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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

December 5, 2011


1.       Roll Call                                                                  

Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council in open session at approximately 5:05 pm and welcomed everyone.  (Voting and Seating Order for December: Johnson; Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe).   Councilmember Pust arrived at 5:20 pm.  City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.

Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, going into closed executive session in accordance with MN Statutes section 13.d.05 for the purpose of discussing the City Manager's performance evaluation.

                        Roll Call

Ayes: Johnson; Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: None.

Mayor Roe convened the City Council in closed executive session at approx 5: 08 pm.

Councilmember Pust arrived at approximately 5:20 pm, during the closed executive session.

McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, continuing the City Manager evaluation discussion to the December 12, 2011, meeting.

                        Roll Call

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

Nays: None.

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, to reconvene in open session.

                        Roll Call

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

Nays: None.

Mayor Roe adjourned the closed executive session at approximately 5:53 pm.


2012 Budget and Utility Rates Hearing
Mayor Roe reconvened the City Council in open session at approximately 6:03 pm.

Mayor Roe noted that the Closed Executive Session portion of tonight’s meeting had been recessed, and due to a lack of time to complete discussions, the Closed Executive Session continued to December 12, 2011 to conclude that discussion.


Staff Presentation

Mayor Roe introduced Finance Director Chris Miller for an overview of the 2012 Budget and 2012 Utility Rate Reviews.


Finance Director Miller noted that this year’s presentation would encompass a considerable amount of information; and the unusual aspects of the upcoming 2012 budget year.  Mr. Miller noted his review topics would include a budget chronology; budget impact items; budget summary; property tax levy impact; local tax rate comparisons; and utility rate impact. 


Councilmember McGehee directed Roseville residents to the City of Shoreview’s website to find a useful chart among their budget materials on the topic of the Market Value Homestead Credit (MVHC).


At the conclusion of Finance Director Miller’s presentation, Mayor Roe thanked Mr. Miller for providing a background on the budget and utility rate process; and noted that later in tonight’s agenda, as well as at the December 12, 2011 meeting if necessary, and following additional City Council discussions, formal budget and utility rate actions would be taken.

2012 Budget and Utility Rates Hearing

Mayor Roe opened the Public Hearing at approximately 7:05 pm for the purpose of hearing public comment on the proposed 2012 Budget and Utility Rates; and briefly reviewed public hearing procedures and protocol for the City Council to receive public testimony.  Mayor Roe noted that all testimony would be heard prior to responses from staff or Councilmembers, and if necessary those responses may be delayed to a future meeting to allow further research as indicated.


Public Comment

Dan Cartier, 2917 Hillsview Avenue E

Related to the shortfall in the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), Mr. Cartier questioned how the projected annual need over the next twenty (20) years had been determined, whether internally or through the use of an outside engineering study.  Mr. Cartier expressed concern that the projected needs in dollar amount suddenly appeared and it seemed the logical solution was to address that shortage through the pocketbooks of residents; and questioned the validity of the projected financial need.


Jessica Anderson 555 Shryer Avenue W

Ms. Anderson noted that, as someone carefully planning for their own household budgets, it was hard for her to understand how such a significant shortfall could have occurred, when residents trusted their elected officials to manage the City’s business.  Ms. Anderson expressed her disappointment in this shortfall not having been addressed in previous budgets. 


Regarding the proposed utility rate base fee, Ms. Anderson opined that this would have the most impact on those of a lower socio-economic status and those on fixed incomes; and questioned if the City Council investigate all other sources of alternative income to offset the utility rate base fee prior to its implementation; further opining that it seemed to represent a disproportionate increase for some in the community.


Tom Stratton, 3000 Sandy Hook Drive

Opining that the City of Roseville had a great water system, Mr. Stratton encouraged the City Council to consider, as part of the long-range CIP system, plans for a  gray water system included with other upgrades to the City’s water system over the next 40-50 years.


Karen Schaffer, 2100 Fairview Avenue

Ms. Schaffer referenced a recent article in the New York Times and a study done by a University of MN professor addressing “The New Face of Poverty,” providing an analysis of data from the Department of Agriculture on the trends in students qualifying and receiving free or reduced cost lunches as schools across the United States.    Ms. Schaffer cited statistics from that data of fourth graders and the significant increase in students qualifying up to 52%.  Ms. Schaffer noted that the City of Roseville, MN was included in the statistics, indicating an increase in qualifying school children from 29% in 2006/2007 to a current 42%. 


In the context of the City’s annual budget, and proposed increases to property taxes of 4%, increases in utility charges and other impacts to households, Ms. Schaffer noted that the parents of these hungry children as taxpayers were also being asked to pay for park amenities and carrying charges to borrow funds for those amenities.  While noting that it had been demonstrated that it was cheaper to borrow sooner than later, Ms. Schaffer opined that it had not been demonstrated that it was not preferable for the City of Roseville to pay-as-you-go for the proposed bonding for improvements.  Ms. Schaffer further opined that the City’s approach for multiple increases in light of “The New Face of Poverty,” was discordant and flat-out wrong from both a moral and ethical sense.  While perhaps not reasonable or possible to reduce the City’s tax burden, Ms. Schaffer opined that it was possible to avoid saddling property owners with any additional major debt service.


Joe Wozniak, 718 Sextant Avenue

Mr. Wozniak encouraged the City Council, in their upgrading of the City’s water and sewer systems, consider implementing grey water systems, and encouraged a stronger look at water conservation measures to reduce future costs for future uses.


On a personal note, Mr. Wozniak, as a homeowner required to run a siphon to avoid pipes from freezing in his home in the winter months, asked that as part of future upgrades, that the City consider some way to address these incorrect installations.  While recognizing that his utility billing was adjusted to address the additional cost for siphoning water during the winter months, Mr. Wozniak asked if future maintenance of the City’s water system would include repair of those situations for him and other similar households in the community.


Dick Houck, 1131 Roselawn Avenue

Mr. Houck complimented the City Council on the job they did, expressing understanding on it difficult and complex nature and time-consuming efforts.  Mr. Houck opined that, for the most part, the City Council did a good job; however, in the instance of the proposed budget, they had exceeded the bounds of good government.


Mr. Houck expressed his frustration in similarly addressing Ramsey County Commissioners on their proposed budget, opining that it was an exercise in futility.  If given the opportunity to adjust the budget, Mr. Houck stated that he would review the budget line by line to make cuts to ensure a “0%” or decreased levy amount for this year’s budget.  Mr. Houck opined that nothing said tonight by the public would change what the City Council chose to do, further opining that it was “cut and dried;” further opining that the City Council didn’t really care about Roseville residents, evidenced by their recent passing of the $27 million bond issue without a voter referendum.  Mr. Houck noted that this was done despite a City Council policy that any expenditure over $3 million would go to a voter referendum.      Mr. Houck opined it didn’t ring true that the City Council cared about Roseville residents when they were now proposing to take even more money from residents when residents didn’t have more money to pay.  Mr. Houck opined that this was an indication of a broader problem, with government being too big, spending too much, and costing too much; and further opined that the Roseville City Council had become a part of that broader problem.  Mr. Houck noted that every business owner was aware that they needed to pick those items they could or could not afford, and recognized that often those cuts were hard to make.  Rather than government running to the well for more water, since employees were the largest expense for any business, Mr. Houck stated that this was where the City Council needed to look first to make reductions; and if not done there, it couldn’t be made elsewhere.  Mr. Houck noted that it was tough in the business world at this time, as well as for the City; however, he stated that it was the City Council’s responsibility to make the decisions and they had not done so.


Mr. Houck noted one of the individual Councilmembers in the past had stated that they were elected to make decisions; however, Mr. Houck opined that this was not to make decisions that hurt Roseville residents, and this proposal was doing that.  Mr. Houck opined that, apparently since it seemed like the City Council was not going to listen to the public, the only recourse open to residents was at the ballot box; and expressed his hope that Roseville residents had a good memory.


Mary Alexander, 14 Mid Oaks Road

Ms. Alexander used an example of a homeowner’s leaky roof being left to continue deteriorating while using money for items that were not necessities.  Ms. Alexander opined that passing a bond issue for parks was similar to those items not of necessity, or “wants” versus “needs.”  Ms. Alexander stated that the City had needs to be addressed before those wants; and expressed her disappointment in the amount of money spent on studies that are ignored (e.g. County Road C-2 closure) and a community survey that simply provided obvious results (e.g. high priority of the community for good service).  Regarding the recent Parks Survey, Ms. Alexander admitted that it was a good survey; however, she questioned whether the outcome of the survey supported a bond issue, since most of the items were beyond needs.  While Roseville is noted regionally for its park system, Ms. Alexander opined that it was a want, while water/sewer systems were a need; and further opined that to make citizens responsible for such huge outlays for wants was irresponsible of the Roseville City Council.


John Koziol, 930 Brenner Avenue

Mr. Koziol referenced a recent article in the Roseville Review regarding funding for a new fire station and park improvements and their costs.  Mr. Koziol opined that while a new fire station and/or park improvements may be needed, it seemed that the park improvements involved a variety of bits and pieces instead of a major item, and seemed to represent discretionary spending based on today’s economy.  If a bond issue did not pass, Mr. Koziol opined that the park system would not collapse; and if a fire station bond was not issued, it would simply mean that firefighters would need to continue working under adverse conditions.  However, Mr. Koziol questioned how and when costs of the bonding would impact him personally.  Mr. Koziol noted that his property tax statement for 2012 indicated a 10/7% increase; and given the financial stresses for individuals and property owners at this time, opined that some of the City’s discretionary spending could be deferred.  Mr. Koziol asked that for those proponents or supporters of the park system, they consider impacts to property taxes as they evaluated park system amenities; and expressed his hope that the bond issue was turned down.


Roni Jana, 1778 Ryan Avenue W

As a Roseville resident for over eighty (80) years, and whose home was listed on the Heritage Foundation, Ms. Jana stated that she had recently requested removal from that list, as she no longer thought much of the City of Roseville.  Ms. Jana noted the need for a good fire department, and spoke in support of the department based on her personal experience with a house fire in 2006; however, Ms. Jana expressed sorrow in the way the City of Roseville was going.  Ms. Jana expressed her previous interest in living in Roseville until she died; however, with her property values continuing to go down and increased costs to live in Roseville, Ms. Jana didn’t know how she could continue to do so on a fixed income.


Kelly Lynch, 446 West County Road B

As a first-time participant or observer of a City Council meeting, Ms. Lynch noted that she was just now catching up on city events and was therefore using her voice to ask that the City Council vote down bonding issued.  Ms. Lynch expressed her frustration and echoed the comments of previous speakers that it was not fair to ask people of Roseville to pay for wants when individual homeowners could not do so with their own budgets.


Gary Grefenberg, 91 Mid Oaks Lane

Mr. Grefenberg asked for clarification on the staff’s memorandum (lines 47-50) dated December 5, 2011, and the actual effective year for servicing the 2011 bond issue of $10 million, and whether it would be included in 2012 tax impacts.


Mayor Roe clarified that the debt service would begin in 2013, with the last bond issue repayment beginning in 2014; and clarified that the 2012 budget did not include financing the $10 million bond sale already approved by the City Council, with repayments for the bonds structured to begin in 2013. 


Mr. Grefenberg expressed his concern that there was too much reliance in the City budget on property taxes; and applauded recent discussions on a proposed local option sales tax to share the costs for the City’s park system and infrastructure with those using them beyond Roseville residents.  Mr. Grefenberg encouraged the City Council to put more attention on alternative revenue sources; and opined staff’s slide presentation was only part of the story.  Mr. Grefenberg displayed his own interpretation of net tax levy comparisons he had personally researched with the Ramsey County Department of Property Records and Revenue for other communities, stating that the City of Roseville was only bested by that of the City of St. Paul.  Mr. Grefenberg ranked those communities in order by proposed 2012 tax levy increased compared to their actual 2007 tax levy. 


Mr. Grefenberg addressed the City’s reserve funds, which he called “surplus” funds; and based on his understanding from staff comments in the past, estimated that approximately $15 - $17 million could be made available through City Council discretion for use.  Mr. Grefenberg opined that part of this surplus was due to water/sewer fees being increased over the last five (5) years for residents, and that the surplus was from unexpended funds that residents had been overcharged for those services; and that those funds could be used to soften the impact of the proposed 60% increase in utility fees.  Mr. Grefenberg further opined that some of those surplus funds could be used for needed repairs in the City’s park system, rather than relying on the most regressive type of tax, property taxes that were not based on income, when 25% of the Roseville population was aged 65 years or older and should not be relied upon to pay for park improvements.  Without saying “no” to the future, Mr. Grefenberg opined that some of those reserve funds could be used to at least cover critical water sewer needs, while living without a few more ball fields or irrigating them.


  Over the next year, Mr. Grefenberg asked that the City Council aggressively pursue a local sales tax option.


Jim DeBenedet, 808 Millwood Avenue (Chair of PWET Commission)

With respect to one line item as a potential keep in the General Fund budget, Mr. DeBenedet spoke in support of the $30,000 General Fund share for an Asset Management Program. Based on the scope of the City’s responsibility in managing its significant assets and infrastructure system, Mr. DeBenedet opined that such a program was absolutely necessity going forward to make the right decisions and ensure sufficient, cost-effective, and timely infrastructure maintenance; and encouraged the City Council to keep that item in its proposed General Fund budget.


Regarding water and sewer rates, Mr. DeBenedet noted his recent Master’s Degree thesis that studied the City of Roseville’s water and sewer system and what needed to be done to ensure for users of the system that it continued to function well and the lowest long-term and ongoing cost.  Mr. DeBenedet opined that the proposed CIP recommendations for utility rate increases would keep the system well-maintained and functioning well over the next 10-30 years.  Mr. DeBenedet noted that approximately 75% of the current infrastructure system was built in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s and had exceeded its useful life, with many of the materials no longer even used since the mid-1970’s due to problems encountered or new technologies.  Mr. DeBenedet further opined that this proposal for replacement and reconstruction was realistic and prudent, and that it was the right thing to do.  Mr. DeBenedet noted the cost efficiencies in replacing infrastructure systems in conjunction with street maintenance projects going forward; and asked that the City Council continue that program.  While recognizing the significance of the rate increases, Mr. DeBenedet noted that they were similar to those infrastructure needs being experienced across the country to maintain that critical system.


Joycelyn Campbell, 365 W County Road B-2

Ms. Campbell expressed her concern with the multiple increases proposed on the upcoming year’s property taxes.  As an individual living on a fixed income and struggling with the cost of living and medical expenses, Ms. Campbell expressed her concern in being able to cope with additional and high increases compiled on other expenses.   Ms. Campbell opined that it would be hard for senior citizens to cope with all of the expenses at the same time; and asked that the City Council take that into consideration and whether something could be done to decrease them.  While recognizing the need for good water and sewer services, and the services of the City’s Fire and Police Departments, Ms. Campbell noted that most were no increases in income, while attempting to meet expenses, and asked that the City Council take all those things into consideration.


John Simpson, 3083 Mount Ridge Road

Mr. Simpson referenced recent news stories regarding the bond issue and questioned why the City of Roseville chose not to enforce its own rules regarding any expenditures of over $3 million needing voter approval; and why this rule was bypassed.  Mr. Simpson opined that it appeared that the City Council was trying to get away with something; and questioned why they were fearful of a public referendum.   If the public chose not to spend that much, Mr. Simpson questioned what alternate options the City Council had.  Mr. Simpson noted the significant amount of discretionary spending being proposed; and questioned how much actually needed to be done at this time; and reiterated his question on why the $3 million rule had been bypassed in the process.


With no one else coming forward to speak at this time, Mayor Roe closed the Public Hearing at approximately 7:45 pm; and proceeded with the assistance of staff and other Councilmembers to respond to those questioned raised during public testimony.


How the proposed amount of CIP spending was identified

At the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Miller advised that there had no outside consultant tapped for a city-wide picture of CIP needs, but that staff had been tasked by department to look at their capital and infrastructure needs, and based on its useful life, industry experience and replacement schedule, a comprehensive CIP list had been developed and later prioritized by a CIP Task Force made up of several City Councilmembers and senior several staff members.  On a parallel course, Mr. Miller noted that outside consultants had been hired as part of the proposed bond issue for the City’s aging fire stations, and advised that this information from those multiple studies over the years had been factored into the CIP Task Force investigations as available.


City Manager Malinen also noted that, as part of the public vetting or review process, the City’s Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commission had reviewed the proposed utility rates coming out of the CIP Task Force process and recommended those rate levels as well.


Mayor Roe noted that he and Councilmember Johnson had participated in the CIP Task Force review.  Mayor Roe noted that before he came on the City Council, the City had instituted a five (5) year CIP, and in the mid-2000’s that had been extended to a ten (10) year period to provide a better long-term view.  As part of the Task Force’s recommendations received earlier in 2011, Mayor Roe noted that this projection had been expanded to twenty (20) years, even though his preference had been to go even longer to address the cyclic nature of CIP needs; however, he noted that the twenty (20) year timeframe had served to open the City Council’s eyes to the magnitude of the problems faced by the City and how this shortfall had developed over the years with past City Council’s only looking at needs from a five (5) year perspective and not providing a sufficiently clear long-term picture.


Alternative sources of revenue for utilities and the base fee side of utility rates

Mayor Roe clarified the function of the City’s utility structure that base rates were used for fixed costs and infrastructure, and use fees addressed costs for water purchases from the St. Paul Regional Water Authority and sewer treatment costs of the Metropolitan Council.


Finance Director Miller advised that the most viable alternative resource other than increasing base rates would be increasing usage rates; however, he opined that this would make the City more reliant on using water to fund its infrastructure.  If the City wants to encourage water conservation, Mr. Miller advised that the situation would develop that those very conservation efforts would continually reduce the revenue source to keep the system upgraded and not providing a stable revenue source, thus shifting the burden and incenting people to use more water, specifically contrary to a conservation-based structure and the philosophy of water conservation.


Looking at the siphon issues of residents even with some credit for usage cost; and does the CIP look at repairs/replacements to address those

At the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Miller responded that future CIP projects would address those installation issues; however, he noted that those corrections may also require residents to replace their individual lateral service lines that would add to their homeowner costs.


Mayor Roe noted that another resource for funding sewer and water infrastructure was the property tax levy.  Finance Director Miller concurred.


Mayor Roe noted that some of those costs would be programmed into the next twenty (20) years’ CIP to address siphon issues for the City’s portion of those lines.


When will cost show up to taxpayers for bonding

Mayor Roe noted that there was a bond issue proposed in 2013 and another in 2014; and current estimates were $3 per month for the fire station and $7 per month for the park and recreation portion for an average single-family homeowner


Why not use reserves and why was the City using the most regressive form of taxation

Mayor Roe noted that the legislature dictated or mandated how a City could fund its operations; and further noted that the City would need legislative approval to impose a local option sales tax. Mayor Roe also noted that state law prohibited cities from levying a local income tax, which some consider a more progressive form of taxation than property or sales taxes.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Miller briefly reviewed the purpose of reserves; one of which was in the frequent review by bond rating agencies of the City’s credit rating status.  Mr. Miller noted that the City of Roseville currently ranked among the top 5% nation-wide for its financial strength; and by keeping itself in that position, it commanded lower interest rates when issuing bonds, based in large part on the strength of its reserves.  If the City was to draw down reserves for operating costs, Mr. Miller advised that it would put itself in jeopardy; as the reserves did double duty in the City’s day-to-day operations reliance on using interest earnings from those investments to provide for current operations in the General Fund.  If the funds were spent, Mr. Miller noted that there would be nothing left from which to earn any interest.


Mayor Roe further noted that there were some funds (e.g. Water Fund) that had insufficient reserve levels to spend on any CIP projects; and even if the Pavement Management Program (PMP) Fund was spent down, projections were that it could be spent down within five (5) years with money no longer in reserve for street projects, requiring a tax increase simply deferred until that time.


$3 million expenditure policy and voter referendum on higher expenditures

Mayor Roe advised that the City Council had made the decision to proceed with the bond issue based on timing; and noted that while the City Council did have a policy in place, it was not strictly bound by legal requirements, but allowed the City Council some discretion in certain cases, such as this.  Mayor Roe noted that Roseville voters, in turn, had the right to decide if the City Council made the correct decisions.  Mayor Roe noted that strict legal obligations of the City Council were legislated through its ordinances, not policies; and as an example in its financial policies, those policies suggested that the City maintain 50% of its annual tax-supported budget amount in reserve, and for a number of years, those reserves were well below that, and some only now at 35%.  Mayor Roe noted that this continually presented issues for the City Council on how to address annual expenses.


Councilmember Johnson strongly concurred with the comments of Mayor Roe.


As to the decision by the City Council to consider a biennial budget approach for 2013/2014, Mayor Roe advised that, other than 2013 bonding impacts, the City Manager-recommended budget indicated a projected 2% increase in the budget and levy only to account for inflationary type inputs; and further advised that changes in this year’s tax levy to support capital funding needs would carry forward to future years, and not include an additional annual amount in the future.  Likewise, Mayor Roe noted that the intent in raising utility fees was to provide an annual funding amount and level to sustain the City’s CIP needs into the future.


Mayor Roe, for staff’s information, suggested that the proposed resolution include language for preliminary approval of the 2013 budget and associated levy.


Mayor Roe thanked residents in the audience for their attendance and comment; and encouraged them to follow-up with any additional input or questions to staff or the City Council.


Councilmember McGehee questioned staff on the number of homes experiencing siphon problems as well as the grey water issue; with Mayor Roe suggesting that item be followed-up outside the meeting.


2.            Approve Agenda



Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:02 pm and reconvened at approximately 8:10 pm; with Mayor Roe noting that Councilmember Johnson had excused himself from the meeting due to illness.


Mayor Roe noted that the City’s legislative delegation would be rescheduled to a later date, therefore removing Agenda Item 10.a entitled, “Legislative Upate.”


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


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.             


3.         Public Comment

Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.  No one appeared to speak at this time.


5.            Council Communications, Reports and Announcements

Mayor Roe announced upcoming holiday donations by December 13, 2011 being accepted at City Hall during normal business hours by Roseville Fire Angels for school youth needs in the community. 


6.            Recognitions, Donations, Communications


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 packet.


a.            Approve Minutes of November 21, 2011  Meeting       

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the minutes of the November 21, 2011 meeting as amended.



                        Mayor Roe noted one additional typographical error on page 29, line 16.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


b.            Approve Minutes of November 28, 2011  Meeting       

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the minutes of the November 28, 2011 meeting as submitted.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; 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

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


ACH Payments







Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


b.            Approve Business Licenses

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



         Type of License

Ray Anderson & Sons Co., Inc.

930 Duluth Street; St. Paul, MN

Solid Waste Hauler

Pawn America Minnesota, LLC,

d/b/a Pawn America; 1715 Rice Street

Precious Metal Dealer

Victoria Moritko at Massage Envy of Roseville

Rosedale Commons, Suite #140

Massage Therapist


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


c.            Extend the Conditional Use for a T-Mobile Cell Tower on Industrially Zoned Land at 2975 Long Lake Road

Councilmember Pust questioned current policy regarding placement of these towers on private versus public land and whether that should be taken into consideration with this requested time extension.


Councilmember Willmus reviewed the existing of a number of these towers on sites throughout the community.


Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon advised that the property was private and zoned industrial.


Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, approval of an extension of the validation timeline for the CONDITIONAL USE approval at 2985 Long Lake Road until 11:59 p.m. on June 30, 2012; for installation of a telecommunication monopole facility at the request of George C. Brandt, Inc. and T-Mobile (PF10-0210: based on the comments and analysis presented in the staff report dated December 5, 2011.

Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


d.            Confirm the Citizen Advisory Commission Reappointment/Appointment Schedule

Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, confirmation of the Citizen Advisory Commission Reappointment/Appointment Schedule as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated December 5, 2011.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


8.         Consider Items Removed from Consent


12.     General Ordinances for Adoption


13.         Presentations


a.    Legislative Update

Deferred to future meeting.


b.    Fire Station Exterior Conceptual Drawing Review

Fire Chief Tim O’Neill noted that this is a preliminary presentation and reintroduced Mr. Hutson.


Architect of Record: Principal Architect Quinn Hutson, AIA, LLED AP 

Mr. Hutson briefly presented the exterior image concept perspectives.


Discussion included choices proposed for exterior materials; screening of the tower portion of the building from public view; and vertical elements suggested to break up the building’s geometry and separation of functions.


Councilmember McGehee wanted the City Council to understand her earlier comments on sustainability, and the other options she suggested.  While not directly a part of this presentation, Councilmember McGehee reiterated her interest in a higher level of sustainability; and asked that the City Council keep in mind what that ultimately meant.  Councilmember McGehee opined that this was a very attractive building that would tie in nicely with other buildings on the City Hall campus.  However, regarding the training portion of the building, Councilmember McGehee opined that the building itself was bigger than needed; and made comparisons to the City of St. Louis Park’s fire station, number of fire staff, and their space consolidated to 35,000 square feet. 


Councilmember McGehee noted that this proposed 35,000 square feet included additional space to house East Metro SWAT and other things that could fit into the City’s existing Police Department facility and therefore reduce the building’s size by at least one bay area at considerable savings to Roseville citizens.  While the Council majority voted for an $8 million bond expenditure, Councilmember McGehee questioned if that full amount was needed, and while supportive of future growth projections, in hearing public comment during the budget and levy hearing, she wanted to be aware of the impacts to residents.


Councilmember McGehee advised that she had once again reviewed the 2008 fire facility study that stated that the City could operate with recommended apparatus and no additional apparatus was needed at this time, and questioned if it would be needed in the future.


Councilmember McGehee stated that she supported a third party assessment to ensure that the proposed one-station concept adequately covered residents city-wide once the 1720 standards were put in place after 2008; opining that this could be done with much sophistication and better than the City’s local GIS, but a company that has access to that system, at an estimated cost of $3,000.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the City Council owed it to residents to make sure one station could cover the entire city.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Chief O’Neill advised of upcoming action items for the City Council at the December 12, 2011 meeting to keep the time schedule on track and within optimal timing to avoid additional cost increases.


Mayor Roe clarified that those items proposed for action were for the concept plan approval and for approval of the  Phase II architectural and construction management portions of the contract, but not for issuing bids for the construction project itself


Chief O’Neill responded affirmatively; noting that approval was to authorize moving into the design document stage and prepare bid packages.


Mayor Roe noted that next week’s meeting would allow time for additional City Council discussion.


Councilmember Pust asked that those questions raised to-date by the public and/or individual Councilmembers be addressed at that point as well, in addition to those questions raised by Councilmember McGehee on square footage needs when compared with the fire station in St. Louis Park; and the flexibility of the space design in using the building for other uses as well as addressing the security of the fire apparatus and equipment.


Mayor Roe noted that a number of questions had been raised between public meetings as well, and asked that the design team reiterate those questions in the public realm and provide responses.


In a preliminary way, Chief O’Neill addressed the comparison of St. Louis Park in their operation as a multiple-station department, and clarified the difference in full- and part-time administrative and firefighter staffing.


Councilmember McGehee disputed the comments of Chief O’Neill; and suggested additional clarification could be found on their website; and questioned why the City Council seemed remiss to spend an additional $3,000 to adequately ensure residents were sufficiently covered with one station.


Mayor Roe advised that he was basing his considerations on the expertise of the City’s firefighters and their response times; and therefore following their recommendations on addressing the safety of Roseville residents city-wide.


14.         Public Hearings


a.            Public Hearing to Consider 2012 Liquor License Renewals

Finance Director Chris Miller summarized the recommendation by staff for renewal of eighty-one (81) of the City’s various liquor licenses; noting that staff as making no recommendation on the renewal of the license of Smashburger and Courtyard of Marriott, based on previous City Council discussions to consider those establishments separately based on compliance issues.  Mr. Miller advised that Police Chief Mathwig and Lt. Rosand were also present for this item.


At the request of Councilmember Pust, Mr. Miller clarified that staff was not making a recommendation either way on the license of Smashburger and Courtyard of Marriott, and remained neutral and open to the City Council’s direction.


Mayor Roe opened the Public Hearing at 8:39 p.m. for the purpose of considering renewal of annual liquor licenses; and closed the Public Hearing at the same time, with no one appearing for or against.


15.         Business Items (Action Items)


a.            Consider 2012 Liquor License Renewals

Pust moved, Willmus seconded, approval of annual liquor license renewals for calendar year 2012, as listed and detailed in the RCA dated December 5, 2011; with the exception of Smashburger and Courtyard by Marriott and their applicable license renewal applications.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


Councilmember Pust advised that she didn’t have the previously-submitted background information and questioned if the item should be deferred until she had an opportunity to review that information again, or if she could get a copy from Lt. Rosand tonight.


Mayor Roe clarified that the issue was whether those two (2) establishments met training requirements as required by the City for their managers and servers.


Lt. Rosand concurred with Mayor Roe’s summary.


Councilmember Pust advised that she needed to know the history of violations at each establishment and review a copy of the City’s liquor ordinance and penalty tiers.


Mayor Roe advised that action had been taken at a previous meeting regarding the mandatory penalty as recommended by City ordinance; and that tonight’s decision was whether or not to renew these licenses based on their failure to meet training


Councilmember Pust opined that non-renewal still fit into the City Council’s statutory scheme unlike the lifetime State of Minnesota ban.


City Manager Malinen reviewed provisions of City ordinance versus State statute; and the City Council’s intent when it reviewed this ordinance to find a solution between those provisions.


Discussion ensued regarding the level of suspension and length of time for such a suspension; timing for reapplication in the future by the applicant(s); and guidance for them and staff.


City Attorney Mark Gaughan noted the state of City Code as it currently stands; with the City Council having the option of not renewing, but silent on those results and the next step; and suggested that the City could choose not to renew at this time and set a date to reconsider renewal.  City Attorney Gaughan noted the City Council’s recent amendment to City Code to include renewal as part of the Hearing process and if a licensee is suspended, they are put on notice of potential City Council action and ten (10) days for their request for an independent hearing officer to hear their case.  Mr. Gaughan noted that renewal was one of those triggering events.


Councilmember Pust opined that the ordinance needed further amendment to address re-application; otherwise the City didn’t have any recourse in an applicant reapplying or in a continuous cycle of reapplication.


Councilmember McGehee opined that the process to assess fines and fees was laid out, however, the state of the ordinance provided that an applicant either be told to come back at a certain date, or that consideration be given by the City Council in each individual case based their subsequent correction of the problem.  Councilmember McGehee noted the specifics in each case, that of Smashburger and Marriott, and suggested options in addressing each establishment.


Mayor Roe advised that the City’s ordinance required training documentation be current and up-to-date at the time an application was being considered; and questioned if those two (2) establishments were within compliance at this time.


Lt. Rosand responded that in the Smashburger situation, that one employee on the night of the compliance check had not received adequate training; with information received from management at a later date.  By ordinance requirement, Lt. Rosand noted that each establishment was required to keep its own records and upon request by the City, make it available.  Lt. Rosand advised that the Police Department had asked for specific information on the one server, while Councilmember Johnson had requested all training records, which had been provided to the City Council via City Manager Malinen several days after that request.


Lt. Rosand advised that it appeared that Smashburger training records were now current; and that Marriott server training records were also now current.


Further discussion ensued regarding training record documentation and how/when the Police Department verified training (at the time of violation by the establishment) and verification of training by the Department upon failure.



Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, TABLING this item until the December 12, 2011 meeting in order to receive additional information from staff as indicated.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; and Roe.

Nays: Pust.

Motion carried.


Councilmember Pust asked that the City Attorney also provide at that meeting any recommendations for ordinance amendment related to re-application of non-renewal periods of time.


City Attorney Gaughan advised that provisions were already included in code if the City Council chose not to renew or denial and an applicable process based on the applicant’s background.


Councilmember Pust questioned the fairness of the current process for those denied renewal.


At the request of Councilmember Pust on the status of training documentation by license holders, Chief Mathwig advised that, with eighty-three (83) licenses, the Department didn’t have sufficient staff to investigate each establishment; but upon compliance failure, the department could then demand those training records.


Councilmember Pust opined that the process couldn’t be deemed arbitrary or capricious and needed consideration across the board.


Mayor Roe suggested the need to consider options of the up-to 60-day suspension and additional fine provisions in the ordinance during those discussions.


Mayor Roe clarified that the previous action taken by the City Council on the four (4) establishments failing the most recent compliance check was related to sale of alcohol to a minor; with this action currently under consideration a separate issue based on the failure of two (2) of those establishments in not having evidence of adequate training at the time of that original violation.


b.            Consider a Resolution Adopting the 2012 Budget and Tax Levy

Mayor Roe sought any discussion points of individual Councilmembers prior to the December 12, 2011 meeting; that would require additional investigation prior to that date, and at which Councilmember Johnson could also be available to provide his input.


Councilmember Willmus sought clarification from Finance Director Miller on 2012 funding allocations for the Reception Desk Personnel Service at $13,000.


Finance Director Miller advised that this was a result of a refined time spent profile and adjusting hours allocated from finance tasks to receptionist responsibilities, with no additional funding or hours.


Councilmember Willmus asked that in the future all documents include page numbers.


Mayor Roe noted that going forward, if time spent didn’t change again, it should be easier for tracking those personnel items more closely.


Finance Director Miller concurred, provided tasks and functions remained static.


Councilmember McGehee stated that she concurred with most of the residents speaking tonight; and suggested that, while she understands revenue fluctuations, a better tiered system for the water utility could be done.  Councilmember McGehee questioned if there was any interest in pursuing a different balance in residential and commercial rates; noting that Finance Director Miller projects a 35% increase in single-family residential rates; a 39% increase for seniors and disabled residents; and only a 21% increase on commercial properties.


Mayor Roe suggested that this discussion wait for the applicable agenda item.


Councilmember Willmus advised that he would have comments on utility rates as well at that time.


City Manager Malinen directed Council discussion to those points still up for discussion as detailed on page 1, lines 27 – 34 of the staff report dated December 5, 2011; as the City Council considered whether to include additional items in budget priorities, or use those funds to further reduce the levy.


Councilmember Willmus advised, as he’d previously noted, his support for the General Fund’s portion of the Asset Management Software ($30,000) and allocation for higher fuel costs ($15,000).  Regarding additional items, Councilmember Willmus asked that City Manager Malinen provide more background information on reallocation of staff resources for web-based or internet services.


City Manager Malinen advised that those resources were intended for reallocation from Elections, now contracted out to Ramsey County; and would increase access for the public to City documents.


Discussion ensued on staffing comparisons for Budgeted FTE provided as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof.


Mayor Roe asked that City Manager Malinen respond to Councilmember Willmus request for FTE staffing in the Communications Division back at 2010 levels.


Mayor Roe reiterated his previous  support for use of reserves for the one-time General Fund share of the Asset Management Software at $30,000; and also the $30,000 for the employee compensation and comparison study as a one-time expense from reserves rather than increasing the base levy going forward.  Regarding re-establishment of the Park Improvement Program (PIP) at $145,000 to fund to current levels, Mayor Roe advised that he was not necessarily supportive of that.  Mayor Roe advised that he had some interest in having a discussion in Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for all employees at $220,000, he had not made a firm decision at this time.


City Manager Malinen clarified with Public Works Director Duane Schwartz that the updated cost of the General Fund’s portion of the Asset Management Software had been reduced from $30,000 to $15,000.


Councilmember Pust clarified that by not funding the list of potential items it didn’t represent “found” money, “ but could be used to keep taxes lower and not raising the tax levy.


Councilmember Willmus advised that he was amenable to Mayor Roe’s suggestion to use reserve funds for those two identified one-time expenditures.


Councilmember McGehee reviewed the numerous impacts to taxpayers in 2012, and the suggestions from public testimony for alternative revenue options, and reiterated her past comments on the need for shared-service bids for public safety that could create additional revenue for other projects.  Councilmember McGehee expressed frustration that the City Council was not looking at other alternatives, but only discussion staff; and opined that the City Council needed to think about how they treated staff.


Mayor Roe concurred that, indeed, the City Council should consider how it treated staff.


If Councilmember McGehee was interested in pursuing public safety bids, Mayor Roe suggested that she present motion to move forward accordingly.


Councilmember Willmus sought clarification from Mayor Roe on potential savings on personnel related to health insurance ($100,000) and the wellness program savings of ($18,000).


Mayor Roe responded that, the City Manager-recommended budget set preliminarily not-to-exceed 4%, could be further reduced to 1.8%  with that $118,000 reduction; and with further reductions as previously discussed could be further reduced to less than 1%.


Mayor Roe responded that, the City Manager-recommended budget produced a levy increase of 1.8%.  With that $118,000 health care budget cost reduction, and adding none of the proposed increases in spending on page 1 of the RCA, the levy increase could be further reduced to less than 1%.


Mayor Roe respectfully disagreed with Councilmember McGehee’s perspective, opining that the City Council’s proposal included putting aside funding at $800,000 effective in 2012 as part of the CIP to refund and refurbish the CIP, including ongoing capital maintenance costs.  With that schedule intact, Mayor Roe advised that at the end of that twenty (20) year projection, the City should be in a position to adequately fund those needs on an ongoing basis.


Councilmember McGehee noted the point of the parks bond issue and elimination of the PIP was for a proposal to build six (6) new buildings, that would need staff, heating or user, and that those costs did not include maintenance in their operating budget.


Mayor Roe opined that it was fair to say that it was not terribly likely that those buildings would be completed before the 2013 budget; and that would be an appropriate time to take those things into account.  Mayor Roe noted that the CIP was intended to address those additional facilities; with the philosophy that an amount be set aside for those functions in the near future and handled in the park fund bonding program.


Councilmember McGehee noted that the City Council majority passed the bonds and propped building new facilities; and questioned why they couldn’t see the whole picture now rather than after the money was spent and the building was up creating additional costs.  Councilmember McGehee suggested that the City Council’s future philosophy should address ongoing maintenance costs for any new buildings.

Mayor Roe suggested that a fair request to City staff, as it related to the 2013 budget, was to make any adjustments to specifically maintain items coming on line and going forward.


c.            Consider a Resolution Adopting the 2012 HRA Levy

Pust moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10952 (Attachment A) entitled, “A Resolution Submitting the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), in and for the City of Roseville, Special Property Tax Levy on Real Estate to the Ramsey County Auditor for the Fiscal Year of 2012;” in the amount of $353,500, at a levy rate of 0% from 2010 and 2011.


Councilmember McGehee noted $239,000 on hand and $145,000 in reserves in the HRA; and recognized that while they were requesting a 0% levy increase, it was still an additional $353,500 that citizens had to spend in a year when they’re already struggling and opined that it could be put somewhere else while the HRA could continue to do its programs.  Councilmember McGehee advised that the HRA had accumulated significant funds from loans in the community, which had not been ranked high in the citizen survey.  Councilmember McGehee noted that the abatement program was popular, but opined funds other than those restricted could be used for other programs as well.


Councilmember Pust clarified that assets held by the HRA from loans that their resulting from CBDG and Ramsey County grant funds, not from taxes collected; and their purpose to allow financial assistance to get people into first homes or refurbish their homes to remain in Roseville.  Councilmember Pust noted that those funds were revolving; and had been run by the City until the inception of the HRA in the past.  Councilmember Pust noted that the HRA continued to diligently work on supporting the community’s housing stock and affordable housing in the community; in addition to enhancing former nuisance properties in cooperation with the City Police Department; as well as other cooperative ventures on multi-family properties to ensure safe and quality housing in Roseville.  Councilmember Pust opined that the HRA should be commended for keeping their tax levy request at 0% for several years running, while still maintaining program levels.


Mayor Roe noted that the HRA budget funds originally allocated in 2011 for multi-family housing initiatives had not been expended and carried forward in the 2012 budget as intended.


Councilmember Pust concurred; noting that ongoing HRA discussions and consideration for recommendation to the City Council included rental licensures and inspections; updating the five (5) year strategic plan; and more focus on multi-family housing as the HRA determines its priorities.


Councilmember McGehee clarified that she was not saying that the HRA was not doing good work, but simply stating that they could get by for a year.  Councilmember McGehee expressed her support for the Green Book on line and the Living Smarter campaign; however, she expressed her disappointment that the City Council didn’t support moving forward with a green program for the fire station.


Mayor Roe clarified that the City Council did not say they were not supporting a green program for the fire station; simply stating that they were not seeking LEED certification at the additional costs associated.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.


d.            Consider a Resolution Establishing the 2012 Utility Rates

Councilmember Pust opined that this should be tabled for Councilmember Johnson to be available for participation.


Mayor Roe concurred, and asked if individual Councilmembers had any additional questions of staff in preparation for that meeting.  Mayor Roe suggested that the information include review of a typical rate payer if the program was implemented over a two (2) year program versus a one (1) year implementation: both from a tax and utility perspective, using the same information already available.


Finance Director Miller noted that the impact on base rates would simply be cut in half.


Mayor Roe asked that the tax and utility side be based on preliminary 2012 and 2013 budget years and that the bond issue impact also be factored in.


Councilmember McGehee moved that staff provide information on shared services for public safety services.


Mayor Roe declared the motion failed due to lack of a second.


Councilmember McGehee moved converting the $3 million expenditure policy to an ordinance; and converting the policy for reserve funds at a 35-45% level to ordinance rather than policy.


Mayor Roe declared the motion failed due to lack of a second.


16.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


17.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

          City Manager Malinen reviewed upcoming agenda items.


          Discussion included current City vacancies, not new positions, and Information Technology (IT) staffing costs adjusted among Joint Powers Agreements (JPA’s) for those entities involved; timing for next week’s meeting start to facilitate the continued Closed Executive Session; January 9, 2012 organizational meeting and potential rescheduling of the legislative delegation originally scheduled to appear tonight; and early 2012 timing of the City Council’s work plan to facilitate sufficient time to work on those priorities, beyond the 2013 budget.


18.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Councilmember McGehee had previously requested a future discussion on converting the City Council’s financial policies into ordinances.


19.         Adjourn

Pust moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 9:35 pm.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus; McGehee; Pust; and Roe.

Nays: None.