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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

August 17, 2009



1.         Call Roll

Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed everyone.


(Voting and Seating Order for August: Ihlan; Pust; Johnson; Roe; and Klausing)


City Manager Malinen announced that Councilmember Ihlan was unable to attend tonight due to a previous family commitment. 


City Attorney Scott Anderson was also present.


2.         Approve Agenda

Councilmember Pust noted that she would be pursuing discussion of Consent Item 7.b entitled, “Receive Grant Application Report,” but indicated no need to remove it from the Consent Agenda at this time.


By consensus, the agenda was approved as presented.


3.         Public Comment

Mayor Klausing 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


5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications

Mayor Klausing noted open applications for a citizen advisory team, serving as the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Committee; and encouraged interested citizens to apply, with applications due by Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 4:30 pm, and applications available via the City’s website, or at City Hall.


Councilmember Pust noted a vacancy on the Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) with an application deadline of 4:30 pm on Thursday, September 10, 2009 and applicant interviews scheduled on September 21, 2009; in accordance with standing Resolution No. 10541.


6.         Approve Minutes


a.                 Approve Minutes of August 10, 2009 Regular Meeting

Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the minutes of the August 10, 2009 Regular Meeting as amended.



                        Page 5, line 24

Page 6, lines 35 & 36

Page 13, lines 35+

Page 14, lines 23 & 24


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

Nays: None.


7.                 Approve Consent Agenda

There were no changes to the Consent Agenda.  At the request of Mayor Klausing, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.


a.                 Approve Payments

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

ACH Payments


55994 – 56073





Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

                        Nays: None.


b.                 Receive Grant Application Report

City Manager Malinen advised that this was staff’s first attempt to provide a periodic report on grant applications submitted to-date by staff, as previously authorized by resolution on May 18, 2009.  Mr. Malinen noted that staff would provide additional updates to Councilmembers if and when awards were received.


Councilmember Pust noted that the previously-adopted resolution was not included in the packet; and sought clarification as to whether monetary limits were placed on submissions by staff without further City Council authorization.


City Manager Malinen advised that he was unaware of any monetary limitations from his recollection.


Councilmember Pust noted that her rationale was based on staff’s submission of an application to the U. S. Department of Homeland Security for fire station construction assistance; and noted that the City Council had yet to have a policy discussion regarding this issue, and whether or not to build a new fire station.  Councilmember Pust cautioned staff to be alert to those items that may create concern, or be of a controversial nature and needing additional discussion, prior to submission of grant applications.


Roe moved, Johnson seconded, acceptance of the August 17, 2009 Report from the City Manager, notifying the City Council of grant applications prepared by staff on behalf of the City of Roseville to-date.


Councilmember Roe suggested another review of the resolution language related to budgetary limitations on staff, and/or additional City Council authorization; and asked that future staff reports included an additional category listing any City funding match requirements for grants.  Councilmember Roe concurred with Councilmember Pust that the application for fire station construction should have been discussed among Councilmember prior to submission of the application.


Mayor Klausing requested that staff follow-up with Councilmembers.


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

                        Nays: None.


c.                  Adopt a Resolution Approving the Request by Mike Heffernan, 893 County Road C-2, for a 1,008 square foot accessory structure as a Conditional Use (PF09-021)

Mayor Klausing confirmed that no one in the audience wished to speak to this item, with no one responding.


Roe moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10742 entitled, “A Resolution Approving a 1,008 square foot Accessory Structure as a Conditional Use in Accordance with Roseville City Code, Sections 1004.01 and 1014.01 for Mike and Karie Heffernan (PF09-021).”


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

                        Nays: None.


8.         Consider Items Removed from Consent


9.                 General Ordinances for Adoption


10.             Presentations


11.             Public Hearings


12.             Business Items (Action Items)


a.                 Approve a Preliminary Plat and Adopt a Resolution approving a Planned Unit Development Amendment for United Properties to allow the Senior Cooperative residence at 3008-3010 Cleveland Avenue to be developed in two phases instead of one phase (PF07-006)

Associate Planner Bryan Lloyd summarized request of the applicant, United Properties, in response to the slow housing market and changes in the mortgage requirements of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), to allow construction of the senior cooperative residential development approved in 2008 in two phases.  Mr. Lloyd reviewed how this PUD Amendment would allow development in phases to allow for heightened pre-sale requirements for HUD-backed mortgages, with the first phase proposing approximately half of the 95 proposed units, or 45 units; also necessitating Preliminary Plat approval to facilitate the financing process.


Mr. Lloyd noted that an additional complexity was that until the applicant received approval from the City for phasing, they would be unable to confirm the number of committed buyers for the first phase, allowing a determination of the exact number of units to be included in the first phase and allowing the developer to know how far west of the middle property line the building will be located.


Councilmember Roe clarified that the original approval for the northern portion of the parcel included both preliminary and final plat review and approval; with the second stage (assisted living component) receiving General Concept Plan approval, but had yet to be recorded.


Mr. Lloyd responded affirmatively; noting that the developer had not yet purchased the properties along Cleveland Avenue for the assisted living facility, and would need to do so before financing and construction could proceed.


Councilmember Roe clarified that this was the purpose in creating the Outlot for this portion of the parcel; with Mr. Lloyd responding affirmatively.


Councilmember Pust sought information on the process in allowing the developer to plat the property before they became owners of it.  Councilmember Pust sought to assure the public that current owners of the property had been in agreement with the development when the City Council took their action.


Mr. Lloyd clarified that this was not the case, but that the City Council had previously only approved a set of property line, and that the current property owners had been part of that initial application along with the developer.


Councilmember Pust sought clarification on the splitting of Block 1; whether that was the primary issue before the City Council in tonight’s request; and her original opposition to the development in September of 2008.  Councilmember Pust requested clarification, on page 6 of the staff report, as to constructs the turnaround for the City park and parking lot; and asked that this be clarified prior to the City Council considering action on this request.


Mr. Lloyd advised that the turnaround ownership and construction was not clear from the previous meeting minutes, and asked that the City Council address that question to the developer.  Mr. Lloyd noted that the developer’s representative, Mr. Alex Hall, was present at tonight’s meeting.


Councilmember Pust noted discussion at the Planning Commission level as to why the developer was not considering building fewer stories to the building, to reduce height and impact to the neighborhood, based on citizen complaints related to that issue.


Mayor Klausing requested Mr. Lloyd to address the phasing process, noting that this request was unique based on the unknowns being requested (i.e., not knowing the number of units being built for Phase I); and how this impacted the requirements of the PUD.


Mr. Lloyd advised that staff would review the final plans, in addition to current exterior elevations previously presented, for Phase I; with staff having evaluated and compared the proposal to-date and recommend approval for phasing construction as proposed, noting that the final plans would be consistent for the total project, just completed in two phases.  Mr. Lloyd noted that the draft PUD Agreement included in the agenda materials provided a detailed list of plans as part of that agreement and to be provided by the developer and referenced by staff.  Mr. Lloyd advised that submission of those technical drawings would be further reviewed by staff for consistency with the City Council’s approval at tonight’s meeting; with the PUD Agreement then finalized and sent to Ramsey County for recording against the property. 

Councilmember Roe noted that the City Council already approved the full build-out in September of 2008; and that unless they collectively changed their minds at this point, the developer was simply asking that the City Council approve staging of the development to achieve the full project based on current financial and housing markets.  Councilmember Roe requested clarification as to whether the City Council, in order to approve the phasing, needed to have Phase I drawings depicting exactly what Phase I would look like, or whether Phase II was all that was needed as a land use guiding document for the property, noting that Phase I would consist of completion of the entire stormwater management plan and other conditions as detailed by staff in their report.  Councilmember Roe questioned if the City Council was perhaps making the issue more complicated that necessary.


Mr. Lloyd advised that, as long as the units remained consistent with the total number of units and lending themselves to the complete project, as previously approved in 2008, staff recommended approval of phasing the project as requested, and as detailed and conditioned in the amended PUD Agreement.


Further discussion included the original and amended PUD Agreement; status of existing and proposed plans as highlighted in the amended PUD Agreement; additional landscaping plan requirements and potential variations for construction of Phase I; parking area revisions along the western edge of the parcel by phasing the project; Fire Marshal conditions for entrance(s) from Langton Lake Drive during construction for public safety considerations; and language of the amended PUD Agreement recommended to avoid the developer being in default on any provisions due to the proposed phasing of the project rather than the original development in its entirety being constructed at one time.


Councilmember Pust opined that she saw no reason that the developer couldn’t wait until the building was constructed to replat the lot.


Mayor Klausing asked that the applicant come forward to speak at this time.


Developer, Alex Hall, United Properties and Kevin Teppen, MFRA

Councilmember Pust, recognizing the phasing and HUD financing changes, asked Mr. Hall why the developer wasn’t going forward to construct the smaller building without platting the lot line, since it was unknown at this time, based on the number of commitments for units, whether the building would be located 20’ one way or another.


Mr. Hall advised that it came down to an ownership issue; with the developer needing to secure financing for 51 units, and the lender requiring a defined line and documented purchase of the property.  Mr. Hall noted both phases of the development would go under separate loans in order to acquire a HUD guarantee and lender commitment to the dollar amount for construction to be initiated; and that neither of those parties would make that commitment until a defined parcel was documented under ownership of the developer, thus the need for platting at this time.


Discussion among Councilmembers and Mr. Hall included potential differing terms for both phases and subsequent debt service on individual units in both phases; blending of all operating expanses for both phases to be divided among the units of Phase I, and then once Phase II is constructed, divided by the total units.


Councilmember Pust requested comment from Mr. Hall regarding Planning Commission discussions on the height of the building, seeking to reduce the number of stories based on units in Phase I, and why such an option would not be financially viable.


Mr. Hall advised that a total of 95 units was required to make the project financially viable; and noted that another floor added at a later time was not feasible, based on construction logistics and costs, in addition to being extremely disruptive to occupied units.  Mr. Hall expressed confidence of the developer that there will be a total of  95 units sold; however, noted that the current market was difficult for seniors and/or sellers.  Mr. Hall advised that sufficient interest remained in their information sessions, with a number of potential buyers remaining on the list, but waiting out the economic news or a pick up in home sales.  Mr. Hall advised that a number of reservation holders had been on that list for two years as of October of 2009, and the developer was concerned that if construction didn’t begin soon, their delay may cause them to lose those buyers to competitors.


Councilmember Johnson requested specific information on potential purchasers.


Mr. Hall advised that they had seventy-five reservation holders providing a $500 deposit to hold their reservation, which was fully refundable; and a subscription or purchase agreement from 30 people willing to pay their 15% down payment.  Mr. Hall advised that, once approved by the City Council, the developer anticipated breaking ground by November 1, 2009 and having a shorter construction period due to the building being smaller than original.


Mr. Hall addressed negotiations and  compromises between the City and developer on construction of the roundabout; with final agreement that the roundabout be constructed on City-owned land, with the developer paying 100% of its construction.  Mr. Hall advised that the connection to the park was pending, at the City level, based on several unknowns, including finalizing how to tie the roundabout into the parking lot, and length of the road leading through the industrial area.


Parks and Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke, present in the audience, confirmed Mr. Hall’s analysis.


Councilmember Roe confirmed with City Attorney Scott Anderson, that the lines on the preliminary plat could not move more than 50’ within the line, which was sufficient for preliminary plat consideration and approval.


Roe moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the proposed PRELIMINARY PLAT of 3008-3010 Cleveland Avenue for United Properties; based on the information and comments of Sections 4-7, and the conditions of Section 8 of the Request for Council Action dated August 17, 2009.


Councilmember Pust advised that she still had concerns related to the preliminary nature of the plat at this time; however, recognized the developer’s request from a business standpoint.  Councilmember Pust expressed concern that the City take this action and create a precedent that would enable a future developer to seek similar remedies.


Councilmember Roe spoke in support of the motion and preliminary plat, noting that the developer would still be required to come back before the City Council for final plat approval that would be recorded against the property.


Mr. Hall noted that the building could not vary and appearance and materials would need to remain consistent, and should provide a level of assurance for the City Council.  Mr. Hall advised that the lender wouldn’t look at the final plat; but based on the preliminary plat would provide a loan commitment, and when the project closed after the building was completed, the plat line would need to be where proposed by the developer.


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

                        Nays: None.


Roe moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10743 entitled, “A Resolution Approving an Amendment to PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT #1375 (Attachment K), Applewood Pointe at Langton Lake (PF07-006);” (said agreement identified as Attachment J to the Request for Council Action dated August 17, 2009) as approved September 15, 2008 and revised August 17, 2009.


Discussion included conditions of the PUD Agreement for Phase I and Phase II respectively; clarification by City Attorney Anderson that the Agreement makes clear that nothing other than the proposed project, with plans and specifications as submitted, can be constructed on Lot 2 (Phase II).


Councilmember Pust advised that, while she voted against the original plan, the affect of phasing this project is more palatable, and opined that if the project were finalized at Phase I, it would serve the community better.


Councilmember Roe expressed concern with the Phase II documents that were undated, and whether they were consistent with original documents as submitted with the original PUD Agreement.


Mr. Lloyd noted that staff was allowing a placeholder in the amended PUD Agreement for updated documents for Phase II as necessary; noting that existing improvements for Phase I may have a slightly different appearance but would basically be consistent with those originally submitted.

Councilmember Roe expressed his concern in not clearly referencing the documents submitted on April 22, 2008; that that they remain the guiding document, as detailed on page 2 of 10 of the amended PUD Agreement, as attachments.  Councilmember Roe noted that tonight’s action was only to phase the originally-approved project, and that without referencing those original exhibits, the connection could be lost.


Further discussion ensued ensuring that the Phase II dates for reference (April 22, 2008) to be included on the original and amended PUD Agreement.


City Attorney Anderson opined, from his perspective, that references in the Agreement to Phase I documents are new documents that have yet to be created to show the interplay between Phases I and II, such as Exhibit H-2, and that the City indicated therein that the Phase II floor plan show that the floor plan not deviate from the plan submitted in the original plan submitted in 2008.


Councilmembers Roe and Johnson, as makers of the original motion, amended that motion as follows: Roe moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10743 entitled, “A Resolution Approving an Amendment to PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT #1375, Applewood Pointe at Langton Lake (PF07-006);” (said agreement identified as Attachment J to the Request for Council Action dated August 17, 2009) as approved September 15, 2008 and revised August 17, 2009; stipulating that Exhibits C.2, D.2, G.2, H.2, and I.2 dated April 22, 2008 as detailed on pages 2 and 3 of the Agreement, remain in place as originally presented.


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

                        Nays: None.


b.                 Adopt Professional Services Policy

City Manager Malinen presented a summary of the revisions in the proposed Professional Services Policy for City Council consideration.


Mayor Klausing addressed remaining concerns on page 2, lines 3 – 5 related to the City Council’s representation in evaluations and/or interviews of candidates.  Mayor Klausing expressed concern that this blurred the City Council’s policy role and the City Manager’s managerial functions, and the City Manager’s hiring of City Attorneys subject to City Council approval.  Mayor Klausing advised that he had no problem if a Councilmember wanted to participate, however, he preferred that it not be mandated.  Mayor Klausing further noted that this should remain a City Council matter, and not be formally adopted as part of this policy.


Discussion included individual Councilmember involvement and preference to have input into the evaluation process, to allow a conduit to the City Manager to address and concerns, or to express positive comments; parallels and distinctions with the Mayor’s role in appointing HRA Commissioners, subject to City Council approval; the need to acknowledge the City Council’s role in the process; original language proposed by Councilmember Roe distinguishing between “should” and “shall;” statutory provisions for the City Council and City Manager; and interaction between the City Council, staff and the civil attorney of record.


Roe moved, Pust seconded, adoption of the Professional Services Policy as presented in the Request for Council Action dated August 17, 2009; with a technical amendment on page 1, line 23 (Item 2) correcting “Ensures…”  “Ensure…”


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

                        Nays: None.


c.         Receive Community Meeting Report

City Manager Malinen briefly reviewed information and feedback received by the City Council and staff at the four recently-held community meetings.  Mr. Malinen reviewed, for the public’s information, the format of the meetings; attendance of Department Heads to provide information for those residents in attendance; topics reviewed; and 46 questions using audience response counters, with 55 responses.  Mr. Malinen noted that the attendance was somewhat disappointing; however, noted that the tone of the meetings was positive with the general perception of City employees’ responsiveness, value of City services and their quality; and other comments favorable.  Mr. Malinen suggested that it was a good start to provide continual outreach with the community to receive their input and to provide public information.  Mr. Malinen advised that staff would develop the survey information for further discussion.


Councilmember Pust thanked staff for dedicating their time to attend the meetings; and thanked those 55 residents who attended.  Councilmember Pust noted the extensive advertising to promote the meetings; however, cautioned that the responses to the audience response counters by those 55 in attendance represented only a small section of the community, and cautioned that the results be kept simply anecdotal, and not necessarily representative of the entire community and had no statistical validity..


Discussion included the cost of the response system at approximately $1,000.


Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, acceptance of Community Meeting Survey results as prepared by staff and presented at tonight’s meeting, and detailed in the Request for Council Action dated August 17, 2009.


Roll Call

Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

                        Nays: None.


13.             Business Items – Presentations/Discussions


a.                 Discuss Sidewalk Request for Dale Street, north of County Road C

Public Works Director Duane Schwartz reviewed staff’s analysis of the petition received on October 7, 2008, and signed by a number of residents adjacent to Dale Street, north of County Road C and the surrounding neighborhoods, encouraging the City to install a sidewalk or pathway adjacent to Dale Street from County Road C to South Owasso Boulevard.  Staff’s analysis was detailed in the Request for Council Action dated August 18, 2009, and based on the City Council’s directive to staff at a recent meeting.


Mr. Schwartz reviewed the petition; current City assessment policy; State Statute, Chapter 429 provisions; priority level of this section in the City’s Pathway Master Plan; staff support for identifying funding for this vital link in the system; condition of Dale Street in this area based on Pavement Index ratings; and consultations with the City Attorney on area-wide assessments for larger and broader transportation type projects versus proving benefit for this type of project.


Mr. Schwartz reviewed staff’s summary of the City Assessment Policy, with no assessments for sidewalks at this time; however, noting that the City could vary from this policy at its discretion.


Mr. Schwartz noted that staff did not recommend building a sidewalk prior to the proposed major roadway construction, slotted for Dale Street in 2013.  Mr. Schwartz advised that, with continuing deterioration of this roadway, staff could recommend that the project be moved up to 2011 from the original Capital Investment Plan (CIP), and move Victoria Street to a later date, as it was deteriorating at a less severe rate.  Mr. Schwartz noted that both Dale and Victoria were the remaining two turnback roads from the county that had yet to be reconstructed. 


Mr. Schwartz addressed the availability of Minnesota State Aid (MSA) funding available in 2011; previous Council action for advance encumbrance of  MSA funds for street improvements as applicable; and the proposed process for initiating this project.  Mr. Schwartz advised that, if the Council so directed reconstruction in 2011, which would include sidewalk and/or pathway construction, that staff would propose preliminary surveys this fall, meetings with residents over the winter months to develop the project, and returning yet this fall to the City Council with a request for a Feasibility Study for 2011 construction, in accordance with the Chapter 429 assessment process.


Discussion among Councilmembers and Mr. Schwartz included staff’s opposition to recommending a sidewalk be constructed as a stand-alone project, to later be torn out as the roadway was reconstructed; prioritizing Dale and Victoria Streets; current assessment policy that would not include assessing for sidewalk construction, but be part of the overall project; and whether that policy needed to be re-evaluated based on available resources in meeting the City’s long-term CIP goals.


Further discussion included the preferred type of sidewalk or pathway based on MSA and/or federal funding restrictions.


Public Comment

Tom & Janine Hadlich, 2782 Dale Street N

At the request of Councilmember Pust, Ms. Hadlich identified those homes not represented as signatories on the petition, based on their unavailability with repeated attempts at contact. 


Mr. and Mrs. Hadlich advised that they would accept a delay in building the sidewalk to coordinate it with road reconstruction, as long as it was anticipated in the more immediate future.  Mr. and Mrs. Hadlich noted the changes in the neighborhood with younger families moving in, and smaller children raising additional safety concerns.


Mr. Hadlich opined that the City of Roseville needed more pathways, specifically connecting with Central Park , and that it would provide a good benefit to the neighborhood, as well as connectivity and benefit to the entire community.  Mr. Hadlich endorsed the City, as a policy, to develop and incorporate more pathways to benefit the overall general health and welfare of the community, as well as increasing community relations and interaction, and increasing property values.


Ms. Hadlich concurred, opining that the City should provide additional money toward pathways and roadways.


Unknown Male Speaker

This speaker advised that while he had signed the petition, as a townhome owner, he was concerned about additional costs for snow plowing services of the sidewalk; whether there would be a special assessment per housing unit or an entire complex.


Mayor Klausing advised that, if the City proceeded with the road construction project, there would be no sidewalk assessment for property owners, given the current assessment policy.  Mayor Klausing further noted that property owners were not assessed for sidewalk maintenance costs.


City Attorney Anderson advised that, while not having researched the question completely, his opinion would be that the entire property was assessed, not individual units, such as in a townhome complex; with the Association probably dividing the assessment among units at their discretion; but with the City assessing by parcel, based on their assessment policy calculations.


The speaker expressed concern with existing underground sprinkler systems and mature trees, and his desire that neither be damaged or removed.


Mayor Klausing noted the speaker’s concerns, advising that these issues would be part of staff’s initial feasibility study, and would include input from the neighborhood, and a determination of which side on which to locate the pathway or sidewalk.


John Rutford, 2750 N Dale

Mr. Rutford, a resident and member of the Board of Directors for Westwood Village II properties, sought information on whether the entire property was assessed.


Mayor Klausing reiterated that sidewalk installation would be done as part of the entire road project, and as per current assessment policy, would not be assessable, only a portion of the road construction.


Steve Gjerdingen PWET Commissioner

Mr. Gjerdingen spoke in support of the sidewalk; noting that the neighborhood was fortunate that the road needed reconstruction and would facilitate sidewalk installation sooner. 


Mr. Gjerdingen  noted similar areas in the community where residents were seeking safer pedestrian amenities; and opined that the City needed to provide a dedicated budget, beyond waiting for road construction.


Councilmember Pust opined that this provided another reason for the City to reassess their current assessment policy for neighborhoods that come together and are willing to pay for such amenities.


Mr. Gjerdingen reiterated that this is a city-wide issue, and that a city-wide pathway budget would make sense.


Further discussion among Councilmembers and Mr. Schwartz included current roadway construction assessments for a seven ton design calculated at 25% assessment for construction of the roadway to benefitting property owners; MSA funding; and some communities having higher assessment rates.


City Manager Malinen concurred with Councilmember Pust’s observations that this is a prudent time for further analysis of the City’s current Assessment Policy based on the recently-updated ten-year CIP for all infrastructure systems (i.e., stormwater, streets, sewer, water, pathways), to determine how to better fund and  address limitations of current policies.


Mayor Klausing requested that staff prepare preliminary information to proceed with a 2010 feasibility study and 2011 construction for the above-referenced construction project; and return to the Council at a later date seeking authorization for such a feasibility study, based on the Chapter 429 process.


Mr. Schwartz anticipated that such a request would come before the City Council in the spring of 2010 following staff’s research of additional information.


Councilmember Pust thanked the neighbors for bringing their request forward, for working together, and working together as problem solvers


b.                 Discussion on the City’s 2010 Property Tax Levy Limits

Finance Director Chris Miller provided a summary of 2010 property tax levy limits, based on recent legislation, and detailed in MN Statutes, Chapter 275.70 and 274.74.  Mr. Miller addressed two categories: General Purpose representing unrestricted levy limits, and Special, or restricted, levy limits.  Mr. Miller reviewed each levy and their impacts to the community as it began to prioritize its preliminary 2010 budget and levy.


Discussion among Councilmembers and staff included implicit price deflator at  (0.83%); one-half the percentage of household growth; one/half percentage of C/I market value; allowable special levies to be used for debt service, increases in pension obligations, wages and benefits for police and fire, loss of 2008 MVHC, and  loss of 2009 MVHC; additional legislative changes allowing municipalities a one-time provision to levy back for lost aid in 2008 and 2009; various assumptions in employee union contract arbitration; and how to determine impacts for median value, single-family property owners and taxpayers.


Further discussion included how to provide an adequate level of services based on the budgeting for outcomes process currently being implemented, along with other objective data; various perspectives in determining maximum margins for services and programs; property valuation changes that may provide an opportunity beyond that normally provided, if those values were reduced and less impact was felt by the homeowner; service versus impacts; and taking advantage of levy issues before the Council, so no additional negative influences are faced by the City in providing realistic and requested service and program levels.


c.                  Continue Discussions on an Alternative Budgeting Process for 2010

Finance Director Chris Miller provided a summary of the Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process as detailed in the Request for Council Action dated August 17, 2009; and in anticipation of the upcoming presentation by Springsted on the City’s estimated 200 distinct functions, only represented by taxpayer supported funds.  Mr. Miller noted that the entire BFO process would take several more months to finalize priorities and make final spending decisions.


Councilmembers, individually and corporately, repeatedly encouraged staff to provide them with the list of 200 programs for their individual ranking and consideration.


Discussion included ranking and re-ranking among and across departments for programs and services; staff’s development of an acceptable and user-friendly format, including staffing, supplies, materials, professional services, and what it costs to provide the service and/or program; funding levels for programs and services versus their actual elimination; recognition that 87% of the City’s cost is personnel related; outsourcing costs versus in-house staffing; addressing the ever-changing service levels and equating their cost and staffing; and levels of expectations based on costs and benefits.


Further discussion included challenges in funding the total programs, while not reducing programs and or services based on philosophical issues, whether they were fully funded or not (i.e., park and recreation programming); philosophical and wellness community versus cost considerations;  recognizing that the City is not in the business of making money, but of providing services, and that the analysis needed to be across the board, and not limited to specific departments, but balancing the overall community benefits with competing interests.


Additional discussion included realties of this process with that previously used in the budget process; level of detail that will be available for Councilmembers from the consultant and staff; preparation of individual Councilmembers for difficult and challenging discussions and decision-making throughout this process; and recognizing that this was the first year in the BFO process, and may need to serve as a leaning process, with not all information readily available, or fully analyzed to-date; and noting what can and cannot be accomplished in that first year.


Councilmembers noted the need for the analysis to include the cost for the program/service; the wage/labor component to that calculation based on full-time equivalencies (FTE’s) rather than specific numbers of employees; how current staffing is impacted and where adjustments are indicated, as recommended by the City’s management team. 


Councilmembers further noted the need to recognize that this year’s process would be a combination of past budget processes and the BFO process, and needed to be considered in the decision-making process for general functions of the City, within and among programs and services, as previously indicated.


City Manager Malinen noted that the BFO process would be challenging to staff and the City Council, but in the end, opined that it would be the right thing to do for the long-term health of the organization, further opining that the City could not continue to function as it was currently.


Mr. Miller advised that the consultant’s analysis would not include various funding streams and/or restrictions; however, that staff would provide that additional detail to the City Council, based on each department’s standards and benchmarks that are already in place.


Councilmember Pust requested that a copy of the signed contract with the consultant for their services be provided to Councilmembers.


Councilmembers reiterated their preference for staff’s detailed list of programs to initiate preliminary discussions and considerations with staff.


d.                 Discussion on Council Liaisons

City Manager Malinen reviewed openings for alternates on the Ramsey County League of Local Governments (RCLLG) and the North Suburban Communications Commission (NSCC).


Councilmember Johnson volunteered his service to one or both boards at the City Council’s discretion, and his lack of service on any outside agencies, due to his newness to the City Council.


Mayor Klausing advised that he would also be interested in serving on the NSCC as an alternate; however, expressed his willingness to defer to Councilmember Johnson as alternate, recognizing Councilmember Roe’s superb attendance record, and limited demand of alternates.


A brief discussion was held on current liaison assignments; with Councilmember Pust encouraging individual Councilmembers to attend meetings of the RCLLG whether a delegate or not.


          Klausing moved, Pust seconded, appointment of Councilmember Jeff Johnson as Alternate Liaison to the NSCC and as Alternate Liaison to the RCLLG..


                                    Roll Call

            Ayes: Pust; Johnson; Roe and Klausing.

            Nays: None.


14.             City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Malinen reviewed upcoming tentative agendas.


Discussion included Councilmember Pust’s request a copy of the previously-sent information from City Manager Malinen to the City Council related to extension of the City Manager’s selection of a firm, as referenced on the August 24, 2009 tentative agenda.


City Manager Malinen requested that Councilmembers continue to hold open Tuesday, August 25 and Wednesday 26, 2009 as potential dates for Special Council meetings exclusive to budget discussions.


Mayor Klausing confirmed with City Manager Malinen that both dates had been noticed accordingly.


Further discussion included the proposed time allotment for presentation by Springsted of the Budgeting for Outcomes information; availability of that report from Springsted and staff’s analysis prior to that meeting; and Councilmember requests that the information be forwarded to the City Council by staff as soon as possible to allow for their review prior to that meeting.


City Manager Malinen noted that the September 14, 2009 agenda items were limited to a joint meeting with the Human Rights Commission, and the 2010 Preliminary Budget and Levy Adoption.


Councilmember Pust noted her previous requests for items related the City’s current impervious surface issue; timing for zoning variances and regulation changes at general or final concept stages; concern expressed in some residential neighborhoods as to why Roseville continued to have a five foot setback regardless of the character of the neighborhood; and recreational vehicle parking in residential neighborhoods.


City Manager Malinen noted that he had made Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon aware of these items, and was awaiting his return from vacation to provide the requested information to Councilmembers. 


15.             Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

Councilmember Roe advised that he would be on vacation and unavailable to attend the September 21 and September 28, 2009 City Council meetings.


16.      Adjourn

          The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:53 pm.