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City Council


City Council Meeting Minutes

March 19, 2012

 

1.         Roll Call

Mayor Roe called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm and welcomed everyone. (Voting and Seating Order for March: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe).  City Attorney Mark Gaughan was also present. 

 

2.         Approve Agenda

McGehee moved, Willmus seconded approval of the agenda as presented.

                                    Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

  

3.         Public Comment

Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.  No one appeared to speak at this time.

 

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

Mayor Roe announced the upcoming Roseville University, with seven (7) consecutive sessions scheduled from 6:30 – 9:00 pm and to begin on Thursday, April 12, 2012.  Mayor Roe advised that this seven (7) week free course (registration required) provided a fun, interactive and informative way for citizens to receive a first-hand look at City operations and departments, and encouraged sign-up at City Hall or via the City’s website.

 

Mayor Roe advised that the franchise fee for the North Suburban Cable Commission (NSCC) for 2011 from Comcast was approximately $393,656, with the City of Roseville’s contribution of approximately $92,421, which had been relayed to and was on file at City Hall.

                   

5.         Recognitions, Donations, Communications

           

6.         Approve Minutes

a.            Approve Minutes of March 12, 2012 Meeting

Pust moved, McGehee seconded approval of the minutes of the March 12, 2012 meeting as presented.

 

                        Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

           

 

7.            Approve Consent Agenda

  At the request of Mayor Roe, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.

 

a.            Approve Payments

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

ACH Payments

$557,559.78

65662-65729

327,310.77

Total

$884,870.55

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

           

b.            Approve Business and Other Licenses

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval of a one-day gambling exempt permit for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund 7301 OHMN Lane, Suite 460; Mpls., MN 55439) to hold a one-day softball and kickball tournament on May 5, 2012 at the B-Dale Club, 2100 N Dale Street, Roseville, MN; including a charity dinner and silent auction.

                             Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

           

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

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, approval of the submitted list of general purchases and contracts for services presented in detail on the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated March 19, 2012.

                

Department

Vendor

Description

Amount

Storm Sewer

Ess Brothers & Sons, Inc.

Storm sewer lining

$49,025.00

Boulevard Landscape

Prescription

Landscape

County Road C and Twin Lakes area maintenance

10,108.00

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

           

d.            Authorize an Amendment to the Data Use Agreement with Allina Hospitals and Clinics

City Manager Malinen noted that a corrected Data Use Agreement between the City of Roseville Fire Department and Allina Medical Transportation was provided as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Johnson moved, Pust seconded, authorizing an amendment to the Data Use Agreement with Allina Hospitals and Clinics (Allina Medical Transportation); as detailed in the RCA dated March 19, 2012.

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

           

8.            Consider Items Removed from Consent

 

12.         General Ordinances for Adoption

 

13.         Presentations

 

14.         Public Hearings

 

15.         Business Items (Action Items)

 

a.            Appoint Citizen Representatives to Various Commissions

Mayor Roe advised that there had been a mix-up in the interview notification for Mr. Bob Murphy and on behalf of the City, apologized to Mr. Murphy, who was in attendance at tonight’s meeting, for him not receiving interview scheduling information.  With Mayor Roe offering Mr. Murphy an opportunity to make remarks tonight, Mr. Murphy respectfully declined, and referenced his contact with individual Councilmembers by e-mail and/or phone.

 

For future reference, City Manager Malinen advised that staff had made a note to seek confirmation from each interviewee.

 

Councilmember Willmus stated that in the past, scheduling of interviews had been done by phone rather than e-mail.

 

Councilmember Johnson noted that, after the agenda packet had been distributed and once he had been advised of the situation with Mr. Murphy, he had revised his rankings for the Planning Commission as follows: Cunningham, Murphy, and Olsen in that order.

 

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, reopening the application period for the Police Civil Service Commission, with an application deadline of April 11, 2012; interviews scheduled for April 16, 2012; and appointments made on April 23, 2012.

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

 

McGehee moved, Pust seconded, appointment of O’Brien to vacancy on the Ethics Commission; and appointment of Wall to the vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Commission, for terms ending March 31, 2015.

 

Mayor Roe noted the very excellent applicants; and supported the motion, based on their interviews, as well as the comments of Chairpersons.

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

 

Pust moved, Johnson seconded, appointment of Shannon Cunningham to one of the vacancies on the Planning Commission, for a term ending March 31, 2015.

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

 

With all due respect to Mr. Murphy, Johnson moved, Pust seconded, appointment of Olson to the remaining vacancy on the Planning Commission, for a term ending March 31, 2015.

 

Councilmember McGehee spoke in support of the motion; agreeing with Mayor Roe’s observation that all applicants had been excellent candidates.  In terms of the Planning Commission, Councilmember McGehee opined that she also supported Mr. Pitt as an appointee, but could support all of them, noting their unusual qualifications and diverse and fresh points of view they could bring to the table.

 

Councilmember Willmus encouraged all those applicants not having been appointed to stay in tune with City events; and reapply as other vacancies occur, noting that another Planning Commission position was scheduled for 2013.  Councilmember Willmus offered his personal apologies to Mr. Murphy, noting that his e-mail had been received shortly after submitting his rankings to City staff.

 

Mayor Roe reiterated that all applicants were very well qualified and any would be an asset to the Planning Commission; however, he opined that the appointments moved were excellent.  Mayor Roe also encouraged all applicants to look for ways to be involved in the City as a volunteer; and referenced the Parks and Recreation Master Plan Implementation process groups as an excellent choice for that involvement, and allowing for a less rigid meeting schedule than the advisory commissions.

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

 

b.            Authorize Advertising for Fire Station Construction Bid Package #1

Fire Chief Tim O’Neill noted the attendance at tonight’s meeting of the majority of the Project Planning Team, including Principal Architect Quinn Hutson and Sustainability Architect Wayne Hilbert of CNH Architects, Inc.; and Tom Ginter and Steve Kilmer, with Bossardt Corporation, construction managers; along with Fire Marshal John Loftus; and Commander Dave Brosnahan.

 

Architect of Record: Principal Architect Quinn Hutson, AIA, LLED AP 

Mr. Hutson briefly reviewed revisions since the team’s last presentation to the City Council, including the site plan itself, landscaping, driveway access, and the overall site storm water plan, including a rain garden cross section.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Hutson specifically reviewed the

the variety and types of landscaping materials proposed; and confirmed that pervious asphalt was proposed to blend in with other asphalt on the site.

 

Mr. Hutson provided 3-D perspectives from all exterior elevations; as well as interior 3-D perspectives with some proposed interior materials and features included, for apparatus bays, ‘training by design’ areas to facilitate 11 of the 12 recertification requirements for firefighter training; along with mezzanine and tower training areas.

 

Mr. Hutson provided Councilmembers with an update on sustainability measures undertaken, as directed by previous City Council action, and elements included in the design would likely meet LEED system silver criteria.  Those criteria reviewed included day lighting and views, very low energy usage, use of regional materials, a reduced heat island, storm water amenities, and reduced water usage.

 

In planning meetings with the City’s consulting engineers for geothermal planning on campus, KFI, Mr. Hutson advised the recommendation of the team and engineers for the best approach and balance in connecting the fire station to the geothermal loop by extending it from the ice arena and connecting to the fire station for heat, requiring no additional wells.  Mr. Hutson advised that there was plenty of heat; however, standard cooling towers or equipment would be used for cooling the facility in the summer.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Hutson advised that the site itself constricted locating and boring for additional cooling needs, with only ½ of the space available on site.  Mr. Hutson advised that it had been the unanimous decision of the planning team, following their study, that the proposed heating and air condition recommendation was the best in terms of sustainability, as well as the most realistic and cost-effective approach for the City.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee as to whether at some point City Hall would be added to that loop, Mr. Hutson advised that there had been and still was an excess of heat, but not cooling capability, which was the nature of the ice arena.  Mr. Hutson advised that the City Hall could definitely be connected to the loop in the future for a heat source, since there still remained excess heat once connected to the OVAL; however, he noted that cooling options would always need to be provided by a different source.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Hutson advised that ceiling fans had always been included as part of the interior design.

 

Mayor Roe questioned if, in the future, additional wells could be integrated for cooling as part of an upgrade for the entire campus, with Mr. Hutson responding affirmatively.

 

Fire Chief O’Neill noted that the excess heat from the skating center provided the ability for the public works garage to tie into the system at a later date; and access had been made available in anticipation of that future potential.

 

In making the connection to the skating center for the fire station, Councilmember Willmus questioned if the skating center would need to be shut down for any period of time; and if so, how would that timing work out.

 

Mr. Hutson advised that he anticipated minimal shutdown, since the connection was done by simply connecting a valve.

 

Councilmember Willmus questioned the location of the interior water feature in conjunction with the public space, with Mr. Hutson advising that it was at one of the most visible entry points to the fire station at the vestibule entrance.  At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Mr. Hutson and Chief O’Neill reviewed the significant display area to facilitate the history of the fire company and its members since its 1944 founding, including larger scale items.

 

At the request of Councilmember Johnson, Mr. Hutson advised that it would take in excess of 100 additional wells to efficiently cool the new fire station, with approximately 180 wells in the skating center parking lot, but only space for 30 wells in the fire station parking lot.

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Hutson reviewed the exterior elevations from the southwest perspective that was intended to maximize the public view to the greatest extent possible.

 

Steve Kilmer, professional construction manager with Bossardt Corporation, referenced the details included in Bid package #1 as outlined in the RCA dated March 19, 2012; with three (3) contracts let out for bid.

 

Tom Ginter, with Bossardt, advised that these first three (3) early bid packages were possible, while final designs were still in process; but allowed ground breaking, after which the second bid package for the remaining contracts would be sought, anticipated in mid-April of 2012.

 

Pust moved, Johnson seconded, authorizing the Fire Department to seek bids related to work to be performed described in “Bid Package #1;” consisting of site/earth work, utilities, building foundation, and paving.

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

Recess

Mayor Roe recessed the meeting at approximately 6:45 pm from regular business session at the dais, and reconvened in work session at the table at approximately 6:52 pm.

 

16.         Business Items – Presentations/Discussions

 

a.         Consider Precinct Lines

As the meeting was running ahead of schedule, City Manager Malinen advised that Ramsey County Elections Director Joe Mansky had not yet arrived for this portion of the meeting.  However, he advised that the map in the packet, and on display, represented the legislatively-assigned districts and precinct lines, as detailed in the RCA dated March 19, 2012.  City Manager Malinen noted the only changes were for the  precincts 1 – 4 in Roseville, changing the northern portion of the City and impacting District 66A and 42B; with now two (2) representatives and two (2) senators for Roseville.

 

Councilmember Pust noted that this was similar to past redistricting.

 

City Manager Malinen noted that Ramsey County was suggesting the City’s approval of these precinct boundaries at a subsequent meeting; and briefly reviewed the criteria in adhering to existing precinct boundaries; divisions around physical features; and corresponding with various districts.  Mr. Malinen noted that the City would continue to have ten (10) precincts; with the areas to the south remaining the same; and changes to Districts 1-4 in the northern part of the City: the old Districts 3 and 4 combined into a new District 4; the old District 2 divided into a new District 2 and District 3 due to legislative boundaries and School District boundaries; and increasing District 1 on the east side to follow legislative boundaries, and District #2 on the Mounds View School District on the east side.

 

Councilmember Pust noted that the line between Districts 1 and 2 is Snelling Avenue, a new line for the City of Roseville, with Districts 2, 3 and 4 now part of Legislative District 42, which used to be Districts 3 and 4 in other parts of Legislative District 54B on the other side, but now an entirely new senate district (#2, 3 and 4); with Districts 8, 9 and 10 remaining the same, but now newly-defined as Legislative Area 66.

 

At the request of Councilmember McGehee, City Manager Malinen confirmed that polling places would be provided in each district; and upon staff’s review of each polling place, adjustments would be made as necessary and noticed in accordance with State Law and the Secretary of State Office’s procedures.

 

 

In deliberating whether to take action on this tonight, or hold to another meeting, Councilmember Pust noted that the issue was decided by the courts, and while the City could seek additional information, they were compelled to approve it as presented.

 

McGehee moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of the precinct lines as presented in the RCA and map dated March 19, 2012.

 

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

 

b.            Discuss Undergrounding of the Overhead Electric Lines Along Rice Street

for Next Phase of Reconstruction

Public Works Director Duane Schwartz reviewed options for undergrounding overhead electric lines along the Rice Street corridor in conjunction with the next phase of reconstruction by Ramsey County from Transit Avenue to County Road C-2, as detailed in RCA dated March 19, 2012.

 

As noted in the report, Mr. Schwartz advised that Xcel Energy had provided a preliminary estimate of $1,322,343 to bury power lines for this next phase of the corridor from County Road B-2 to County Road C-2.  As with Phase I of the corridor reconstruction, Mr. Schwartz advised that the City of Little Canada has expressed their interest in a cost-share in the undergrounding portion of the project, along similar terms as the first phase and, even though a majority of the poles are located on the Roseville side of Rice Street, their City Council has indicated their willingness to cost-share on a 50/50 basis as with Phase I.

 

Mr. Schwartz noted that in Phase I, Xcel had applied a surcharge option to recover their incremental costs in Roseville, through the Community Requested Facility Surcharge (CRFS), with each rate payer of the City billed a small surcharge to their electric bill based on a city-wide formula of final, actual construction costs for the undergrounding.  While Phase II is still under design, Mr. Schwartz noted that a major portion of the undergrounding would be on the Little Canada side north of County Road C, and only work occurring within your actual community would be eligible for billing under the CRFS option for Roseville.  Mr. Schwartz advised that the City of Little Canada used a portion of their franchise fees to fund their portion of the project in the past; however, funds from that fee are not as readily available for them for Phase II, and they are considering the CRFS option for their community if the authorization moves forward.

 

Mr. Schwartz noted that final costs of the first phase were still under review and negotiation, but they still averaged in the $.50 per month range per customer over a three (3) year period; but he anticipated that the cost of Phase II would be double the first Phase based on preliminary estimates, and should be within the $1.00 per month average range.  Based on regulations of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a City is able to charge and stack CRFS fees up to $4.50 per month.  If authorized by both City Councils and approved by Xcel Energy, Mr. Schwartz anticipated Roseville customers to pay approximately $1.50 per month.  As with any future projects, Mr. Schwartz noted that the CRFS fees are phased over three (3) years, and at their sunset, the customer billing would reflect that.

 

Unfortunately, Mr. Schwartz advised that this phase of the project included additional challenges, since not all business’s electrical lines were already underground, they were not eligible for the CRFS funding option, leaving about six (6) above-ground commercial lines, with Little Canada having a similar amount.  Therefore, Mr. Schwartz advised that the respective City Council’s needed to determine if this cost should be borne by the private business or if the cities would cost share or assess part of the project costs over all property owners.  As more detailed information and a more detailed estimate from Xcel Energy becomes available, Mr. Schwartz advised that he would be returning to the City Council seeking their authorization to proceed.  Mr. Schwartz advised that, at that time, staff would provide better preliminary estimates for each private electrical service needed; but at this point was seeking City Council feedback and direction.

 

Councilmember Johnson opined that this was the type of corridor he would like to see overhead lines undergrounded and cleaned up; and expressed his appreciation of the results of Phase I of the project, and that he was happy and proud of that decision to move forward with undergrounding.  Councilmember Johnson further opined that he was leaning toward supporting undergrounding private power lines as well, since once committed it needed to be completed and consistent.

 

Mr. Schwartz noted that, since final costs for Phase I of the undergrounding had yet to be completed, the three (3) year surcharge had not yet been applied to customer billings.  Mr. Schwartz advised that the delay in final cost was due to an area under Highway 36 that needed to be redone, causing Xcel Energy higher costs; and cities remaining adamant that the need to redo the work should be borne by the contractor, Ramsey County and Xcel Energy, and not respective cities since it was through no fault of theirs.

 

Mr. Schwartz noted that if private electrical lines remained overhead, and the cities’ underground, a pole would need to connect them at each business.

 

Councilmember Pust spoke in opposition to such an unrealistic engineering choice.

 

Councilmember McGehee concurred with the comments of Councilmember Johnson, and in support of undergrounding; as well as expressing willingness to cost-share with businesses or other options to make it happen to avoid any undue economic strain to property owners.

 

Councilmember Willmus expressed interest in pursuing the undergrounding; however, he prefaced that support on receiving hard numbers on costs and breakdown of costs for business owners.  Councilmember Willmus sought additional information from staff on whether property owners had an option to prepay undergrounding costs and receive a discount from Xcel Energy.  Councilmember Willmus noted that this could provide a much-needed incentive for business owners.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that he would consult with Xcel to determine if they provided such an incentive; noting that they did include a carrying cost in their rates.

 

In noting that the City’s Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commission was currently reviewing an overall undergrounding policy for recommendation to the City Council, Mayor Roe asked for a status report on the timeline for that recommendation.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that he would anticipate a 2-3 month time frame for that recommendation.

 

Mayor Roe expressed his enthusiasm for that short of a time frame, opining that it would be great to have that recommendation in place before too many more projects come forward.  Mayor Roe spoke in support of looking at undergrounding for Phase II of the project, recognizing the additional steps still pending and need for another firm estimate.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that when the issue was brought forward to the City Council in the future, firm costs as well as negotiated terms for an agreement between the Cities of Roseville and Little Canada and Xcel Energy would be available for their deliberation and decision-making.

 

Related to the Highway 36 corridor, Councilmember McGehee advised that her contacts with citizens had expressed interest in soundproof barriers along Highway 36 similar to those of other communities along the corridor.  Councilmember McGehee noted the negative aesthetics of the sound wall from I-35 at Highway 36, and suggested part of cleaning up the Lexington Avenue and Rice Street corridors should include negotiations with MnDOT or applicable agencies for making that portion of the sound wall more attractive through rehabilitation or replacement.

 

Councilmember Johnson noted past discussions regarding the sound wall along Highway 36 and Rice Street, specifically from Rice Street to Western Avenue, and the ultimate decision of citizens in that area to forego the sound barrier as it ruined their capitol view.

 

Related to the I-35 at Highway 36 portion of the sound wall, Mr. Schwartz noted that it was among the oldest in the metropolitan area; and that staff had discussed with MnDot its repair and/or replacement; and offered to follow up with them again and report back.

 

In terms of the process in other areas, Mr. Schwartz reviewed that unless a wall was community-initiated and paid for by the community, retaining walls were not typically offered unless MnDot determined that due to an expansion of an existing roadway and a certain cost-benefit ratio in terms noise reduction they would be required to offer a noise wall.  Mr. Schwartz concurred with Councilmember Johnson’s recollection that single-family properties along Highway 36 did not want the wall, thus the length subsequently installed.  Mr. Schwartz noted that the Lexington Avenue bridge was listed as a 2014/2015 project, with plans currently in process, and any additional noise walls would be determined at that point.

 

Mayor Roe used the Highways 280/36 interchange in Lauderdale, in conjunction with the collapse of the I-35W bridge and related impacts, for MnDOT’s decision to expand that noise wall.  Mayor Roe noted that future lane transitions and management from I-35W to Highway 36, and a lack of additional lanes on the bridge may dictate that MnDOT consider sound walls.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that his efforts to contact MnDOT earlier today had been unsuccessful, but stated that he would discuss the status of the proposed widening of the roadway from I-35W to I-35E, the status and timing of the project, and impact of a lack of funding for this long-term project.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that, since MnDOT increased traffic volume on Highway 280 making it part of the regional freeway system coming onto Highway 36, the City could use that to negotiate for sound walls as part of their future expansion project.

 

Mayor Roe and Councilmember Pust discounted the success of such negotiations with MnDOT.

 

c.            Discuss Assistance / Education Options Regarding Sanitary Sewer Backups

A bench handout from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) was provided and entitled, “Risk Management Information – Optional ‘No-Fault’ Sewer Backup Coverage;” attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Mayor Roe noted that this topic had been brought forward for discussion following last summer’s major rain event and issues in the McCarron’s neighborhood, as well as a resident in another neighborhood experiencing a sewer back-up.

 

Mr. Schwartz provided several alternatives and examples from other communities; and referenced the presentation at the last meeting by the LMCIT providing their rationale and criteria in considering claims based on actual city liability and their maintenance programs in place.

 

Clean-up assistance (vacuuming, disinfecting, steam cleaning, pumping)

§  City of Fridley has a contractor called to clean up back-ups

§  No fault admittance by the City of Fridley

§  Clean-up averages $2,000 – $3,000 per incident

§  Maximum clean-up assistance per Fridley City policy is $5,000

§  Damage claims are routed to LMCIT

§  Roseville averages 6-8 claims per year

 

In consulting with the City of Fridley, Mr. Schwartz noted that they experienced a similar situation to that of Roseville with the McCarron’s neighborhood with a trunk line over-capacity during the 2011 summer’s heavy rain events, and sewage back-ups into approximately twenty-five (25) homes in Fridley.  Mr. Schwartz advised that the City of Fridley paid, through this program, approximately $75,000 total.   Mr. Schwartz noted that the City of Fridley’s system is smaller than that of Roseville, and they average 3-5 claims per year. Mr. Schwartz opined that the City of Fridley didn’t seem overly concerned in paying out for that significant rain event; and that their clean-up assistance policy had been in place for a number of years.

 

Backflow prevention valves

§  Available for service laterals

§  In-line or in-drain types available

§  Cost for a device from $100-$300 plus installation (installation depending on individual plumbing configurations and systems and type of installation – with protection varying as well depending on lower level plumbing and fixtures

§  Installation costs variable

§  Possible device cost-share for homeowners and the city

 

Councilmember Willmus questioned if the City could require backflow prevention devices as part of permitting for repair of existing systems or new installations; and questioned the number of permits pulled on an annual basis for service lines.

 

Mr. Schwartz responded that he thought such a permit requirement could be implemented by City Council policy; and advised that he would need to research information on the number of permits for service lines on an annual basis, while opining that there were quite a few pulled, especially for major renovations.

 

Mayor Roe noted that even with a back flow device installed, if homeowners or businesses don’t keep the lines well-maintained, there was still a potential for claims.

 

Mr. Schwartz concurred, noting that an access port was needed – through manhole or vault – with any such type installation; and the potential for them to become blocked was still possible.

 

Councilmember McGehee referenced her research on such devices, whether installed inside or outside, and the need for a well pit similar to a sump pump pit to access the main preventer, creating a rather significant effort and cost.  Councilmember McGehee sought clarification on whether City Code allows an outside pit or not versus MN Plumbing Codes.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that he did not have that information readily at hand.

 

Councilmember McGehee noted the deterrents for a sump pump if it was pumped out into the yard.

 

Mayor Roe noted that it was worse yet if the sump pump was connected to the storm sewer.

 

Councilmember Pust questioned if the City of Fridley had any different experience with LMCIT claim payouts since they, as a city, put money into it, and whether the LMCIT looked at those claims any differently; and further questioned if the City of Fridley participated in the no-fault coverage offered by the LMCIT.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that he was not aware of any difference in claim review; and advised that the City of Fridley did not have the no-fault coverage with the LMCIT.  Mr. Schwartz advised that he was still clarifying if claims paid up on properties cleaned up went against the City’s aggregate deductable; with the City’s Finance Department indicating that it did so.

 

Councilmember McGehee referenced policy rates for homeowners against such a sewer back-up, however, she noted that it appeared to be widely variable; and that may not include a 100-year weather event such as the one experienced here in July of 2011. Councilmember McGehee noted that the National Weather Bureau information upon which these events are based has not been updated since 1961 due to a lack of funds and staff at the federal level.  However, as the weather conditions have changed significantly since then with increasing storm severity, this measurement tool is problematic when seeking compensation from insurance companies.

Mayor Roe sought clarification from Mr. Schwartz that the actual issue with the Metropolitan Council’s trunk line and problems experienced in the McCarron’s neighborhood was based on excess infiltration; and noted the ongoing negotiations steps being taken by the City of Roseville and other cities trying to improve or eventually eliminate those infiltration issues. 

 

Councilmember Pust reminded Councilmembers, as these options are given consideration that they seriously consider an effective date for any implementation for future problems, but not assisting for past issues and problems.

 

Mayor Roe concurred that it was certainly a vital piece of the discussion, both how and when to make such a policy effective.

 

Regarding the City of Fridley’s policy, Councilmember Johnson sought clarification as to whether they differentiated between issues such as neighborhood flow issues versus issues with the City’s sewer main, or whether they would both be treated equally.

 

Mr. Schwartz opined that he was of the impression that they would be treated equally.

 

Mayor Roe clarified that his intent for such a policy would be exclusive to the City’s sewer line, and not covering any issues when problems occur in a private connecting line.  Based on the LMCIT’s recent presentation, Mayor Roe noted that their no-fault program excluded 100 year rain events.  Mayor Roe noted that if the City was paying a premium plus deductable for such a program, it  may become beneficial to make a program that is self-funding at some point, and while providing more bang for the buck, the cost of administrating it needed to be included in those costs as well.

 

Councilmember Johnson suggested that the costs be incorporated with the base sewer fees; with Mr. Schwartz concurring, noting that this was how the City of Fridley funded their policy, with every rate payer paying part of the fee and having the coverage available.

 

Councilmember McGehee questioned the cost-effectiveness of the no-fault coverage, opining that it didn’t appear to cover expenses really needed by consumers, when deductibles and exclusions were all taken into account.

 

Mayor Roe opined that the City’s exposure was based on what is covered and how much per claim.


Councilmember Willmus questioned if this policy applied to residential or commercial connections, opining that this could significantly affect the discussion.

 

Mayor Roe opined that if the City is liable, the City is liable, whether residential or commercial users; however, in instances where a maintenance program is in place for the sewer system, but issues still occur, if the City was determined at fault, the City’s insurance coverage would still handle those issues.

 

Mayor Roe suggested that future discussions could benefit from staff’s research with insurance companies on what options were available for commercial and/or residential properties.  Mayor Roe also recommended, since any program or policy would impact and increase utility payer fees, that a Public Hearing be included in the process in the future to determine the interest of rate payers in such a policy or program for that purpose.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that backflow preventers were much more readily available in commercial versus residential applications.

 

Mayor Roe suggested additional research by staff to determine if insurance companies provided any decreased premiums or benefits if a backflow device had been installed.

 

Mr. Schwartz reviewed ongoing and recent City staff efforts in educating the public on sewer backups and their prevention.

 

Education Effort

§  Step up communication of prevention

§  Homeowner insurance coverage rider

§  Backflow prevention

§  Minimize flushable wipes, etc.

 

Councilmember Johnson expressed his appreciation for the enlightening presentation on items staff actually got out of the City’s sewer system.  Councilmember Johnson expressed his support of a fee-based solution to provide additional protection to property owners, particularly having a sanitation company readily available for citizens.  Councilmember Johnson opined that something positive could come out of past problematic issues; and further consideration would need to be given to how retroactive the policy should be.

 

Councilmember McGehee referenced the staff brochure included in the RCA materials, opining that further clarification was needed explaining what it was, how it happened, and where a sewer back-up could occur.  Councilmember McGehee suggested that staff provide a list of plumbing companies vetted by the City, or a list of contractors who are competent to give an estimate; as well as pointing out that a homeowner’s insurance policy may not provide the coverage.

 

Mr. Schwartz, in response to Councilmember McGehee, duly noted suggested clarifications in the brochure; however, he advised that staff’s practice was not to endorse any specific companies, but to provide a list of city-licensed contractors when asked and through cable information.  Mr. Schwartz advised that many area contractors charge too much for sewer repairs, and that staff attempts to assist homeowners as much as possible, and recommends 2-3 quotes for work to be performed. Mr. Schwartz advised that staff concentrates their efforts more on education; and noted the brochure being available at the recent Roseville Home and Garden Fair, and a request received form a homeowners association for staff to attend an upcoming meeting to discuss this topic in more detail. 

 

Mayor Roe reminded citizens to call the City first if they experienced a back-up to make sure the City main line was clear and to avoid potential costs for them using a private plumber if the problem was found in the main line versus their individual service line.

 

Mayor Roe asked Mr. Schwartz for an update on the City’s Inflow and Infiltration (I & I) improvements.

 

Mr. Schwartz noted that past funding was an issue in addressing the I & I situation; however, he noted that the July 2011 storm provided clear evidence that there was a significant problem out there.  However, Mr. Schwartz noted that it was difficult to define how much of the problem was Roseville-specific and what portion of the problem related to other cities coming through the trunk line into Roseville from communities upstream.  With recent City Council support for Capital Improvement Program (CIP) efforts, Mr. Schwartz advised that staff was looking to focus efforts and expand the I & I program through private inspections with $500,000 for I & I expended to-date.  Mr. Schwartz noted that the Metropolitan Council’s first program had sunset, but the next program period began in January of 2012; but that the City of Roseville was not currently on the list for any additional funding or programs. 

 

Mayor Roe questioned if the Metropolitan Council provided any reports on specific City or system-wide progress, especially from those major lines coming through the community but fed by other community neighbors upstream of Roseville.

 

Mr. Schwartz advised that the information was not readily available, even though he was aware of some of those communities still expending monies from the first program on mitigation efforts, but unsure of their success to-date.  Mr. Schwartz noted the variables and inconsistencies from one rain event to another, as well as the weather and climate conditions leading up to those events (e.g. ground saturation).

 

Councilmember Willmus questioned if the lack of curb and gutter on some county roads contributed to the I & I; or if in those areas more water was being dumped onto private property.  Councilmember Willmus also questioned the impacts of those private property owners who have filled in their rural road designed ditches.

 

As a general rule, Mr. Schwartz responded that this did not make a significant impact; and noted that there were so few roads remaining in Roseville that were without curb and gutter at this time.  Mr. Schwartz opined that more I & I issues were being found with covers for the system, some leaking, or needing reconstruction.  Mr. Schwartz opined that filling in the ditches by private property owners could have some impact.

 

Mayor Roe asked that staff research the additional information as requested and return at a future meeting for additional discussion.

 

Public Comment

Bob & Margie McCarron,  416 N McCarron’s Boulevard

Ms. McCarron advised that they were in attendance representing and at the request of their neighbors to report back to them on tonight’s City Council discussion; and expressed their neighborhood’s ongoing interest in this issue.

 

d.            Review Updated Strategic Planning Summary

City Manager Malinen advised that City Department Heads had reviewed recent strategic planning discussions, resulting in the summary (Attachment A) for short- and long-term items and existing work plan items.

 

Councilmember Johnson opined that staff had done a nice job of wrapping up conversations, providing a concise and representative summary of City Council intent.

 

City Manager Malinen suggested staff use this summary to finish out the current year with current resources for short-term items; and then incorporate additional short-and long-term items in department-specific strategic plans; as well as including them in the performance management program, and providing a timeline, associated costs, and resources needed to achieve those goals.

Mayor Roe suggested that many of the existing work plan items appeared to fall into the short- and long-term categories and could be incorporated with them whether listed on the existing work plan or not.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that she thought the existing work plan consisted of those items currently being worked on, with additional short-term items added to that list; with long-term items for future consideration.

 

City Manager Malinen, referencing page 4 as an example, advised that existing work plan items from 2011 were included, and some faced challenges based on the 2012 budget and were not as far along as anticipated.  Mr. Malinen advised that the short- and long-term items were all new items coming out of the 2012 strategic planning discussions.  Mr. Malinen suggested that those short- and long-term items, for a more realistic look at actual resources, be brought forward with the 2013 budget for ranking for 2013 and beyond as part of the 2013 preliminary framework budget already in place, but these new items part of the ongoing budget process and allocation of dollars and resources to rank and accomplish the highest priority items based on a more realistic approach.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that without supplying proper funding, it was difficult to differentiate short- or long-term items for ranking, using multi-family properties as an example (page 4).

 

Councilmember Johnson noted that, specific to multi-family housing, the HRA was doing a lot of work on this issue right now, specific to apartment complexes, slum lord apartment complexes and review of applicable City and State ordinances.  Councilmember Johnson anticipated that a report and/or recommendation from the HRA was forthcoming in the near future; and noted that the HRA also had their own budget to finance that study, and that it might not have as much of an impact on the City’s budget as thought.

 

Councilmember Pust, as a member of the HRA, concurred with Councilmember Johnson.  Councilmember Pust advised that the HRA was currently in their own strategic planning process with ongoing discussions, and the project well underway and receiving significant focus from the HRA.

 

Councilmember Johnson noted that it had been under discussion by the HRA for several years, and was now coming to fruition.

 

Mayor Roe advised that it was his expectation that staff would be providing the City Council with a time frame for each of the items listed, at least in a preliminary way, with a date and specific work identified toward implementation, whether short- or long-term; as well as budgetary items to provide the whole picture, with a continually updated status report.

 

Councilmember Johnson concurred with Mayor Roe’s expectations.

 

Mayor Roe provided several grammatical corrections for clarification:

·         Page 3 (Safe and Law Abiding); insert “develop”

·         Page 9 (Mission Statement); under short-term, under “actively pursuing a local sale tax option,” include “pursue,” but “implementation” should come later

·         Page 2 (existing work plan, lines 34-40), include all long-term items as tools in the tool box under that broad category

 

Councilmember Johnson noted that a Council majority wanted to pursue the local sales tax option.

 

City Manager Malinen advised that he would incorporate the changes suggested and reformat the document to be brought forward at a future meeting for formal City Council adoption.

 

Councilmember McGehee suggested that the strategic plan look at the City’s role in fostering redevelopment city-wide, not just specific to the Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area.

 

Mayor Roe suggested that, while it could be tweaked, the long-term objective for the City should be to develop and implement such a strategy.

 

Mayor Roe noted that he and City Manager Malinen had concurred that the aspiration statements be separated for discussion in the future; with Councilmembers all concurring.

 

e.            Discuss Fiscal Disparities and Retail Impact Studies

A bench handout from the Vernon R. Eidman, U of MN Professor Emeritus – Department of Applied Economics, and Roseville resident and neighbor of Councilmember McGehee at 90 Mid Oaks Lane;” was provided and entitled, “Fiscal Impacts of Adding Retail to County Road C in Roseville;” attached hereto and made a part hereof.

 

Mayor Roe noted that Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon was unfortunately unable to attend tonight’s meeting, but referenced his written report as submitted.

 

City Manager Malinen provided an overview of the information provided, seeking City Council feedback; recognizing that a much broader and more philosophical discussion was needed to determine how these analyses drive land use discussions and decisions of the City Council.

 

Mayor Roe noted the impact study idea and the fiscal disparities idea; and noted the question was whether fiscal disparities impact decision-making for land use; and how the impact study analysis fit into those decisions.

 

Councilmember McGehee advised that she had spoken to Mr. Trudgeon earlier in the day, and was prepared to make an opening statement; and referenced the bench handout provided by Professor Eidman which was based on his review and analysis of the fiscal disparities materials included in the packet.

 

Councilmember McGehee opined that while retail was nice, as a payer into the fiscal disparity program, based on the various tables included in the report and referenced by Councilmember McGehee (pages 4, 5, and 6). There are significant impacts based on the type of commercial, retail and/or industrial business compared to the residential tax base, creating a net loss in terms of value to the community based on tax dollar value and the amount it cost to support retail.  Councilmember McGehee reviewed some of those statistics; comparisons between Hennepin and Ramsey Counties; and expressed her interest being cognizant and selective in who was invited into the community and how they would affect the community’s tax base and impact to residents and other businesses in the community.  While supporting a  complimentary mix for residents, Councilmember McGehee noted the importance of having a tax base that supported amenities desired by the community at large.  Councilmember McGehee suggested the City Council consider implementing a policy to mandate developers to provide an impact study  as part of their application process (page 23 of the report from Mr. Trudgeon) including what their specific development might show in terms of value vs. expense for the community as a whole (page 30 of the Trudgeon report).  Councilmember McGehee referenced the presentation earlier this year by Ramsey County Commissioner Jan Parker on the specific types of housing stock and price medians for the City of Roseville, stating that the median for single family residences for 2012 was $196,000,000.00 and $84,000.00 for condominiums.  She also noted that the current tax rates for our School Districts are on the low end relative to other metropolitan communities and that Roseville has not had a levy for many years.  She opined that a levy could reasonably be expected in the relatively near future.  Councilmember Willmus concurred.

 

Mayor Roe noted that, without fiscal disparities that the City of Roseville was required to participate in, the school rate went up from 13% to 16% (page 30).  For the public’s edification, Mayor Roe reviewed that fiscal disparities pool and all it entailed.

 

At the request of Councilmember Willmus, City Manager Malinen clarified the percentage of City tax base rate (page 5 of 6 of the RCA).

 

In response to a Council question regarding the need for such an economic impact study for all projects, City Manager Malinen noted that such a study was different for a major project versus a smaller retail store (page 6), and opined that mandating such an analysis and requiring such detail may bring up a philosophical issue related to protectionism of the marketplace by government.

 

Councilmember Willmus suggested that, if the City did pursue this, it needed to afford a property owner a mechanism to rebut the City’s position; and opined that the opinion provided by a Civic Economics Company was hardly an impartial consulting firm, and only focused on one aspect of the economy, that of retail development, and appeared to attempt to make that scenario look as bad as possible.  Councilmember Willmus noted the need to provide protection for a property owner as well.

 

Mayor Roe opined that this provided a good point; and noted that there were two (2) impacts: 1) that in the market place; and 2) that in city services and the cost to provide them.  Mayor Roe referenced a City policy, already in place, that if the City provided any assistance to a developer, the developer needed to provide such an analysis (impacts to city services and costs).  Mayor Roe noted that this policy had been developed through efforts of former Councilmember Amy Ihlan, and provided such criteria for an analysis.

 

City Manager Malinen clarified that the cost of services was not addressed, but a process was gone through relative to property taxes and aspects of a specific project.

 

In response to Councilmember Willmus’ comments, Councilmember McGehee advised that her concern was that such an analysis not be the responsibility or cost of the City, but at the cost of the developer, whether mandated or not.

 

Mayor Roe noted that everything a developer is required to provide for study or analysis is based on specific criteria and needed to have some linkage to a need or rationale for the information.

 

Discussion ensued, using the existing Target store in Roseville, on the value of the store compared to the amount of taxes received by the City, and portions to the School District, County and other taxing jurisdictions; how to determine if and how new businesses will serve to diversify the city tax base as listed as a goal of the city; limited opportunities for diversification as it relates to fiscal disparities based on uses; and objectives to achieve and/or avoid.

 

City Manager Malinen noted a recent CURA study in which the City of Roseville was a participant with the City of St. Paul and Hennepin County on refinancing their fiscal impact analysis model; and pending results of that study and potential model serving the City of Roseville if it was considered one of their pilot projects.  City Manager Malinen advised that he would follow up on the status of that study and report back to the City Council on his findings.

 

For the benefit of the listening audience, Councilmember McGehee displayed the graphs previously referenced and discussed; with Mayor Roe providing additional clarification on the information represented by the graphs.

 

Mayor Roe noted that this discussion would come up in the future for further consideration.

 

14.       City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Malinen reviewed upcoming agenda items.

 

Councilmember Pust reminded  the Council that she would not be attending the March 26, 2012 City Council meeting as she had previously noted.

 

City Manager Malinen advised that, at the request of the developer, the Wal-Mart discussions had now been moved into April.

 

Mayor Roe noted the need to incorporate the City Manager goals, and aspirations related to the strategic planning process as well.

 

City Manager Malinen advised that Department Heads indicated that the first meeting of each month would serve better for work session format and provide an opportunity for broader discussions.

 

Mayor Roe duly noted their preference, and advised that the scheduling would be reflected in future agendas.

 

15.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

           

16.         Adjourn

Johnson moved, McGehee seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 8:38 pm.

Roll Call

            Ayes: Willmus; Pust; McGehee; Johnson; and Roe.

            Nays: None.

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