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Council Meeting Minutes
June 19, 2014
1. Roll Call
Mayor Roe called
the meeting to order at approximately 6:00 p.m. Voting and Seating Order:
Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; McGehee; and Roe. City Manager Pat Trudgeon and City
Attorney Mark Gaughan were also present.
2. Approve Agenda
McGehee requested removal of Consent Item 7.d entitled, "Approve Fire
Department & Northeast Metro Intermediate District 916 Medical Training Program
Agreement, for discussion.
Willmus suggested accepting public comment prior to going into Closed Session;
at which time Mayor Roe sought comment from audience members with no one
expressing interest in speaking at this point.
Etten moved, Laliberte
seconded approval of the agenda as amended.
Laliberte; Etten; McGehee; and Roe.
Mayor Roe noted
that all meetings of the City Council are open to the public, with the
exception of certain instances, one of which was to consider property sale or
acquisition, in accordance with MN State Statute, Section 13.d.
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, moving into Closed Executive Session at approximately 6:04 p.m.
Possible Property Acquisition at 2680 -2690 Prior Avenue
convened the City Council in closed executive session at approximately 6:05 PM
to consider possible property acquisition at 2680-2690 Prior Avenue in
Roseville. City Manager Trudgeon, City Attorney Gaughan, Public Works Director
Duane Schwartz, and City Engineer Marc Culver were also in attendance.
moved, Councilmember McGehee seconded, adjourning the closed executive session
and returning to open session at approximately 6:20 PM.
3. Public Comment
Mayor Roe called
for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items. No one
appeared to speak.
Communications, Reports, and Announcements
Mayor Roe thanked
community volunteers who worked at Howard Johnson and Materion Parks last
weekend to do community playground builds.
offered congratulations to Roseville Police Officer Wan Chao who was recently
honored for part-time work with Metro Transit.
announced the upcoming "Coffee with a Cop" scheduled for Monday, June 23, 2014
from 7:00 - 8:30 a.m. at the Eat Shop, an informal opportunity to get to know
Roseville officers and voice any concerns. Additional information is available
Donations and Communications
6. Approve Minutes
7. Approve Consent Agenda
There were no additional
changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the request of Mayor
Roe, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed those items being
considered under the Consent Agenda.
McGehee moved, Etten
seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
73931 - 74040
Laliberte; Etten; McGehee; and Roe.
Approve Business Licenses & Other Licenses & Permits
Etten seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one
(1) year, unless otherwise noted, for the following applicants:
Type of License
Liang Li; Asian Massage; 2334 Lexington
Veronica Churchill; Massage
2480 Fairview Avenue; Suite 120
Approve General Purchases and Sale of Surplus Items in Excess of
Etten seconded, approval of the submitted list of general purchases and
contracts for services presented as follows; and as detailed in the Request for
Council Action (RCA) dated June 9, 2014; and Attachment A entitled, "2014
Capital Improvement Plan Summary - Updated 05/31/2014."
Document Scanning Services
8. Consider Items Removed from
Approve Fire Department & Northeast Metro Intermediate
District 916 Medical Training Program Agreement
At the request
of Mayor Roe, City Manager Patrick Trudgeon briefly reviewed this item, as
detailed in Request for Council Action (RCA) dated June 16, 2014.
McGehee noted that this was the first time she'd heard about this program, and
sought more discussion for a variety of reasons. Councilmember McGehee
expressed concern with the age of these high school students from an EMT perspective
and privacy concerns of residents requiring these services and the reception of
such a program in this community. Councilmember McGehee expressed further
concerns with liability issues spelled out in the agreement, even though
reviewed by the City Attorney, with additional people on an accident scene.
Councilmember McGehee questioned if this was the right place for these youth to
be; or how program participants were vetted before being invited into the homes
of elderly and/or vulnerable adults in many cases. Councilmember McGehee
questioned why this was included on the consent agenda without an opportunity
for more discussion; and further questioned if this program should actually be
done in Roseville at all. Councilmember McGhee noted that the agreement required
one-year notice by either party for termination; and questioned why such a
long notice requirement and why the City couldn't opt out sooner if so
Chief Tim O'Neill and Battalion Chief & Emergency Manager Greg Peterson
Peterson recognized Councilmember McGehee's concerns; however, noted that this
program had been in operation for some time, with youth already riding along with
other agencies (e.g. Allina); and they had reached out to the Roseville Department
to determine their interest in this program. Chief Peterson advised that he
knew the lead instructor, and had actually gone through part of their program;
and he found it a good opportunity for youth, given the difficulties of the
Department in obtaining ride-along options with so many programs already seeking
agencies for ride-along opportunities. Chief Peterson advised that these were
younger adults involved in these types of programs. Chief Peterson noted that
one of the City's current firefighters had gone through this program before
deciding on this career. As far as liability issues, Chief Peterson opined
that it would always remain no matter what agency they were riding along with;
and while recognizing Councilmember McGehee's personal concerns, the program
provided a great opportunity for these youth to get exposure early on; and was
a good program that had been around for at least one or two decades. Chief Peterson
noted that during the City Attorney's review of the agreement, he had diverted
liability responsibilities to the School District even further than originally
the request of Mayor Roe, City Attorney Mark Gaughan advised that a one-year notice
clause was a common provision when dealing with an educational program,
allowing the School District to plan out their curriculum, and causing a
hardship for them to be at another entity's whim when offering educational opportunities.
to confidentiality of clients as noted in Section I, "Requirements of Students,"
Section C (page 3), City Attorney Gaughan noted the confidentiality waiver
clause for students to read and execute; and to ensure that they have an
understanding of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) confidential
information requirements as part of the City's permission to ride along. Mr.
Gaughan advised that he wasn't aware of this being thought out for the program
before this additional requirement inserted by the City of Roseville.
Laliberte noted that and HIPAA was a concern of hers; and clarified with Chief
Peterson that students received a primer on patient confidentiality HIPAA before
a ride along.
Laliberte expressed another concern was the length of the shifts for these
students: 10-12 hours, which seemed long, and suggested that they be involved
rather in two, six hour shifts, and only during daytime hours.
Peterson clarified that these discussions had been held to limit or reduce
their shifts, and to ensure they were not sleeping at the station. Chief Peterson
advised that students would be involved in late afternoon and/or early evening
shifts, and advised that the length of shifts could also be reduced.
Willmus shared concerns with the length of shifts; and asked that it be
formally addressed in the agreement; questioning how old the students were and
how it was determined by the School District and/or Fire Department if and when
students were eligible for ride-alongs.
Peterson stated that it was his understanding that the students were high
Etten suggested that, if not with the Roseville EMT, these students would ride
along with Allina or other agencies to obtain this work experience.
Councilmember Etten advised that this program was in force when he went to
Irondale; and currently several of his students were involved in this EMT training.
Councilmember Etten advised that these students were career-focused and mature
young people, and noted that this was a rigorous program. Given his personal
connection as a teacher to some of those students coming through the program,
Councilmember Etten opined that that these students were excellent people for
involvement in the Roseville community.
McGehee thanked Councilmember Etten for that insight, which she had not found
through the meeting packet materials; and given that it was seniors involved in
this two-year program made a significant difference in how she viewed the opportunity.
Councilmember McGehee opined that such information would have been useful to
include in the meeting materials to avoid further questions. Councilmember
McGehee expressed her concerns with the length of the shifts as well; and asked
that it be addressed. While still troubled with the one-year notice
requirement, Councilmember McGehee noted the rationale in an educational
institution not wanting less than a year's notice; but if something catastrophic
happened or the program was not working out, suggested an opt-out clause of
less than a year.
Peterson noted that, if the program were found not to be working, the City
could just stop scheduling the ride-alongs.
the request of Councilmember McGehee, City Attorney Gaughan clarified that, if
the agreement didn't provide for a unilateral termination, the City would need
to abide by its responsibilities; noting that with the relationship of the
parties, it could be a mutual understanding on winding down the program.
the request of Mayor Roe on timing of the contract, City Attorney Gaughan
advised that there was nothing defined, but there was no reason both parties
couldn't mutually agree to terminate the agreement.
Willmus stated that he preferred that the agreement be revised to reflect the
reduced shifts; and suggested the agreement be returned for a future meeting
Peterson agreed to that suggestion.
Roe questioned the need for the City Council to dictate the length of shift,
without input from District 916 staff, unless Councilmember Willmus preferred
the agreement to return; to which Councilmember Willmus stated that he would
like to see other options from the District before approving the agreement.
Attorney Gaughan pointed out Section 3, "Mutual Responsibilities" (page 3),
with each of the six items requiring communication between parties; and opined
that the length of shifts would be arrived at through that mandate to
communicate, addressing areas of mutual need or concern and seeking solutions
to any problems (items 5 and 6). Mr. Gaughan opined that, if the City Council
authorized this agreement, it could mandate staff to provide shifts of less
than ten hours or whatever length they preferred, and staff would need to live
up to that area of authorization.
the request of Mayor Roe, City Attorney Gaughan confirmed that this would
enforce the City Council's objective, but not create a specific term in the
Laliberte suggested adding a sentence that: "Shifts are not to exceed 8-10
hours, and not be past midnight."
Roe suggested that the City Council be careful not to add something that
District 916 may not like as part of their program.
McGehee suggested that City Attorney Gaughan's recommendation be followed; with
Chief Peterson take the revised agreement back to District 916 and return for
approval at a future City Council meeting.
the request of Mayor Roe, Chief Peterson confirmed that there was no time
sensitivity for the agreement; however, he stated that it wasn't clear to him
exactly what the City Council was seeking.
Roe clarified that the intent was for the shifts to be long enough to be effective
and productive, but not too long or too late into the night; which was confirmed
by Councilmember Willmus. Mayor Roe reminded all that there were curfews and
other considerations for youth in Roseville that needed to be taken into
O'Neill suggested that typically the shifts would end at 6:00 p.m. when shift
changes occurred, and be no longer than six hours and no later than 6:00 p.m.,
but was open to the City Council's discretion if they preferred another option.
Etten opined that the students could handle a 10-12 hour shift; and suggested
that the School District wouldn't have asked for that parameter if they hadn't
been doing so for years. Councilmember Etten opined that the shifts could be
limited to ten if desired by the City Council; and with the time of day and not
sleeping at the fire stations as part of the considerations, he was agreeable
to the agreement as outlined and agreed to by District 916.
moved, Roe seconded, approval of an agreement (Attachment A) between Northeast
Metro Intermediate District 916 and the City of Roseville for teaching
assistance for their EMT program; and authorizing the Mayor and City Manager to
execute the document, as per RCA
Willmus stated that he wanted to see the length of time and shifts included in
the agreement; and if District 916 confirmed that this was standard practice,
he would agree, but he didn't see that included in the agreement as currently
Roe noted that a motion to table would supersede the proposed motion.
moved, McGehee seconded, TABLING this item until the June 23, 2014 regular City
Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte; Etten; McGehee; and Roe.
Mayor Roe noted
the homework required of the Fire Department before the document returned.
9. General Ordinances
Update from Ramsey County Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire
Roe welcomed Commissioner Mary Jo McGuire and invited her to provide an update
on Ramsey County happenings.
McGuire reviewed her tenure and districts she represented, as well as
committees she was currently serving on: Active Living-Ramsey County, Library
Board liaison; Alternate for the Ramsey County Collaborative; Ramsey County Mosquito
Control Board; and newly-elected to the Transportation Advisory Board; along
with State and National level involvement with Criminal Justice Policies; and
chairing the Ramsey County Board's legislative committee.
McGuire provided highlights from the last legislative session and funding
during this second year of the State's biennial budget; capital improvement
program infrastructure needs and state funding; and public health and safety
mandates of the state and federal government, delegated to the County.
McGuire addressed work at the Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant (TCAAP) in
Arden Hills and redevelopment plans to increase the tax base for area cities
and address affordable housing needs in the area; and funding for Safe Routes
to Schools and Bus Rapid Transit, including her advocacy for expanding that BRT
line as far as the TCAAP area.
items addressed by Commissioner McGuire included the recent opening of the
Green Line and connecting routes involving Roseville, and improved and more
frequent service on Snelling Avenue as a connector to the Green Line, scheduled
to start service in 2015.
to Roseville, Commissioner McGuire addressed completed negotiations for County
Road B west of Cleveland Avenue as a turnback to the City, and the County
taking back some of the Victoria to Dale Street section of County Road B-2,
requiring more extensive repairs. Commissioner McGuire noted concrete
rehabilitation work being done throughout Ramsey County, including several
roads in Roseville.
McGuire spoke to recent discussions with City and County Public Works Directors
and the access off Hamline Avenue into the Ramsey County Library-Roseville
Branch. Commissioner McGuire noted that to-date she'd been involved in the discussions
that addressed the history of the access and how it happened, as well as how to
inform future access spaces into county buildings off county roads.
Commissioner McGuire stated that at this time, a meeting among the Library
Director, City of Roseville, and Ramsey County was being scheduled to consider
a safe solution.
McGuire stated that she was looking forward to Rosefest, and gave kudos to the
City for this great community festival. Commissioner McGuire noted that she
had provided a copy of the legislative session review for Councilmembers; and
sought input from Councilmembers on any issues or concerns they wanted her to
work on between now and her next update to the City Council.
Laliberte thanked Commissioner McGuire for following through on those items
addressed previously, providing more voices.
McGehee thanked Commissioner McGuire for her assistance on issues; and
suggested her future presentations include a display for the viewing public.
Willmus also expressed his appreciation to Commissioner McGuire for her work.
Roe sought a follow-up on Economic Development and Economic Gardening issues as
presented by Ramsey County to the City Council earlier this year.
McGuire briefly reviewed the program intended for tier two-level businesses and
CEO's needing mentoring to take their business to the next level; advising that
the program had proven to be a great success and hoped it would continue in the
future, and her hope that Roseville businesses would be a huge part of that
effort. Commissioner McGuire noted that there were now spokespeople available
from businesses that can attest to the value of the program, and expressed her
interest in spreading the word to businesses to give them the support they
Roe suggested that, once the program was approved in the County's budget during
the second year of the biennium budget, presentations be made to the areas
joint chamber of commerce and Roseville Business Council effort as a valuable
venue to get the information out.
Roe thanked Commissioner McGuire for her attendance and the update.
11. Public Hearings
12. Budget Items
2015 City Council Budget Goals & Priorities
Manager Patrick Trudgeon introduced this discussion, as detailed in the RCA
dated June 16, 2014; and the intent to seek Council direction for staff in
creation of the City Manager Recommended Budget. Mr. Trudgeon noted that Finance
Director Chris Miller was available, as well as Department Heads, to respond to
any questions or additional information needs of individual Councilmembers during
Roe suggested using the primary points of discussion outlined by staff in the
RCA as a way to organize tonight's discussion; referring to the preliminary
report on the budget and tax levy impact items addressed in the May 12, 2014
Willmus asked Mr. Miller to provide a recap of the Finance Commission's
discussion at their recent meeting, specifically regarding the tax levy
discussion, since they didn't finish their discussion on reserve policies.
Director Miller advised that, specific to the value or merit of developing
multiple budget scenarios (decreased, frozen and/or an increase) it was the consensus
of the Commission that such a practice would be conceptually healthy for any
organization. However, Mr. Miller noted that they also understood the sensitivity
of doing so in a public forum in which the City operated. Mr. Miller advised
that the Commission's guidance to the City Council was to go ahead and do so,
but as program impacts were discussed, those impacts should be broad-based, and
not specific programs and/or service cuts unless really determined to go down
that path, at which time it would be appropriate to let the public know what
was being contemplated versus not simply unnerving the public for the purpose
of an exercise. Mr. Miller clarified that the consideration of the Commission
was for a plus 5%, zero and minus 5% levy scenario exercise.
Roe clarified, with agreement by Councilmember Willmus, that this exercise was
specific to the levy, not the overall budget.
the last discussion, Councilmember McGehee suggested a broad policy discussion
first, following the most recent community survey, indicating that citizens are
satisfied with the level of service they're receiving and the level of competence in which is being delivered. Councilmember McGehee suggested assigning to the City Manager and Department Heads the task of reviewing the entire City and bringing forward areas in which the City currently contracts out for service and/or provided services in-house and if any of those areas could be changed to see cost savings. Councilmember McGehee opined that this is the way she would like to see the City do their budget work; tasking staff with trying to provide savings and review expenses on the basis of providing citizens with existing services and retaining the existing tax level. Also, Councilmember McGehee addressed cash reserves, opining that she wanted staff to have the opportunity to review this as a whole, rather than having the City Council "dig in the weeds" for specific things as done in the past; but to have the City Council take a higher policy review and allow staff to do their job.
Roe opined that staff did that now, looking at the entire budget as a whole and
McGehee opined that staff did so at the City Council's direction; but if they
find any significant cuts to be had, it would be more appropriate for them to
do so on a larger policy level, as they were much more aware of the contracting
aspects and could find more efficiency.
the prompting of Mayor Roe, Councilmember McGehee stated that she was not
interested in pursuing the three proposed budget scenarios preferred by Councilmember
Willmus, but more interested in staff coming to the City Council with
proposals, knowing that the goal was not to raise taxes but to do the best job
possible, while finding any savings possible. Councilmember McGehee opined
that staff was more able to make those determinations and bring them forward to
the City Council, and suggested that they be given the opportunity to do so.
Willmus suggested that some discussion may be tied together, noting that his
consideration for additional personnel or COLA would be determined in part by
responses from staff on previous discussions and his information requests for
License Center revenue generated, and whether more of those revenues could be
used to offset the General Fund levy beyond current practice, and as a broader
discussion about reserves and the License Center. To get at the crux of his
question, Councilmember Willmus questioned to what level those revenues could
be used to offset the levy; and to hear guidance from staff as to what would be
Miller advised that in the 2104 budget, the General Fund tapped $110,000 to
support other City programs/services, as that much was available to tap into. However,
Mr. Miller advised that the way the facility was run and efficiencies of
day-to-day operations were balanced with the fees allowed to be charged being
set and mandated by federal and state oversight agencies, for which the City
had no control. Mr. Miller noted that, while the fixed costs could go up or
down, it was important to remain sensitive to the vulnerability of the License
Center operation to those areas not within the City's control. Mr. Miller
advised that, even though excess revenue generation had been tapped annually
for General Fund needs, if the City Council chose to depend on those revenues,
he could not ensure they would be sustainable in perpetuity.
the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Miller advised that the City Council, at the end
of budget deliberations in 2013 for the 2014 budget, raised transfers of
revenue from the License Center to the General Fund Levy by an additional
$75,000, with $35,000 in administrative services already charged into that
budget. At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Miller advised that the
total in 2013, that total had been $85,000.
Willmus noted year-end reserves for the License Center in 2012 were
approximately $800,000, and 2013 year-end were $925,000, showing significant
growth in those reserves. With the additional personnel brought in recently,
Councilmember Willmus questioned if that didn't indicate that the service of the License Center continued to grow fast.
Miller opined that it wasn't growing as fast now as it had in the last few
years. Mr. Miller advised that it had been intentional for the License Center
business model to be managed differently over the last few years in order to
amass funds to build a new facility or add onto an existing city-owned facility
versus renting space as is currently done. Mr. Miller advised that he hadn't recently
looked at a five-year business plan to see what could be sustained; and while
the $800,000 held in reserves for that new location could be reallocated by the
City Council, Mr. Miller sought to alert them that it could have implications.
However, Mr. Miller noted that there may be some room for a limited additional
Willmus asked, if the City Council decided to build a new building, would
Building Replacement Funds be available, and if so how much.
Miller noted that the Building Replacement Fund currently had $800,000
available; however, he also noted that a discussion was scheduled later in tonight's
meeting for using those funds to bridge the funding gasp for the new fire
station. Mr. Miller reviewed the original purpose of the fund contemplated to
address long-term facility needs (e.g. roofs and mechanicals), and noted the
millions of dollars of unmet needs identified in the CIP over the next twenty
years. Therefore, Mr. Miller advised that he had challenged the License Center
staff to not depend on someone else to build a new facility, but challenge them
to manage their operation so efficiently so as to amass funds to build it with
those savings. However, Mr. Miller reiterated that the City Council could
choose to repurpose those funds, even though staff had been challenged to address
heir facility needs with their own revenue streams.
the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Miller clarified that setting aside funds for a
new license center building had been a staff directive, not done by the City
Council. However, Mr. Miller noted that such discussions came up every three
to five years when the License Center lease was renewed; with indications perceived
that it wasn't a high priority in the context of other park and recreation facility needs and other significant, unmet needs throughout the community. Therefore, Mr. Miller advised that he personally challenged License Center staff to find a way to get it done.
been involved in those discussions, Mayor Roe didn't recall any nuance given
about saving money to build a new building, opining that he made that connection
during CIP deliberations and needs assessments. Mayor Roe asked Mr. Miller for
a projected estimate for a new License Center.
Miller advised that the License Center currently operates in approximately
4,000 square feet for passport and regular motor vehicle areas; and estimated
that $800,000 would suffice for a similar 4,000 square foot facility. However,
Mr. Miller noted that this was only for a structure, and did not include any
funds if land was acquired as part of that relocation, creating an entirely
the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Miller reviewed projected annual costs for debt
service to borrow $800,000, at approximately $65,000 to $70,000 over a
fifteen-year period at today's interest rates; and compared with the $62,000 in
annual rent for the leased facility.
Roe opined that this was his interest in balancing out operations and comparing
revenue bonds versus rent.
Miller clarified that borrowing was one approach, or simply paying $800,000 in
cash today, freeing up an additional $60,000 for other City services from that
current rent payment, as well as not requiring interest payments for bond
general, Mayor Roe suggested that as the City Council looked at the 2015 levy,
they consider calculations on the current tax base and average property value
for single-family residences in Roseville. If there are no changes in the levy
in 2015, Mayor Roe estimated that with those residential market values going up
as tax base proportions were shifted from commercial properties, the average
taxpayer was looking at a 7% increase just from that market value rate
increase. Mayor Roe asked that the City Council and staff be mindful of that;
and therefore, was looking to other areas for funding on a short-term basis to
avoid such a huge impact for taxpayers, opining that this would be meaningful
from his perspective. While not suggesting that reserves be depleted down to
zero in one year, Mayor Roe suggested that consideration be given to making
things work. Mayor Roe noted that the City of Falcon Heights had a reserve
fund review over time to address providing some tax relief as needed.
to the License Center, Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of relocating it
to city-owned property; and further expressed her support of paying cash versus
bonding which would only increase the City's debt service, opining that the
City had already increased its debt service significantly. While not suggesting
that the Center needed to be built immediately, Councilmember McGehee opined
that it would be prudent not to have the License Center not forced to pay over
$60,000 annually in rent and instead allowing it to build up a revenue stream
to build a building and then opening up that additional revenue stream for the
City going forward.
Roe questioned if the License Center reserve fund could be left as is without
making additional contributions, but not making a decision on a building right
Etten questioned options discussed to-date.
McGehee opined that there were quite a few opportunities city-wide, including
the downstairs of City Hall recently vacated by the Fire Department, Fairview
Fire Station, or adding onto existing buildings. Councilmember McGehee opined
that it could be made as an addition to one of the new park buildings, allowing
sufficient parking and tying into a current construction project.
Etten opined that, while each may have some potential, there were limitations
with the park buildings; and he didn't see many of those facilities with
sufficient parking availability. While loving the conceptual idea of using the
old fire station on Fairview Avenue, Councilmember Etten noted that it was a disaster
to access due to other commercial properties in the area, and therefore prohibitive
to him. Councilmember Etten noted that the lower level of City Hall was
already spoken for to expand the Public Works/Engineering area. Whether the decision
was to build or now, Councilmember Etten expressed his understanding that the
space would inform whether or not it was desirable compared to remaining with
the current situation. From his point of view, Councilmember Etten opined that
he was in favor of parking the money but using more surplus, such as another
$50,000 from the License Center operating surplus reserve reallocated to the
2015 budget: and if they needed the money, it could be reallocated from other
open reserves. Until a location was selected, Councilmember Etten stated that
such a scenario would be his preference.
Roe questioned the need to have the discussion on locations as part of this
just joined the City Council last year, along with Councilmember Etten,
Councilmember Laliberte opined that, while she heard some rumblings about the
License Center and built-up reserves, she did not recall being part of those
discussions during that 1.5 year timeframe, but just a listener in the process.
Willmus advised that he agreed with the comments of Mayor Roe regarding the
Levy and what was happening to residential property values due to the shift
being experienced from commercial to residential properties, typically cyclical
and potentially swinging back as commercial values caught up. However,
Councilmember Willmus stated that it was something to be seriously considered
in using reserves to offset expenses during this time. Councilmember Willmus
opined that this was especially true if the City Council continued to go down
the road of increased staff expenses; opining that it would become more prudent
to look at using revenue streams to offset some of those things.
Roe noted that the discussion should be open to other areas as well as the
Roe noted that the amounts or rates recovered from licenses, and the number of
transactions, was out of the City's control, and therefore, it made no sense to
budget for optimistic happenings at the Center until a better trend was identified.
However, from an operational standpoint, Mayor Roe noted that there were
additional revenues available from License Center reserves, since it continued
to operate with an annual surplus that covered other costs. Mayor Roe
suggested that the proposed new positions and COLA recommendations may inform
the amount retained in the fund balance and how that may become part of the
Roe noted that the 2013 annual financial report reviewed the current reserve
policy goal of 35%-45% for the General Fund based on its annual operating
budget. With Councilmember Etten recognizing that the reserve percentage was
43%, Mayor Roe addressed the unrestricted side was above that at the 45%
level, and whether the City Council chose to reduce that level some but remain
within the 40% target goal. Mayor Roe stated that this would be one of his
suggestions to consider using up to an additional $75,000 in General Fund
reserves toward the 2015 levy.
Willmus noted that, during budget discussions held in December of 2013, he had
asked Mr. Miller for his forecast for General Fund growth in 2014, and he
anticipated an increase of $50,000, but in actuality, was approaching $200,000,
minus the funds used for emergency tree and storm damage. Councilmember
Willmus questioned that factored into such a large discrepancy in those
projections; noting that the year-end 2012 to year-end 2013 reserves increased
by almost $198,000.
Miller clarified that the General Fund declined by $350,000. Mr. Miller further
clarified that the City Council was looking at two different things, only one
of which was cash reserves. Mr. Miller advised that he had been basing his projections
on what happened and what would happen in operations, and he would need more
specifics to address how and why there more cash reserves than anticipated. In
his April 4, 2014 memorandum, Mr. Miller noted the General Fund target level of
43% reserves, with a $494,000 plus excess reserve, with the General Fund calling
for $346,000 in reserves, as well as Park & Recreation reserves, which
could also decline before year-end 2014 as well, opining that the natural reserve
level would decline in 2014.
the April 2014 memorandum from Mr. Miller, Mayor Roe clarified that need for the
City Council to understand the 2014 budget levels versus 2013 reserves, noting
that his 45% calculation was based on 2013 reserves, reconciled at year-end
2013. However, over that year, Mayor Roe noted a higher than 40% target, using
$269,000 of that from 2013 that remained in savings, and that left about
$75,000 which could be applied to the 2015 levy.
Miller noted that as the General Fund increased, the funding percentage would
Etten noted that Information Technology (IT) reserves increased dramatically
over that same year's period, and questioned if that was a one-time spike or if
it would continue.
Miller clarified that it would not continue, and was due to funds received over
time from other agencies and/or school districts involved in Joint Powers Agreements
(JPA's) with the City of Roseville; and for the purpose of funding the construction
of fiver build-out estimated at approximately $250,000 to complete. Mr. Miller
advised that authorization for that build-out was intended to come before the
City Council yet this summer, representing that large capital expenditure.
While the surplus has been growing, Mr. Miller advised that it would not
continue to do so beyond a gradual reserve fund.
voting last year in setting the budget, Councilmember Etten noted his concern
then and ongoing concern in any continued use of budget reserves on an annual
basis. Councilmember Etten opined that he had problems with that type of
budgeting for the long-term. Councilmember Etten advised that he was open to
reducing the amount of reserves in 2015 as indicated to avoid hammering residents,
he couldn't support cutting them all away, but would look toward splitting the
difference as a reasonable compromise. Councilmember Etten opined that he
would prefer not to use those reserves at all since it indicated larger and
broader budget problems and a lack of ability to make hard choices.
Roe concurred that he was not supportive of a long-term use of reserves; and
noted previous discussions and former City Council's having a Tax Levy Reduction
Fund in place to reduce levy increases as indicated. Mayor Roe advised that
his suggestion was to look at overall funds that way; and opined that the General
Fund and License Center made sense, not to deplete it all, but to transfer a
sensible reserve amount; while still understanding that eventually the levy had
to go up at some point to cover those costs.
Willmus agreed with the comments of Councilmember Etten. From his position,
Councilmember Willmus opined that continuing the use of reserves over many
budget cycles would not be sustainable, and the City could not support that
practice. However, Councilmember Willmus opined that there were other aspects
outlined for the City Council that needed a hard look, using non-union COLA
already put in place as just one example. Councilmember Willmus expressed his
understanding of the original intent in October of 2013 for the 3.26%
adjustment for employees, but when an additional 2% COLA in 2014 was approved,
and now an additional 2% in 2015, he found that tying the Council's hands on
other things. If some of those things are taken of the table, Councilmember Willmus opined that a different balance could be found.
McGehee spoke in support of the reserve policy established in 2013.
Councilmember McGehee noted the use of reserves last year with a promise to pay
it back, but now considering taking out of reserves yet again. Councilmember
McGehee agreed with Councilmember Etten's comments that some hard choices
needed to be made; and since the recent community survey indicated citizens
being happy with services and programs, and not seeking any reductions, the
City Council should act accordingly. Councilmember McGehee clarified that it
was not the City of Roseville that raised property valuations for its
Willmus opined that this should be no surprise to anyone; and for the
short-term, further opined that some things needed to be balanced out. Councilmember
Willmus suggested that no formal motion was necessary to direct staff, but they
should be in the position to utilize the information from this discussion,
expressing his anticipation of the City Manager Recommended Budget in response
to this discussion.
Roe clarified that the purpose of tonight's discussion was to provide guidance
to staff to develop the City Manager Recommended Budget through providing a
majority consensus, specifically on the use of reserves in this case. Mayor
Roe asked for a formal motion.
moved, Willmus seconded, guiding the City Manager in development of the City
Manager Recommended Budget to consider the use of both operating surplus and
reserves of the License Center for 2015 budget operating funds for the City.
the request of Councilmember Etten, Mayor Roe clarified that his motion intentionally
did not include a dollar figure target.
McGehee opined that based on sufficient discussion tonight, the City Manager
and his staff should be allowed to base their recommendations on this robust
Roe clarified that the motion was for the City Manager to consider the use of
moved, McGehee seconded, amending the motion to direct staff to keep the use of
reserves the same or reduce the total amount to balance the budget, in an
amount not to exceed $269,000, and preferably less.
Etten noted that this took into consideration the reduced amount of total
reserves for 2015 compared to the 2014 use of reserves. At the request of
Mayor Roe and Councilmember Laliberte, Councilmember Etten confirmed that his
intent was to use less than $269,000 used in the 2014 levy for the 2015 budget;
and without specifying the Fund, recognized that the License Center reserves
had been the main topic of discussion at this point.
Willmus advised that he would not support the amendment, and was more
interested in seeing what staff came forward with.
Laliberte advised that she would likely not support the amendment as well;
since that considered talking about the head of a pin, when there were much
bigger issues to discuss, and this particular fund or limit was not dealing
with the bigger issue or harder decisions to make.
Roe advised that he would not support the amendment, concurring with
Councilmember Willmus that he was curious to see what staff came forward with.
McGehee advised that she would not support the amendment, allowing staff to do
what they were hired to do.
Roll Call (Amendment)
Willmus; Laliberte; McGehee; and Roe.
Etten advised that he would support the motion, based on the word "consider."
Laliberte advised that she would not support the motion based on the same
rationale in not supporting the amendment, that this was too small of an effort
when a broader discussion was needed about the use of reserves.
McGehee advised that she would not support the motion, opining that it was
giving too much direction with bigger issues having a much broader impact.
Roll Call (Original Motion)
Etten; and Roe.
McGehee noted previous discussions and action in computing market adjustments
and how to match other cities having made the decision already.
moved, Etten seconded, supporting a 2% employee COLA for 2015.
Laliberte advised that she would not support the motion; opining that by making
the market adjustments and then the COLA adjustments immediately starting in
2014, it added up to a significant impact in personnel costs, and she was unsure
if that pattern could be sustained. Councilmember Laliberte also her ongoing
questioning of how the original set of peer cities used for the market study
Willmus advised that he would not support the motion, as he needed to review
and consider everything before the City Council, and if it was to consider
offsetting some of the increases and timing of amounts received by staff in
January of 2014, which he found to be fair and adequate, action needed to be
taken at this time to limit increases over time.
a point of information, Mayor Roe sought information from Mr. Miller on the
index used in the City's policy when considering COLA.
Miller clarified that the CPI was used, not other cities, which provided a market
based versus a peer based analysis. Mr. Miller noted that the City had already
approved and become contractually obligated for a 2% or more COLA for its union
contracts, and others; with the local CPI currently at a 1.8% - 2% projected as
of three to four months ago.
Roe spoke in support of the motion, noting that the trends could be further
analyzed as the year progressed; and was supportive of using the guidance in using
the CPI and Municipal Wage Cost Index as a way to calculate annual COLA.
McGehee; and Roe.
Etten spoke in support of an adjustment in the Fire Department Model, as
outlined in previous discussions; and increasing the current Forestry Position
to work with developments and other city needs for forestry that are not
currently being taken care of, suggesting that Community Development Department
dollars may be available versus any new tax-supported levy dollars.
Roe noted that the Forestry position need had been identified, and was not a
specific Parks & Recreation request for 2015.
Etten concurred, opining that it would allow the City to get more immediate
needs taken care of outside of parks.
McGehee opined that she was not comfortable with the Fire Department proposal, as
referenced by a memorandum she had sent to Councilmembers earlier today. Councilmember
McGehee stated that she was looking for an "apples to apples" comparison, and
had yet to receive the figures she wanted; and once she had them, she could
then participate in this discussion. Absent that information, Councilmember
McGehee advised that she could not support the proposed Fire Department model.
preface the discussion, Mayor Roe noted that the City Council had previously
received specific items recommended by staff: a Public Works right-of-way technician
(fee supported); a Public Works customer service position (utility fee supported);
transition of the Fire Department to six full-time firefighters in 2015; two
Police Department commercial patrol officers; with no new positions requested
in the Administration, Community Development or Parks & Recreation Departments.
the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Miller provided comparison FTE's,
with 167 budgeted in 2013 and 174 budgeted in 2013; and an additional 11 FTE's proposed for 2015; at a forecasted tax-supported levy impact for those 11 FTE's at approximately $400,000.
the request of Councilmember Etten, Public Works Director Duane Schwartz
advised that the right-of-way technician would be supported by fees from a combination
of utility companies for right-of-way permits and other engineering services
provided to the City of Falcon Heights. Mr. Schwartz advised that other development
fees (e.g. plan review and construction oversight) would supplement that
support; and would essentially remain at fee levels now set. Mr. Schwartz
noted that there would be a slight increase to utility fees to support the
customer service position in the utility area.
Etten advised that he would support the right-of-way technician, but not the
customer service position, since he wasn't sure if he felt comfortable
increasing utility fees at this time.
the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mayor Roe clarified that the utility
increase would be across the board for all City utilities.
Willmus opined that, at some point, the City Council was going to have to
reconcile the number of people with pay adjustments; and advised that he could
not support any additional positions at this time accordingly.
Laliberte advised that she was generally supportive of the Fire Department
transition, but reiterated that for her, some of these discussions needed to
come in the bigger context. While being in support of adding here and taking
out from other areas, to address things the City was mandated to do on a regular
basis, Councilmember Laliberte advised that, she continued to hear about things
needing maintaining or increased, but never where they could be reduced or
McGehee advised that she was happy to support the right-of-way technician.
While supporting the Fire Department business model conversion in general,
Councilmember McGehee opined that she was not sure she could support a model to
move six paid on-call firefighters to a full-time position, while leaving the
remaining 59 part-time on-call positions in place, at least until she received
the additional figures as previously stated. Councilmember McGehee advised
that she was not supportive of commercial police officers for a variety of
reasons, the least of which was that it would nullify the
specifically-negotiated agreement with WalMart. If the City could work out a
PILOT program with the University of Northwestern, Councilmember McGehee opined
that a reasonable agreement or program could surely be worked out for retail
areas to make a contribution to support police services that they apparently so
badly needed. Councilmember McGehee noted that the Cities of Bloomington and
Edina had done so, and questioned why the City of Roseville could not manage to
do so as well.
Roe advised that he was generally supportive of the Fire Department conversion
in the long-term, but needed to look at the numbers further. Mayor Roe advised
that he would support the right-of-way technician, but could not support the
customer service position for utilities, based on his desire not to further
impact utility fees at this time. Mayor Roe advised that he was supportive of
the IT position if there was a way to pay for it; but was not supportive of any
commercial patrol officers at this time.
Laliberte advised that she was somewhat in agreement with Councilmember Etten
on the forestry position; but needed a discussion sooner rather than later to
understand how the departments worked together with that need and cost
Roe and Councilmember McGehee concurred with Councilmember Laliberte's comments
on the forestry position.
Willmus advised that he would support no positions at this time until he
received the City Manager Recommended Budget.
Etten advised that he supported the IT position to alleviate the current work
load of the senior department staff, but was concerned with the levy impact and
needed suggestions from staff on how they intended to fund the position to
avoid a significant levy impact.
McGehee spoke in support of the IT position as well.
Changes in Programs or Service Levels
previously stated, Mayor Roe noted that the most recent community survey
indicated that residents were happy with the current levels, and questioned if
there were any areas that needed adjusting from individual City Councilmember
McGehee brought to the attention of staff and Councilmembers the problems
experienced last winter with frozen water mains and suggested additional or
more powerful equipment to allow staff to address thawing those lines in the future.
Roe suggested that the City Council formally direct staff to provide the three
levy scenarios as previously discussed, based on the recommendation of the
moved, Laliberte seconded, directing staff to come forward with three separate
2015 levy scenarios: an increase of 5%, 0% levy, and a 5% reduction, indicating
the related impacts from each.
McGehee advised that she would not support the motion, opining that it was a
ridiculous exercise, and obviously staff didn't have any desire to increase the
levy any higher than necessary, and. Councilmember McGehee further opined that
she could personally find ways to save money versus the City Council attempting
to address these small issues, just because no one was willing to step up to
the plate and make the decision.
Roe suggested that Councilmember McGehee submit a memorandum to that effect
outlining those cost savings; to which Councilmember McGehee responded that she
would be happy to do so.
Etten advised that he would support this motion, as recommended by the Finance
Roe advised that he would support the motion, with the understanding that it was
not concerned with specific cuts, but general impacts, such as previously
suggested by Mr. Miller as an example of the current FTE level and how that may
change based on the varying levy scenarios.
Laliberte advised that she did not view this as an exercise, but as a
legitimate way to see what services and programs would be impacted with those
various scenarios and how it impacted the tax levy assessment, opining that the
City Council was obligated to pursue such a process.
McGehee suggested an amendment: to see staff come back with creative ideas to
reduce and reformulate the budget entirely.
Roe clarified that this was inherent in the original motion, and would inform
the discussion going forward and delve more deeply into all areas.
Etten noted that the staff memorandum indicated $160,000 from street bond #25
that remained undedicated; and advised that he would be a strong supporter of
applying that money to the CIP and not using it toward the budget.
Roe recognized that the CIP committee had previously recommended that funding
be applied to the street infrastructure CIP funding, with a recommendation to
look more broadly at street funding. However, Mayor Roe noted that staff had not
recommended that re-purposing in its May budget memo.
Miller sought to clarify that staff had yet to reach that conclusion, but did
want to have further discussion about the CIP and necessary funding strategies
whenever the best opportunity to do so became available. Mr. Miller advised
that staff had additional information to share at the time of that discussion;
and suggested it be sooner rather than later, as it may not be independent of
the City Manager's Recommended Budget.
Roe advised that he was strongly supportive of CIP recommendations. Specific
to that topic, Mayor Roe referenced a comment in the May 12, 2014 memo
regarding calculating the loss of Local Government Aid (LGA) and any funds
received applied to CIP funding. In his quick analysis of reserve fund levels
versus CIP needs for the next 20 years, Mayor Roe, advised hat, based on the
same methodology, the loss of LGA funding for the CIP may not have significant
impacts based on the twenty-year outlook and cost impacts. Mayor Roe advised
that he had sent that information to the City Manager and Finance Director for
their comments; and looked forward to further discussion on that in the near future.
the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller advised that the current
median value for an average single-family home in Roseville was $194,000 in
2014, and anticipated an increase to $215,000 in 2015, an increase of 11%.
Business Items (Action Items)
Consider Memorandum of Agreement for the Purchase of Right-of-Way
for Twin Lakes Improvement Project
Marc Culver provided a revised draft resolution as a bench handout, following
discussions at the Closed Session earlier tonight as it related to the purchase
price negotiated at $1,135,200, and including permanent acquisition of 78,328 square
feet of property and temporary easements valued at approximately $12,000. Mr.
Culver noted that the purchase price information had been intentionally
redacted until tonight's Closed Session.
reviewed the property and proposed Memorandum of Agreement, as detailed in the
RCA dated June 16, 2014. Mr. Culver noted that the changes to the original
draft resolution addressed contingencies now found in the last "Be It Resolved"
section of the revised resolution.
At the request
of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Culver advised that the remaining funds would
come from TIF District 17 to pay any remaining balance after application of
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11156 (Attachment A) entitled,
"Authorizing the Mayor and City Manager to Execute the Memorandum of Agreement
for Parcels 1 & 2 and the Memorandum of Agreement for Parcels 3 & 4 for
the Acquisition of Land from PIK Terminal Company;" as amended REVISED
commended staff for the significant length of time taken to get to this point
and complete this corridor; and expressed appreciation for their diligence in
completing this acquisition.
McGehee noted that the property was originally mapped in 1983; and she had not
supported it then nor did she support the concept now. It was nice the funding
was available to put it in, but in a different world now, other options should
be considered rather than being bound by 1980s ideas.
expressed appreciation that this was done; and opined that it was an important
key in ongoing discussions with landowners and developers working in the Roseville
area, and everyone's high priority to finish redevelopment in the Twin Lakes
concurred with Councilmember Etten's comments; and spoke in support of the
motion; opining that it was important to get this done so the rest of the
development can come together.
Mayor Roe also
thanked staff and the property owner for their involvement and willingness to
come to agreement with the City. While times may have changed since 1983, and
further discussions in 2003, Mayor Roe opined that the connection needed to be
made, and spoke in support of the motion.
Laliberte; Etten; McGehee; and Roe.
Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at
approximately 8:30 p.m. and reconvened at approximately 8:37 p.m.
Consider Cable Renewal Franchise Agreement
Mayor Roe, in
his role as City liaison to the North Suburban Cable Commission and current
board member, reviewed the process laid out and background of cable services
provided, based on the current agreement in place over the last sixteen years,
and its transfer to Comcast, with that agreement actually expiring in 2013, and
extended for a year to continue negotiations. Mayor Roe advised that four
years ago, Comcast notified the ten member cities of the expiration and negotiations;
with both informal and formal negotiations following by a set process, and
Comcast's response and subsequent public hearing recently held this spring.
Mayor Roe noted NSCC's recommendation to the ten member cities to preliminarily
deny the proposed franchise agreement from Comcast. In the meantime, Mayor Roe
advised that informal discussions were ongoing, but there was a need to take
action on the calendar on the formal response.
advised that both parties were present and would be heard from, first Comcast
and then NSCC; followed by City Council questions, rebuttal available to both
parties, and then public comment.
Comcast Vice President of Government Affairs Area
thanked Mayor Roe for his service on the NSCC and his succinct summary of the issue;
and provided his presentation as a bench handout, attached hereto and
made a part hereof.
provided a brief review of his area of responsibility covering four states and
approximately 200 communities. However, Mr. Coleman advised that 40% of his
time and that of his team at the corporate level had been dedicated to
responding to issues on the franchise renewal process for these ten communities.
Mr. Coleman opined that the franchise agreement for the ten communities was
tied to the commission, but the cities didn't have a clear, direct discussion
of the provisions on a regular basis.
As detailed in
the RCA dated June 16, 2014, Mr. Coleman addressed the various issues from
Comcast's perspective in their proposal (Attachment A: Executive Summary) and
his handout presentation. Mr. Coleman reviewed the areas of dispute or contention,
and his perception of misrepresentations or misperceptions, including PEG fees,
federal laws, Comcast's substantial investment in the community, triggers for formal
negotiations, original construction of the institutional network and its ownership, future of educational and government access channels going forward, the NSCC reserves it has available that had been collected from member cities, and Request for Proposal provisions and the historical provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding with predecessors of Comcast.
addressed federal requirements for the formal process from Comcast's perspective and the Federal Act rules and regulations both Comcast and the NSCC were required to operate under.
At the request
of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Coleman addressed the current PEG fee and
proposed above and beyond the 5% franchise fee to address capital and operating
costs of Comcast, which was addressed in Comcast's response to the Request for
Proposals (RFP) and its codicil; averaging rates across the customer base for
government access based on demand; and potential areas for litigation.
Wilson, NSCC Executive Director
In addition to
the summary provided by Mayor Roe, Ms. Wilson stressed the reason NSCC
recommended denial of the Comcast franchise proposal, based on cable company
use of public rights-of-way through franchise fees and media support for public
educational and government channels, providing value to their network for
agreed, as noted by Mr. Coleman, that the franchise renewal process was set by
federal law, and allowed for both informal and formal negotiations, advising
that those informal negotiations continued, and had become especially intense
over the last few weeks with some progress being made toward resolution of the
top three issues: financial support for public education and government access
channels and community media, the number of public education and government
access channels, and institutional networks and their transition.
With all other
verbiage aside, Ms. Wilson advised that the formal proposal submitted by
Comcast on December 20, 2013, in response to the NSCC's formal RFP sent out in
July and allowing Comcast five months to prepare their response, provided time
for Comcast to clarify any issues they had, but no requests from them had been
received. Ms. Wilson advised that extensive staff and consultant review had
been done of proposals, followed by the Comcast public hearing and extensive
public comment on that proposal, with the final analysis removing operating
funds from the table. As stated by Mr. Coleman, Ms. Wilson confirmed that
Comcast could not be required to pay it, but it was hoped that they would voluntarily
be willing to do so, even though it was not included in their formal proposal.
reviewed the remaining issues, specific to equipment needs for NSCC and member
cities, clarified that there was no reserve fund as alleged, but money came
from city funding grants and a letter of credit required to hold during the
franchise renewal. Ms. Wilson reviewed NSCC's and C-TV's operations, equipment,
and access channels currently provided.
Ms. Wilson referenced
the Executive Summary, noting that if the City Council accepted the Comcast
proposal as written, it was final and they would not get the benefit of any
informal negotiations. If the City Council didn't vote, Ms. Wilson informed
them that they would in effect be accepting the proposal. Ms. Wilson advised
that nine of the ten member cities had now voted to preliminarily deny the
In assuming the
City will preliminarily deny the franchise, Mr. Coleman cautioned that the City
not consider that this was a step taken lightly, even though under the Federal
Act, not voting would essentially accept the agreement and remove their involvement
in informal negotiations. Mr. Coleman opined that it was unfortunate that the
City was in this position with time deadlines in place.
again reviewed the context of remaining issues, and the formal and informal
processes as driven by FCC Order 621. Mr. Coleman opined that the proposed
franchise agreement provided fair operating support for the NSCC, further opining
that the provisions of the original MOU and agreement had way outlived their
original anticipated value, and therefore Comcast was not interested in
renewing or extending that agreement.
In deference to
time, Ms. Wilson opined that there remained a considerable amount of leeway
within the federal law referenced by Mr. Coleman, especially during informal
negotiations. Ms. Wilson advised that many cities have initiated formal review
processes, including a group of cities in the State of Oregon. MS. Wilson
advised that overall cities and the NSCC were frustrated with the formal
negotiation process by Comcast.
McGehee moved, Willmus
seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 11157 (Attachment B) entitled, "Resolution
of Preliminary Assessment that the Comcast of Minnesota, Inc. Cable Franchise
Should NOT be Renewed."
opined that she was disheartened by the conversation and continued debate
tonight, and disappointed that it's come this far. While it was clear there
are some negotiations still going on at this point that may actually lead to
resolution, Councilmember McGehee stated that she didn't like the idea that the
City Council was put in this position, nor suggestions that a litigious path
may be necessary, which would ultimately cost everyone. Councilmember McGehee
opined that there was room on both sides for negotiation, and considerable
leeway as well, with Comcast improving their offer and NSCC asking for less.
Etten concurred with some of Councilmember McGehee's comments, and noted the
frustration he heard from both parties, and the need to consider that level of
frustration moving forward in future years. Councilmember Etten opined that
the program offerings on access channels were important to connect families and
communities, and recognized the Internet program offered by Comcast for
families with limited financial means to help bridge the digital divide.
Regarding viewership ratings for access channels provided by Mr. Coleman, Councilmember
Etten argued that when looking at the overall offering of 160 channels, there
may be more people watching access channels than sports channels offered by
Laliberte agreed with the majority of the comments of her colleagues,
expressing her disappointment with this looming deadline and being forced to
vote for a litigious path, even when negotiations were ongoing. Councilmember
Laliberte agreed that there was room to give from both parties; and agreed that
there were a lot of channels with varying degrees of viewership.
Willmus spoke in support of this motion, agreeing with Councilmember Etten's comments. On a personal level, Councilmember Willmus expressed his frustration in all of this. Based on the communications he'd received over the last month about this being a property tax issue for Roseville, Councilmember Willmus disputed the misperception of that, opining that it perhaps came from semantics
being presented or Roseville being synonymous with the NSCC.
McGehee expressed appreciation for everyone's comments, opining that the most
important thing available on public access television were access to City
government channels and keeping people interested in their local government.
She also spoke in support of programs from the local public school events such
as athletic events and concerts.
In his review
of viewership, Mayor Roe noted that percentages indicated a fairly good
percentage for CTV channels, with schools dropping off some, and advised that
he did not want to discount viewership. However, Mayor Roe clarified that the
real question is about this preliminary denial. While wishing that the City of
Roseville was in a position to accept Comcast's proposal, Mayor Roe noted that this was largely under the control of Comcast and it would have seemed in their best interest to give member cities an offer they couldn't refuse to address capital needs and acknowledge additional funding, with their proposal well short of the numbers laid out in the RFP. Mayor Roe noted that Comcast had cut funding for C-TV, with a portion of capital funding subtracted from their proposed franchise fee and shifted to C-TV, which would not keep them in
operation in any manner similar to their operations today. Mayor Roe noted that comments to-date from member cities indicated the same disappointment, and even though staff and legal consultants at the NSCC had asked for on several opportunities to pause for informal negotiations, but Comcast had refused to do so. Mayor Roe advised that he found that concerning, but expressed his hope that resolution could come with the informal process.
Authorize Staff to Release a Request for Proposal for Engineering
Services for the Cleveland Avenue at I-35W Interchange Improvements
Marc Culver briefly reviewed this request, as detailed in the RCA, with RFP's
scored under Best Value Process scoring, and a subsequent return to the City
Council with staff's recommendations for a consultant.
At the request
of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Culver advised that some funds were available
from the initial WalMart project, since federal funds would not cover all
construction and other Twin Lakes Parkway improvements. In the coming weeks,
Mr. Culver advised that staff would return with a feasibility study for Council
approval to assess the cost of improvements, including engineering, to
benefitting properties in the area, and staff's rationale in proposing that
process under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 429.
McGehee moved, Etten
seconded, approval authorizing staff to release a Request for Proposal for
Engineering Services for the Cleveland Avenue at I-35W Interchange
Discuss New Fire Station Project Closeout
Fire Chief Tim
O'Neill provided a brief summary of this request, as detailed in the RCA.
Director Chris Miller noted the challenges, since expenses exceeded the $8
million bond funds; and reviewed possible solutions as outlined in the RCA, to
address the funding gap of $733,639. Mr. Miller advised that the Building Replacement
Fund had been established for such a purpose, and past practices had been done
in the past, including the Public Works, City Hall and Skating Center.
Willmus moved, Laliberte
seconded, extending the meeting past the 10:00 p.m. curfew to conclude this
Ayes: Willmus; Laliberte;
Etten; McGehee; and Roe.
noted the error in the RCA in identifying the fire station as #2, when it
should be #3, which was duly noted by staff. However, Councilmember Willmus
suggested a separate discussion be held in the future specific to Fire Station
McGehee opined that charging the HRA for the fire station purchase seemed to be
imprudent. She felt that since the HRA was funded through tax dollars, it was
simply taking money from one pocket and putting it in another with Mayor Roe
correcting that statement.
Trudgeon concurred with Mayor Roe, noting that the cost for purchase of the
fire station had been initially been built into the GMHC proforma, and though
not finalized yet, TIF dollars generated would pay the HRA back and be
available to revolve into another project, with those dollars collected over
time and recycled into other redevelopment dollars.
McGehee questioned if this was an appropriate place to spend the Building
Replacement Fund dollars, suggesting that a major portion of the fund should be
clarified that, if the Dale Street property sold for $300,000, a funding gap of
$433,000 would still remain.
suggested using a portion of the $27 million bond funds for this purpose, since
flexibility had been built into it.
clarified that the bond issues had been structured by splitting them, with a
portion for the fire station and another portion for the park renewal program,
with enough flexibility to do so at the discretion of the City Council.
Etten opined that there were other potential sources for funding (e.g. reserve
advised that the City Council had that discretion; however, prior City Councils
had established this Fund for specifically this purpose, and it was consistent
with past practice.
In his review
of the Building Replacement Fund, Mayor Roe opined that it was fair to say that
extensive renovation of the Skating Center budgeted in the CIP in 2020 could be
borrowed for at that time if it was so decided, at which time some relief could
be achieved in the Building Replacement Fund.
concurred, advising that it could be accomplished to obtain bonding financing.
At the request
of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Miller advised that the Building Replacement
Fund does not have a specific policy funding level percentage like operating
funds do; with $10 million in CIP expenditures scheduled over the next twenty
years; and $10 million needing to be raised over that same amount of time. Mr.
Miller reiterated that past City Council's had laid this Fund out, but subsequent City Council's had taken action to repurpose the City's debt load, and yet another
future City Council would be tasked with having to wrestle with those
suggested that perhaps Responsible Governance for Roseville could pay the shortfall.
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded, approval of the final Fire Station construction costs; and
authorizing the use of the proceeds from the sale of Fire Station #3 property
and the Building Replacement Fund to complete the financing package.
the added geothermal heating option costs, Councilmember McGehee expressed her
offense in staff's and Councilmember Willmus's implications that the funding
shortage was due delay costs resulting from litigation brought by a a community
group. Councilmember McGehee pointed out that the overruns in the cost of the
fire station were due to staff and Council decisions, not by citizens
attempting to achieve a referendum on the bonding by exercising their legal
rights. She contested the attributions of certain delay costs to that group.
Business Items - Presentations/Discussions
City Manager Future Agenda Review
Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Etten moved, Willmus
seconded adjournment of the meeting at approximately 10:13 p.m.