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City Council Meeting Minutes
August 22, 2011
1. Roll Call
Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed everyone. (Voting and Seating Order for August: McGehee; Pust; Johnson; Willmus; and Roe). City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present.
2. Approve Agenda
Mayor Roe advised that staff had removed Item 12.a entitled, “Consider City Abatement for Unresolved Violations of City Code at 681 Lovell Avenue,” from the agenda subsequent to the packet delivery as the issue had been resolved.
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the agenda as amended.
Ayes: McGehee; Pust; Johnson; Willmus; and Roe.
3. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.
a. Tom Hadlick, 2782 Dale Street
Mr. Hadlick reiterated his previous request to the City Council for removal of the utility pole directly in front of his home as part of the current Dale Street Project. Mr. Hadlick noted that there were four (4) such poles in the middle of front yards along this stretch; and provided photographic evidence of the situation. In discussing his request with City Engineer Debra Bloom, Mr. Hadlick advised that when approached, Xcel Energy had declined to move the poles; and staff had advised that the only recourse available to Mr. Hadlick would be a resolution requesting their removal to Xcel Energy from the City Council.
Mr. Hadlick asked for an update on the City’s current discussions for undergrounding utility poles; advocating for such a policy city-wide.
Mayor Roe advised the issue had not come forward for action yet.
City Manager Bill Malinen advised that the City Council’s Advisory Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commission was currently studying undergrounding of utilities and would be making a recommendation to the City Council upon completion of their analysis.
Mayor Roe advised Mr. Hadlick that the city-wide underground utility study was currently without a firm timeframe; however, he noted that it was on the City Council’s and staff’s work plan and in process. Mayor Roe asked that City Manager Malinen include the Dale Street Project update on undergrounding utilities on a City Council agenda in the near future, preferably August 22, 2011; and a report from staff or recommended City Council action at that time.
City Manager Malinen advised that this was often the situation when a new home was platted on an older street with utility poles already in place; and noted there would be staff review and background including a history of lot lines, associated costs for undergrounding the utilities, all included in the staff report that will come forward at that time.
Councilmember McGehee questioned the status of the Dale Street reconstruction; opining that if any undergrounding was to be done, it should be scheduled before paving to avoid removing any new construction work.
Mr. Hadlick noted that the undergrounding was usually accomplished through bore holes, and shouldn’t interfere with any new construction on Dale Street.
Mayor Roe clarified that the primary issue are relocating/undergrounding of the four (4) utility poles, as requested by Mr. Hadlick, with a staff report and recommended course of action tentatively scheduled for the City Council’s August 22, 2011 regular business meeting.
Lorraine Hansen, 1411 Woodlyn (BUDGET COMMENT)
Ms. Hansen, as a retiree from McGough Construction, noted her desire to give back to her community and her interest in youth as well. Ms. Hansen expressed her disappointment in reading an article in last week’s Roseville Review related to recommended budget cuts, especially from the Parks and Recreation Department. As an active volunteer with the annual Rose Parade and related Rosefest activities, Ms. Hansen opined that this and other community events were what made Roseville unique. Ms. Hansen noted the number of volunteers who worked diligently to make sure the annual parade went well, and the many benefits to Roseville beyond the community through interaction with high school bands from across the region and the interest derived through this interaction.
Ms. Hansen opined that the parade wasn’t that large of a drain on the City’s budget, given the extensive and active volunteer committee work. Ms. Hansen advised that she wanted to continue volunteering for the community and youth; and cautioned that if the parade were eliminated, it would be hard to get it back again.
Ms. Hansen asked that the City Council seriously consider the community’s youth; and the need to stick by this future generation and recognize them for their place in the larger community picture. Ms. Hansen advised that, in her state-wide travels looking for high school bands to participate in the Rose Parade; and the interest from many of those groups in returning again and again based on their comments about the inviting and personal atmosphere they fine in Roseville; as well as their families and friends who travel along with the groups and are also exposed to Roseville and bringing in additional revenue to the City.
Barb Obeda, 2910 N Asbury (BUDGET COMMENTS)
While thanking her and recognizing how heartfelt Ms. Hansen’s comments were, Mayor Roe respectfully asked that further comments, including those of Ms. Obeda, be held until the time in the meeting slated for that discussion.
4. Council Communications, Reports and Announcements
Mayor Roe noted that the City continued to seek applicants for the City’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA); briefly outlined their function; and reviewed how to obtain applications prior to the deadline for those applications on Friday, August 12, 2011 at 4:30 pm.
Mayor Roe announced ongoing organizing group meetings of the “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” in the northern suburb area, with those meetings scheduled for August 18, and September 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Roseville City Hall; and encouraged citizens to get involved.
Councilmember McGehee suggested that residents review their homeowner insurance coverage related to recent substantial rainfalls and flood insurance.
Mayor Roe announced the upcoming Open House for Public C-TV, Channel 15, scheduled for August 20, 2011; and the opportunity to tour their new facilities on Arthur Street, the same location where the temporary Ramsey County-Roseville Library was located during their recent remodeling and construction project.
City Manager Malinen announced that, given the large number in attendance at tonight’s meeting, staff was bringing in additional chairs to the Council Chambers; and advised that the lobby monitors had been activated to facilitate those outside the Chambers.
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
a. Proclamation of Golden K Kiwanis Peanut Day
Mayor Roe invited Kiwanis representatives to the front prior to his reading of the annual Golden K Kiwanis Peanut Day Proclamation.
John Sweeney, President of the North Suburban Golden K Kiwanis Club introduced himself as well as other Club members in the audience. Mr. Sweeney addressed the perceptions of the “aging of Roseville,” and provided a background of the ninety (90) retirees serving with the Club averaging 80 years old and spanning a variety of careers. Mr. Sweeney noted that it was a very energetic group; and that the annual Peanut Day was only one of the Club’s many fundraisers.
Mr. Sweeney advised that donations to the Club allowed them to provide leadership training programs for area youth; donations to the City’s Parks and Recreation Program; recent donation of a park bench for the OVAL; equipment and book donations for the Children’s Section of the Library; cash donations to organizations serving the community; the purchase and donation of food to area food shelves; and youth scholarships.
Mr. Sweeney advised that the Club’s “Gifted Geezers” also provide non-monetary services to the community, including delivering flowers, parking cars at the Saint’s ballgames; tutoring at local schools; and a Key Club in schools for youth serving the community. Mr. Sweeney advised that other activities included a toy repair program for Head Start; annual pancake serving at the Harriet Alexander Nature Center (HANC); selling of Rosefest buttons; Salvation Army bell ringing; and ushering at University of MN events.
Mayor Roe read the proclamation and recognized the dedication of the North Suburban Golden K Kiwanis, headquartered in Roseville, in helping community youth educationally and spiritually; and proclaimed Friday, September 23, 2011 as Roseville Golden K Kiwanis Peanut Day as a day set aside for the Club to raise funds for its many and varied programs.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, proclaiming Friday, September 23, 2011 as Roseville Golden K Kiwanis Peanut Day as a day set aside for the Club to raise funds for its many and varied programs.
6. Approve Minutes
a. Approve Minutes of July 25, 2011 Meeting
Comments and corrections to draft minutes had been submitted by the City Council prior to tonight’s meeting and those revisions were incorporated into the draft presented in the Council packet.
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the minutes of the July 25, 2011 meeting as amended.
7. Approve Consent Agenda
There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
a. Approve Payments
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
63398 – 63589
b. Approve Business Licenses
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for those applicants as follows:
Type of License
Ashley Johnson at Rocco Altobelli
1655 County Road B-2
Crystal Lenzen at Serene Body Therapy; 1629 County Road C West
Katherine Seitz at Colleen & Company
3092 Lexington Avenue
2218 County Road D
c. Approve One-Day Gambling License for St. Rose of Lima
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the request of St. Rose of Lima Church to conduct raffles and bingo on September 17, 2011 at St. Rose of Lima Parking Lot, located at 2072 Hamline Avenue N.
d. Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items Exceeding $5,000
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the submitted list of general purchases and contracts for services presented as follows:
Upper Cut Tree Service
Diseased and Hazardous Tree Removal
e. Formally Authorize a Temporary Inter-fund Loan between TIF Districts
At the request of Councilmember Pust regarding whether this action was based on a change in law or practice, City Manager Malinen advised that it was a very recent law change.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10917 (Attachment A) entitled, “Resolution Approving the Terms of Up to a $500,000 Interfund Loan in Connection with Tax Increment Financing (Economic Development() District No. 19 (Applewood Pointe Senior Cooperative Housing Project).
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10918 (Attachment B) entitled, “Resolution Approving the Terms of Up to a $6,000,000 Interfund Loan in Connection with Tax Increment Financing District No. 17.”
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
12. General Ordinances for Adoption
a. Receive Public Comment on the Traffic Study and Discuss the County Road C-2 Traffic Study
Given the large number in attendance for this issue, and the potential number wishing to provide public comment, Mayor Roe reviewed the City Council’s ground rules for public comment, and thanked all of those attending to voice their opinions. Mayor Roe advised that his natural bias was to make sure everyone was allowed to speak, no matter what they had to say; however, in the interest of time, he noted that the City Council Rules limited speakers to no more than five (5) minutes per speaker to allow everyone to be heard. Mayor Roe noted the suggestion of Councilmember Pust at a previous meeting that speaker representatives for larger groups be chosen to address the City Council to avoid repetition and to facilitate timely comments. Mayor Roe advised that, for those representing a larger group, he may be more lenient in the time limits; however, he asked speakers to be concise as possible in respect to everyone’s time.
Mayor Roe reviewed the public speaking process, sign-up sheet, and available chairs for identifying speakers for the record. Mayor Roe advised that any written materials submitted as part of their public comments, would be copied and distributed to the City Council and public as available. Mayor Roe advised that any questions raised during public comment would be duly noted and responded to by staff and the City Council at the end of public comments to avoid interruptions.
Mayor Roe reminded citizens of the need for their continued courtesy and respect of each other; and asked that conversations in the audience be refrained, as well as any interactions with those speaking. Mayor Roe reiterated his belief that everyone had a right to be heard; and that personal conversation or commentary is discouraging. Mayor Roe asked that all cell phones be put on vibrate or turned off; and that comments and/or questions be addressed directly to the Mayor and City Council.
Related to the numerous signs being displayed in the audience, Mayor Roe advised that they would be allowed as long as they were not disrupting anyone’s view; and encouraged those nervous about public speaking to simply relax and make their comments in their own words. Mayor Roe advised that every attempt would be made to ensure that both sides were given time to speak and make their cases.
Mayor Roe opened the meeting for public comment on this issue at approximately 6:35 p.m.
A neighborhood petition dated June of 2011 supporting permanent closure of County Road C-2 at Griggs Street; and opposing changing County Road C-2 to a through street between Hamline and Lexington Avenue was presented as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof. The petition was based on safety concerns; lack of evidence indicating established east/west through-roads being at or near capacity; potential devaluation of properties on and adjacent to County Road C-2 should it become a through street; and cost to taxpayers for a project that is not necessary nor wanted.
David Miliotis, 1128 County Road C-2
Mr. Miliotis advised that he had been asked to speak as the representative of a large group supporting keeping C-2 closed. Mr. Miliotis thanked City staff and the Traffic Engineering Consultant firm, SRF, for their work to-date; and opined that the data gleaned from the recent traffic survey served to remove the emotions and results spoke for themselves.
Mr. Miliotis reviewed that data and current 2011 traffic as well as 2030 projections in the area; and the findings that at neither time do or will traffic volumes exceed capacity. Mr. Miliotis referenced the staff comments in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated August 8, 2011, and supporting documents (Attachment A-Traffic Survey), and staff responses (Attachment B) to public questions to-date regarding the County Road C-2 Traffic Study. Mr. Miliotis opined that opening up County Road C-2 didn’t make sense from a traffic volume, safety or financial perspective.
Mr. Miliotis opined that by keeping County Road C-2 closed, it underscored the fact that the collecting arteries were operating well-below their capacity and specifically addressed questions 49 and 50 in the staff responses related to regional traffic and who would potentially pay for connecting County Road C-2 as a thoroughfare for regional traffic. Mr. Miliotis noted that the City and State were already facing significant cuts in needed funding for other vital infrastructure and community needs; and opined that, beyond the data actually supporting the benefits for not connecting County Road C-2 based on safety and financial issues; there was an ethical consideration.
Mr. Miliotis opined that the residents of Josephine Road requesting this connection had a poor grasp of facts; and were based on myth rather than fact. Mr. Miliotis advised that comments that County Road C-2 was once a connecting road and should therefore be reconnected were false; and that it had actually never been connected. Mr. Miliotis advised that the width of County Road C-2 was not accurately portrayed, and that instead of being 66’ wide, it was actually only 35’ wide. While Josephine Road residents arguing that there had been an increased volume of traffic, Mr. Miliotis noted that there had only been an increase of 200 vehicle trips per day in the last six (6) years. Mr. Miliotis noted the argument that there were not engineering reasons to not open County Road C-2, which had now been disputed with the traffic study.
Mr. Miliotis displayed a copy of a flyer received by area residents, encouraging them to sign the e-petition to open County Road C-2; and reviewed, in his opinion, the inane comments and rationale for opening County Road C-2 that it provided.
In conclusion, Mr. Miliotis opined that there was no factual evidence provided by those supporting connecting County Road C-2 through existing established neighborhoods; and that it would only serve to destroy those neighborhoods to accommodate a handful of self-serving citizens. Mr. Miliotis reviewed City Code defining a “cul-de-sac” indicating their purpose to provide a permanent termination of vehicular traffic. Mr. Miliotis expressed his personal astonishment at the lack of respect by other residents for his neighborhood; and provided a demographic overview of his neighbors of all ages and situations, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists using the roadways as well. Mr. Miliotis asked that the City Council completely overlook this entitlement request to open County Road C-2, noting the hours spent by him and his neighbors on this issue based on a misguided attempt to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist. In the strongest terms possible and on behalf of his neighbors, Mr. Miliotis asked that the City Council display stewardship of their neighborhoods to permanently close the cul-de-sac on County Road C-2 to avoid this issue coming up again in the future.
Stuart Shwiff, 1233 Josephine Road
A letter signed by Pam Newcome and Stuart Shwiff, dated July 15, 2011, as a cover to the petition from concerned citizens living or working in Roseville, believing that fully opening County Road C-2 would be in the best long-term interest of the greater Roseville community was provided as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Mr. Shwiff advised that he was representing a large group of residents of Josephine Road, Lydia Avenue and adjacent side streets, 140 who had signed the petition to-date, to fully open County Road C-2 between Lincoln Drive and Victoria Street in Roseville. The petition included a statement that since County Road C-2 is funded as a state aid rod, but not benefitting the broader community since it is not fully connected between Hamline and Lexington Avenues. The petition was based on there being no engineering reasons why County Road C-2 could not be opened; and supporting it being fully connected to provide an additional east/west collector road to share a portion of increased traffic levels projected for the area; and in the best interest of Roseville to more efficiently utilize existing roadways to more evenly distribute traffic versus overburdening a few streets and neighborhoods.
Mr. Shwiff advised that he had been privileged to serve on the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan Transportation Committee; with goals and strategies of the Plan based on the foundation established by the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning process and documents; and commitments of the City of Roseville to the Metropolitan Council’s mandates. Mr. Shwiff referenced a portion of the Situation Analysis from the 2030 Comprehensive Plan’s Transportation Section related to east/west routes in the community. Mr. Shwiff specifically referenced Goals 2, Policy 3.1 and Policy 3.2 of the Imagine Roseville 2025 document; noting that opening County Road C-2 was exactly a solution that would occur. While recognizing the numerous positive revitalizations and revisions in this immediate area, including zoning changes to medium density and the upcoming Josephine Woods Development by Pulte Homes, Parks and Recreation Department renovation of Autumn Grove Park, and other neighborhood positives, Mr. Shwiff noted that those all aggregately incurred additional traffic. Mr. Shwiff further noted the Hamline Center and its current zoning for HDR and the entire Snelling corridor north of Highway 36; in addition to retail shopping near the Byerly’s mini-mall and projected development at Twin Lakes; including other development occurring north of Highway 36 in Roseville and the east side of Lexington Avenue that would further demand opening County Road C-2 to other neighborhood collectors to avoid compounding the traffic burdens for Josephine Road.
Mr. Shwiff opined that this issue went far beyond residents of Josephine Road, and was a wider Roseville and regional issue. Mr. Shwiff displayed a map showing the location of those signatures on the petition, and their locations throughout the community. Mr. Shwiff referenced an August 7, 2011 Star Tribune opinion poll, with responses to two (2) questions related to the County Road C-2 issue resulting in 32/4 and 32/7 respectively in support of opening County Road C-2.
Mr. Shwiff referenced projected vehicles projected between Hamline and Lexington Avenues; and asked that the citizens represented by this petition be treated equally and not be asked unfairly to carry this huge volume of traffic; but that it be shared equally today and in the future.
Jeannie LaPalm, 2891 Merrill Street
Mr. and Mrs. LaPalm were present with their children, representing the “Save C-2” organization; and Ms. LaPalm spoke on behalf of this, those present and those unable to attend, and in support of keeping County Road C-2 closed. In noting the presence of her children, Ms. LaPalm noted that the major concern was obviously one of safety for those children living in this neighborhood. Ms. LaPalm thanked the City Council for authorizing the traffic study, opining that it had been very informative and specifically addressed page 20 of the study related to the rolling terrain and short vertical curve, located just east of their property and deficiencies in design and the existing configuration not meeting design standards for 30 mph traffic. Ms. LaPalm noted that some residents were requesting that County Road C-2 be opened because it was a state aid road and therefore funds generated for that road were not being used; and to that end, she quoted a portion of the study as it addressed MnDOT’s state aid manual for minimum vertical curve lengths at 90’ with significant mitigation required from Merrill to Griggs to just meet that safety standard for a state aid road. Ms. LaPalm asked if such mitigated safety standards would include recessed roadway and sidewalks for their neighborhood; and asked that the City Council was prepared to address potential vehicular/pedestrian or vehicular/bicycle accidents and deficiencies if County Road C-2 was to be connected. Ms. LaPalm quoted comments of the City Attorney related to the City’s limited liability with existing conditions and those that would be realized if County Road C-2 were opened up and design and deficiency mitigations along that stretch of road.
Ms. LaPalm noted that she lived on County Road C-2, that it was her yard; and with their active family she asked that the City’s Parks and Recreation Department consider, if any state aid funds went toward County Road C-2, consider turning the vacated right-of-way on County Road C-2 into a dog park or a new play area for families in the immediate area. Ms. LaPalm respectfully asked that the focus not only be on the motorized traffic portion of the report that may overshadow the safety issue.
Mr. Chris LaPalm, 2891 Merrill Street
Mr. LaPalm opined that County Road C-2 between Merrill and Griggs was “not ready for prime time” and noted his delivery by e-mail to the City Council of a video showing the actual and realistic dangers at the intersection of Merrill and County Road C-2 with a blind approach from both the east and west; and visibility of oncoming traffic unavailable unless you were at the top of the hill. Mr. LaPalm opined that this created a huge safety issue, especially at their driveway due to the grade of the hill. Mr. LaPalm asked that the City Council take that into consideration when making their decision.
Morgan Kempton, 2891 Merrill Street (13 year old daughter – 8th grader)
Ms. Kempton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. LaPalm, expressed her personal concern regarding potentially opening County Road C-2, particularly her concern for the safety of her brother and sisters and others in the neighborhood. Ms. Kempton commented on her personal review of the traffic study and potential traffic around her home if County Road C-2 were opened; preventing her brother and sisters from playing outside safely; as well as concerns for those walking or walking their dogs in the area. With school starting soon, Ms. Kempton noted that there would be more walkers and more school buses; and if County Road C-2 were opened, she questioned how traffic changes would impact County Road C-2 and how long the construction period would be that would also impact motorized traffic. Ms. Kempton advised that she didn’t want to walk around a lot of construction work for a long time. Ms. Kempton advised that she and her family really appreciated their peaceful neighborhood and had many friends in the neighborhood that were like their extended family. Ms. Kempton asked that the City Council consider the viewpoints of someone her age, wanting to make a difference in her community, and believing that County Road C-2 should remain closed.
Dennis Dietzel, 2954 Hamline Avenue
As an avid biker and pedestrian along both County Road C-2 and Josephine Road, opined that, in all fairness, the perception that this was a broader community issue didn’t necessarily ring true. While appreciating both routes for walking, and the amenity of County Road C-2’s quiet access into the neighborhood around Griggs and Merrill, Mr. Dietzel opined that the neighborhood would be significantly changed if County Road C-2 was opened, and that it would impact the neighborhood negatively. Mr. Dietzel further opined that he didn’t feel limited in his options for east/west access through the community; and asked that, if opening County Road C-2 was the decision of the City Council, that they give serious consideration to safely accommodating bicycles and pedestrians in that area.
Mr. Yi He, 1144 County Road C-2 (just east of Lexington) – developer/manager of online petition
Mr. He expressed his pride in living in a great and diverse neighborhood; and the continuing sense of neighborhood in resolving this issue. Mr. He reviewed the actual 137 signatures of the e-petition representing 80 households either on or across the street from lakes; with 60% outside the neighborhood. Mr. He opined that opening County Road C-2 provided a limited and disproportionate benefit for lake front homes.
Mr. He addressed the petition with 215 handwritten signatures from 150 households, 97% from the neighborhood and expressing major safety concerns at multiple intersections along County Road C-2, the costly construction to connect County Road C-2 and correct grade issues; and destruction of an established neighborhood, should it be connected. For those advocating connecting County Road C-2, Mr. He questioned if the statistics provided by Ms. Pam Newcome, with 60% outside the neighborhood, took into consideration safety issues, or simply based their responses on convenience.
Mr. He addressed several items he didn’t think were addressed sufficiently in the traffic study, including turn actions onto roads (Lexington Avenue) with higher speed limits (40 mph) and difficulty with visibility and access from cross streets (left from County Road C-2 onto Lexington and Victoria and County Road C); and steep banks requiring reduced speed.
Irene Erickson, 1251 Josephine Road, very new resident (as of Saturday) to Roseville and former Shoreview resident commuting through Roseville
Ms. Erickson noted her long-time questioning why County Road C-2 was not open as an optional route rather than curving around other roadways; and opined that County Road C as a county road did not just exist for a single neighborhood.
Ms. Erickson further opined that, as the City considered further development in the community, and in this area particularly, this became a much broader issue than just the neighborhood, but for residents throughout the county. Ms. Erickson opined that she didn’t see much reason to keep County Road C-2 closed; however, if there was going to be more traffic on the road, consideration of safety provisions for walking and parking should be given. Ms. Erickson encouraged the City Council to open County Road C-2 for the benefit of the region and those using roads beyond those two (2) neighborhoods.
R. J. Newcome, “Share C-2” group representative
Mr. Newcome advised that his group had attempted to say as upbeat as possible; and from his perspective their group had done so.
Mr. Newcome addressed safety comments brought forward by those wanting to keep County Road C-2 closed; noting that people needed to understand that anyone living on a collector road had to deal with those safety issues on a daily basis. Mr. Newcome referenced comments made tonight regarding the need to re-grade a section of the roadway versus comments made by SRF Engineer Vaughan at a previous meeting and mitigation options available. Mr. Newcome noted the many comments he’d heard, as well as his own surprise before moving into the neighborhood, as to why County Road C-2 was not connected.
With respect to Mr. He’s comments related to voting on various petitions being circulated, Mr. Newcome advised that the “Share C-2” petition had 156 signatures at the present time; in addition to some written comments submitted previously and/or yet-to-be submitted to the City Council. Mr. Newcome reviewed the locations of interested signatories to the petition and their strong interest in seeing County Road C-2 opened, with over 60% of those signing not on Lydia Avenue or Josephine Road.
Mr. Newcome referenced Figure 12 from the traffic study, and specific question from his group to the SRF consultant on base traffic counts for County Road C-2 and those projected in 2030; seeking an explanation in the apparent 37% reduction from current to 2030 for keeping it closed or connecting it. Mr. Newcome noted that surrounding roads didn’t have a corresponding drop projected for 2030; and opined that his group did not feel they had received a reasonable or sufficient answer yet. Mr. Newcome provided comparisons for other area roads and east/west connections and projected impacts for connecting or not connecting County Road C-2.
Mr. Newcome further referenced a question put forth by Councilmember Willmus at a previous meeting and discussions over the last few months between the City Engineer, City Council and Consulting Engineer from SRF; and state aid dollars being received for County Road C-2. Mr. Newcome opined that Ramsey County at one point, according to a recent map he’d obtained showing it as a collector road, apparently felt it necessary to have another east/west corridor; even though not done but Roseville continuing to receive dollars to support such a collector road.
Mr. Newcome referenced and displayed information on state aid roads taken from statutory definitions from MnDOT Rules, subpart 2 or 3; municipal state aid streets posted October 15, 2007; and statutory authority references: MS 161.082, 161.083, 162.02, 162.09, 162,.155; L 1983 c17
Mr. Newcome sought rationale in not receiving this funding for all these years; and opined that County Road C-2 should be open and should have been opened years ago. Mr. Newcome respectfully summarized the petition of his group that, based on the mechanism for funding and definition of state aid roads, that designation should have also been addressed.
Suzanne Sancilio, 1221 West County Road C-2 (immediately west of Josephine Woods Development at bottom of hill)
Ms. Sancilio thanked the City Council for the opportunity to address costs for connecting County Road C-2 at Griggs Avenue. Ms. Sancilio opined that it may sound inexpensive to connect the road through laying of concrete and removal of a few trees to those signing the petitions to do so without having fully studied the traffic study. Ms. Sancilio noted that state aid funds could be designated for other city neighborhoods; and while the study didn’t address specific dollar amounts, she noted that it did give the community a glimpse of tax dollar expenditures. Ms. Sancilio noted the impacts including destruction of Heritage Oaks in the way of a new section of roadway, construction costs for 175’ of roadway where none currently existed, narrowing of the cul-de-sac, installation of traffic signals, street lights, bike lanes and sidewalks; all in order to be consistent with the Roseville Master Plan. If that additional cost wasn’t enough, Ms. Sancilio noted the significant risk for motorists passing through and residents of County Road C-2 with the vertical hill. While not asked to design a road, Ms. Sancilio noted that the traffic research team had addressed potential options for mitigation that would be required.
Ms. Sancilio referenced Question #30 in the staff and City Attorney responses addressing City liability if County Road C-2 was connected; and need to mitigate design deficiencies if there was a connection. Ms. Sancilio opined that these could be considered additional costs as well. Ms. Sancilio noted additional costs in lowering the hill at County Road C-2 and moving it west; removal/replacement of the existing retaining wall at County Road C-2 by approximately one foot (1’) during this extensive construction project; addition of three feet (3’) of fill in low areas of County Road C-2 near Fernwood Avenue; and reconstruction of numerous driveways along County Road C-2, Josephine Woods, and Merrill, if not elsewhere. Ms. Sancilio noted additional costs for relocating or revising storm drainage, water main and other infrastructure in changing roadway profiles; costs to move the hill and flatten the slope; requiring many residents to re-grade and/or replace their driveways; and reconstruction of an established residential street and disruption of infrastructure.
Ms. Sancilio suggested that petitioners and casual observers should consider fully the hardship they would wreak on this neighborhood; and opined that this was not a simple project, nor was the City in any position to incur these costs; and urged that the City Council keep County Road C-2 closed.
Donna Miliotis, 1128 County Road C-2
Ms. Miliotis noted her advocacy in keeping County Road C-2 closed. Ms. Miliotis clarified some misconceptions presented from her perspective.
Ms. Miliotis clarified that County Road C-2 was not a county road and had not been one for over thirty (30) years; and that it did not extend over the boundaries of Roseville. Ms. Miliotis suggested that the City rename the road to avoid confusion. Ms. Miliotis reviewed and clarified Roseville roads and their status as MSA (Minnesota State Aid) funded road, at 25%. Ms. Miliotis quoted from the state aid manual, noting that traffic projections for the future continued to decrease; and noted that the levels of service are not currently, nor would they become deficient at County Road C-2 and Lexington, but were only projected to diminish slightly. Ms. Miliotis noted that the use of MSA funds required social, safety and environmental criteria to determine impacts of any project; and further noted that it was her understanding that Roseville’s portion of MSA funds had been used for a number of years; and questioned how the City could even justify using those funds for a roadway not even wanted or needed.
Ms. Miliotis advised that she had been advised by City staff that, while zero dollars had been used to maintain County Road C-2 between Lexington and Hamline Avenues, at the same time, MSA funds had been used for the beautification of Josephine Road during its reconstruction, in addition to $22,000 for private driveway work. Ms. Miliotis asked citizens to imagine costs adjusted for inflation for construction between Snelling Avenue and Victoria Street, to meet MSA design standards; with 25% of those costs assessable to homeowners on MSA roads.
Unless misunderstanding the situation, Ms. Miliotis questioned why Josephine Road residents got by without paying a dime; while if County Road C-2 was connected, those homeowners would pay 25% for actually deconstructing their own neighborhoods, in addition to paying 10)% for driveway reconstruction. Ms. Miliotis opined that this was not only unfair but completely outrageous. Ms. Miliotis stated that she could agree with Josephine Road residents on one point brought up by Mr. Shwiff in his letter to Mayor Roe and the City Council: that if County Road C-2 is not opened as part of the Josephine Woods development, it would only create stronger advocacy to keep it closed.
Joan Carrier, 1040 County Road C-2
Ms. Carrier advised that her main concerns were related to taxes and safety. While it may seem enticing to use MSA funds, Ms. Carrier asked if that sufficiently addressed capital improvement and budget needs versus actual resources, specifically those needed for the woefully underfunded park system and proposed fire station. Ms. Carrier asked how residents could be asked to pay for a roadway addition versus other more vital City needs and priorities.
Ms. Carrier, in her personal review of property tax data, opined that average property taxes along County C-2 had declined while Josephine Road resident taxes were increasing. Ms. Carrier suggested this could impact home values and those purchased on non-through streets, as well as impact sales of homes in the proposed Josephine Woods development as well.
Ms. Carrier further opined that the City Council was charged with responsible use of taxpayer money; while also having an obligation to protect neighborhoods and the quality of life of its residents. Ms. Carrier noted the apparent importance by individual Councilmembers for quality of life if their recent election campaigns and platforms were accurate. Ms. Carrier opined that people in Roseville should want to stay, not just drive through; and that Roseville should remain committed to attracting and retaining residents based on that quality of life, not to accommodate regional traffic needs through established neighborhoods.
Ms. Carrier noted impacts to the east side if County Road C-2 was opened; and opined that those residents were in solidarity with those residents on the west side. Ms. Carrier encouraged Councilmembers to personally drive all sections of County Road C-2 to review the situation themselves if they had not already done so.
Ms. Nilanjana Baneroi, 1303 W County Road C-2
Ms. Banerio, as an Indian immigrant now considering Minnesota to be her home - more specifically Roseville – encouraged the City Council to take a look at her neighbors, some having lived in Roseville for 50 years or more. Ms. Banerio proceeded to introduce some of those diverse neighbors in attendance, and expressed her passion for keeping County Road C-2 closed.
Gerry McDonald, 2857 Dellwood Avenue
Mr. McDonald advised that he had originally moved to Roseville for its livability and an environment as good as any in the state. Mr. McDonald opined that this issue was causing negative divisions and costing taxpayers’ money; and further opined that it needed to end. Mr. McDonald opined that there was a potential cost beyond actual road improvements, and that opening County Road C-2 would have many negative impacts. Mr. McDonald noted that one positive had been pointed out and asked that the City Council consider it by keeping County Road C-2 permanently closed and ending these frequent and unproductive discussions.
Marie Hammond, 1200 Josephine Road
Ms. Hammond addressed safety issues for her and other retirees on Josephine Road as well as families with young children. While everyone would like to live in a neighborhood without traffic, Ms. Hammond opined that it was not realistic. Ms. Hammond referenced living through reconstruction of Josephine Road and installation of new sidewalks making it safer for those going to the area beach. As a retired nurse, Ms. Hammond referenced the numerous times she’d provided first aid to bikers crossing traffic to get to the beach.
Ms. Hammond opined that residents of Josephine Road would like to be able to live in a neighborhood such as on County Road C-2; however, they were forced to encounter and deal with traffic all the time. Ms. Hammond opined that, when people stated that it was unfair for Josephine Road residents to request that County Road C-2 be opened, it was fairer to everyone in Roseville to have it opened.
Meggan Gardener, 1321 County Road C-2
Ms. Gardener, having move to Roseville about 18 months ago with her family, noted their desire to move from the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul to Roseville, after having looked at over forty (40) homes. While initially not interested in even looking at the home on County Road C-2 that they subsequently purchased, based solely on its connotation as a county road, Ms. Gardener advised that she finally agreed to look at it and it had resulted in a fantastic purchase for their family, once she had found that the road was actually closed. After extensive remodeling, Ms. Gardener advised that they had purchased the house knowing that County Road C-2 was closed, just as those residents on Josephine Road had purchase their homes with the full knowledge that it was a through street. Ms. Gardener asked that common sense be used by residents that when a neighborhood or street is no longer meeting their specific needs, they move elsewhere, similar to the decision made in full faith by their family in moving to Roseville.
Chuck Stokes, 2875 N Griggs Street
Ms. Stokes noted that the City Council had a monumental decision before them, and he didn’t envy their having to make it; however, he expressed his trust and confidence in them making it. Mr. Stokes noted that City Council had asked for facts all along, and time to digest the data received from the consulting engineer. Mr. Stokes opined that the information provided in black and white noted that opening County Road C-2 would create a problem not currently existing; but that through keeping it closed, it would increase the pain for all over the next 15-20 years. Based on indications nationwide, Mr. Stokes opined that the figures were not accurate and most likely would be less than projected, for a variety of reasons, including changing transportation modes.
Mr. Stokes opined that creating a “mini freeway” was not the right way to go; and recognized the very special spot along County Road C-2, Fernwood Avenue, Merrill Street, and Josephine Road; creating a somewhat unique area compared to other spots in Roseville. Mr. Stokes noted that the sense of community in these neighborhoods had brought people together to fight a common cause in a positive way; and opined that is something the City Council should be proud of since they had set that tone and reacted accordingly throughout all the meetings related to this issue.
Mr. Stokes provided some anecdotal, and concluded that if nothing was done there would be no major problems; however if the road was opened, it could create a problem and impacts and unintended consequences not fully understood at this time.
Mr. Stokes opined that there was one in-depth issue not being addressed: that the overall problem of traffic is overall, not just in a particular neighborhood; speeding is a problem for and by all. Mr. Stokes opined that there had been no real attempt to-date to look at that overall Roseville problem and clamp down on what is actually creating and causing the issues. Mr. Stokes opined that if speeding problems were addressed and mitigated, most residents and the community overall would have fewer problems. Mr. Stokes suggested that the City Council look to “do no harm” and then address underlying problems faced by the broader community; and address unsafe conditions for children and other pedestrians due to excessive vehicular speeds.
Mr. Stokes opined that keeping County Road C-2 closed was the right thing to do; and that keeping the status quo could be good at times when positive change could not be demonstrated or significant improvements guaranteed.
Mike Rogers, 2875 Dellwood
As a resident since 1954, over 57 years, Mr. Rogers spoke in support for keeping County Road C-2 closed; and expressed his opposition to opening it.
Dave Rice, 1195 Josephine Road
Mr. Rice stated that he didn’t want to bring up the numerous signs on City boulevards or the City not enforcing its ordinance and allowing it to continue.
Mr. Rice referenced an e-mail from Councilmember McGehee about closing Josephine Road as an alternative; and opined that he couldn’t see closing another collector street, even though it would be a solution to keep traffic off Josephine Road, while diverting it elsewhere, such as to Woodhill in the vicinity of the playground; or potentially rerouting vital emergency vehicles away from Josephine Road that would impact the safety of Roseville residents. As a realtor, Mr. Rice opined that closing Josephine Road would be a positive for him and his business; however he noted that everyone’s property was being devalued. Mr. Rice opined that residents moved to Roseville based on the integrity of the community and its great school system, in addition to a balanced tax base and overall good community. However, Mr. Rice cautioned that it was difficult to consider that there would not be hard feelings and a continuing “them” against “them” mentality if this issue continued without resolution. Mr. Rice stated that he would like to see slower traffic by disbursing through traffic.
Darrel LoCascio, 2933 Merrill Street
Mr. LoCascio addressed current shortcut routes for people accessing southbound Lexington Avenue or Hamline Avenue, often using Merrill Street, but sometimes taking a right on Josephine Road or Hamline Avenue. In accessing County Road C-2, Mr. LoCascio advised that they often took a right on Josephine Road, a left on Fernwood Avenue, and a right on Merrill Street, directly through a residential area, and right onto County Road C-2. Mr. LoCascio advised that his main concern, along with others, was one of safety; and opined that by opening County Road C-2, it would at least create a straight run. Mr. LoCascio addressed alignment and sight issues on Merrill; and provided several anecdotal stories related to those safety concerns, while none had involved pedestrians and vehicle accidents to-date. Mr. LoCasco noted further concern with additional cars from the Josephine Woods development also using these shortcuts. Mr. LoCascio opined that, in speaking or neighbors on Merrill Street, it would be sadly inappropriate if additional cars from that development area were allowed to go through residential streets when an east/west collector road was available.
Lars Eber, 1241 County Road C-2
Ms. Eber suggested a possible reason why County Road C-2 had not been originally connected; and provided pictorial evidence of eastbound traffic on Josephine Road at Lexington Avenue and the same view from the south from County Road C-2 and Lexington Avenue, identifying significant viewing differences and sight lines.
Jeff Strobeck, 1297 County Road C-2
With a brief exception, Mr. Strobeck advised that he and the previous generation of his family had lived in the same residence since 1957. Mr. Strobeck advocated for keeping County Road C-2 closed. Mr. Strobeck advised that, when his father had originally offered the family home for sale, his first criteria was that County Road C-2 was not going to be connected, which he’d been assured at that time by his father as a fact. Mr. Strobeck questioned if keeping it closed had not been a stipulation for the construction of Lexington Apartments on the south side of County Road C-2, a promise made by a previous City Council.
Regarding the traffic study, if County Road C-2 were connected, Mr. Strobeck opined that Josephine Road would realize a 25% reduction in traffic, while County Road C-2 would receive a 400% increase in traffic. Mr. Strobeck noted that this would impact County Road C-2 between Hamline and Lexington Avenues, but also Snelling and Victory; and opined that it would create additional liability with declining property values as well as creating safety issues. Mr. Strobeck opined that it would be a bad decision to open up County Road C-2.
Allen Carrier, 1040 W County Road C-2
Mr. Carrier spoke in support of keeping County Road C-2 closed. Mr. Carrier referenced his discussions with Fire Chief Tim O’Neill related to access for emergency vehicles to the neighborhood, and his assurance that there would be no difference in emergency vehicle responses to this area, whether County Road C-2 was open or closed; and the concurrence of Police Chief Rick Mathwig as well.
Derek Luhm, 1190 Josephine road
Mr. Luhm advised that he’d been asked to speak by his 13-year old son on his safety concerns in not being able to ride his bike. Mr. Luhm expressed assurance that the neighbors all still liked each other; however, he expressed concern in the need for addressing the ever-increasing foot traffic and better safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Mike Heffernan, 893 County Road C2 W
Mr. Heffernan questioned why the City spent money on a traffic study during this difficult economic time; and opined that he was unsure of the impacts of opening County Road C-2 based on the traffic study data. Mr. Heffernan suggested that more consideration be given to County Road E access rather than County Road C-2, since it was a county road and more easily accessible. Mr. Heffernan suggested another alternative may be access off Snelling Avenue to Hamline Center.
Mr. Heffernan spoke in support of not seeing County Road C-2 opened up.
Mayor Roe closed public comment on this issue at approximately 8:11 p.m.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:12 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:20 p.m.
City Engineer Debra Bloom
Mayor Roe asked Ms. Bloom to provide an explanation on different levels between previous traffic studies, the recent Pulte Homes traffic study, and this traffic study as referenced.
Ms. Bloom advised that the 2030 Comprehensive Plan Update for the City of Roseville completed in 2008, provided data projecting 2030 traffic at 2,600 vehicles per day on Josephine Road. At the request of the community, and as authorized by the City Council, an update was sought from this most recent traffic study and answered on page 16 of the study. Ms. Bloom noted that the traffic model used is from 2010, and that the regional demand model had updated numbers. Ms. Bloom clarified that traffic is not proportional; and that the most recent information from the Metropolitan Council was used (new regional traffic model). Ms. Bloom noted that the change was not changed equivalently; but Josephine Road was less than projected. Ms. Bloom advised that this was a common finding, and had been experienced on Rice Street as well. Ms. Bloom noted that traffic modeling is a projecting using the best information available, the nature of forecasting.
Mayor Roe asked Ms. Bloom to address whether the City of Roseville was following established rules for MSA roads.
Ms. Bloom advised that one of the unique parts of the MSA rules and system is that non-existing routes could be designated as MSA roadways. Ms. Bloom noted that County Road C-2 was a state aid route from Snelling Avenue to Victoria Street; even though a portion of it was actually non-existing. Ms. Bloom clarified discrepancies in why the road was shown on the Ramsey County GIS system and not on MSA records, noting that there was an existing 60’ right-of-way between Griggs and the cul-de-sac reserved for public improvements. Ms. Bloom advised that the City was looking at the existing right-of-way from Lexington to Hamline Avenues for additional pathway development as part of the Josephine Woods development project. Ms. Bloom reviewed other non-existent roadway segments that are designated MSA similar to this one, such as a segment of Twin Lakes Parkway. Ms. Bloom advised that it was common practice to draw dollars for those non-existing roads.
Mayor Roe asked Ms. Bloom to address the purpose of MSA road designations and funds.
Ms. Bloom advised that it was tied to future construction and dedicated funds for county state aid highways (CSAH’s) and MSA funds received through the 30 cent gas tax dollars paid at the pump; with receipt of funds based on population and needs; as well as roadway cycles and annual updates provided to the state by the City.
Mayor Roe asked Ms. Bloom to address how a road became MSA designated.
Ms. Bloom advised that there were three (3) criteria to be considered for that designation: higher traffic volumes, not only a local road, and other criteria. Ms. Bloom advised that the City recommends roads for MSA designation based on established criteria, and the Commissioner of Transportation confirmed that designation.
Mayor Roe questioned if the City could designate portions, but no others.
Ms. Bloom responded affirmatively, as long as they met the criteria.
At the request of Councilmember Pust, Ms. Bloom advised that funds would be paid back if deemed applicable, or a portion thereof.
Councilmember Willmus questioned if there were currently utilities running through that area.
Ms. Bloom responded that sanitary sewer and a water main were located there from Hamline to Lexington Avenues.
Councilmember Johnson noted that individuals had brought up the inability to see approaching traffic from County Road C-2 from both the north and south on Lexington; and questioned if it was fair to assume that a traffic light could be considered for that intersection.
Ms. Bloom responded that a number of safety issues had been brought forward from this most recent study, and that staff was attempting to address them. Ms. Bloom advised that, regardless of the City Council’s decision on County Road C-2, those sight line issues would be reviewed. Ms. Bloom noted that some would be simple, such as clearing trees, or considering a right turn lane; while others may be more complex, such as grading of the hill looking north at County Rood C-2 and Lexington. Ms. Bloom advised that staff would determine if there was something physical that could be done before considering a signal, in an effort to be cost-effective. In considering whether the situation could be resolved by installing a signal, Ms. Bloom responded affirmatively; however, she cautioned that she didn’t think the county would support a stop sign at that location.
Councilmember Johnson questioned the existence of an agreement with Lexington Apartments and contingencies that County Road C-2 couldn’t be opened up.
Ms. Bloom advised that, upon hearing this statement brought forward at a previous meeting when the Pulte application had first come forward, she had personally researched such a document;, as well as wanting to ensure that all past City Council actions were in staff’s, the public’s and current City Council’s possession. Ms. Bloom advised that her research had found nothing in writing or in the meeting minute records of any such document or contingency with Lexington Apartments to keep County Road C-2 closed. Ms. Bloom noted the existence of a 1988 memorandum when Lexington Apartments was first proposed, that County Road C-2 was intended for construction; however, based on significant opposition at that time, the plan was changed accordingly, and a subsequent failed action at a City Council meeting to vacate County Road C-2 on a 3/2 vote.
Mayor Roe questioned liability concerns related to road configuration and standard 30 mph construction; and the City’s exposure to such liability.
City Attorney Mark Gaughan advised that City Attorney Caroline Beckman-Bell had previously submitted via e-mail to the City Council an actual opinion on how discretionary immunity may be invoked in this type of hypothetical situation; and the opinion that there would be no City liability for any accidents that may result from opening this area.
Mayor Roe sought clarification of liability even if a road was not built up to certain standards.
City Attorney Gaughan advised that it was at the discretion of the City Council where to build roads; and that the City’s intent was not to intentionally hurt people.
Related to assessment questions and fairness to property owners, Ms. Bloom advised that the City Council had changed their Assessment Policy in 1991. Prior to that time, Ms. Bloom noted that residents on state aid roads were not assessed. However, Ms. Bloom advised that the policy had changed in 1991 to a blanket 25% assessment for all streets no matter their zoning designation. Ms. Bloom advised that it was staff’s charge to cite current City Policy, which was currently at 25% for any road.
At the request of Councilmember Pust, Ms. Bloom clarified that residents on Josephine Road had not been assessed 25%, since the construction occurred prior to the 1991 change in the Assessment Policy.
Councilmember Willmus questioned, if County Road C-2 was opened, would it have to be re-graded to make it safe to navigate; or could other mitigation measures be used.
Ms. Bloom advised that stop sign installation at those grades would mitigate the concerns, as determined in her consultations with the traffic engineer.
Councilmember Johnson noted the mitigation concerns addressed by Ms. LaPalm on page 20 of the traffic study; and concerns about a 90’ wide road.
Ms. Bloom clarified that the traffic consultant had been asked to provide an analysis of what issues would occur on County Road C-2 as discussed at previous City Council meetings and possible mitigation options. Ms. Bloom further clarified that the consultant had provided one (1) possible solution, even though many things had not been taken into consideration in that one (1) option, including road drainage, the hill, the vertical curve (not slope), and the high point. Ms. Bloom noted that the concern of Ms. LaPalm’s was that the vertical curve would need to be 90’ long, not 90’ wide; from the beginning to the end of the curve 170; and 20 mph for visibility purposes.
At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Ms. Bloom further clarified that the minimum width required for an MSA road was 26’ and 32’ to accommodate parking.
Mayor Roe sought individual Councilmember comment related to direction to staff on this issue, or any additional information requests.
Councilmember Willmus noted that when the issue had last come before the City Council, he had asked Ms. Bloom for staff’s recommendation on whether to open County Road C-2 or keep it closed; and staff’s recommendation on whether to vacate the right-of-way.
Ms. Bloom provided staff’s analysis and recommendation that remained similar to their recommendation when the Josephine Woods development project came forward: that any need to extend County Road C-2 was not currently apparent based on today’s traffic and current levels of operation. Related to whether County Road C-2 should be vacated, Ms. Bloom advised that staff was not prepared to make that recommendation, based on the inability to clearly dictate what the future may hold. Ms. Bloom noted that there may be a future need for pedestrian connections and utilities, depending on redevelopment at Hamline and Woodhill; but that currently staff was not looking to vacate that 175’.
An unidentified member of the audience requested a definition and meaning of the term “vacating.”
Mayor Roe responded and reviewed a situation when the City retains the right to use a strip of land for road right-of-way, or utilities; and continuing to retain that right. Mayor Roe noted that one option would be to vacate a right-of-way by returning the property back to adjacent property owners and giving up the City’s right to build a road on it; or retaining a utility easement. Mayor Roe noted that by vacating the City’s right to use the land for a future road, it would give up that right for good; and if not, the City could retain the right-of-way for potential use in the future.
Mayor Roe questioned Ms. Bloom as to staff’s recommendation on whether to continue designating County Road C-2 as an MSA road; and impacts to continuing to do so or not to do so.
Ms. Bloom responded that staff would need to research monetary impacts to the City in whether to continue designating it as an MSA road; advising that the portion could be undesignated. Ms. Bloom advised that state aid encouraged removal of non-existing road segments from the state system, and the City could consider doing so; however in the City’s overall management of the state aid system, 25% of the City’s total road miles could be designated, and sometimes segments of a road were designated as state aid roads. In the City’s overall road grid system, Ms. Bloom advised that another segment would need to be identified to maximize the City’s piece of the pie, since the City currently had approximately 1.5 miles of undesignated state aid roadway mileage, based on that 25% state allowance. Ms. Bloom noted that the current intent was to hold that undesignated portion in reserve for County Road B west of Cleveland Avenue, which Ramsey County would like to turn back to the City.
Mayor Roe questioned if that section of County Road C-2 east of Cleveland Avenue in the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area was designated MSA>
Ms. Bloom responded that it was an MSA route in that location; but had been removed to facilitate Langton Lake Park, as well as due to road flooding and other problems, and thus removed from the state aid system.
Councilmember McGehee questioned if the road was not vacated, would the City still retain access that could be used for a playground or green area.
Ms. Bloom advised that a pathway was proposed as part of the Josephine Woods project; but noted that this was ultimately a City Council policy discussion and decision.
Mayor Roe advised that if a right-of-way was designated for future road purposes, it would be inappropriate to put a park on such a right-of-way, since other steps would then need to be taken.
Councilmember McGehee opined that using the right-of-way for green space or a park didn’t preclude its future use as a road; and the use could be discontinued; and could be used now to enhance the neighborhood rather than underused.
In order to address comments he’d heard from the public during the recess, Councilmember Willmus clarified that some citizens were under the impression that the City Council would not be taking action on this issue tonight, and therefore had left the meeting already.
Mayor Roe advised that it was not his intent that any action would be taken tonight.
As part of her decision-making process, Councilmember Pust requested information from staff on a potential cost to construct this segment of County Road C-2.
Mayor Roe questioned the level of detail Councilmember Pust was requesting.
Councilmember Pust advised that she was only looking for a range, not such that would be detailed in a Request for Proposals (RFP) type of situation; but if this construction were to come forward as a priority at this time, staff’s engineering estimate.
Councilmember Johnson opined that staff’s recommendation to not vacate the segment of County Road C-2 seemed somewhat of an ambiguous directive; suggesting more of the same. From his interpretation, Councilmember Johnson questioned whether fellow Councilmembers concurred.
Councilmember Pust opined that her interpretation was that staff was not willing to say or believed that County Road C-2 be opened now; however, they were not confident that it wouldn’t be needed in the future, thus they were not recommending permanently vacating the right-of-way.
Mayor Roe questioned Ms. Bloom on her projected availability for the additional information requested.
Ms. Bloom advised that she would consult with Public Works Director Duane Schultz to determine current workloads and a time when the additional information would be available. Ms. Bloom advised that staff would include this updated timeframe on the City’s website for public awareness.
Councilmember McGehee questioned if Councilmember Pust’s request for costs at this time was a sufficient use of staff’s time in creating additional work for them to cost this out at this time, if staff’s recommendation was to not open County Road C-2 at this time, and to not vacate the right-of-way. Councilmember Pust opined that, if the City Council determined to move forward in the future, the figures provided by staff at this time wouldn’t mean much.
Councilmember Pust, with all due respect to staff, stated that she didn’t always follow staff’s recommendation; and reiterated her request for cost estimates if t County Road C-2 was opened at this time and a formal vote was proposed at this time.
Councilmember McGehee questioned if Councilmember Pust needed those costs to vote accordingly; with Councilmember Pust responding affirmatively.
In hearing no other dissenting support of Councilmember Pust’s request; Mayor Roe directed staff to proceed by letting the City Council know their projected timeframe to provide this information; and to also keep the public informed during the process.
Mayor Roe thanked the public for their interest and attendance; and while recognizing that the City Council could not make every resident happy; he assured citizens that the City Council would do their best.
Councilmember Pust opined that this was the most people she’d ever seen come out for a particular issue in her seven (7) years of service on the City Council; and while there were strongly divergent views, she commended residents and neighbors for their respectful presentations and comments. Councilmember Pust opined that it served as a fine example of democracy as well as an example to future generations.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:50 pm and reconvened at approximately 8:51 pm.
b. Receive Public Comment and Continue Discussion on the 2012/2013 Recommended Budget
Mayor Roe advised that it was the intent of this item to continue discussion on 2012/2013 budget, beginning with a brief presentation by City Manager Malinen summarizing his memorandum to the City Council distributed today; followed by a Q and A period between the City Council and staff.
A Memorandum via e-mail dated August 4, 2011 from City Manager Bill Malinen related to Market Value Homestead Credit (MVHC) and proposed 2012 budget reduction adjustments in accordance was provided as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof.
City Manager Malinen addressed a new change in state law as a result of the Special Session of the Legislature and budget-balancing programs, basically through elimination of the Market Value Homestead Credit (MVHC) program as detailed in the memorandum. Mr. Malinen advised that this would provide additional funds to the City and not part of the budget programming to-date; allowing for identification of some options for the City Council to consider for those extra funds, that could potentially reduce the proposed tax increase from the City Manager-recommended budget to approximately 1.8%, allowing the City to restore some of the proposed FTE staff reductions and other programs proposed for reduction or elimination.
Councilmember Willmus questioned how this one-time adjustment would impact the City going forward in future budget years; and if future legislative action could put the City in the same situation if it were to become dependent on those budget dollars annually.
City Manager Malinen advised that it would become the new baseline going forward as part of the City’s levy, avoiding the need for the City Council to make the previously-recommended adjustments and providing incremental costs in the future. Mr. Malinen opined that he didn’t think the City would be in a similar situate, as he didn’t anticipate levy limits being renewed, and with the most recent formulaic changes in MVHC and dramatic changes in Local Government Aid (LGA), of which the City is not a recipient and therefore not dependent upon, he didn’t anticipate future impacts to the City.
Mayor Roe noted that one option would be to reduce the levy by that amount going forward and continue with the currently recommended cuts, thereby reducing the levy by approximately $475,000, thus not making the City dependent on those funds going forward.
City Manager Malinen noted that the City of Roseville was not subject to any reimbursement any longer, taking that risk out of the equation. City Manager Malinen opined that reducing the levy was one option.
Councilmember McGehee opined that having just received the memorandum, it provided some good options for the City; however, she wasn’t confident that it couldn’t be taken away as easily as it was given. Councilmember McGehee opined that the City was in unchartered water federally and state-wide; and when looking at budget materials provided to-date, this recommendation from City Manager Malinen seemed similar to that proposed during the 10% reduction exercise, with the same programs and services being targeted, those that are the most meaningful to this community.
Out of courtesy to the public, Mayor Roe halted Council discussion at this time to allow time for public comment on this issue, at which time additional Council discussion could be pursued.
At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Malinen made additional copies of the referenced memorandum available for members of the public in attendance.
Barb Obeda, 2910 N Asbury
As a 47-year resident of Roseville, Ms. Obeda took a moment to talk about volunteerism in Roseville; opining that the community had the greatest bunch of volunteers of any community of which she was aware. Ms. Obeda provided anecdotal examples, specifically those efforts of her husband Ed, who over the last three (3) years had biked throughout the community picking up garbage, putting well over 1,000 hours and having been awarded a Presidential Commendation for Volunteerism.
Related to the budget, Ms. Obeda expressed her concern about budget cuts proposed by City Manager Malinen, since a lot of those recommendations had direct and/or indirect impacts on her volunteer work for the City. Ms. Obeda expressed concern about the possibility, as reported in a recent Roseville Review article, on that recommendation potentially cutting one full-time employee in the Parks and Recreation Department, specifically a position assigned to coordinate the City’s recreation programs, including discontinuation of the City’s spring and summer entertainment and annual parade. While the employee had not been identified, Ms. Obeda opined that all of the City’s employees went above and beyond their call of duty; and provided helpful, smiling customer service; as well as providing recognition and a sense of appreciation to volunteers throughout the City. Ms. Obeda opined that she would hate to see the City loose such a person, as well as hating even more loosing the identified programs, as many are designed for families.
Ms. Obeda respectfully asked that the City Council stop and think about what it could do the community to get rid of these programs, opining that there would no longer be a sense of community if those things were taken away. Ms. Obeda opined that she wouldn’t move to Roseville under those circumstances; and that there were already a lot of homes in Roseville that were for sale, and while young families may consider moving to Roseville, once they find out that such programs and events were being eliminated, they would no longer consider Roseville as a potential home.
Ms. Obeda further opined that proposed reductions in the Police and/or Fire Department staffs could not be valued monetarily; and talk of eliminating the part-time receptionist would be one of the worst things possible. Ms. Obeda opined that people needed to feel welcomed at City Hall.
Ms. Obeda provided her experience driving home from City Hall earlier this evening and being “tailgated” by a Roseville Police Officer, and then his apparent lack of courtesy in swerving around her, whether she was driving too slow or not. Ms. Obeda expressed her frustration with such flagrant disregard and suggested that his salary could be eliminated and those funds put back in the budget for better use.
Councilmember Johnson thanked Ms. Obeda for her continued volunteerism; with Mayor Roe concurring and asking her to pass that appreciation on to Ed as well.
Zoe Jenkins, 2930 Fernwood Street
Ms. Jenkins referenced an e-mail she’d previously sent to the City Council; and concurred with the comments of Ms. Obeda 100%. While her brief review of City Manager Malinen’s memorandum indicated that it was positive news, her comments were prepared before that. Ms. Jenkins addressed the proposed cuts recommended by City Manager Malinen, opining that she felt strongly that they took the heart right of Roseville; eliminating what made Roseville the community it is.
Ms. Jenkins spoke in 100% support of the City’s Police Department and Park Patrol program, of which she is a member); opining that the first year there may be a limited awareness or any negative impacts; however, eventually things would start to look tacky and things become more evident. Ms. Jenkins expressed sincere concern for this community of which she’s very supportive; opining that the City’s Police Department was spectacular. As a citizen of Roseville, Ms. Jenkins advised that she was more than happy to pay her fair share of the increased revenue needs, even it if meant more taxes for her to pay each month. Ms. Jenkins opined that “you get what you pay for,” and while cuts could be applied to little things that didn’t seem important at the time, they would eventually turn into big things. Ms. Jenkins stated that she was fine with the City Council raising her taxes and would be proud to pay more; and if necessary, expressed her willingness to pay for someone else’s taxes to keep things as they are in the City of Roseville.
Mike Larson, Roseville resident
Mr. Larson advised that in 2009, he and his wife were house hunting in the City of Edina, but being frequent supporters of parades, they had come to Roseville for the annual parade, and ended up living in Roseville based on their favorable experiences with the community. Mr. Larson opined that the annual parade was “pretty cool,” and to eliminate it would be yanking the very soul out of the City.
Mr. Larson opined that the proposed reduction and/or elimination of such events and programs was nothing less than a grandstand play. Mr. Larson opined that by cutting police services and programs and eliminating civic pride opportunities, it would only increase crime in the community; and would serve to require would only serve to require additional police officers in the future. Mr. Larson stated “What’s money?;” and opined that he didn’t need it and a lot of people in the community had deep pockets; and rather than jumping on current national trends, things were good in Roseville, with good schools and infrastructure, and should be maintained.
Gale Pederson, 929 West Roselawn Avenue
When first reviewing the proposed budget, as part of her role on the City’s Advisory Parks and Recreation Commission, she expressed her deep frustration with the recommendations of City Manager Malinen. While recognizing Mr. Malinen’s responsibility to run the City and the City Council’s responsibility to determine where taxpayer dollars were spent, she opined that the community of Roseville was a huge tapestry above and beyond just public safety needs.
As a 37-year resident of Roseville, and long-time volunteer, Ms. Pederson noted the many budget cuts she’d observed, a significant number applied to the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Ms. Pederson opined that the Parks and Recreation Department could not afford to lose another full-time employee, with the Parks Supervisor position remaining vacant for some time as a result of previous budget cuts. Proposed additional cuts to the Park Improvement Program (PIP) was another stick area in Ms. Pederson’s opinion; and noted that, at one point during her tenure volunteering with the City, there was over $250,000 in the PIP unfunded to meet its demands. Ms. Pederson opined that it was one of the purposes of the Parks Master Plan process to address those things, in priority rank, which had been put off for way too long; and she further opined that she was not willing to take another $140,000 from that fund, further eradicating the PIP. While not yet aware of the next implementation steps in Phase I of the Master Plan process, pending City Council action, Ms. Pederson advised that she was unwilling to back off any more dollars until that City Council decision was known. Ms. Pederson noted that a lot of activities in the community keep it going and bring in people and young families into the community. While being cognizant of other needs throughout the community, Ms. Pederson opined that it was those very activities proposed to be reduced or eliminated that brought people into Roseville to experience and participate in those amenities; whether children using park equipment and facilities, attending various recreation programs, or families attending community events.
Ms. Pederson noted that the City was able to continue offering clean and safe parks through the efforts of many departments, including the City’s Fire, Police and Parks and Recreation Departments. Ms. Pederson stated that she was willing to pay more for her taxes; and opined that a lot of people in the community were willing to give more monthly to keep these programs going and avoid more deep cuts.
Leslie Berry, former resident at 2835 Merrill Street, Roseville, recently moved across Rice Street to 122 Demont Avenue E, Little Canada
Ms. Berry, while recently moving to Little Canada, noted her long-term involvement for over twenty-one (21) years with Roseville’s Parks and Recreation Department; and Chair of the Rose Parade for over ten (10) years, in addition to being a member of the OVAL Task Force and Board. Ms. Berry noted that she had been long involved in many aspects that were of great family importance in Roseville; and opined that it provided her with a unique aspect to what the City provided to many families in the community as well as in the region. Ms. Berry opined that these amenities brought safety to the area and provided multi-generational activities for whole families, and expressed her concern that it may go away. Ms. Berry noted that the annual Rose Parade brought 20,000 people into the community, with many returning based on their exposure to the City at that event. Ms. Berry opined that the Parks and Recreation programs and services held the major soul for the community; and cited recent riots in London purported to be caused from a lack of organization or support of youth in that particular area of London. Ms. Berry opined that this should serve as a firm example of the need to keep support systems in place for entire families to keep the community healthy and the area vibrant, both in specific neighborhoods as well as throughout the city.
Charles Peter, 407 West County Road C
Mr. Peter advised that he had attended an event at Lake Harriett the previous evening and had been advised by a friend and resident from the City of Eagan, that he must attend tonight’s Roseville City Council meeting to address potential cuts or elimination of music in the parks. Mr. Peter advised that he and friends from a vast area were frequent attendees of music and dancing in the park; and spoke in support of continuing those programs, in addition to the July 4th celebration. Mr. Peter recognized the duties of the City Council and its budget constraints especially in this current economy; however, he encouraged opportunities to pursue public and private cooperation, as well as more vigorous volunteer recruitment to retain these events and programs. Mr. Peter opined that they served to enhance the quality of life in Roseville; and if the City could no longer afford them, additional options needed to be found to continue them. Mr. Peter spoke in support of sponsors for the events, locally and beyond Roseville borders; along with stepping up volunteerism for them.
John Kysylyczyn, 3083 N Victoria Street
Mr. Kysylyczyn provided a total of four (4) bench handouts, attached hereto and made a part hereof, referenced during his comments. Mr. Kysylyczyn reviewed his personal credentials and background with municipal government.
Mr. Kysylyczyn expressed his perceptions from observing a previous Council meeting and the request of Councilmember Pust to receive additional budget details, and Finance Director Miller or City Manager Malinen’s comments that that level of detail did not exist. Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that the City Manager-recommended budget cuts were similar to those scare tactics used by school districts; and that was his take on the staff memorandum dated August 8, 2011, and included as part of tonight’s agenda packet materials. Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that he found the documents (Attachments A and B) to be personally insulting, with over half of the numbers blank, and providing no detail as to what any of the items were for, except in the broadest sense. Mr. Kysylyczyn further opined that this was worthless data, while staff provided a detailed list of their recommended cuts, again signifying a scare tactic prompting public testimony of the programs and services they don’t want cut; and causing the City Council to try to determine which expenditure was most important. Mr. Kysylyczyn noted that the only items listed in detail were those staff recommended cutting, with not detail provided on those recommended to continue; and expressed frustration that this was the level of information provided to the public.
Mr. Kysylyczyn advised that he was distributing budget information that had been presented to the public in 2002 for the 2003 budget, specific to the Police Department, when he was Mayor of Roseville; with that information providing the level of detail being requested by Councilmember Pust, as well as data from previous years for comparison purposes. Mr. Kysylyczyn also provided an even more helpful document, a budget worksheet for 2004, again specific to the Police Department, providing actual fund numbers, similar or the same as those used today. Mr. Kysylyczyn advised that this his bench handout was only ten (10) of the forty (40) pages specific to the Police Department, but addressing the various categories, and previously provided during his tenure as Mayor to the City Council and the public to allow them to make determinations of where the money was going.
Mr. Kysylyczyn opined that, if the information existed in 2003, he thought the information should be in existence today; and he subsequently visited the City’s Finance Department, and had found the information as her presented. Mr. Kysylyczyn provided bench handouts consisting of budget details for 2008, 2009, and 2010 in the three page handout; and a more substantial handout that included a general version of the entire City budget identifying where all the money is going. If this information as available to the public in 2002 and 2003, Mr. Kysylyczyn questioned why is was not being used today and provided to the public; providing for a more informed discussion and examples of where money was being spent.
Given the hour, Mayor Roe asked that City Manager Malinen reschedule the City Council’s Q and A session with Department Heads for the August 22, 2011 regular business meeting.
Councilmember Willmus noted that, two weeks ago, he had inquired about the availability of a greater level of budget detail, and was told by staff that it didn’t exist; and expressed his frustration that a member of the public had come forward showing him something considerably different than provided by staff to-date. Councilmember Willmus advised that this was the type of information he was looking for; and would like staff to provide the information accordingly.
Councilmember McGehee concurred with Councilmember Willmus’ request; and opined that she didn’t think it was a problem with staff, but rather one of management. Councilmember McGehee opined that she had several issues with this: the City Council was not getting the information they needed; and the City Manager was not looking outside the box for shared resource opportunities. Councilmember McGehee opined that no bids for such shared resources were being brought forward to the City Council; or other options for funding things the community wanted or ways to make the budget process better. Councilmember McGehee opined that she was very irritated with this budget process to-date.
Mayor Roe advised that the budget discussion would continue at future meetings.
Councilmember Pust questioned how Mayor Roe would like individual Councilmembers to ask questions or staff on the documents they had provided.
Mayor Roe asked if Councilmembers had found the most recent information provided by staff helpful (Attachments A and B) as broken down by program, with actual for each programs in broader terms for 2008, 2009 and 2010; and whether that information was adequate.
Councilmember Pust opined that she would not deem information previously provided to be inadequate; but noted that the detailed attachments were not those categories she dealt with, and while previously provided, she didn’t retain the information; and needed it defined for her again; and directed her questions to Mr. Miller accordingly as she would continue to do during this budget cycle.
Mayor Roe noted again his frustration in not having had discussions with staff earlier on in the process; making this first public comment session lacking in sufficient detail.
Councilmember Pust questioned how the budget process could be amended to be more effective.
Mayor Roe suggested that changes not be implemented in the middle of this cycle, but that lessons continue to be learned as the process proceeded.
Councilmember Pust reiterated her question on how Mayor Roe would like to see individual Councilmembers ask their questions; if he wanted them addressed before through e-mail with Mr. Miller, or brought forward at the next meeting.
Mayor Roe opined that it would be more efficient to bring any questions to staff before the next meeting; and further opined that the level of information provided in the most recent General Ledger report from staff added up to previous information in the packet. If individual Councilmember felt additional information beyond that was necessary, he asked that they request that information and if the City Council majority felt it was necessary, that request could be made of staff.
Moving forward, Mayor Roe suggested that this information would allow the City Council to see where differences occurred from year to year and in which category, and any apparent causes of that difference. Mayor Roe opined that this process had allowed the most transparent budget process to-date, and the problem was in comparing that data from year to year, as it had not been organized in this priority ranking in past years. Mayor Roe clarified that staff was not saying the information was not available, but that it was not organized in this specific format in past years to this current budget process; and not done by these particular broad program categories.
Finance Director Chris Miller advised that, while not being privy at this time to the actual information provided by Mr. Kysylyczyn to the City Council, he again reviewed how expenditures are tracked differently than that used for the program-based budgeting approach. Mr. Miller advised that over 150 programs had been evaluated over the past six (6) months; and while it was accurate to say that information for past years on a program by program basis was not available since costs were not tracked accordingly, he wasn’t sure of what value that information would serve for the City Council. If the information distributed by Mr. Kysylyczyn was that cost information, Mr. Miller advised that they would not tell Councilmembers – or the public – program information as it was not how staff tracked that information for budget purposes; which the City Council had concurred with up to this point. Mr. Miller opined that the better way to equate how resources were allocated for programs was in the City Council’s priority rankings; which was different than provided for in past budget cycles.
Mayor Roe concurred, noting that the differences were in prioritization budgeting melding with recommendations coming forward.
Councilmember Willmus, in addressing the level of detail and whether it was adequate, referenced an example for the “Recreation Program Coordinator” position and his interest in determining how much revenue that position generated for the City.
Mayor Roe advised that this was exactly the type of discussion he wanted to have during the City Council’s Q and A session with staff.
Councilmember Willmus questioned if the City was budgeting in the most transparent light possible, given numerous similarities.
Mayor Roe opined that, even with knowing how much revenue a particular position brought in, the City Council needed to make determinations by broader categories, not individual employees.
Councilmember Pust advised that she was not taking any position on which way the numbers should be presented; but was stymied by continually receiving new numbers from staff. Councilmember Pust questioned Mr. Miller on the significance of the red numbers in Mr. Miller’s Attachments A and B.
Mr. Miller apologized for the confusion, noting that they meant nothing special, but provided a way for him to track how and which numbers had changed in the last six (6) months; and apologized that a color copy had been provided in the packet materials, opining that they should have all been black and white.
Councilmember Willmus referenced Attachments A and B, specifically 2010 actuals compared with the 2010 budget and apparent significant differences when he went back to other budget documents available on line; some differences to the tune of a hundred dollars; and questioned the difference in actual costs and how resources were reallocated.
Mr. Miller advised that he would need to review the 2010 Financial Report provided to the City Council in April or May of 2011 for more detail, and to research areas where specific budgets came in over or under budget, and the reasons for those differences. Mr. Miller advised that sometimes grant revenues received during the year offset costs; and a myriad of other explanations for those differences.
Mayor Roe expressed his patience to individual Councilmembers in working through this budget process.
14. Public Hearings
15. Business Items (Action Items)
a. Consider City Abatement for Unresolved Violations of City Code at 681 Lovell Avenue
As previously noted, this item was removed by staff as it has been resolved.
b. Consider Request to Issue a Ramsey County Court Citation for Unresolved Violations of Roseville’s City Code at 1756 Chatsworth Street
Permit Coordinator Don Munson reviewed violations at this single-family detached home located at 1756 Chatsworth Street, currently owned by Mr. David Battisto, currently residing at the property.
Mr. Munson provided an update, including pictures, of violations, consisting of an unfinished driveway that does not have an approved hard surface installed (currently gravel); with the hard surfaced driveway removed in approximately 2008 as part of a garage addition building permit; with the garage having been finished, but not the driveway. Mr. Munson advised that this is a violation of City Code, Section 703 and not a public nuisance, therefore not making the abatement process for Public Nuisances in Section 407 an option; leaving the court citation process, with the court anticipated to require the owner to complete the driveway resulting in compliance with City Code.
Mr. Munson reported on the homeowner’s response that he had no funds to complete the work; and Mr. Munson’s observation that, as of today, the driveway work remained unfinished.
Mr. Munson advised that staff was initially recommending the court citation process; however, new information had come up providing for other options: 1) City Council delaying action and allowing another year for compliance by the property owner; 2) the property owner entering into a voluntary agreement for the City to complete the work and assessing to the property over a four (4) year period at 8% interest, similar to the City Abatement action taken for other nuisances; or 3) a combination of the two for a voluntary agreement for completion of the work yet this season and no citation issued provided the property owner came into compliance and the issue was resolved.
Mr. Munson advised that the property owner preferred option 2; allowing for resolution yet this year as opposed to court action, a benefit to the City and the neighbors; however, he noted that it would create financial impacts to the City upfront. Mr. Munson advised that this option had only recently come up during staff discussions with the property owner; with staff anticipating that such a resolution would incur approximately $4,500 in upfront City funds.
Mr. Munson suggested, if the City Council was receptive to Option 2, that the proposed motion direct staff to enter into a voluntary, written agreement with Mr. David Battisto, or property owner of record, for completion of the driveway at 1756 Chatsworth Street, in accordance with Roseville’s City Code, Section 703.04.B.7, at an approximate cost of $4,500 assessed to the property over four (4) years at 8% interest; and if the agreement is not signed within the next sixty (60) days, a Ramsey Count Citation be issued.
Councilmember Pust questioned City Attorney Gaughan as to why this was not being processed as a nuisance when junk in the driveway was considered a nuisance.
City Attorney Gaughan advised that, upon City Attorney Bartholdi’s review of the issue, he had determined that there may be some ambiguity in the City’s ordinance speaking to this particular issue, and whether that section of code applied to commercial versus residential properties.
Mr. Munson clarified that the language of Section 407 referred to buildings, not conditions on site, specifically driveways.
Councilmember Pust suggested a change in City Code to provide that clarification.
Regarding this specific request, Councilmember Pust questioned if the City wanted to become a bank, or use its taxing powers to back up agreements; and questioned the legality of this arrangement or the City getting into that type of business; opining that it may also set a precedent for future situations or attempted negotiations by violators of City Code.
Mayor Roe questioned if this expense would go on taxes for payment; with Councilmember Pust responding affirmatively, based on the proposed voluntary agreement.
Mr. Munson noted that it would be similar to the abatement process, since it was somewhat of a nuisance, it was being reacted to by staff in the same way.
Councilmember Pust suggested that, if it was a nuisance, nuisance tools be used versus the new process.
Councilmember Willmus concurred with Councilmember Pust.
Councilmember McGehee suggested that City Code be changed to accomplish this type of enforcement.
Mr. Munson advised that current City Code limited resolution of this particular issue; and responded to Council queries that there was no time deadline on this item if the City Council preferred to delay action.
Councilmember Pust questioned if the building of the garage, a building, had not in fact triggered the driveway, which would then be covered by existing ordinance.
Johnson moved, Willmus TABLED action on this item, with no specific date for further consideration.
Johnson moved, Pust seconded, suspending Council Rules of Procedure for a 10:00 curfew; and extending the meeting until 10:15 pm.
c. Consider Appointments to the Human Rights Commission (HRC)
A tally by individual Councilmembers for HRC Candidates was provided as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, appointment of Ms. Kristin Doneen and Mr. Wayne Groff to the Human Rights Commission for partial terms ending March 31, 2012.
Mayor Roe thanked all applicants and congratulated those new appointees.
d. Consider a Resolution to Approve the Request by Pulte Homes of MN, LLC for Final Plat and Public Improvement Contract for Property in the NW Corner of Lexington Avenue and County Road C-2
Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon briefly summarized the request of Pulte Homes for approval of a storm sewer easement vacation, final plat and public improvement contract for residentially-zoned property at the northwest corner of Lexington Avenue and County Road C-2 as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated August 8, 2011. Mr. Trudgeon noted that the City Council had unanimously approved the Preliminary Plat for this development in March of 2011.
Mr. Trudgeon noted that representatives of Pulte Homes were in attendance, as well as City Engineer Debra Bloom.
Councilmember McGehee noted different street names from the first presentation to those provided in this material.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that, upon much logical discussion between staff and the applicant, and further review and recommendation by the City’s Public Safety and GIS staff to line up streets for easier identification and emergency access, the streets had been revised as presented for less confusion to public safety personnel and potential homeowners.
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10919 entitled, “A Resolution Approving the Vacation of Storm Sewer Easement (PF11-003).
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10920 entitled, “A Resolution Approving the Final Plat of Josephine Woods and Public Improvement Contract (Attachment J) (PF11-003).”
16. Business Items – Presentations/Discussions
a. Discuss Updates to the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance
City Engineer Debra Bloom noted updates to the City’s current Erosion and Sedimentation Control Ordinance, adopted in 2008, as detailed in the RCA dated August 8, 2011. Ms. Bloom advised that some of the additional language was a result of the recent MPCA audit of the City, as well as from practical application. Ms. Bloom noted that the Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commission had reviewed the current draft and recommended approval. Ms. Bloom clarified that tonight’s presentation was for discussion only; and no formal City Council action was requested until a future meeting.
Ms. Bloom reviewed the proposed changes as outlined in the redlined copy of the ordinance (Attachment A); with fees adjusted to cover staff time from escrow funds for any additional inspections or lack of compliance found; as well as moving the ordinance to Section 800 of City Code in the area dealing with storm sewers; rather than in the previous location in the City’s Zoning Code, since it was related more to storm water permitting rather than zoning.
Discussion among Councilmembers included the notification section (page 7, II) and whether e-mail notification was satisfactory under law, with City Attorney Gaughan confirming that it was satisfactory; and the need for consistency regarding such notice by the City within 48 hours with Page 6 as well.
Ms. Bloom noted that the notice requirement was often of the essence to address erosion control; and the City’s proposed ordinance was consistent with federal regulations for a 48 hour notice. Ms. Bloom duly noted additional language revisions suggested by the City Council; and advised that cross references to other City Code references would also be reviewed and included by staff in the next draft.
17. City Manager Future Agenda Review
City Manager Malinen reviewed upcoming agenda items.
By consensus, the City Council determined that the HRA Chair, HRA Executive Director Trudgeon, and Housing Coordinator Kelsey be asked to attend the housing discussion at the upcoming City Council long-range planning meeting; but that the entire HRA Board need not attend. Mayor Roe suggested that the housing component of the discussion be moved up earlier in the meeting to engage HRA representatives in a timely manner.
At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Pust advised that criteria for the City Manager Evaluation would be available by the end of next week for the August 22, 2011 meeting.
18. Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
At the request of Councilmember McGehee regarding the pawn shop ordinance, City Manager Malinen proposed discussion of any amendments at the next meeting.
Johnson moved, Willmus seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:17 pm.