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City Council


City Council Meeting Minutes

March 3, 2014


1.       Roll Call

Mayor Roe called the meeting to order at approximately 6:00 p.m. Voting and Seating Order: Laliberte; McGehee; Willmus; Etten; and Roe.  City Manager Patrick Trudgeon and City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.


2.       Approve Agenda

Mayor Roe noted an addition from staff, assigned at Consent Item 7.f, to consider an additional Special Council meeting for the purpose of interviewing potential citizen advisory commission candidates, proposed for Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 6:45 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.


Councilmember McGehee requested removal of Consent Items 7.d and f, respectively entitled,   "Award Contract for 2014 Sanitary Sewer Lining;" and "Approve Addition to Council Meeting Calendar Allowing a Special Meeting on March 13, 2014 for Commission Interviews."


Therefore, Mayor Roe suggested moving the proposed Consent Item 7.f as an Action Item, 13.b versus an addition to the Consent Agenda.


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


                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Laliberte; McGehee; Willmus; Etten; 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.


4.       Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report

          Mayor Roe announced upcoming vacancies in various City Council's citizen advisory commissions, with that deadline for application on March 5, 2014.  Mayor Roe specifically noted additional openings on both new Commissions:  Community Engagement and Finance Commissions.


Mayor Roe announced the opportunity for students in the ten member City consortium of the North Suburban Commissions Commission to participate in that body's scholarship program, with an application deadline of April 11, 2014.  Mayor Roe noted that more information was available at their website: or by calling 651/792-7515.


          Mayor Roe noted the 7th annual display at City Hall of quilts and wall hangings by the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters Group, on display through mid-April 2014; and available for viewing during normal City Hall office hours.


         Mayor Roe announced new communication opportunities for the City of Roseville on Facebook and Twitter, at @rosevillemn; via a link from the City's website, or by calling Carolyn Curti at City Hall at 792-7026.


          Councilmember McGehee urged those residents having contacted her about their municipal water supply to contact their local legislators.  At this time, Councilmember McGehee advised that there is no applicable Minnesota State Statute providing any protection for a resident in a community to have a continuous and uninterrupted supply of water/sewer services.  Councilmember McGehee opined that this is a problem across the state and further opined that legislators should fix that to guarantee the privilege and right for municipalities to provide further protections for water and sewer services.  While recognizing that the Roseville City Council and City staff had provided some services, Councilmember McGehee opined that this was an important issues and cities could do much better without, in her opinion, incurring liability.  Since the Roseville City Council majority had made the choice to provide minimal service, Councilmember McGehee apologized for those residents suffering.


Councilmember Laliberte provided a brief update on her recent attendance at the Ramsey County League of Local Governments (RCLLG) held on February 26, 2014, consisting of the regular board meeting followed by a question and answer session with those thirteen (13) legislative representatives from the Ramsey County area that were in attendance.  Councilmember Laliberte reported that topics discussed were similar to those of the previous Roseville City Council meeting when legislators had attended; in addition to e-cigarette ordinances from city to city and potential legislative action, with a bill written by Rep. Kahn currently stalled.  Councilmember Laliberte further reported that more had been heard about the sales tax exemption for cities, and advised that it sounded as if they were planning to present language on joint powers agreements, further defining when and how applied with the exception being where those services competed with private commercial businesses, and not pertaining to municipal retail liquor stores.


5.        Recognitions, Donations and Communications


6.            Approve Minutes


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 Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.

a.            Approve Payments

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


ACH Payments


72953 - 73003





                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


b.            Approve Business Licenses & Other Licenses & Permits

          McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for the following applicants:



Type of License

Yan Liu; Asian massage; 2334 Lexington Avenue N

Massage Therapist

Asian Massage; 2334 Lexington Avenue N

Massage Therapy



                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


c.            Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items Exceeding $5,000

McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of the submitted list of general purchases and contracts for services presented as follows; and as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated February 24, 2014; and Attachment A entitled, "2014 Capital Improvement Plan Summary "Updated 02/26/2014."





Budget /




Ammo used for training and general police operations




Ferguson Waterworks

Radios (40) for meter reading system




SRF Consulting

Stormwater design - Evergreen Park final design services as part of the Park Renewal Program




                                                               Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


e.            Approve Local Consent to the Knights of Columbus for their Consumption and Display of Intoxication Liquor Permit

McGehee moved, Etten seconded, approval of the request by the Knights of Columbus for local consent of a permit for their proposed Columbus Consumption and Display of Intoxicating Liquor at 2233 North Hamline, Suite B-12; from the period of April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015.


                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


9.            Consider Items Removed from Consent


d. Award Contract for 2014 Sanitary Sewer Lining

At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon provided a summary of the request as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated March 3, 2014.


Councilmember McGehee questioned if this project was for the purpose of lining mains and not connecting stubs; opining that often those stubs are the problem areas for failures, and further opining that a better job could be done in protecting this investment if those areas were also lined.


At the request  of Mayor Roe, Public Works Director Duane Schwartz advised that those connections, known as service laterals, and private, were not currently included in the City's lining projects, as the technology was still maturing to address those connections points by lining them.  Mr. Schwartz noted that the technology for lining mains has matured well and had become more cost-effective, with costs less to line them than to dig them up.  Mr. Schwartz agreed that often a failure was found in the connection point between the main and lateral.  However, under current City of Roseville policy, the City is responsible for the main, and private property owners for the laterals.  While technology does exist now to line the entire service or a few feet into the service line providing a water tight connection with the main, Mr. Schwartz advised that it would typically only be financial feasible as part of a large scale project, done by an entirely different contractor with different technologies, and currently costing between $3,000 and $5,000 per lateral lining application.  Mr. Schwartz noted that the lining could be done any time after the service is installed.  Mr. Schwartz further noted that the City's current twenty-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) was not funded to carry out such an extensive lining project as currently written. 


Mr. Schwartz advised that the discussion held at last week's Council meeting about ownership of private utilities in public rights-of-way addressed some of the issues currently being considered regarding laterals, but was not part of this request.


Mr. Schwartz noted that this item currently before the City Council was a separate issue and could be approved and carried out without decisions made regarding that previous discussion.


Mr. Schwartz responded to questions of Councilmember McGehee clarifying that there was no opportunity to save money if lining of laterals was included as part of this project, as it would be a completely separate contract and different contractor from this project, and may even raise the cost of this project for the general contractor to work it into the project with a subcontractor.  Mr. Schwartz further addressed Councilmember McGehee's questions related to failure of private lines often caused by root intrusion and cracking of the service line, which could be improved by lining technology.  At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Schwartz advised that discussions were still underway regarding if and how to assist homeowners in facilitating a large-scale project by bid; with staff having consulted with one firm indicating that they could do so at a reasonable cost, approximately $3,000 per service line if it was an extensive project.  However, Mr. Schwartz noted that it would require that firm to do all or almost all of the service connections within a stretch from one manhole to another; otherwise if the project was only for lines located here and there and across the City, the costs would rise dramatically, and depend on how much participation there was from private property owners.   


At the request of Mayor Roe in clarifying that failure of service laterals was more prevalent in areas with boulevard trees, and not affecting every service line, Mr. Schwartz confirmed that the problem with roots was basically confined to areas in the City with the oldest infrastructure consisting of clay tile mains and service laterals, but was an extensive problem.  Mr. Schwartz noted that, through televising lines, staff had been able to identify those areas that were worse than others. 


Mayor Roe noted that, when this issue came back for further discussion in the future, part of that discussion would include whether the City or neighbors banding together were responsible for addressing private laterals.


McGehee moved, Etten seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11133 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution Awarding Bids for 2014 Sanitary Sewer Main Lining;" awarding the bid to Insituform Technologies USA, LLC of Chesterfield, Missouri, in an amount not to exceed $838,270.00.


                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


9.            General Ordinances for Adoption



Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 6:24 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 6:25 p.m.


10.         Presentations


a.            Joint Meeting with Housing & Redevelopment Authority: BR & E/Dale Street Redevelopment

Mayor Roe welcomed HRA Members with those present including Kelly Quam; Bill Masche; Susan Elkins; Vicki Lee; and Chair Dean Maschka.


Business, Retention and Expansion (BR & E) Program

Chair Maschka noted that Chapter 3 of the Research Report was included in the agenda packet and had been what the task force had primarily focused their discussion on; with the full report available at the City's website:


Michael Darger, Director of BR & E Strategies Program at the U of MN was present to provide research results and task force recommendations.


Mr. Darger offered his congratulations to the City and their Task Force for their significant and substantial amount of work since August of 2013 and meeting with forty-one (41) non-retail businesses in Roseville.  Mr. Darger provided a brief history of this twenty-five (25) year program; and summarized the materials detailed in the chapters.  Mr. Darger noted that the first step was research, second step prioritization, and the third step implementation.


Mr. Darger's review included the chapters: 1) History, methods and names; 2) Roseville and Ramsey County economy and demographics; 3) Results of business visits, strategies and potential project written by Mr. Darger; 4) Hints for implementation; and 5) Survey tabulations.  Mr. Darger's review included data via charts included in the full report. 


Issues expressed by businesses included public transportation, Xcel Energy rates, and incentives for business investment in facilities, increased worker skills or more workers, and services of an Economic Development Authority (EDA).  Mr. Darger noted that local government service ratings didn't appear problematic. 


Mr. Darger tied in those major issues expressed by the business community survey completed with suggested strategies from the task force that could address them.  Areas of interest expressed by businesses included their desire for more networking opportunities; an active Chamber of Commerce; training for workers and managers, especially computer skill training; recruiting employees, especially Information Technology jobs; and addressing recruitment challenges that were a result of metropolitan competition, inadequate labor skills and/or poor worker attitudes.


Regarding the commuting information, Mr. Darger advised that the survey indicated that 63% of the businesses came from within a ½ hour drive of Roseville, with over 1/3 from ½ hour or more away, and a limited number from further away than that.  Noting the education o employment process indicated from previous data, Mr. Darger recognized the 54% of workers are only required to have a high school or GED credential.


At their February 18, 2014 retreat, Mr. Darger advised that the task force spent 2-1/2 hours reviewing the data, and broke into small groups to nominate ideas, using   "dot democracy."  Mr. Darger noted that Ms. Kelsey had the full print-out of those ideas; but he highlighted four project ideas or strategies receiving the highest support from the task force.  Those four ideas were:

1)  Establish a business liaison position for the City, plus a Roseville initiative to connect businesses to outside assistance (Research Report #s 1.5 and 14 - pages 14-15);

2)  Sponsor business planning workshops at a basic or advance level;

3)  Provide a   "Welcome" package for new businesses in the community; and

4)  Study a transportation shuttle idea for within Roseville (e.g. Nice Ride Minnesota) (Research Report 1.5, Tab 3, page 16)


Mr. Darger reviewed other strategies receiving significant interest, including making businesses aware of current opportunities (e.g. Roseville Business Council meeting the fourth Wednesday of each month at Affinity Credit Union); creation of a database of businesses in Roseville and applicable licensing information to allow easier networking among those businesses; and provide examples of successes in other communities and exposing school students to area job mentoring programs (Research Report 3.8, Tab 3, page 27).


Additional strategies were provided in a bench handout and sorted by the number of votes from the task force for further discussion and potential implementation to the HRA Board.


Mayor Roe suggested feedback from the HRA to the City Council on what strategies stood out and made sense for the community to undertake and work through the BR & E program.  Discussion among Mr. Darger, HRA Board Members and Councilmembers ensued. 


On behalf of the HRA Board, Chair Maschka highlighted page 14 of Attachment A from the February 18, 2014 retreat, opining that he found merit in recommendations 1.2 and 1.3 related to business planning and expansion.  With this era of the Internet and available technologies worldwide, Chair Maschka admitted that he found it fascinating that businesses were unable to connect with other and resources locally; and suggested this may be a great opportunity for the City to facilitate those connections, or make businesses aware of those resources.  Chair Maschka suggested developing a concept to consider and develop such a service.


On page 17, Chair Maschka noted Item 1.9 and opined that, even though he found the permit process good now, apparently continual improvement was still needed to optimize that process.  In Item 1.10, Chair Maschka suggested the City could connect businesses with resources and available options to help them navigate foreign trade opportunities.


On Page 19, Chair Maschka opined that the HRA should facilitate versus creating or convening a networking group, (Items 2.2 and 2.3), opining that getting to the point of creating something may not be feasible, depending on if and how the City's Community Development Director (CDD) was positioned and their skill set and expertise as the City replaced City Manager Trudgeon, formerly holding that position.  Chair Maschka noted the previous involvement with businesses and emphasis on economic development by former Community Development Director Welsch and his assistant, Kathy Bennett.  Chair Maschka opined that it would be advantageous to have someone as the CDD who brought experience from a municipal perspective as well as that of the private sector.  With the current potential for pending development and redevelopment occurring in the City, Chair Maschka opined that the City was in a good place to stimulate more development, especially in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area, and to initiate some of these strategies.


On a much less dramatic note than this report, Member Masche noted the success of and high compliance rate among businesses as reported at the last HRA meeting by Code Enforcement Officer Don Munson in the Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP) designed specifically for businesses and commercial properties and performed in 2013.  Member Masche opined that this appeared to indicate an appetite from the business community for a relationship with the City, with little dissatisfaction with the City asking them to bring their properties into compliance, even though some of those efforts were fairly expensive items and the HRA's first effort to create that relationship.


On the housing side, Chair Maschka noted the opportunities available to encourage workers to live and not only work in Roseville; and recognizing the interest needed in facilitating a connection that housing was an option for them as well.  Chair Maschka suggested working with are realtors to get the word out to workers and let them know that Roseville was a great place for young people to start out.


City Council Comments

Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of capitalizing on the interest of the business community in linking with Roseville and with each other businesses; suggesting that a database should be created to be aware of them, and then outreach and liaison with them to determine what was appropriate, as well as how to expedite the building permit process and quality of life links.


Chair Maschka advised that he had personally given a lot of thought to that, noting that when he first came to Roseville there was a strong local Chamber of Commerce, a lot of civic organizations, and locally-owned banks - most of which no longer exist, while leaving a need for connection.  Again, noting that all of this new communication technology was available, but the connection was still missing, Chair Maschka questioned how best to institutionalize those connections to create that same sense and feeling of the past.  Chair Maschka opined that he saw the City's newly-created Civic Engagement Commission serving to facilitate that communication, noting that the former Jaycees civic organization was 100 plus members strong, and provided a great opportunity for his personal businesses; and those relationships continued even today.  However, Chair Maschka questioned if government's role was to step in and institutionalize that networking opportunity.


Mayor Roe noted that society has changed, including how we interact with each other, with companies often filling the role of the former Jaycees, recognizing the work of Affinity Credit Union and Comcast in encouraging their employees to participate in collective volunteer days.  Mayor Roe suggested working with existing Chambers of Commerce, who appear to be eager to serve as a resource, to help make those connections and networking opportunities.  Mayor Roe recognized the existing "Grow Minnesota" database, which was fairly incomplete in listing Roseville businesses, and questioned if the City could help facilitate local businesses to tap into that networking database to make connections, rather than the City duplication those efforts.  Mayor Roe suggested looking to the Chambers of Commerce and Roseville Business Council and alert businesses that those opportunities are not necessarily restricted to members; and concurred that perhaps the City could facilitate that communication and provide opportunities to make businesses aware.  Mayor Roe spoke in support of building upon existing opportunities and ideas being implemented to address the new way of how people did business.


Recognizing the number of those commuting thirty minutes or longer to work, Councilmember Willmus questioned if that was consistent with other communities.  Mr. Darger responded that he didn't have that information immediately available tonight, but based on his recollection of federal data, he didn't think it was inconsistent.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus as to whether workers have an opportunity for housing in Roseville, Mr. Darger noted theories from a decade ago, when the City of  Eagan wanted to attract an executive class of workers, similar to that found in the City of Eden Prairie as an example; and actively attempted to do something about it.  Mr. Darger advised that an assessment would need done on whether or not housing could attract that higher wage group versus those with only a high school education, noting the large span currently existing.


Mayor Roe concurred, noting that those workers with a less formal education represented a significant part of the City's population at this time.  Mr. Darger noted that the City also had a considerable number of U of MN residents as well, advising that he had been encouraged by those residents to make sure the City was well aware of that fact.  Mayor Roe noted that when executives moved to MN, their perception was that the Cities of Eagan and Eden Prairie were the suburbs to locate in, and also to locate their businesses in those areas as well;


Councilmember Laliberte questioned if there was any way to tell the average age of the Roseville workforce, which could also provide information on their life cycle and whether rental or home ownership was of interest to them.  Mr. Darger responded that the information was included in the full report, both recognizing the City's aging workforce and residents.  Mr. Darger further noted that, in an article yesterday in the Minneapolis Star/Tribune related to inner ring suburbs, it was noted, with Roseville receiving mention, that the City of Shakopee was the leading user of business incentives in the State of MN.  Mr. Darger opined that the information provided in this article was interesting to think about, with Americans liking to move frequently; and challenges in living in various suburbs that may not be evident in Roseville.


Councilmember Etten questioned where people went to get assistance in creating business plans and help with expansions and strategic planning.  Mr. Darger responded that the State's Small Business Center or SCORE (Senior Core of Retired Executives) were the typical resource.  Mayor Roe responded that it was key for the City of Roseville to make that information known and available to the business community.


Being so close to many colleges who offer similar business administration assistance and development of marketing plans, Councilmember Laliberte suggested making that information available to local businesses as well.  Chair Maschka concurred, opining that facilitating relationships could and should make that information available.


Mayor Roe suggested three project areas for the City to pursue as evidenced from this survey, the report and task force work, as well as tonight's discussion.


1)   Developing business liaison staffing focus in the upcoming refinement of the Community Development staff organization, with the upcoming hiring of a new Community Development Director; 2) working with Chambers on a business to business networking model (e.g. business council meetings with outside speakers); Inviting local colleges to Chamber of Commerce meetings to help spread the word and alert the business community to opportunies they offered; and

2)   The City and School Districts working together to emphasize vocational and work skills training and preparation in the schools, as he and City Manager  Trudgeon had recently discussed. 

Mayor Roe opined that a joint meeting with the School Boards would provide an opportunity to influence decision-making outside this jurisdiction. 

3)    Chair Maschka suggested facilitating opportunities, with varying topics of interest and extending invitations, opining that the wonderful OVAL facility would be a perfect venue.


HRA Member Elkins noted, as most of the HRA Board and some Councilmembers were aware, she was a strong advocate for workforce housing; and opined that it would be great to get local businesses on board and show them how it worked and advantages of having their workers living in Roseville; perhaps even by providing a model for them.  Mayor Roe concurred that the opportunities would continue as redevelopment occurred in Roseville, another discussion topic he and City Manager Trudgeon had shared earlier today as well.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Acting HRA Director Jeanne Kelsey confirmed that sufficient direction had been provided to staff for the HRA to pursue based on tonight's discussion.


City Manager Trudgeon thanked everyone involved in this process; and as the HRA moved forward in moving their Strategic Plan forward, and based on the new hire of a Community Development Director and their specific experience, Mr. Trudgeon opined that this study and tonight's discussion would determine how the City could best position itself and respond to events.  Mr. Trudgeon noted the emphasis points as outlined by Mayor Roe, and advised that staff would continue to work on them for the HRA and City Council as time progressed.


Chair Maschka concurred, noting that it remained a work in progress that would continue to evolve, with things happening once written down.


Councilmember Laliberte concurred, opining that the Roseville Business Council was a good step, and since involvement was not confined to membership in a Chamber of Commerce, the City could do whatever was possible to get businesses made aware of the opportunity and get them involved.


Chair Maschka also noted that it would work well with the new Marketing position and rebranding efforts of the City to incorporate that and create a vital reputation.


Councilmember Willmus asked Mr. Darger to provide a full copy of his presentation to staff for dissemination.


Mayor Roe thanked Mr. Darger for his assistance throughout this process and tonight's presentation.


Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC) - 501c(3) nonprofit corporation; 15 South Fifth Street, Suite 710; Minneapolis, MN


Chair Maschka introduced Bill Buelow, Director of Construction and Ms. Eden Spencer, Project Manager, both part of the development team with GMHC for the Dale Street Fire Station Redevelopment Project.


Mr. Buelow provided an update to the City Council and public of the revised concept plan and process to-date for three level townhomes closer to the street with an alleyway and parking in the rear, of approximate 2,200 square feet and including 2 to 4 bedrooms per unit.  Behind those units, Mr. Buelow noted there were ten single-family homes planned with a different approach with alleys in the rear versus the street front; and a common green space/courtyard in the front.  Mr. Buelow opined that this provided a unique, exciting and fun way to approach housing in a more dense environment.  Mr. Buelow noted that these single-family units were proposed as two-story with a two-car attached garage, three bedroom - including master bedroom -  with a finished basement, and private patio side yard area, all open to the front yard/courtyard area as well, with two-car attached garages entered from the rear alley.  On Cope Avenue, Mr. Buelow noted single-level townhomes were planned, with one single-level, single family home on the far west end.  Mr. Buelow noted that by providing a variety of units, varying interests could be accommodated and address housing needs for people at different stages of their lives.


In reviewing the aerials, further revised from those included in the packet materials, Mr. Buelow noted that two single-family homes had been removed reducing the density from twelve to ten homes.  In showing elevations of the proposed units, Mr. Buelow noted their looks, both front and back, inclusion of private outdoor space, with the larger, three level townhomes along Dale Street having a more urban feel; and single family front yards having a common courtyard, with private patios and side yard areas as well. 


Mr. Buelow displayed sample floor plans for all three types of units; and apologized for the differing presentations, explaining that at this concept stage and as planning was underway, and in response to neighbors and City Planners, the units and project layout continued to evolve daily.  As part of those neighborhood concerns, Mr. Buelow addressed parking, with revisions to provide each unit with a two-car garage and two car pads in front of the units.


Ms. Spencer noted additional parking off-street and adjacent to units between garages and in-between town homes (two spaces total) as available.  Ms. Spencer confirmed that each single-level townhome would have two spaces. 


Mr. Buelow noted that the project would have its own Homeowner Association owned by homeowners; with everyone part of the same maintenance and snow removal process.


At the request of HRA Member Quam, Mr. Buelow confirmed that there was one less senior housing unit due to the reduction in units as currently shown.  At the request of Member Quam, Mr. Buelow concurred with her that this has made some changes to the financing package and potential gap in that financing, but remained a moving target through this concept stage and until hard construction numbers could be provided to their builder.  At this time, Mr. Buelow advised that they continued to work with their internal estimates and previous construction projects as well as those of their contractors; but noted that in working with a realtor, they had been able to reduce the financial gap from $500,000 to $300,000 at this time, even though still in process.  Mr. Buelow advised that the reduction in the number of units hadn't had significant impact on the financing and had been done to achieve goals of the site and neighborhood, not for financial reasons.  However, he did recognize that fewer units would have some impact on the overall project financials.


Chair Maschka noted the work of the GMHC at this time with realtors to determine price points and amenities that would work.


Ms. Spencer concurred, noting that the pricing targets continued to evolve depending on square footage and number of bedrooms and their locations; with the current price point estimated between $230,000 and $275,000.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Buelow furnished the projected living space square footage of each unit: three level townhomes at 2,100 square feet including a finished lower level; two-story single family homes at 2,600 square feet with a finished lower level; and 2,500 square feet single-level townhome with a finished lower level.


City Manager Trudgeon clarified the projected financial gap on the current proforma, as part of the next agenda item, noting that it included land costs for the City and HRA and anticipated reimbursement of  $1.4  million as part of that gap.  Mr. Trudgeon further clarified that Mr. Buelow was referring to the housing financial gap and not land, since everything was still in the concept stage.


Mayor Roe concurred, opining that as one component got smaller, the overall gap got smaller.


Mr. Buelow addressed one other remaining concern for neighbors, especially the concern of the neighbor on Lovell Avenue, as well as the community and all parties, was the driveway location at the lot line setback 10.5 feet at the front and reduced to 7 feet in the back, approximately three times more than the code setback allows.  Mr. Buelow advised that extensive consideration was given to that concern, with current proposals to install a privacy fence along that lot line and along the rear lot line to provide screening while still allowing for snow storage.  Mr. Buelow further noted that the GMHC was working with five different engineers to look at the drainage situation for the overall project and specific areas; and also noted that the project sat within two watershed districts who will also weigh in on final plans.  Mr. Buelow advised that soil borings had been completed and proved very favorable with great soil conditions indicated.


Chair Maschka advised that the project - in concept stage - will go before the Planning Commission for public hearing on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.


At the request of City Manager Trudgeon, Mr. Buelow addressed the reason for the loss of a unit on Cope Avenue, based on a thirty-foot (30) sewer easement; with options to put two very skinny units on the west; and final decision to pursue another option to put one nice, single family home there.  Mr. Buelow advised that the home would look similar to the townhomes and be in the same association, providing a consistent look on the street front.


Councilmember Etten questioned the alleyway entrances, especially on Lovell on the west side, and spacing of eighteen feet (18) on the south side of Cope Avenue.  Mr. Buelow responded that the 18" was felt to accommodate two vehicles meeting and passing in the alleyway; with snow removal and storage being engineered to accommodate those issues as well, but still under review by engineers.  Ms. Spencer note that additional snow storage was proposed if necessary for common areas and other drainage areas (e.g. rain gardens).


At the request of Councilmember Etten based on elevations with existing homes on the back side of Cope Avenue and potential drainage issues; Mr. Buelow advised that the site was almost perfectly flat.  However, Mr. Buelow confirmed that the project could not allow any more water to leave the site than currently did; and note that this would all being carefully engineered to avoid creating any problems for the neighbors or the project site itself.  Mr. Buelow concurred that drainage was a critical issue, and options to collect waters in this sandy soil area were being investigated, with engineers having the final determination on those mitigation efforts.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Buelow reiterated proposed parking for the single-family townhomes on Cope Avenue, with each having a two-car garage and space for an additional two cars parked in front of the garage.


Councilmember McGehee suggested, given the sandy soils at the project site, and current water line freeze-ups, that the developer consider insulating water and sewer pipes to avoid those issues.  Mayor Roe concurred, or suggesting installing them very deep.  Mr. Buelow recognized recent problems being experienced in Roseville and other communities; and noted the exceptional difficulties this harsh winter had created for everyone.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. Spencer addressed the pending process for comparative market analyses, with the figures previously provided tonight on price points in the current proforma and square footage estimates remaining estimates at this point.  At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. Spencer advised that they anticipated final information on both available later this week; as the final plan was completed.  Councilmember Willmus expressed interest in reviewing that information, opining that some price points are mid-line or low with what was being seen in other areas of Roseville, and should be a factor in making those determinations.  Mayor Roe noted that once the analysis was completed, firmer number would be available.  Ms. Spencer advised that the GMHC remained very conservative at this point; with Mr. Buelow noting that the goal was to get the maximum value while still moving the units.  Ms. Spencer opined that this was a unique product, with estimates being developed by marketing options, since not otherwise offered in the area.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Buelow anticipated that most final decisions were in place and he planned to make his final call to the architect tomorrow.  However, Mayor Roe noted that they would remain subject to change as the project proceeded through the City Code/Planning Commission process.  Mr. Buelow concurred, expressing his hope that the project could be initiated the first thing this spring.


At the request of HRA Member Masche, on the Dale Street elevation, Mr. Buelow confirmed that the City trail currently located in front of the three-story townhomes remained in place.  Form a marketing standpoint, Member Masche opined that it would be a great asset to retain, but from his perspective questioned if it conflicted with other engineering issues (e.g. County road and street trail for plowing).  If the developer team needs further support for retaining that trail, Member Masche offered his support.  Mr. Buelow noted that the stairs had been moved off the path, creating a landing from the steps to the trail.


At the request of HRA Member Lee, Mr. Buelow reviewed the proposed phased development, anticipating building of the Dale Street townhome building and two to four of the single-family homes as the first step.  Mr. Buelow advised that the preferred plan was to build one and finish it as a model with the others shelled out allowing potential buyers to select other finished; and then to probably proceed with building the single-family home and everything on Cope Avenue, pursuing shelling out all but one unit used for a model.


Chair Maschka opined that, from his perspective, he would anticipate they would all sell from marketing efforts before the first unit went into the ground; with Mr. Buelow sharing that hope, opining that this was the purpose of the strong marketing plan.


Based on tonight's feedback, Mayor Roe summarized that the HRA and Council appeared to believe that the project concept was on the right track, pending minor modifications still in process.


Councilmember McGehee expressed her appreciation again to the HRA for the very nice process taken to arrive at this plan.  Councilmember McGehee expressed her support for this plan, and the different amenities proposed to provide individuality in finishing units; noting that this was a different housing style than currently available in Roseville and served as a good way to update the City's housing stock.


Mayor Roe concurred with Councilmember McGehee comments.


Public Comment

While Mayor Roe reiterated the opportunity for public comment at the formal Public Hearing scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at the Planning Commission, he opened tonight's meeting for public comment as well.


Ken Hartman, 660 West Lovell (first house west and north of the project site)

Mr. Hartman expressed his appreciation for not putting in an apartment building, and his support for the proposed homes.  While the proposal was not perfect from his perspective, Mr. Hartman stated that he couldn't fight it.


Mr. Hartman confirmed with Mr. Buelow that the setback was 10.5 feet on the front end and 7' in back by the shed; both different than the information previously known to Mr. Hartman, at 7' all along the way before.  Mr. Buelow noted that, due to Mr. Hartmann's concerns regarding snow and other problems, a privacy fence was being proposed along the entire lot line as a better solution. At the request of Mr. Hartman, City Manager Trudgeon advised that City Code required a 6.6' fence height, pending a variance, with the front yard dropping to 4'.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff and the Planning Commission would probably look to transition the height to Mr. Hartman's house, but would work with him on that.


At the request of Mr. Hartman, Mayor Roe advised that the type of fencing materials would be dictated by code; and thanked Mr. Hartman for being part of this overall process.


Mr. Hartman had previously expressed concerns in allowing enough room to get emergency vehicles through; opining that a setback of 13'-15' from the property line would be ideal.  However, if more space was not available, and with assurances that a privacy fence would be installed and no parking on that side of the alley, Mr. Hartman opined that he could be satisfied.  Mr. Hartman expressed his ongoing concern with off-street parking in the project site; however, he recognized that Mr. Buelow had continued working with him on various issues and concerns, and expressed his appreciation for the accommodations made for him to-date.


Rich Lueder, 794 Lovell Avenue

Mr. Lueder expressed his concern with current traffic and projected increased traffic on Lovell Avenue; and referenced verbal assurances received at the last HRA meeting that traffic on Lovell would be part of the overall evaluation process.  In his personal review and correspondence with City officials, Mr. Lueder noted that his interpretation was that any additional traffic studies beyond that would be the responsibility of the community.  While understanding the process, Mr. Lueder asked for clarification on whether he or the neighbors with 51% support from the neighbors, needed to pursue that study, or if they would be simply doubling the efforts.  Mr. Lueder questioned if the study was already done; and whether those results would ultimately be taken to the citizens or neighborhood to address parking and traffic on that street; and whether the process would lead to costs being borne by the neighborhood versus a city assessment by engineers.  If the response was that the cost and study was the responsibility of the neighbors, Mr. Lueder opined that he would then have problems.  If the study only indicated a turn lane on Lovell without recommendations for other options as well, Mr. Lueder asked for clarification on that the traffic study would entail and ultimate potential results of that study.


At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon responded that the required traffic study as part of the development process, both a pre- and post-analysis, was typically borne by the developer unless the City chose to do so, which was not common practice.  Mr. Trudgeon reported that any indicated modifications would need to be factored into the development.  Mr. Trudgeon, in response to his understanding of Mr. Lueder's question, was related to additional neighborhood requests for a dead-end street or cul-de-sac, which would be considered neighborhood-initiated and affect a larger area than just the development itself and require a larger and more intense study, even though it would have some repetition of data, but based on impacts to a larger area.


Mr. Lueder questioned if a turn lane was the best option versus a dead-end or something between those two options, and the greatest engineering improvement available.


Mayor Roe clarified that the developer's engineering study would deal with turning movements, intersection geometrics, and traffic flow; and proposed traffic control changes, all within the realm and possibility of the study.  However, Mayor Roe advised that it would be fairly unlikely that the study would recommend closing off a street, as the purpose was to move traffic, with the turn lane an example of that goal, but still depending on whatever the traffic study recommended; and if required by projected traffic generated by the development, would be paid for by the development.   If the neighborhood wanted to study cross-through traffic, Mayor Roe advised that such a study would be initiated by the neighborhood, and could offer a host of solutions including traffic safety issues (e.g. traffic humps or closing streets) or any range of neighborhood and/or global issues, which would be borne through the Traffic Management Policy process adopted by the City Council  a couple of years ago.  Mayor Roe advised that the development study would review pre- and post-project traffic volumes and background traffic issues.


Mr. Lueder opined that the volume created by this project went well beyond the remedy of a proposed turn lane or stop light; and further opined that he anticipated significant capacity issues.


Mayor Roe noted that, with some developments, they were required to install new streets to accommodate additional volume if significant; however, he questioned if this size of a project would get to that stage, but if so would need some type of mitigation. 


At the request of Mr. Lueder, Mayor Roe confirmed that it would be advantageous for the neighborhood to await the results of the initial traffic study based on the engineering analysis, which would provide them with more information before they proceeded with further studies.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, noting the churches and schools in the area, Mayor Roe confirmed that the study would address safety and sight line issues as well.


Councilmember McGehee clarified that this study was typically not done by City staff but by a professional, independent engineer; with all documents available for public review upon completion. 


In response to Councilmember McGehee's comments, City Manager Trudgeon further clarified that it had yet to be determined who would perform the traffic study, until a final design was determined; whether internal by City staff engineers, or externally by a third party engineer.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the study would be valid no matter who did it, and based on a standard traffic modeling system.


Michelle Harris, 597 Cope Avenue

At the request of Ms. Harris, Mayor Roe confirmed that a traffic pre-study had yet to be done; and anticipated that it would be part of the development agreement, after the land use approval phase later this week had been completed, but before the next phase at the City Council level, and would be part of the public notice process itself.  At the request of Ms. Harris, Mayor Roe confirmed that it would not be part of Wednesday night's actions.


At the request of Ms. Harris, Mayor Roe clarified that the City periodically and continuously performed post-development traffic analyses, not necessarily separate studies, to determine if operations were as indicated and remained accurate.  At the request of Ms. Harris, Mayor Roe advised that the original traffic studies were initially part of the development costs; with general traffic studies or analyses part of doing business in the community and costs were borne by all taxpayers in the course of general business operations.


Mayor Roe thanked residents for their comments; and reminded them and the listening audience of the Planning Commissions' formal public hearing.


11.         Public Hearings


12.         Budget Items



Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 7:55 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:05 p.m.


13.         Business Items (Action Items)


a.            Consider Amending Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts #10 and 12 Plans to Assist the Dale Fire Station Redevelopment

City Manager Trudgeon summarized the request as detailed in the RCA dated March 3, 2014; and existing balances.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the districts were old enough to allow pooling of remaining funds throughout the City for other public purposes involving housing and employment; however, he noted that both districts were originally created to support housing efforts.  Mr. Trudgeon clarified that granting this request for amendment would not bind the City to expend the funds, but would provide flexibility as a development agreement was formulated and for future adjustments as the draft performa in tonight's packet was further refined and identified the final amount needed to facilitate gap financing.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that part of the idea for addressing the gap would be to refund the City and HRA for purchase of the Dale Street property and to reduce the deficit on the new fire station.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the developer would pay for land purchase back to the City; and in the case of the HRA, to recycle those funds back into their budget, and for the City toward the fire station construction or for any other purpose chosen by the City Council.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that this was a simple administrative amendment, but that Ms. Mychala Hewitt from Springsted was available to answer any questions.


Mayor Roe asked Mr. Trudgeon to provide rationale for amending the plan at this time, rather than concurrent with a development agreement, as has been done in the past..


Mr. Trudgeon responded that staff was seeking feedback and approval from the City Council as to whether this is an appropriate method to explore, and an indication of whether or not they supported the use of TIF dollars for gap financing.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that staff felt that if the process was approved now, it would be one less thing to do later; however, he reiterated that the final decision would be made as part of the development agreement as it came forward to the City Council for review and approval.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that at this point it provided speculative flexibility in the TIF plan, which ultimately came down to the agreement, and still needed particular approval to access those dollars.  While it was also acceptable if the final financial arrangements didn't include TIF, Mr. Trudgeon note that it provided a good faith understanding between the developer and City allowing them to craft a draft development agreement based on that understanding.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that this district included the current Applewood Point development, developed by the HRA in 2003, and providing workforce housing.


Etten moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11134 (Attachment C) entitled, "Resolution Approving Administrative Amendments to the Tax Increment Financing Plans for Tax Increment Financing Districts No. 10 and No. 12."


Councilmember Laliberte noted that, when having first received proposals, a gap of a similar amount with zero land costs included was given; and now it would appear that the gap was the same with the land included.


With City Manager Trudgeon not having access to that referenced figure at this meeting, Mayor Roe asked that staff respond at a future point to that material.


                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


Mayor Roe noted that staff and the developer would return with final plans and a proposal in the future.



b.            Approve Addition to Council Meeting Calendar Allowing a Special Meeting on March 13, 2014 for Commission Interviews

City Manager Trudgeon summarized the request for an additional meeting to facilitate interviews for citizen advisory commissions, in addition to an earlier start time at next week's regular City Council meeting.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that, due to other conflicts, the start time had been deferred until 6:45 p.m.


Councilmember McGehee, seeking to clarify the intent of the special meeting, asked if this was being scheduled to avoid a much earlier start time on the regular meeting agenda.  Mayor Roe responded that, with twenty-one vacancies and interviews at a minimum of ten minutes; there would not be much time remaining for other business.


Laliberte moved, Etten seconded, to approve the addition of March 13, 2014 at 6:45 p.m. to the City Council Meeting Calendar to allow for this Special Meeting.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mayor Roe advised that he couldn't facilitate an earlier start time due to a previous event already scheduled and his commitment to attend that event.  Mayor Roe further responded that staff had reviewed numerous dates to facilitate this meeting, including dates where it could be scheduled at an earlier time, with none of those working with the majority.


                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


14.         Business Items - Presentations/Discussions


a.            Discuss Utility Discount Program

Finance Director Chris Miller reviewed previous action of the City Council suspending registration in the current Utility Rate Discount Program; and their preferred criteria for a new program that would better align with program objectives.  Mr. Miller reviewed staff's development of a proposed program using that criteria for eligibility based on financial requirements versus whether or not a person was retired of drawing Social Security benefits.  This information was detailed in the RCA dated March 3, 2014; and provided an in-depth approach to staff's research of various financial assistance programs offered county- and state-wide. 


Mr. Miller advised that staff felt the best fit seemed to be for a broad-based program, represented by Ramsey County's Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as "food stamps."  Mr. Miller opined that this was a good starting point and a draft program was included in the RCA (page 2) of what it could look like for Roseville.  Mr. Miller noted that Ramsey County already had the criteria in place, and staff thought the simplest approach was to use that data rather than recreating the wheel.  Mr. Miller noted that the statistics were provided in the RCA of current and estimated customers, and financial impacts to those losing the current discount.  Mr. Miller sought City Council feedback.


Councilmember Etten expressed his appreciation to staff in reviewing ways to use current systems already in place.  Councilmember Etten noted that all of the proposed programs seemed to be based on general assistance programs, and questioned if that perception was accurate and whether or not that left out assistance for seniors.


Mr. Miller noted that, page 4 of Attachment A (SNAP program) addressed adults and families, indicating it also included seniors.


Councilmember McGehee also expressed appreciation to staff for recommending something already in place.  However, Councilmember McGehee expressed concern with how to put in place a notification system; and opined that she could see no reason to continue the current program into the following year, with implementation in 2015 still providing nine months for those eligible to get their paperwork in order.  Councilmember McGehee assumed that, for those qualifying, they could do so at any time, which would accommodate those needing the program, and those currently receiving it but not needing the discount.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Miller confirmed that this draft had not gone back to the Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commission (PWETC) since their initial thoughts and recommendation in October of 2013.  Councilmember Willmus advised that, in his consultation with one member of the PWETC, they were pleased with what staff was recommending and comfortable moving forward.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus and as recommended by Councilmember McGehee for a more rapid phase out of the old system, Mr. Miller responded that staff was comfortable in doing so; and had only suggested phasing over two years to soften the blow to those receiving but no longer qualifying for the current discount.  While the discount amount isn't that huge, Mr. Miller advised that staff thought they could perform an awareness and education campaign sufficient to phase it out in 2015; and it didn't make any difference for staff whether to phase out in one or two years.


Councilmember Laliberte agreed with other Councilmembers, expressing her appreciation in staff finding an existing program to avoid the need for residents to provide financial information to the City of Roseville if and when they were already providing it to other sources.  Councilmember Laliberte expressed her support of this change and doing so at January 1, 2015.


Councilmember Etten questioned how much the current discount was costing the City, and what value and change was projected.  Mr. Miller responded that he estimated last year the total of $140,000 to $150,000 annually where the economic burden was transferred to all users for those getting the discount. 


Councilmember Etten questioned if it would be the most cost-effective to lower the base rates overall with that money, or apply it to lining the trunk system as a future City Council decision.  Mr. Miller opined that, if you eliminated 300 discounts and only had 100 discounts remaining, it would provide an opportunity to lower the base rates for everyone.  Mr. Miller noted that page 3 of the RCA provided that financial impact information; but would serve to lower the base rate for everyone, and further soften the blow to those currently receiving a discount but no longer qualifying based on income.


On page 2 of the RCA, Councilmember Laliberte questioned what was meant by staff in indicating that written proof of participation in one or more programs was necessary.  Mr. Miller responded that a copy of an approval letter, for those accepted into the SNAP program by Ramsey County, would need to be provided to the City, with the County doing the remainder of the work.  Mr. Miller clarified that Ramsey County would require them to resubmit their information periodically, but he thought the City could only require the information to be provided on an annual basis.


Mayor Roe noted that the SNAP program used 165% of the federal poverty threshold guideline, but questioned if that was similar to other programs.  Mr. Miller advised that, while he didn't list them, that threshold was pretty common for all programs, including the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP).


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller advised that he saw a discussion at the City Council level on whether to use the additional monies to lower base rates or invest in infrastructure as part of their 2015 utility rate discussion.


McGehee moved, Laliberte seconded, to accept the proposed draft Utility Discount Program in principle and direct staff to bring it back for phasing in for January 1, 2015.

                                                            Roll Call

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

Nays: None.


b.            Discuss Budget Calendar and Process

City Manager Trudgeon reviewed the proposed 2015 Budget Calendar and Process, as detailed in the RCA and Attachment A dated March 3, 2014.  Mr. Trudgeon reviewed specifics of the process and dates as depicted, with proposed discussion/action at regularly scheduled City Council meetings, as well as Work Sessions on those dates proposed.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that those group discussions were intended to build consensus and inform staff of individual and corporate City Council priorities and direction to assist them in developing the City Manager-recommended budget and CIP.  Mr. Trudgeon noted the periodic public hearings for gathering public comment as well, followed by a subsequent Work Session for any areas needing further clarification toward Preliminary and Final Budget adoption.


Mr. Trudgeon advised that the intent was to limit the number of meetings, but to keep those discussions substantive and focus for Work Sessions, while allowing flexibility if and when additional discussion was indicated.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that at each of the meetings, especially Work Sessions, the ability for citizens to participate on those particulars would be encouraged.


Councilmember Willmus noted the creation of the Finance Commission and expectations of the City Council in getting this group involved in the budget process.  Councilmember Willmus questioned how they fit into this proposed process and calendar.  Councilmember Willmus stated that his intent was for that Commission to make recommendations and bring some of the current policies and processes under review.


Mr. Trudgeon noted that their involvement did require more thought; but the goal was to assimilate them into the big picture.  However, Mr. Trudgeon noted that it would be determined by what role the City Council assigned them, and based on previous discussions, would be to leverage their expertise and knowledge in making this a better process.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that their initial role may be to observe the process and make specific recommendation to facilitate that overall goal.


Councilmember McGehee thanked Mr. Trudgeon and staff for this proposed calendar and process, opining that it was the best she had seen since she came onto the City Council.  Councilmember McGehee expressed particular appreciation in setting aside three specific Work Sessions focused only on the budget.  As for the Finance Commission, Councilmember McGehee stated that she saw it as a collaborative group, along with the City Manager and Finance Director, and if in place by April 1, 2014; who would be privy to these meetings and the same information provided to the City Council, and be part of the process going forward.  Based on discussions for some of the Commissioners to have financial expertise, Councilmember McGehee opined that she was not anticipating them coming forward as a separate entity to provide input.


Related to the Finance Commission, Mr. Trudgeon suggested consideration be given, especially with Work Sessions, that there was nothing preventing them serving at the table with the City Council similar to a joint meeting as done with other commissions; and as they get familiar with the financial picture, having an opportunity for direct dialogue at the table.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that he saw that in addition to the meetings they'd have on their own.


Councilmember Etten expressed interest in getting them involved; and making it flexible enough to recognize what needs to happen and approximately when to get the budget business done.  In referencing the RCA and staff seeking the City Council's comfort level in how things are reported, Councilmember Etten noted that many found budget documents confusion; and asked that discussion remain open to seek recommendation from the Finance Commission in how to make the documents easier to understand without needing a CPA license.  Councilmember Etten opined that the method for showing information should remain open as a goal for the Finance Commission to determine and make recommendation; and to go from several different reports in varying formats to a single document to present to the community for easier understanding. 


Councilmember Etten further noted a reduction in the number of budget-related meetings from last year, and questioned whether separate Work Sessions were required for June and August, since there were already three regular City Council meetings scheduled, and whether space could be created at those meetings for budget discussions to consolidate the current schedule and still get other business done. Councilmember Etten opined that, by taking budget discussions out of eleven other meetings, it should free up some of that business time, and may make sense to add those discussions to other meetings.


Mr. Trudgeon responded that it would be done at the expense of other items; and would require great discipline in not adding things to the budget meetings.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that it wouldn't matter to him or Finance Director Miller as they would be attending the meetings regardless.


Mayor Roe opined that it may make some sense to consider that option; and committed to dedicating an appropriate amount of time for budget discussions as agendas are developed. 


Mr. Trudgeon requested some flexibility, noting the difficulty in scheduling or rescheduling during summer months to make sure key people are available.


Councilmember Etten suggested date adjustments for June and August, with middle meetings becoming budget meetings.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Finance Director Miller advised that the external audit was scheduled for presentation to the City Council on April 21, 2014; at which point more definitive decisions could be made.  Councilmember Laliberte questioned if budget discussions were starting soon enough according to the proposed schedule, and providing the best information available.


Further discussion included when the Finance Commission was scheduled to meet, with that pending until they are formed and make that decision; involvement of the Commission in Work Sessions in addition to their regular meeting scheduled and preferring their comment.


Staff was provided this feedback, but no final decision was made at this time.


While not ready to approve the schedule and process until the Finance Commission was created, Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of focused budget discussions.


Mayor Roe suggested that the first meeting of the Finance Commission be a joint meeting with the City Council to outline expectations; with their first independent meeting scheduled after that joint meeting.  Mayor Roe noted that his understanding was that the proposed calendar from staff was subject to change based on feedback from the City Council, Finance Commission, and/or staff.  Mayor Roe opined that it was prudent to begin budget discussion on May 12; to immediately address any items from the external audit.


In terms of documents, Mayor Roe noted that there seemed to be tension between the large and small pictures; and in every case the City Council should have the big picture available for reference to determine how the small items relate back to that picture.  While unsure of what form that took, Mayor Roe suggested a general revenue/expenditure with sufficient notes to address reasons for change.


Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of Mayor Roe's suggestion, especially notes to clarify items.


Councilmember Willmus suggested a more flexible schedule as other groups were consulted; with Mr. Trudgeon responding that the rationale was to get the dates calendared to ensure availability of the Council Chambers, a much-used room with tight schedules. 


Regarding meeting times and dates for advisory commissions, Mayor Roe noted that each commission should be able to adopt their own preferences in consultation with staff.


Mayor Roe spoke in support of the proposed schedule and process as a good starting point, appearing to have relative consensus as long as it retained some flexibility.


Councilmember questioned if other cities provided a visual budget dashboard, similar to private businesses, and whether the City of Roseville could move toward that to make it easier for residents.


Mr. Miller responded that the budget had been packaged in just about every way possible to-date; and while he was familiar with the visual dashboard, he found that residents needed things in a more simplified format than the City Council depending on their financial background.  However, Mr. Miller opined that such simplification didn't do justice to explain why and how their property taxes may increase.    Mr. Miller advised that his research and networking with other cities indicated budget formats and information all over the board; with little consistency and often personalized per municipality.  Mr. Miller noted that of utmost interest to staff was to encourage the City Council to let staff know what information packages they found important, and what they needed to make good budget decisions.  Even there, Mr. Miller opined that there was little consensus on that, and staff continued to struggle what information and when to provide it to get individual responses back to staff to develop the City Manager-recommended budget.


Mayor Roe suggested one charge to the Finance Commission may be to review budget documents of other cities, and from that point of view, make recommendation on what they found the easiest format or content to work from and provide feedback to staff during the process.


Councilmember Willmus recognized staff's frustration and that while he'd seen budgets in many forms, there were individual Councilmembers looking for specific pieces of information or formats.


Councilmember Laliberte suggested that the dashboard format may not be helpful when discussing a budget, it could prove helpful as the year progresses to be able to see actual expenditures and revenue to budget projections.


Mayor Roe stated that his easiest way to understand the budget was when an overall financial summary of the City was available, showing all expenditures and revenues and then organizing the budget by funds broken down by function.  When more detail was available, Mayor Roe stated that he found it more helpful, and the deeper the review, the more detailed notes could become; allowing for both the big picture and other information available throughout the process.


15.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Trudgeon reviewed upcoming meeting agendas, anticipating that the Closed Session to discuss the Mounds View Hamline property would probably be deferred to March 24, 2014 due to other agenda items.


Mayor Roe suggested including a follow-up with the Finance Commission for April 21; and then schedule other joint meetings with advisory commission going forward.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte in cleaning up ordinance language for consistency with other commissions, Mr. Trudgeon suggested April 7, 2014 as a good opportunity to consider those.


16.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Councilmember Laliberte asked for an update on the litigation and appeal recently dismissed by the appellate court; and questioned whether that information had sufficiently filtered back to the community given the amount of public discussion the issue had received.


City Attorney Mark Gaughan provided a brief review, noting that some matters had come before the City Council in November of 2013 related to the transfer and renewal of a liquor license, with the City Council ultimately approving both for the applicant, Total Wine.  Mr. Gaughan noted that the decision had subsequently resulted in other interested parties bringing legal action seeking a review by the Court of Appeals of that City Council decision; with the appellate court dismissing that legal action based on a determination that they had no legal standing to request such a review.  Mr. Gaughan advised that the party now had thirty days from that judge's decision to submit their appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court for review.  Mr. Gaughan advised that, to-date, his calendar indicated nothing had been filed at this point.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mayor Roe advised that future discussions of water and sewer lines and responsibilities would be part of a broader policy discussion for base rates.


Mr. Trudgeon concurred, advising that he needed to check with staff to determine when they could have the information and a report ready for the City Council.


For the record, Mayor Roe opined that it was fair to state that Roseville was not unique in its approach for City versus resident water line ownership in the State or Country; and noted the number of communities dealing with similar issues.  Mayor Roe noted that the City Council and its staff was trying to assist people as much as possible to find resolution to problems created over these unusual winter months and long-term low temperatures.