehee moved, Pust seconded, NOT
ADOPTING the proposed resolution (Attachment A) entitled, “Resolution Approving
Modifications to the Redevelopment Project Area and Industrial Development
District No. 1 Plan (Attachment B);” in conjunction with the sale of bonds to
finance the construction of a new fire station and park improvements.
Councilmember Pust thanked those
in the audience for their very thoughtful testimony tonight; and agreed that
the City needed a new fire station, and not just due to mold issues, but in her
role as an employment lawyer, it was not advisable to make employees work in
unsafe workplaces; and also speaking as an appreciative recipient of the
excellent services provided by the City’s Fire Department.
Relating to the park improvements,
Councilmember Pust advised that she believed those improvements were also
needed, and especially as she considered the favorable and impressive public
input process over the last 18 months, as well as over the last 3-5 years by
the various work teams addressing park system needs. Councilmember Pust opined
that the improvements were needed, and that parks were a good place for the
community’s children to be.
Councilmember Pust also agreed
with statements that money was cheap at this time, that things were in
disrepair, and the City could do its part in putting back to work to get the
Councilmember Pust reiterated her
support for both of the projects, but disagreed that either or both were just
maintenance issues, and taking care of normal wear and tear. Councilmember
Pust opined that that normal wear and tear should be taken care of through
annual levying at 2-5% in order to maintain what the City currently had, a
responsibility she held as an elected City Councilmember.
However, Councilmember Pust opined
that this was actually capital improvements (CIP) as detailed in the proposed
resolution, with park system improvements and construction of a public safety
facility, both capital expenditures; and that such expenditures needed to go
before the voters. Councilmember Pust noted that she had previously expressed
her willingness to lead that charge to the voters, and would be 100% behind the
projects; and while recognizing that the voter support was probably there, she
noted her strong belief that it was important to get the voter’s approval.
Councilmember Pust noted the significant increase to property taxes on an
annual basis and that this would become a base going forward for decades; and
far beyond the 2-5% increase for maintenance that the voters had elected her
for maintaining the City’s infrastructure and facilities. With past City
Councils adopting a policy that any expenditure over $3 million would go for voter
referendum, Councilmember Pust opined that it was still not a moral or ethical
issue as suggested, but that it was an issue of democracy.
Councilmember Pust advised that,
based on that rationale, she would be supporting this motion.
Councilmember McGehee echoed the
comments of Councilmember Pust; and in addition, in her new role as a
Councilmember, lauded the Parks and Recreation Commission for their use of
public input, but after her detailed review of the Master Plan findings and
Implementation Plan that originally called for a voter referendum, it also
suggested other funding options (e.g. legacy funds, grants, community
partnerships, and contributions). Councilmember McGehee noted that the
original timeframe for implementation recommended a voter referendum in 2011; and
also noted that the park public survey did not reflect many of those priorities
for this first phase of implementation. Councilmember McGehee opined that a
voter referendum would allow more public discussion about the plan and match a
broader range of goals, using an example of the little support from the survey
for better and/or bigger warming houses.
As far as the fire station is
concerned, Councilmember McGehee opined that she absolutely agreed that a new
station was needed; however, her problem was that even though this was a public
building, the public had nothing to say about it, while she was asked to
approve an $8 million bond without a concept being brought forward for that
decision-making. Councilmember McGehee questioned the need for the amount of
square footage suggested; as well as the need for exercise and/or training
rooms, when the City’s Police Department already had those facilities.
Councilmember McGehee opined that there were many options that hadn’t been
presented; and while she supported the need for a fire station in general; she
also supported a referendum to allow more citizen involvement and to provide
more focused though for the plan.
Councilmember Willmus spoke
against the motion to not proceed, based on similar rationale as expressed by
Councilmembers Pust and McGhee, but from a different perspective and on the
Councilmember Willmus noted that
the needs of the community had been taken into account in actions by the City
Council to-date moving forward over the next decade, since those needs had not
been adequately addressed in the previous decade, putting the City in its
current position. Councilmember Willmus noted the Master Plan process itself
and the significant number of citizens involved in that process; the
parks-specific community survey and feedback obtained from citizens; and the
response of those charged with paring down that data into a series of phases
for implementation in what he opined was brought forward in an incredibly
responsible manner and process. Councilmember Willmus noted that the overall
Parks Master Plan implementation dollar amount was significantly higher than
the proposed first implementation phase of $19 million; and could not support
those subsequent phases without a voter referendum. However, for this first
phase, Councilmember Willmus advised that he was supportive to get the park
system back to a viable, usable system; something that was incredibly important
to him personally, and a great number of residents in the community.
Similarly with the fire station,
Councilmember Willmus advised that this proposed facility provided a great
model moving forward for the Fire Department; and opined that it was incumbent
of this City Council to make these hard choices and do what is right; and
reiterated his intent to vote against the motion currently on the table.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, moved to extend the meeting
curfew until 10:15 pm to finish discussion of this item.
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Johnson; Pust; and Roe.
Councilmember Johnson elected to
offer no comment on this motion.
Mayor Roe recognized the concerns
expressed; however, he opined that this was the first step to move forward with
the City’s Port Authority, as staff had been directed by previous City Council
action to proceed with these projects, and to do so in a manner that would take
advantage of the best financing options available at the least impact. Mayor
Roe opined that this could not occur if the City waited until the next
opportunity for a referendum, one year from now; and therefore, he supported
this option as an alternative other than through a park abatement bonding that
was also not subject to a referendum.
Regarding the fire station
project, Mayor Roe noted that the option for equipment bonds would be subject
to a reverse referendum, requiring a petition of 5% of participants from the
last city election to bring to the voters.
While being a supporter of using
referendums, Mayor Roe advised that he did not make the decision for this
alternative lightly, and respected the City’s past history of voter referendums
and City Council policy. Mayor Roe noted that the City Council, for purposes
of upgrading the refrigeration system at the OVAL, had also bonded without
referendum, so there was some precedent already. However, Mayor Roe recognized
that this was larger in magnitude, and didn’t deny it; however, he opined that
the Port Authority statutes were not outside of what the law allowed the City
to accomplish; and he was supportive of using that approach in this case.
Mayor Roe noted the complicated process in using a park abatement bond process;
and further noted the less cumbersome administrative and issue process in using
this option, while also allowing the City to get the best possible interest
rates. While reluctant to use the Port Authority powers of the City Council,
in this case, Mayor Roe expressed his support of doing so.
Ayes: McGehee and Pust.
Nays: Willmus; Johnson; and
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded adoption
of Resolution No. 10944 (Attachment A) entitled, “Resolution Approving Modifications
to the Redevelopment Project Area and Industrial Development District No. 1
Plan (Attachment B);” in conjunction with the sale of bonds to finance the
construction of a new fire station and park improvements.
While not taking the decision
lightly, Councilmember Johnson expressed his total support for the park
improvement and fire station bonding; opining that this was the best step
forward for the City. Councilmember Johnson noted that he had looked at the
various challenges for these two (2) extremely worthy projects; and while there
remained a difference of opinion as to whether they were maintenance items, he
believed the projects were maintenance-related and did not require a voter
referendum. Councilmember Johnson stated that he had been elected by voters of
the City to take care of what had been provided by the City’s forefathers; and
both projects represented areas that had been previously under maintained.
Ayes: Willmus; Johnson; and
Nays: McGehee and Pust.
Business Items (Action Items)
Adopt an Ordinance to Exercise the Use of the City’s Port
Authority for the Purposes of Financing the Construction of a New Fire Station
and Park Improvements
Councilmember McGehee moved to NOT
ADOPT an ordinance authorizing issuance of General Obligation Bonds in
exercising the City’s Port Authority powers.
Mayor Roe declared the motion failed
due to the lack of a second.
Willmus moved, Johnson seconded,
enactment of Ordinance No. 1419 (Attachment A) entitled, “An Ordinance
authorizing the City of Roseville to Issue General Obligation Bonds in the
Exercise of the City’s Port Authority Powers;” for the purposes of financing
the construction of a new fire station and park improvements.
Councilmember McGehee offered a
friendly amendment to exercise the City’s Port Authority powers for a reverse
referendum, under section 053 of the applicable state statute.
Councilmember Willmus, as maker of
the motion, did not accept the friendly amendment.
Mayor Roe ruled the motion failed
due to lack of a second; and noted that the City’s bond counsel had already
explained that section 053 did not apply to this.
Mayor Roe, in response to public
comment tonight as to whether democracy was dead or if the City Council was
afraid of its own residents, opined that, given the level of support for both
or either of these projects, he had no question that a referendum would pass,
and assured residents that the City Council was not afraid of the will of its
residents. Mayor Roe advised that it was the City Council majority’s intent to
move forward with this in a timely manner, and in its efforts to provide due diligence,
using the support apparent throughout the Master Plan process and the phased
proposal of the Implementation groups for the parks improvements. Mayor Roe
advised that the City had missed the timing needed to do a referendum in 2011;
and that the City Council was attempting to be responsible for its actions
within those timing constraints; and assured residents that democracy was not
Authorize the Sale of $10 Million in Bonds to Finance the
Construction of a New Fire Station and Park Improvements
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded,
adoption of Resolution No. 10945 (Attachment A) entitled, “Resolution Providing
for the Competitive Negotiated Sale of $10,000,000.00 General Obligation Bonds,
Series 2011A;” to finance the construction of a new fire station and park
Councilmember McGehee suggested
that the City Council consider an attempted friendly amendment that would defer
some of the amount proposed for a bond issue; through deferring a bond issue at
this time and using reserves to complete the planning process, and have that in
place for a future bond issue.
Mayor Roe announced for public
information that through previous City Council action at their October 17, 2011,
meeting, Public Hearings would be held before issuance of each of the remaining
bond issues over the next several years.
Due to the lateness of the hour, Mayor Roe advised that
Agenda Items 12.a and 13.a and b would be deferred to a future meeting.
City Manager Future Agenda Review
City Manager Malinen reviewed
upcoming agenda items.
Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Councilmember Willmus requested a
future item, and prior to November 21, 2011, be included to discuss allocation
of funds from this initial bond issue between parks and the fire station.
Mayor Roe advised that this would
need to occur on the November 14, 2011, agenda.
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded,
adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:16 pm.