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City Council Meeting Minutes
November 18, 2013
Mayor Roe reconvened called to order and convened the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 5:30 p.m. Voting and Seating Order: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
Closed Executive Session
Mayor Roe referenced State Statutes, Section 13D.03 permitting City Council meetings to be closed in order to discuss certain matters relating to labor relations and personnel issues.
Etten moved, McGehee seconded, adjourning to Closed Executive Session for a labor relations discussion at approximately 5:31 p.m.
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
Mayor Roe convened the City Council in Closed Executive Session at approximately 5:35 p.m. Also present were: Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon, Human Resources Director Eldona Bacon; and City Attorney Mark Gaughan.
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, adjourning the Closed Executive Session to convene in Open Session at approximately 6:43 p.m.
1. Roll Call
Mayor Roe reconvened called to order and convened the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:50 p.m.
2. Approve Agenda
Councilmember Willmus requested removal of Consent Item 7.g entitled "Consider Assessment for 3040 Hamline" for a separate consideration and vote.
Councilmember Etten requested removal of Consent Item 7.e entitled, "2014 Council Meeting Calendar" for additional discussion.
Councilmember Laliberte requested removal of Consent Item 7.f entitled, "Consider Extension of Memorandum of Understanding with RHRA" for a question or comment.
McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, approval of the agenda as amended.
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
3. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.
a. Dick Houck, 1131 Roselawn Avenue
Mr. Houck brought to the public's attention the recent death of one of Roseville's most notable senior citizens, Mr. Ken Porwall, and recognized him as a Veteran and for his many contributions and sacrifices for this county.
Mayor Roe concurred; and recognized Mr. Porwall for his sacrifices, giving more than many could even imagine during his service.
4. Council Communications, Reports and Announcements
Mayor Roe announced the upcoming USPS drive for donations for military members at their Shop, Ship and Share Event at Rosedale from November 22 - 24, 2013; with drop offs at the east court of Rosedale. Mayor Roe noted that items, and funds for shipping overseas could be handled at that location; with other opportunities to show support of our military through cards, letters and children's artwork.
Mayor Roe thanked Councilmember Laliberte and Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon for joining him at the recent "Build a Burger" event at the White Bear Lake V.F.W. Club, a program sponsored by "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Suburban Ramsey County" in support of military families.
Mayor Roe noted that the Roseville OVALumination event was held last Friday and was a wonderful event as usual, and well attended by the community.
On behalf of Ramsey County, Councilmember Willmus invited residents to the upcoming Public Hearing to speak to the proposed County budget and levy, scheduled on November 26, 2013 at Central Senior High on N Lexington Parkway in St. Paul.
Councilmember Laliberte provided a brief update on the status of her work, along with Public Works Director Duane Schwartz, and the City of Falcon Heights on a Bus Rapid Transit presentation.
Mayor Roe noted that the latest news was that Metro Transit was considering an extension of the Snelling line from Roseville into Arden Hills at the TCAAP site, good news for this area.
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
6. Approve Minutes
Comments and corrections to draft minutes had been submitted by the City Council prior to tonight's meeting and those revisions were incorporated into the draft presented in the Council packet.
a. Approve Minutes of October 21, 2013 Meeting
Etten moved, McGehee seconded, approval of the October 21, 2013 Meeting Minutes as amended.
· Page 1, Closed Executive Session
Mayor Roe noted the time for start of the Session at 6:00 p.m. and adjournment at 6:30 p.m.
It was also noted that the meeting dates on the "header" needed to be corrected for consistency.
· Page 11, Line 33 (McGehee)
· Page 13, Line 33 (McGehee)
7. Approve Consent Agenda
With no additional changes to the Consent Agenda other than those already noted; at the request of Mayor Roe, Interim City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
a. Approve Payments
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
Check Series #
71837 - 72058
b. Approve Business & Other Licenses & Permits
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one (1) year, for the following applicants:
Type of License
Keith Peter Gosline
Personal Fitness Systems, Inc.
1935 W County Road B-2, #140
Angela Boswell; Massage Envy Roseville
2480 Fairview Avenue N #120
Daesarae Griffin; Elements Therapeutic Massage
2100 Snelling Avenue N, Suite 66B
Bailey Buntrock; Elements Therapeutic Massage
Houa Lee; Elements Therapeutic Massage
2100 Snelling Avenue N; Suite 66B
Sylvia Isaacson; Elements Therapeutic Massage
Heather Groth; Elements Therapeutic Massage
Jonita Scott-Jiles; Elements Therapeutic Massage
Roosevelt Jean; Elements Therapeutic Massage
Diane Higgins; Elements Therapeutic Massage
1935 W County Road B-2; #140
c. Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items In Excess of $5,000
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, approval of the submitted list of general purchases and contracts for services presented as follows:
Budget / CIP
Parks & Rec
Davey Resource Group
Tree inventory software license
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
d. Certify Unpaid Utility and Other Charges to the Property Tax Rolls
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11103 (Attachment A) entitled, "Resolution Directing the County Auditor to Levy Unpaid Water, Sewer and Other City Charges for Payable 2014 or Beyond;" as detailed in Attachment B.
h. Consider Assessment for PIK Demo
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, approval of the First Amendment to the Settlement Agreement and Assessment Agreement (Attachment A).
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11104 (Attachment C) entitled, "Resolution Adopting and Confirming 2013 Assessments for City Project M-12-21: Pikovsky Terminal Demolition."
i. Final Payment 2013 Sanitary Sewer Lining
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11105 (Attachment A) entitled, "Final Contract Acceptance 2013 Sanitary Sewer Lining Project;" accepting work completed; authorizing final payment in an amount not to exceed $56,811.57; and commencing the one-year warranty period.
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
e. 2014 Council Meeting Calendar
At the request of Mayor Roe, Interim City Manager Trudgeon noted that this proposed meeting schedule for 2014 was provided for City Councilmember input. Mr. Trudgeon suggested adding one additional meeting on January 13, 2014.
Councilmember Etten requested delay of approval of the 2014 Council meeting calendar to allow further review of individual City Councilmember calendars.
Etten moved, Willmus seconded, TABLING consideration of 2014 City Council Meeting Schedule until the November 25, 2013 regular meeting.
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
f. Consider Extension of Memorandum of Understanding with RHRA
At request of Mayor Roe, Interim City Manager Trudgeon briefly summarized this extension of the Memorandum of Understanding with the HRA, as detailed in the RCA dated November 18, 2013.
While understanding the timing request for this action, Councilmember Laliberte wanted to point out and clarify that, at this point, no developers had included the appraised value of land to match that outlined in the MOU; reminding the HRA that this was something they would have to factor in, since the provision is for a Quit Claim Deed for a purchase price equal to the land. To-date, Councilmember Laliberte noted that no development appraisal had even come close to that.
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, authorizing an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Roseville Housing & Redevelopment Authority (RHRA) for the redevelopment of the Dale Street Fire Station; entitled, First Amendment to MOU between the City of Roseville, MN and HRA in and for the City of Roseville (Attachment B).
Councilmember Willmus recused himself and left the Council Chambers at this time, approximately 7:10 p.m.
Mayor Roe noted that this property was owned by a member of Councilmember Willmus' immediate family; and therefore, he chose to recuse himself at this time.
g. Consider Assessment for 3040 Hamline
A Revised Attachment E for this item was provided as a bench handout.
At request of Mayor Roe, Interim City Manager Trudgeon briefly summarized this request as detailed in the RCA dated November 18, 2013.
Etten moved, McGehee seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11106 (Attachment B) entitled, "Final Contract Acceptance, 2040 Hamline Utility Improvements;" accepting the work completed, authorizing final payment in an amount not to exceed $14,307.75, and commencing the one-year warranty period; AND adoption of Resolution No. 11107 (Attachment D) entitled, "Resolution Adopting and Confirming 2013 Assessments for City Project SS-W-13-10: 3040 Hamline Avenue Utility Improvements."
Ayes: McGehee; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
Councilmember Willmus returned to the Council Chambers at approximately 7:11
9. General Ordinances for Adoption
a. Organized Waste Collection Process Law Changes
Public Works Director Duane Schwartz provided a brief summary of research and studies performed to-date by the City's Advisory Commission, the Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commission (PWETC), and their recommendations as detailed in the RCA dated November 18, 2013 and attachments. Mr. Schwartz noted the eight (8) specific goals included as part of the PWETC's recommendation if the City Council chose to pursue an organized collection process in Roseville, in the form of a resolution (Attachment B).
Mr. Schwartz reviewed changes enacted this year by the state legislature replacing the previous 180-day process and establishing a 60-day negotiation period with haulers. Mr. Schwartz outlined specific requirements of that legislation (Attachment A)
· Notice to public and licenses haulers
· Sixty-day negotiation period
· Either implementation if agreement is reached OR
· If no agreement-form a committee to study organized collection options
· Public notice; public hearing
City Attorney Mark Gaughan clarified the purpose of tonight's discussion, which would be open to public comment and questions. However, Mr. Gaughan pointed out that, as per the parameters of state law, if the City Council should determine to formally consider organized trash collection, they were under duty to negotiate with any and all licensed haulers in the City, which would also be open to public comment. Mr. Gaughan encouraged City Council, individually and corporately, to not engage in particular references during tonight's meeting that may influence those negotiations in any way, nor create perceptions of any biased opinion without fully considering the issues.
Councilmember McGehee referenced the 8 goals set forth by the PWETC for the benefit of the public; and questioned whether the City Council was under any obligation for a study at this point, with no decision made yet.
City Attorney Gaughan opined that he was not aware of any mandates to proceed with organized trash collection if it was determined not to be in the best interests of the City.
At the request of Mayor Roe, City Attorney Gaughan opined that the City was not mandated to accept proposals, with the law providing for a 60-day negotiation period.
Councilmember Laliberte clarified with City Attorney Gaughan that it was in everyone's best interests that the City Council not voice their opinion in favor of a fair negotiation process, but opined that it needed to make its position known if choosing to move forward, and owed a response to the PWETC that had been delayed for a year.
City Attorney Gaughan advised that there would be a public opportunity for individual preferences to be made known at some point; but clarified that the purpose of tonight's meeting was for staff and the City Attorney to alert the City Council to the legal process; and provide an opportunity for the public to speak to the issue. Mr. Gaughan reiterated his concern that the process remained transparent and proceed to ensure that contractors in the City will be dealt with in good faith.
With the concurrence of City Attorney Gaughan, Mayor Roe clarified that the City Council could have a discussion on whether it wanted to initiate the process of having further discussions without prejudicing future negotiations.
Mayor Roe reviewed protocol for public comment; and given the number of audience members present, asked for their cooperation in limiting their comments to three (3) minute of less.
Written communication in the form of e-mails were provided as bench handouts, attached hereto and made a part hereof, including those from: Barb Deacy, 954 Roselawn Avenue W; Sara Barsel, 1276 Eldridge Avenue W; Senator John Marty, 323 State Capitol, St. Paul, MN; Douglas Maltby, 2674 Matilda Street; Marvin G. Cleveland, 1446 Skillman Avenue W; Douglas Root, 2468 North Hamline Avenue; Dick Houck, 1131 Roselawn Avenue; and Karl A. Lacher, 1132 Skillman Avenue.
Joseph Olson, 2247 Roselawn Avenue W
As an Attorney and Hamline Law Professor specializing in Trust Law, Mr. Olson expressed concern with this proposed consideration of organized trash collection, opining that it not only allowed but invited collusion between garbage haulers to divide up the market place and specifically protect their market share. While this would provide a great deal for them, Mr. Olson noted the rationale in prohibiting such activity due to reduced competition and eliminating public choice; as well as preventing new contractors from entering into businesses and creating significant barriers for private parties to enter into business. If the City Council chose to follow Senator Marty's bill, Mr. Olson opined that it would freeze the number of garbage haulers in the metropolitan area; and while the first three years out, cost savings may be found, when negotiating subsequent contracts, the prices would increase significantly based on market concentration. Personally, Mr. Olson opined that he liked having a choice, and he didn't want someone else to determine his carrier just because one hauler's area didn't come into his neighborhood. By getting involved in this type of process, Mr. Olson opined that it was dangerous cost-wise for the City as well as in further eliminating public choice. Mr. Olson opined that such a decision would not make the people of Roseville happy.
June Stewart, 2807 Fernwood Street; President of the area League of Women Voters
A letter dated October 17, 2013 from the League of Women Voters specific to this item and supporting organized trash collection, was provided as a bench handout and read by Ms. Stewart, and attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Dick Houck, 1131 Roselawn Avenue
Mr. Houck expressed his total opposition to this whole issue. Mr. Houck opined that it was not about any one of the eight (8) items listed on the resolution, even though they all sound good and may convince some in Roseville. Mr. Houck further opined that it wasn't about government trying to save citizens money, but only how much it could take from residents, not save for them. Mr. Houck opined that it was all about freedom to choose who a citizen wanted to do business with at their home site. If the City was actually interested in saving citizens money, he questioned why they would stop at trash haulers, but why not include furnace sales; and other trucks (e.g. UPS trucks, FedEx trucks, and snow plowers) using the roads. Mr. Houck opined that government should not be involved in the free enterprise system.
Nestor Riano 2347 Western
Mr. Riano opined that his comparison of the costs for the City of Maplewood for implementing an organized trash collection system had not saved any money based on his website research. Mr. Riano opined that those savings were assured rather through competition and keeping happy customers. Mr. Riano further opined that neither the City nor its residents would save any money through an organized trash collection.
Don Hewitt, 1794 Maple Lane
Mr. Hewitt agreed with the comments of Mr. Olson and Mr. Houck. Mr. Hewitt advised that he had changed trash haulers to meet his personal service requirements. Over the last few months, Mr. Hewitt advised that he had conducted his own informal survey of friends and family and asked them how much they paid for trash collection. Mr. Hewitt noted that he found none paying less than what he currently paid. Mr. Hewitt suggested that the City Council look at the annual report of Waste Management that outlined their business strategy for achieving the dominant share and then ratcheting up prices. Mr. Hewitt stated that he was opposed to this proposal for organized trash collection; saw no problem with the current system; and further saw no great benefit in making such a change.
Ann Berry, 1059 Woodhill Drive
In her over 51 years in Roseville, Ms. Berry stated that she had only had two (2) different haulers in. Further as a member of the League of Women Voters for over 48 years, Ms. Berry stated that she, along with at least 10 members in tonight's audience here to observe, had continued to ratify their original position in support of organized trash hauling for Roseville. From her history in Baltimore, MA and St. Paul, MN before residing in Roseville, Ms. Berry noted that they both offered organized trash collection, and she had been dismayed when moving to Roseville that they would have to make that choice as a resident. Of the few residents she was able to speak to in the City of Maplewood, also part of the League as well, Ms. Berry stated that she found them all to be pleased with their organized trash collection service. Ms. Berry noted that on her street alone, there were a minimum of eight (8) haulers, plus 2-3 other haulers who make repeat runs. Ms. Berry opined that there were safety issues for children on that street from multiple haulers, as well as the wear and tear on the streets from those trucks. Ms. Berry also expressed concern about where the trash ended up. Ms. Berry, in her observations of this study over the years, and its regular updating and membership confirmation, spoke in support of organized trash collection and encouraged the City Council to join other cities in planning for it.
Barbara Simon, 1709 Millwood Avenue
Ms. Simon agreed with Mr. Olson and Mr. Houck; opining that, as a long-term resident, her key words were "freedom" and "choice." In addressing Mayor Roe specifically, Ms. Simon expressed appreciation for how well the meeting was being run, and offered her prayers for him and Councilmembers as they serve the community. Ms. Simon opined that she did not take her blessings and freedoms lightly, and they were very important to her. However, Ms. Simon opined that economics should not be the main driving force in Roseville, nor should government be involved in collective, socialized trash hauling. Ms. Simon further opined that individuals have value, and wanted to go on record saying that she did not agree with a collective, socialized trash hauling system in Roseville.
Duane Ziegler, 1829 Roselawn
Mr. Ziegler referenced the hierarchy of his family compared to this issue and the confusion of his children in determining the "boss" and who made decisions. Mr. Ziegler agreed that it would be confusing for him as well if this proposal went through, and his loss of freedom if the City Council became the boss versus him being able to choose who hauled his garbage. Having been a former resident of St. Paul for 5 years and neighbors having issues with too many trash haulers in their immediate neighborhood, Mr. Ziegler noted that they were able to handle it and come to a compromise among themselves in choosing one hauler and reducing traffic in their alley. Mr. Ziegler advised that this was simply through his knocking on doors seeking consensus; and opined that people could work together in Roseville as well to reduce haulers in their neighborhood. However, Mr. Ziegler opined that citizens didn't need a committee or the City Council to do so.
Roger Toogood, 601 Terrace Courte
As a Roseville resident for 59 years, Mr. Toogood advised that he had experienced the services of various trash haulers. As the Past President of the Roseville Citizen's League Board, Mr. Toogood advised that he had been intimately involved in these discussions over the last five (5) years and had spent considerable time studying the issue; but noted that often much of the verifiable information got thrown out. Mr. Toogood expressed his appreciation that some of his freedoms could be limited to enhance his quality of life (e.g. speed limits, city codes, etc.). In the meeting held in September by the League, Mr. Toogood noted that speakers were available from Maplewood addressing their new organized trash collection system and reporting on the significant savings obtained by this system for residents, averaging a cost reduction of 50%. Mr. Toogood suggested those facts be double-checked for verification.
Mr. Toogood displayed his own informal survey of his neighbors and their costs, providing interesting realities, and his amazement that many didn't even know those costs without looking up their records. Mr. Toogood provided comparisons from his survey on costs from $17.63 to $32.00 and based on types and sizes of containers. Mr. Toogood noted that, as a townhome resident, and when this started his service as the Vice President of the Owasso Hollow Town Home Association Board, when reviewing their Association budget, he found the cost for trash collection to be $13.75 per home owners. In questioning such a low rate, Mr. Toogood advised that he found that the rate was negotiated among various town home associations corporately to achieve this low rate.
Mr. Toogood spoke in support of organized waste collection to reduce wear on streets, reduce trucks in neighborhoods; and encouraged the City Council to take the leadership in this for Roseville and follow the City of Maplewood along with other communities who have also researched this issue. Mr. Toogood recognized that it would not be easy for the entire community to accept it, but was a positive from a cost and service perspective.
Karl A. Lacher; 1132 Skillman Avenue
Mr. Lacher opined that he would prefer to keep his choice of a carrier, no matter what other competition was out there; but if they liked their current hauler, they should be able to keep them.
Bob Murray, 1433 W Roselawn
Mr. Murray spoke to the need for "We the People, Of the People, and For the People" to keep their freedoms, which they'd fought for, and were guaranteed as the American way. Mr. Murray opined that those having served their country did so for a purpose to retain those freedoms; and quoted "Government governs best that governs least;" and spoke further opined that, if he didn't like his hauler he could choose a different one.
Douglas Root, 2468 N Hamline Avenue
As the President of the Roseville Citizens League, following Mr. Toogood, Mr. Root referenced the public forum held approximately 5 years ago, at which time public information was provided on the pros and cons of organized trash collection. Mr. Root applauded the City Council for its willingness to hear from citizens, at the PWETC level and City Council level as well. Mr. Root opined that it was a good thing to bring people out and get their voices heard, no matter their opinion.
Mr. Root advised that he provided his written comment in support of organized trash collection, or at least serious consideration of it.
Tim Callaghan, 3062 Shorewood Lane
As a 27 year resident of Roseville, Mr. Callaghan stated that he had only had two (2) trash collectors during that time. Mr. Callaghan advised that he had made the change when ; his trash bill went up considerably due to a line for "governmental costs," at which time he changed and did not find those charges on his new bills, as they were charging for disposal fees and charges that were not actually real. Mr. Callaghan questioned if this was what the City of Roseville was attempting to do now. Mr. Callaghan advised that, if the Waste Management firm was assigned for collection in his area, he would not accept them, nor would he pay them. Mr. Callaghan opined that they had already cost him $4,000 in overbilling when he used them, and he would not go back to that company.
With allegations that the purpose of organized trash collection was to increase safety in neighborhoods, Mr. Callaghan questioned how many injuries or accidents had been documents or impacts to safety; of whether this was just another fantasy.
With allegations that the purpose was to reduce traffic and wear and tear on City roadways, Mr. Callaghan questioned specifically how much it would be reduced.
Mr. Callaghan stated that the danger in his neighborhood was traffic cutting through the neighborhood to access the adjacent business, having nothing to do with trucks. In questioning traffic counts, Mr. Callaghan opined that those survey results would be available if things weren't changing in the Engineering Department, opining that the numbers were in-house, and claims were made, but the public had not been made aware of those numbers so they could determine whether or not to support them.
Mr. Callaghan questioned why the Police Chief was not present to provide verification, but to his personal knowledge, opined that he had never heard of a trash vehicle hitting someone in Roseville.
Stacy Ness, 1425 Primrose Curve
Ms. Ness opined that, while there may be a few years age difference, she was aligned in her thinking with that of Mr. Houck. Ms. Ness spoke in support of the freedom of choice, and against organized trash hauling. Ms. Ness opined that she could do her own negotiation; and limiting or providing no choice would not provide a greater service; and further opined that it was out of line for government to put itself in this role, and questioned where it would stop. In running her personal household like a business, Ms. Ness supported her ability to negotiate and accept realities (e.g. road wear); and expressed her opposition to anti-competitive practices.
Neil Neilstadt, 295 Roma Avenue
Mr. Neilstadt expressed his opposition to organized trash hauling; opining that he couldn't remember when he was disappointed with not having a choice. Mr. Neilstadt noted that he would have the same amount of trash no matter which hauler he chose; and regarding safety, he couldn't remember anyone getting run over by a garbage truck, even though he heard about school bus accidents and questioned how the City planned to address that. Mr. Neilstadt questioned how less competition would reduce prices; and reiterated his preference to have a choice of who he wanted and not be forced to use someone else.
Georgeann Hall, 385 Transit
While the City Council is charged with making decisions to best serve the community, Ms. Hall noted that residents couldn't choose their recycler, but the City had successfully done so. Ms. Hall noted that she was currently unable to tell her trash hauler when to pick up trash, but that the City could. Ms. Hall noted that government did make decisions beyond garbage; and spoke in support of organized trash collection.
Dean Maschka, 1695 Millwood Avenue
Tongue-in-cheek, if the City Council wished to fill the City Council chambers beyond that of tonight's audience, Mr. Maschka suggested they consider a leash law for cats in the community.
Mr. Maschka opined that, the critical issue was to understand the industry on a global level, and with only two (2) major haulers nationwide, the situation could become exactly as Mr. Olson addressed earlier in tonight's meeting; that the City could easily end up with only 2-3 carriers due to those national groups having the ability to buy out other independent carriers, and opined that they would do so. Mr. Maschka opined that the role of government was not to create monopolies or dance with gorillas; and referenced the cable television industry as an example of such a model done when he served on the City Council; negating his ability to go with any other cable providers, even though some options were now possible through other venues.
Mr. Maschka opined that the economics of this would not work long-term, and will cause an eventual price increase. While agreeing with safety concerns, Mr. Maschka opined that life is dangerous and uncertain, but it was not the role of government. Regarding pollution, Mr. Maschka noted that haulers were moving to natural gas trucks for their own economies, and reducing their carbon footprints; with those vehicles able to operate more economically, for longer periods and using a dependable source of fuel. Regarding wear and tear on streets, Mr. Maschka opined that streets were built to handle these types of vehicles.
Mr. Maschka opined that his seemed to be just one more step in incrementally giving up our freedoms, and he was growing sick and tired of it. Even though he didn't really care who his garbage hauler was, Mr. Maschka opined that it was the principle of it and his opposition to having more of those freedoms taken away.
Donna Peterson 2436 N Pascal
As a 30-year resident of Roseville, and having originated from a small town and experienced in working on environmental issues including landfill pollution of other property, Ms. Peterson spoke in support of organized trash collection. Ms. Peterson stated one of her underlying concerns was in determining where that trash ended up, whether at a collection center, or elsewhere; and opined that it was vitally important to be aware of that and the consequences if it was not going to a resource recovery center.
Tom Campbell - 976 Transit Avenue
No matter which decision the City Council chose, Mr. Campbell asked that they address and provide subsequent responses to several issues.
1) Given the elderly and single member households in Roseville, and continuing growth of the older society, how much less or more trash do they generate than a typical family household; and are there any opportunities for an every-other-week pick-up for them versus every week pick-up?
2) Regarding different sized containers, does everyone pay the same price or is there a better rate for smaller containers?
3) Could 2-3 neighbors get together and combine their trash into one container to save money?
4) Is everyone charged on their bill automatically, or is there an opt out or opt in potential?
5) Is there an option for physically handicapped residents - whether temporarily or permanently impaired; and would a walk-up service be provided and how would a resident tie into that?
6) Will a household get credit for vacations or for those who are snowbirds?
7) How will yard waste be handled given the variety of ways currently used by residents with their mulching or composting, or hauling of organic materials beyond trash?
8) If you don't like the single source, how do you make a change?
9) How many complaints does the City have to get before it would take action; and what types of complaints would those be?
Regarding overweight trucks and their wear and tear on roadways, Mr. Campbell referenced a local research board study being conducted by MN State - Moorhead; with a presentation scheduled for February, 5, 2014, on what is happening with the size of garbage trucks on City streets.
Mr. Campbell opined that everyone liked living in Roseville; but further referenced, on a related not, City Code 402.13 outlining that no trash cans shall be on display publically other than on trash day. Mr. Campbell took this opportunity to accentuate this problem, encouraging residents to comply with that code for the benefit of a nice, clean city and allowing residents to take pride in their properties.
Harold Ristow, 2356 Top Hill Circle
As a Roseville resident for 47 years, Mr. Ristow expressed his support for mandatory trash pick-up. As a former employee with the City of St. Paul, Mr. Ristow referenced changes over the years and impacts of vehicle traffic on oil-based streets, including comparing frequent trash collection trucks when loaded with infrequent fire engine or emergency vehicles. Using his cul-de-sac neighborhood as an example, Mr. Ristow noted that the neighbors had gone with one trash collector for their circle, and they had saved on number of trash vehicle traffic as well as costs for service.
While recognizing some of the narrow remarks heard tonight, Mr. Ristow asked that the City Council look at all aspects of the program and make a fair decision; and referenced the City of Blaine as an example of a community using organized trash collection and not paying more.
Mark Anderson, 2453 Cohanssey Street
As a property owner in Roseville as well as in Minneapolis, Mr. Anderson spoke to the concern with government monopolies creating pricing that is more expensive in the long-term; with his findings that Roseville's pricing was currently better with the private hauler system. Opining that the garbage system in Roseville didn't appear to be broken, Mr. Anderson therefore questioned why attempts were being made to fix it.
Floyd Olson, 447 Transit Avenue
Mr. Olson expressed his opposition to organized collection; but commented on his observations on his dead end street of the same truck and hauler going up and down the street as many as 6 times. Mr. Olson questioned whether there was any consideration given to limiting the number of companies to a reasonable number. Mr. Olson noted that the City's website lists 10 licensed companies; with one other company, to his knowledge, making calls in neighborhoods to solicit business, but not yet licensed.
George Walters, Owner of Walters Recycling and Refuse
Mr. Walters recognized the many favorable comments from residents tonight, thanking them for the free publicity. Mr. Walters stated that he wanted to go on record that he was also opposed to any kind of organized collection. Mr. Walters noted that he had built his business in this community house-by-house and had worked hard to accumulate customers, most of whom were happy with their service. Mr. Walters stated that their firm wanted to continue to grow in Roseville, and if the City moved toward an organized collection system, they would not have an opportunity to do so; opining that it would not prove a good idea for his business.
Linda Deleo - 280 Minnesota Avenue
Specific to truck traffic on streets, Ms. Deleo referred to the number of construction-related trucks on Minnesota Avenue over the last 1.5 years due to the Rice Street interchange construction. Ms. Delao opined that the only result from that increased truck traffic had been multiple patching of the street; with no other resolution of the issues created from that construction traffic and contractors.
Having worked as a Purchasing Agent for two different engineering companies, one in Chicago and one in Roseville, Ms. Deleo opined that she was fully aware of the room for corruption when competition was eliminated. With such a great possibility of that happening, Ms. Deleo stated that she would hate to see that happen here. Based on her observations when at home on garbage day, Ms. Deleo referenced the differences in the garbage haulers with open tops allowing garbage to fly all over the neighborhood, those consistently driving too fast, and multiple and unnecessary trips. Ms. Deleo spoke in support of choosing and keeping her own carrier; the one who stops when seeing neighbors trying to pick up a dead animal and taking care of it for them; or taking extra garbage just because you're a good customer. Having lived in Roseville since 1988, Ms. Deleo advised that she had only changed carriers once. Ms. Deleo opined that this carrier provided every service she wanted as a customer; and she was willing to pay
With no more residents expressing interest in speaking, Mayor Roe ended public comment on this issue at approximately 8:27 p.m. and thanked the audience for their comments.
Mayor Roe encouraged City Council discussion at this time; and reminded the body of the purpose tonight to provide additional direction to staff; or the option of taking this up at a future meeting as well.
Councilmember Laliberte thanked all who weighed in on this topic; and expressed her appreciation to see the community engaged; as well as thanking the PWETC for referring this issue to the City Council and their patience in waiting for this continued discussion. Councilmember Laliberte also thanked those civic and community organizations having hosted panels and community discussions over the last few years; and in them providing other learning opportunities for the public.
Laliberte moved, Willmus seconded, that the City Council maintain support for the existing licensure and open market waste collection system in the City of Roseville.
Councilmember Laliberte opined that the City was attempting to fix a problem that didn't exist. Councilmember Laliberte further opined that there were many things contributing to the wear and tear on roads, and also noted recent findings of MnDOT that some asphalt applications were not holding up in various metropolitan cities; and therefore that wear and tear could not be attributed specifically to garbage trucks. Councilmember Laliberte opined that this was one example and situation where the private industry and residents could work things out on their own, whether through organizing or having fewer trucks on the street, and encouraged the City Council to engage on their part versus dictating the outcome.
Councilmember Willmus noted that this issue had been an ongoing discussion within the City for a number of years. As he started to focus on those discussions, Councilmember Willmus noted the references he heard to those models in the Cities of Blaine, Sauk Rapids, or Maplewood, all developed prior to recent state legislative changes. Given that new legislation and the consortium model, Councilmember Willmus opined that costs for services in those cities using that model and zoned for service by 4-5 haulers, did not provide a significant cost savings, but were comparable to what he could obtain on the open market. Councilmember Willmus stated that this was a huge component in his stepping away and reconsidering that there was now no apparent overwhelming factor to move forward with a change to organized collection; and therefore he would not support that change, but would support the open market system.
Councilmember Willmus expressed his interest in seeing a broader, more specific community survey done on this issue than done in the past with fairly generic or benign questions; but with the goal of digging deeper with questions to find out whether or not the community is truly happy with where it is for trash collection or if a consortium model was preferred, even if pricing was essentially the same as that of the open market. Councilmember Willmus opined that he did not feel any overwhelming need to change the system currently in place.
Councilmember McGehee stated that she was happy enough with the current system, but noted the persuasive arguments heard to at least look at this and go through the process to see what was found. Councilmember McGehee noted the emotion expressed during in the community and during public comment tonight, but sought confirmation of the situation from haulers themselves by engaging them in the process. Councilmember McGehee opined that it didn't mean the City had to do anything, but that it should at a minimum perform due diligence on its own process and consult with local haulers, since only 1 hauler had been heard from tonight. Councilmember McGehee noted that most people knew her as a strong supporter of small business, and that she was not interested in some other process other than the one laid out before them.
Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of the survey idea, noting that it was the intention of the City Council to authorize such a survey in the near future, and that this should be an important question to include as the process moved forward in tandem. Councilmember McGehee opined that more could be learned by going through the process.
Councilmember Etten concurred with Councilmember McGehee's comments.
Councilmember Laliberte questioned if City Attorney Gaughan had found any evidence, as Professor Olson suggested, of collusion with a zoned approach, or what the PWETC was proposing.
City Attorney Gaughan opined that he had not researched evidence of collusion, but was immediately unaware of any within communities having adopted organized trash collection. Mr. Gaughan noted that this would be outside the proposed set up for collectively negotiating a contract with haulers and the City within the statutory scheme.
Mayor Roe stated that he was torn with the motion before the City Council. While recognizing some benefits for organized trash collection providing residents to have some say into where their trash ended up and his concerns with landfills and impacts on areas and the community versus being dictated by a personal hauler. Mayor Roe noted that, with the current system, the City couldn't dictate where trash ended up just by issuing a license to a hauler; and expressed his interest in pursuing that particular provision. However, Mayor Roe noted that he'd heard several interesting comments from people in favor of organized collection based on their informal contacts in their neighborhood as a group, both making good points. Mayor Roe opined that he didn't have enough information at this time to make a decision tonight.
Mayor Roe spoke in support of a statistically valid, well-designed survey to provide an unbiased view of the community on this issue; however, he was not in the position to say the City should continue permanently with an open system either. Mayor Roe stated that, at this time without additional information, he was not supportive of the motion; but it was not necessarily due to any preference on his part to pursue organized collection either.
Councilmember Laliberte opined that it was her understanding that the City Council was charged to respond tonight negatively or positively to the recommendation of the PWETC; therefore she felt motivated to give them an answer and move on with other City priorities based on time and resources. Councilmember Laliberte spoke in full support of developing a deeper survey question regarding this issue.
Councilmember McGehee opined that the City Council had been asked to study and collect information; and the process proposed in the legislation allowed them to do that; while at the same time it could complete a well-crafted survey without wasting any time or effort in tandem with this process.
Councilmember Willmus questioned if the City Council would be willing to put the survey first before taking any action on this issue.
Mayor Roe noted that this would be a possibility; and offered his support of such an action.
Therefore, Councilmember Willmus withdrew his second to the Laliberte motion; and Mayor Roe declared the motion failed for lack of a second.
Willmus moved, Roe seconded, authorizing staff to move forward with a citizen survey regarding community preference for organized trash collection or continuing the open market system currently in place; and having those survey results in place prior to proceeding in any direction with this issue.
Councilmember Etten suggested that the U of MN-Mankato study referenced by Mr. Campbell and any other staff and/or community research or information obtained globally be provided in addition to the survey and become part of the City Council's decision-making process.
Mayor Roe opined that this would not require an amendment to the motion; but could serve as a direction to staff; with concurrence by the body on that directive to staff.
City Attorney Gaughan clarified that this motion did not constitute a motion to consider organized collection under state law; with Councilmembers concurring that this was not the intent.
Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of this process and the survey being done in tandem to avoid repeating, by initiating the process now with the end result well formulated and having no time limit on how long the City Council could think about it before making a decision or at any specified point, but following individual or collective study. Councilmember McGehee suggested charging the PWETC to collect more information, along with information from the February 5, 2014 U of MN-Mankato study; and put a process in place to maximize the amount of information received, which had been initiated tonight with public comment. Councilmember McGehee reiterated her interest in hearing from haulers; and with information obtained through the survey, with the process then more meaningful and leading to an ultimate decision.
With concurrence by City Attorney Gaughan, Mayor Roe noted that if the City Council chose to initiate a process as outlined by Councilmember McGehee, it would in fact put the City Council under the 60-day timeframe as addressed by the legislation.
Councilmember McGehee opined that the only obligation the City Council had at the end of that 60-day period was to receive, if one was offered, a proposal from haulers licensed in the City of Roseville.
City Attorney Gaughan clarified that if the City Council negotiated with a licensed hauler, it would set in motion an obligation for staff to engage with licensed haulers and negotiate with them; that the 60-day process would not be stagnant; and even though the City would be under no obligation to enter into a contract at the end of that 60-day period, they would have to negotiate with them at the staff level.
City Attorney Gaughan reiterated his recommendation that the best course of action for the City was to seek additional information outside the statutory timeframe; and suggested not using that process as an information-gathering tool.
McGehee moved an amendment, seconded by Etten, to incorporate the community survey results and February 5, 2014 U of MN-Mankato study results; as well as a request to haulers to supply the City with additional information that they might deem useful.
Councilmember Willmus stated that his primary concern is for Roseville residents, not owners, operators, or licensees. Councilmember Willmus expressed his curiosity in results of the U of MN-Mankato study; but expressed his preference for the benefits of having information-gathering specifically focused on residents. Councilmember Willmus spoke in opposition to the amendment.
Councilmember Etten opined that he never found additional information to be a bad thing.
Councilmember Laliberte spoke in opposition to the amendment; opining that it would be more respectful for the City Council to take action and continue with the resolution to abide with the current process in place; while not precluding them from conducting surveys and gathering additional information.
Councilmember McGehee questioned how that information would be obtained and distributed to Councilmembers as a body versus individual research unless it was made as a staff assignment or charge to the PWETC to pull that information together for consortium versus single-hauler cities.
Roll Call (Motion to Amend)
Ayes: McGehee and Etten.
Nays: Willmus; Roe; and Laliberte.
Roll Call (Original Motion)
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Etten; and Roe.
Mayor Roe thanked residents in the audience for their attendance; and advised that this issue would be revisited upon completion of a community survey.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 8:50 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:57 p.m.
Upon reconvening, given time constraints for the remainder of tonight's meeting, Mayor Roe, without objection from the body, concurred with staff's recommendation to defer Item 14.b entitled "Met Council Grant Program for Private Sewer Laterals;" and Item 14.c entitled, "Twin lakes Redevelopment Discussion" until the November 25, 2013 regular meeting.
11. Public Hearings
a. Liquor License Transfer
Finance Director Chris Miller briefly reviewed the purpose of tonight's Public Hearing regarding transfer of an off-sale liquor license from Network Liquors to Minnesota Fine Wines & Spirits, LLC operating under the name of Total Wine & More, and relocating that store to 2401 Fairview Avenue N, Suite 105; with a projected opening in the spring of 2014. Additional background information and materials were detailed in the RCA dated November 18, 2013. Mr. Miller advised that staff's review was focused on City Code requirements, which had been met by the applicant and application completed, meeting all City requirements, and had been reviewed accordingly by City Attorney Gaughan.
Mr. Miller advised that a substantial amount of additional information had been submitted to staff and the City Attorney earlier today from attorneys for the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association and applicant respectively. Mr. Miller advised that the materials were bringing into question the legal and business practices of the applicant based on litigation in other states; and noted that another court case had been provided as a bench handout tonight, attached hereto and made a part hereof. Given the volume of the documents provided from attorneys for both parties, Mr. Miller advised that an attempt to provide copies to the City Council had not been made at this time. Mr. Miller advised that most of those materials were alleged actions in other states; and note that staff did not consider them pertinent to this City license, as the state had its own application process; therefore the materials had not been a consideration in bringing them forward tonight. Mr. Miller advised that there was some documentation provided in the staff report; and noted that staff and the City Attorney were available to answer any questions. Mr. Miller noted that representatives of Total Wine and More; and the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association were in attendance at tonight's meeting.
City Attorney Gaughan concurred with staff that there were voluminous materials supplied by the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association and Total Wine. Based on his preliminary review, Mr. Gaughan opined that he found nothing that would lead him to believe that the transfer of the license should be denied at the local level, even though the State Licensing Board would need to concur. Given the stringent local compliance regulations, Mr. Gaughan opined that the City would have the discretion and a recourse if the applicant was found not to be abiding to those regulations after the license was issued.
Total Wine & More Applicant Robert Lee Trone, Maryland
Mr. Trone spoke to the business model he and his family had adhered to during their twenty-one (21) years in the alcoholic beverage business and their systematic expansion of those business interests. In addressing why their business model had been successful, Mr. Trone opined that it was based on their experience and getting better at it; providing great employees, a great selection, and superb customer service, along with good pricing. Mr. Trone likened their business model to that of Target or Trader Joe's, opining that customers voted with their feet and their wallets. Mr. Trone noted that they currently have 98 stores in 15 states, with their central office located just outside Washington, D.C.; noting that they were just not locating in MN. Mr. Trone advise that the company attempted to provide great value to its consumers; and opined that they did a good job. Mr. Trone reviewed some of the 'giving back" the firm did to the community, including a gift when opening a new store; as well as annual donations in the millions to the community throughout the year. Mr. Trone assured the City Council and public that one of their business's key tenants was preventing sales to minors; noting that with a large operation such as there, they usually were not conducive to attracting minors.
Mr. Trone referenced the number of sentiments expressed earlier at tonight's meeting regarding the importance of freedoms; and opined that one of those freedoms included allowing consumers to choose where they wanted to shop. Based on the success of their business model, Mr. Trone opined that government should allow consumers to make that choice.
Mr. Trone recognized the opposition of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association in their attempt to keep out competition; and while not wanting to belittle their stores that did a great job and provided a great service; opined that their business model should also be given a fair chance to offer consumers a choice and let them decide whether to shop with Total Wine or with their competitors.
In addressing the negative allegations about his family and their reputation, Mr. Trone assured their intent in running a quality business. However, if over that last twenty years, they had been cited for any transgressions in this heavily-regulated business growing across the nation, they had resolved those issues and moved forward. Mr. Trone recognized that competitors would complain; however, he also clarified that his family firm had never had a license revoked or not renewed; and anticipated continued growth and operate the best package law abiding by state and local laws, which their traffic would prove. Mr. Trone noted that he had a law degree, and his brother a law degree; and therefore, were very cognizant of the requirements and regulations. Mr. Trone expressed his and his family's interest in serving the citizens of Roseville and the surrounding area by providing the best shopping experience possible.
At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Trone confirmed that this would be their firm's first license in the State of MN.
At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Trone responded that they had applied for a license in the City of Bloomington, had already hired their team members, and were scheduled to open soon. However, the Friday before the Bloomington City Council was to consider their license application, the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association had submitted a similar packet of materials as referenced by City Attorney Gaughan; prompting their City Attorney to ask for additional time to review that substantial amount of information; with the subsequent result of the Public Hearing being rescheduled. Mr. Trone expressed his frustration and disappointment that those materials had not been provided for review earlier; however, he stated that such disappointments were part of doing business.
Mayor Roe opened the Public Hearing at approximately 9:13 p.m. for the purpose of considering the transfer of the off-sale liquor license from Network Liquors to Minnesota Fine Wines & Spirits, LLC operating under the name of Total Wine & More; and relocating to a new location at 2401 Fairview Avenue N, Suite 105.
Steve Burwell, 2482 Albert Street
As the owner and operator of Fairview Wine & Spirits at 2579 Fairview Avenue since 1985, Mr. Burwell noted that this new venture represented a big operation for Roseville. Mr. Burwell stated that all the liquor stores in Roseville combined did not do $10-13 million in annual operations. With the location of his existing business within 1200' from the proposed store, and another off-sale about 500' from the proposed store, Mr. Burwell opined that it was the intent of this applicant to come to MN and dominate the market; effectively impacting every liquor store in Roseville. Mr. Burwell noted that all of the existing liquor stores in Roseville were independent retailers with the exception of Rainbow Foods; with several of those businesses currently trying to recover and possibly unable to do so if this group opens up in Roseville. Mr. Burwell opined that this big box format is not what is best for the Roseville community; and would take away business from independent people; as well as affecting retailers in St. Paul, Little Canada, Maplewood and St. Anthony. Mr. Burwell opined that he had been blessed to work in Roseville as long as he has; however, he didn't think his career would end this way; but if the license goes through neither he nor several other stores will be around next year.
Bill Griffith, Larkin Hoffman Law Firm, representing the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association
Mr. Griffith stated that the Association was seeking additional time before the City Council acted on this application; advising that additional information had just been received from the State of New Jersey earlier today, provided as a bench handout.
Mr. Griffith noted that this delay was similar to the additional six (6) weeks for the City of Bloomington to further investigate; and opined that this latest information bore directly on the applicability of this applicant to operate in the State of MN. Mr. Griffith opined that issuance of a license was a privilege, not a right; and every applicant had to prove good moral standing; and if not, should be prohibited and ineligible from holding a license; which their presentation tonight would bear on.
Mr. Griffith advised that he had a number of cases, as submitted to City Attorney Gaughan, demonstrating that the Trone's, as owners and principles of this proposed licensee, were active in litigation against their state's regulatory system and competitors in several states (e.g. FL, MA, PA, TX); specific to and at the of a three-tiered system separating the manufacturing, distribution and retailing of alcoholic beverages; as demonstrated in those cases.
Mr. Griffith apologized for the late delivery today of the additional information; however, he advised that it had just finally been received earlier today as the result of a public information request, based on a 2002 case in New Jersey; where the applicant was charged over $1 million total in fines from several of their stores based on their inability to provide true books of account within 7 days. Mr. Griffith opined that the amount of the fines $250,000 per store should indicate the seriousness of the situation; even though that violation was not listed in the application materials provided to Roseville. Mr. Griffith referenced two other fines and suspensions in 1995 and 1998, which had been listed as violations in the staff report; but the other significant fines and suspensions had not been provided by the applicant to the City in their application process. Mr. Griffith advised that these violations had just been brought to their attention today, through this documentation.
Mr. Griffith advised that it was the Association's understanding that the State of Connecticut had also opened a file and active investigation in its department, similar to that of the State of MN's Bureau of Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement.
Based on the pending completion of this sale and liquor license transfer, Mr. Griffith questioned where the inventory of the former Network Liquors was now housed, alleging a violation of state law; also bearing on their eligibility for licensure in the State of MN.
Mr. Griffith further noticed how unusual it was that the transfer, according to the staff report, was subject to completion of the background and criminal investigation of owners and officers; since most cities complete that investigation prior to approval, not after the fact. Mr. Griffith asked that there be no rush for approval of this transfer, based on the additional information provided by the Association; and opining that this should not cause any delay in their proposed opening in the spring of 2014 following a full and thorough investigation.
Frank Ball, Woodbury, MN, Past Director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association; Past Director of Public Safety and retired Chief of Police from Brainerd, MN; now representing Small Liquor Licensees in the State of MN
Mr. Ball spoke to impacts to locally-owned businesses in the neighborhood and affects to retail sales when big box retailers moved in, such as Costco and Sams Club. Mr. Ball noted that those small business owners lived in their communities and paid taxes there; and supported events and activities in those communities as well. While most of those businesses do the right thing, Mr. Ball opined that this was booze, and controlled substance and adult product; and noted that it was highly regulated for a specific reason. Mr. Ball noted that Association retailers are responsible, trained owners; and welcomed new owners, ideas and stores; however, they held to a rigid, protected, 3-tiere structure in Minnesota where the manufacturers were separated from the retailers by the distributors to avoid undue influence on any of those tiers.
Mr. Ball challenged the premise that it was up to the State to police that system, opining that it was up to the City of Roseville and the community to make right and just decisions; and to continue holding this three-tiered system in place. Mr. Ball noted that all of those establishments he represented were in competition with each other; and advised that there were representatives from some other communities in attendance tonight out of curiosity about the City of Roseville's ultimate action tonight.
Mr. Ball urgently requested that the City Council delay approval of this transfer until a thorough review was completed to determine the eligibility of the applicant to sell. Mr. Ball advised that he had contacted the State of MN to determine the location of the former Network Liquor's inventory; and to determine if it was in the hands of someone not yet licensed in the State of MN or City of Roseville; and made a complaint to the State accordingly as to whether it was tied to this applicant. Mr. Ball admitted that this was a short-term stopgap; as things being discovered were hard to collect for fear of being sued.
Regarding the City's attempt at a background investigation, Mr. Ball opined that licensing was one issue, but background investigations were another issue, with the courts having given cities broad discretion and authority. Before deferring to the State, Mr. Ball encouraged the City to take responsibility in allowing this firm to sell alcohol to its citizen.
Mr. Ball referenced MN State Statutes related to moral turpitude and requested a full hearing before the Roseville City Council addressing past practices; and to conduct a full inquiry; seeking a six-week continuance for this applicant for review of all facts, and then to make a responsible decision based on those facts.
Tom Erlick, Tanner Developments, Toronto, Canada; Owner of Rosedale Commons and Rosedale Marketplace, proposed location for Total Wine & More
Mr. Erlick reviewed the process for this lessee at Rosedale Marketplace, contingent upon approval of their license. Mr. Erlick noted the significant improvement made to these two centers over the past few years, with additional improvements planned. Mr. Erlick noted that Total Wines & More was proposing to locate in the former J. C. Penney space vacant since 2010.
Mr. Erlick advised that he had been in other Total Wine stores and found them to be bright and exciting and providing a wide selection of product, with incredibly knowledgeable staff, and anticipated that they would have a regional draw beyond Roseville. Mr. Erlick referenced the attempt by World Market Cost Plus to obtain their former liquor license when they reopened in Roseville recently, at which time he and World Market representatives were told that if they wanted a license, they would have to buy one from a current license holder, with the City retaining its philosophy for only 10 off-sale licenses. Therefore, Mr. Erlick advised that this is what they did; and opined that they had complied candidly with all of the City's regulations; and respectfully urged the City Council to approve this license transfer.
Debra Page, Attorney representing Total Wine & More
Ms. Page clarified that Total Wine had submitted their license to the City at this time at the direction of City of Roseville staff to allow the City to consider that application along with other license renewals. If the City Council chose to delay that approval, Ms. Page advised that this would not be problematic for the applicant. However, Ms. Page asked that the City Council refocus on the suitability of the premises and the applicant, having complied with all requirements and then some.
Ms. Page further clarified that most of those allegations as referenced by previous speakers were not allegations against Total Wine, but also other litigation which would be typical of any business with over 90 locations and operating for over 20 years. Ms. Page opined that most similar business entities would have experienced 10 or more litigations; and that this should not be indicative of a lack of good moral character.
Ms. Page reiterated that the applicant would not stand in the way if the City Council preferred to delay action; and that they were simply complying with staff's request to bring this application forward at this time.
Mayor Roe closed the Public Hearing at approximately 9:38 p.m.
Councilmember Willmus asked City Attorney Gaughan for his legal opinion, after his review of the additional information provided; and whether he saw any reason to delay action or withhold the transfer.
City Attorney Gaughan displayed the information he had received from the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, as well as significant amount of materials provided to him from the applicant fully disclosing litigation in other states. Mr. Gaughan noted that he found that the litigation dealt predominantly with the manufacture, distribution and retailer structures primarily and the applicant's ownership of state licenses. Mr. Gaughan noted that other litigation involved the applicant as plaintiff's to dissolve disputes.
Mr. Gaughan opined that, from his perspective, he had found nothing to-date on any of those cases that would indicate moral turpitude or character, causing this body to deny transfer or renewal based on his review,
Councilmember Laliberte questioned if, when a complaint went through the court system, if it didn't eventually become the problem of the community where the business was located.
City Attorney Gaughan noted that litigation is not just when they've been accused of wrongdoing, but when they've sought clarification of rules and other areas. Based on his experience, Mr. Gaughan opined that simply because a party was involved within the court system didn't speak to their moral turpitude. Mr. Gaughan also noted that his conclusion was further based on the fact that the City of Roseville had stringent licensing requirements for off-sale licenses and within that context, there was a certain measure of assurance that any applicant would be held to a high standard. Regarding the other bases for opposition, Mr. Gaughan noted that there was nothing in City Code on which to base denial on the size of an operation or their price structure. Given the City's 10 licenses; and Section 302.13D of City Code specific to this issue; the City Council considerations were predicated on their review of the market value of neighboring properties, parking, and the effect on adjacent properties; none that he found to be problematic with this applicant as it relates to City Code. Mr. Gaughan reiterated that State law was out of the City's jurisdiction.
Mayor Roe asked staff to address the process for completion of criminal background investigations as it related to license approval.
Finance Director Miller clarified that this was typical for licensing, and even though the background check had not been completed at the time of packet preparation, it had now been completed. Mr. Miller advised that this place holder was used to provide the Police Department sufficient leeway and time for completion of those criminal background checks for its 75 liquor license holders; as well as this transfer application. Mr. Miller advised that the Police Department had now completed all of those investigations.
Councilmember Etten asked City Attorney Gaughan to speak about the contention that the City Council as a body need to decide on an applicant's eligibility versus the state; and where that legal line was, whether the state had a history of denials.
City Attorney Gaughan responded that, while he was not an expert on the state licensing process for this industry, and whether or not the State was simply rubberstamping the City Council's action, he questioned the relevancy of that to whether or not the City Council approved of denied this transfer. Mr. Gaughan opined that the State had its own procedure; but it was this body's task to apply City Code and view this application as a local license transfer, with its renewal a secondary consideration.
Councilmember McGehee opined that she was inclined to wait on approval of the transfer; and questioned if a determination could be made on any loss to property values or to those small businesses that may be impacted by this. Councilmember McGehee opined that she was very uncomfortable with the amount and breadth of the charges and types of charges beyond what was normally seen in police reports; but specific to monopoly violations or collusion, by mixing the manufacture, distribution and retail network. Councilmember McGehee further opined that she would like to look at this further and give if more consideration to the documentation, some of which had just been received tonight. Since the City of Bloomington was in the same position as Roseville, Councilmember McGehee expressed her preference to wait longer to have an opportunity for further review.
McGehee moved, Laliberte seconded, TABLING consideration of this transfer to a date not specific.
Ayes: McGehee; Laliberte; and Etten.
Nays: Willmus and Roe.
Finance Director Miller sought clarification from the City Council on that motion; noting that if they chose to not take action, there would be 1 off-sale liquor license that would expire at the end of the year (Network Liquors) making it available for anyone to come forward to apply for it.
Laliberte moved, Willmus seconded, a motion to reconsider that action tabling this transfer.
Councilmember Willmus advised that he was fine tabling action, but needed a date specific versus indefinitely.
Willmus moved, Laliberte seconded, TABLING consideration of this off-sale liquor license transfer to November 25, 2013.
At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Finance Director Miller confirmed his interpretation of available off-sale liquor licenses, that unless the liquor license transfer is approved by the City Council, the Network Liquors license would go through the end of 2013; at which time if not transferred or renewed, it would be available.
Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; and Roe.
Nays: McGehee and Etten.
Finance Director Miller sought specific direction for staff, whether the City Council wanted more information or simply more opportunity for their individual review and corporate discussion.
Councilmember Willmus noted that the intent was for some individual members of the City Council to review documents in more detail, and allow the City Attorney to take a second look at the documentation provided to him.
b. 2014 Liquor License Renewals
Based on the previous action, Mayor Roe noted that there were now nine (9) off-sale liquor licenses, excluding Network Liquors and/or Total Wine & More, in the list of renewals.
Finance Director Chris Miller noted that the list was now at a total of seventy-four (74) various types of liquor licenses for consideration of renewal for 2014; with most if not all criminal background checks completed. As previously requested by the City Council, Mr. Miller highlighted the one (1) compliance failure for this calendar year; and advised that staff recommended approval of the renewals as listed in Attachment A to the RCA dated November 18, 2013, with the exception as noted above.
Mayor Roe opened and closed the Public Hearing at approximately 9:55 p.m. for the purpose of considering renewal of liquor license renewals for the following calendar year; with no one appearing for or against.
McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, APPROVAL of the renewal of liquor licenses for 2014 as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated November 18, 2013; and listed on Attachment A to that report; excluding the off-sale license currently held by Network Liquors and requested transfer to Total Wine & More.
12. Budget Items
13. Business Items (Action Items)
Willmus moved, Laliberte seconded, further amendment of tonight's agenda, due to time constraints, to defer Items, 13.a, b and 14.a respectively.
Councilmember Etten expressed his preference to address any time-sensitive issues yet tonight by extending the meeting to get that accomplished.
McGehee moved, Willmus seconded, an amendment to the motion to keep Item 13.a and take action on that tonight.
Roll Call (Amendment)
Roll Call (Original Motion as Amended)
Etten moved, McGehee seconded, extension of tonight's meeting at 9:59 for an additional ten minutes to complete discussion/action on Item 13.a entitled, "Adopt an Ordinance Amending City Code, Chapter 314.05: the 2014 Fee Schedule."
Ayes: McGehee; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
a. Consider 2014 Fee Schedule
Finance Director Chris Miller briefly reviewed the recommended 2014 Fee Schedule, highlighting those adjustments to existing fees, as listed on page 1, lines 13 - 21 of the RCA dated November 18, 2013. Mr. Miller advised that the recommended changes were typically inflationary, and attributed to additional staff and/or contractor time. Mr. Miller noted that there was a 2013 column of existing fees, and suggested increase for 2014 (Attachment C).
Mr. Miller noted one omission under Meter Deposit Fees (page 5) and increases based on adjustments for regulatory functions, but no new fees.
Councilmember Etten questioned proposed Park Dedication Fees of 7% versus 2013 rates at 5% of Fair Market Value; with Mr. Miller confirming that the Parks & Recreation Commission had changed the rate to 7% in 2013, so the 2013 rate of 5% was incorrect and that no change was proposed for 2014.
Councilmember McGehee requested clarification on the charge for compost and woodchip deliver fees.
At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller addressed the large discrepancies in liquor fees; advising that the State of MN established fees for local municipalities, based on the regulatory actions taken and public safety impacts incurred by local municipalities, thus the higher fees for those licenses with more public safety impacts.
Councilmember McGehee questioned the separate municipal fees for seatbelts, missing tabs, etc.; questioning if other municipalities had similar fees or if these were simply an add on for the City on top of State fees.
Mr. Miller deferred to the Police Chief, advising it was not unusual for other cities to implement such fees.
On behalf of Police Chief Mathwig, Interim City Manager Trudgeon advised that he had spoken to Chief Mathwig on this and was advised that this fee offers discretion for the office to charge a local administrative fee versus seeking a state fee, depending on the offense. Mr. Trudgeon advised that Chief Mathwig indicated it was rare for the City to do so.
City Attorney Gaughan concurred, noting that in particular circumstances, an officer may choose to issue an Administrative Citation versus a Court Citation in particular circumstances as an alternative; and not in addition to the State Citation.
Councilmember McGehee sought clarification, with Interim City Manager Trudgeon's verification that the "Moving Fee" was for moving a house.
Window Installation Fee
As a City Council policy question, Councilmember McGehee opined that it was problematic for her to charge $89 for window replacement inspections, whether 1 or more windows were being replaced, and to make that charge for every inspection. Councilmember McGehee questioned how this incented residents to repair or maintain their homes.
Interim City Manager Trudgeon advised that this is the minimum fee to cover the cost of inspections; and whether replacing 1 or 10 windows, each trip to inspect the installation to meet state guidelines, required a fee to cover that inspection fee. Mr. Trudgeon reiterated that the fee was the minimum fee designed to cover inspection costs.
Discussion ensued on the length of time for keeping the permit open; with Mr. Trudgeon advising that most permits were valid for 6 months.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Inspections
At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Trudgeon confirmed that this inspection fee was state mandated, not city-mandated.
Councilmember Laliberte referenced the street patching fee and its purpose.
Public Works Director Schwartz responded that it only came into play when an individual property owner experienced problems with their water and/or sewer service, with the City subsequently taking care of the patch for them, rather than them going to the expense of hiring their own contractor, which proved very expensive for one patch. Mr. Schwartz advised that the City took care of the patch and curb at cost for the homeowner.
At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Schwartz clarified that the meter deposit fees were specific to new homes or changes in ownership for each meter in the City; and were a one-time charge, a deposit with interest returned when applicable.
Etten moved, McGehee seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 1458 (Attachment A) entitled, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 314.05, Fee Schedule; Adopting the 2014 Fee Schedule; with clarifications as noted; and the correction of the 7% Park Dedication Fee at 7% (page 4).
Willmus moved, McGehee seconded, enactment (Attachment B) entitled, "An Ordinance Amending Chapter 314.05, Fee Schedule; Adopting the 2014 Fee Schedule.
Roll Call (Super Majority)
Willmus moved, Etten seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:10 p.m.
Ayes: McGehee; Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; and Roe.
Daniel J. Roe, Mayor
Patrick J. Trudgeon, Interim City Manager