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City Council

City Council Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2015

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 Patrick Trudgeon and City Attorney Mark Gaughan were also present.


2.      Pledge of Allegiance


3.       Approve Agenda

As noted by Mayor Roe, an amended agenda for tonight's meeting was provided as a bench handout to include Budget Item 13.b entitled, "Continue Discussions on the 2016 Budget & Tax Levy."


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


                                                Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus, Laliberte, Etten, McGehee and Roe.

Nays: None.


4.         Public Comment

Mayor Roe called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.


a.            Kathy Ramundt, 1161 Laurie Road

Since her announcement at the previous City Council meeting, Ms. Ramundt advised that the October 25, 2015 "Do Good Roseville" Idea Exchange location had been changed from Autumn Grove to Lexington Park, with hours from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.  Also, Ms. Ramundt reported that based on the feedback and comments she'd received at that meeting, a website was not available to promote this type of activities and events, as well as a page to be added showcasing local causes for future reference.


At the suggestion of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. Ramundt reported she would be meeting with representatives of the I.S.D. #623 to coordinate clothing drives and discuss other areas of common interest.


5.         Council Communications, Reports, and Announcements

            Mayor Roe announced the availability of flu shots, with free hearing, eye, and blood pressure checks at City Hall, and fees for flu shots and mists, with additional information available at City Hall.  Mayor Roe also noted an upcoming free community workshop at the library sponsored by the Roseville Housing & Redevelopment Authority at the Ramsey County Library-Roseville Branch offering free guided assistance for fixing various household items.

Mayor Roe announced November Roseville University classes, the last of the 2015 sessions focusing on the Community Development Department, with the classes free but requiring registration at City Hall.

Mayor Roe reported on provided updates from the North Suburban Cable Commission and their recommendation to the nine member cities to approve a second cable franchise agreement with Century Link, with a public hearing scheduled to consider the City of Roseville's draft CenturyLink franchise ordinance at the City Council meeting on November 9, 2015.


6.         Recognitions, Donations and Communications


7.         Approve Minutes


8.            Approve Consent Agenda


9.            Consider Items Removed from Consent


10.         General Ordinances for Adoption


11.         Presentations


12.         Public Hearings


13.         Budget Items


a.            Continue Discussions on the 2016 Capital Improvement Plan

At the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Chris Miller provided a brief overview of the 2016 capital improvement plan (CIP) as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated October 19, 2015.  Mr. Miller reviewed the material, noting new information and trends through September 30, 2015, projected by staff since the last discussion with the City Council.  In the 20-year CIP schedules, Mr. Miller noted that this information shifted timing of the schedule, but did not change the total impact or needed funding level.


Mr. Miller reviewed graphs for three specific CIP funds: General Facilities Replacement, Pavement Management and Park Improvement as detailed in the RCA, both current and revised as noted.  As noted on page 1 of the RCA(lines 19 - 29), Mr. Miller advised that staff was recommending-- changes to the CIP in order to shore up those funds, and effectively reduce the 2016 City Manager recommended budget by $335,000 without impacting the 2016 Tax Levy due to the amortization of CIP funding over twenty years.  Mr. Miller advised that Department Heads were in tonight's audience to respond to questions or provide additional information at the City Council's discretion.  Mr. Miller sought feedback on any lingering questions or unmet information needs they desired from staff before finalizing budget information for presentation at the November 30, 2015 public hearing.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Miller expounded on each of the six items recommended by staff: 3 new items and 3 transfers as noted.


City Campus Geothermal System

In staff's recommendation to defer this item from 2016 to 2017, Mr. Miller stated that this item was not as time-sensitive as other items; and would involve the potential hiring of a consultant.


City Manager Patrick Trudgeon concurred, advising that the consultant would be tasked with reviewing existing geothermal systems already in place to determine if there were any additional energy savings to be had as well as determining if the system was operating as originally intended.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, City Manager Trudgeon advised that solar energy could be part of that analysis to determine if it could be inter-linked; with solar currently under consideration for the roof of the skating center; and would be dependent on timing and overall operations that the consultant's expertise could address in more detail.


Dale Street Athletic Fields

In staff's recommendation to defer this item from 2016 to 2018, Mr. Miller reported that it was based on its current condition.


Arena Zamboni Replacement

Since the Zamboni was replaced in 2015, Mr. Miller advised that this was inadvertently in the 2016 schedule and should be moved to 2025.



Mr. Miller clarified that the three recommended transfers represented a one-time shift given current trending, and with the goal of boosting funding for facilities experiencing more radical funding challenges.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Miler clarified the graphs - current and revised - and advised that given a number of moving pieces, the graphs showing revised funding level projections represented more than just those six staff recommendations, but also needed to include City Council conversations regarding repurposing funds for debt service and levies coming offline as opportunities arise. 


General Facilities Replacement Fund

Mayor Roe noted the revised graphs including proposed recommendations certainly served to bring those funds closer to financial sustainability and put them on much more solid ground, while challenges remained.  As an example, Mayor Roe noted the OVAL refrigeration  systems, which may require seeking outside funding for sharing those costs, and depending on the success of those efforts, would also impact sustainability.  With the OVAL refrigeration system currently scheduled for 2020, Mayor Roe noted bonding through legislative action may be one source of alternate funding.


Mr. Miller responded that this would be one of the policy decisions for the City Council, and even though its replacement was 20 years out, it was good to plan ahead and be prudent in proactively addressing that needed replacement. 


Specific to transfers on page 1 of the RCA, Councilmember Willmus asked if those were coming about as a result of freeing up equipment not needed in the future.


Mr. Miller confirmed that was the result as reflected; and as an example noted the $100,000 savings in specialized equipment no longer needed with the City Council's discontinuation of the annual curbside leaf pick-up program.


Pavement Management Fund (PMP)

Finance Director Miller advised that the graphs presented from "current" to "revised" status repurposing of the 2016 debt levy that had been incorporated in the City Manager recommended budget as preliminarily adopted by the City Council in September.


Even with that adjustment in the PMP, Mr. Miller noted that there remained long-term deficit needs requiring management by future City Councils to address future funding needs. Mr. Miller noted that while work remained to be done, the recommendations of staff would go a long way toward financial sustainability.


For the benefit of the listening audience, Mayor Roe reviewed past City Council action and original intent in establishing an endowment for PMP purposes with approximately $10 to $12 million maintained at that level, using interest earnings and Minnesota State Aid (MSA) monies for annual street projects and maintenance.  Mayor Roe asked Finance Director Miller to explain what had occurred in that fund over the years.


Finance Director Miller advised that in the past, between $700,000 to $800,000 in annual interest earnings had been sufficient from this large endowment to fund needed annual projects and maintenance for the PMP.  However, with current interest rates, which he didn't see changing anytime soon based on economic realities the nation was facing, had been reduced to approximately $200,000 in annual interest earnings for the PMP.  Mr. Miller opined that he didn't see the low interest rate environment changing dramatically in the foreseeable future.  Mr. Miller further noted that the MSA allotment has remained stagnant and not growing as it did at one point, thus not going as far as it used to while the cost of projects and maintenance continued to rise.  Mr. Miller noted that this created a funding challenge for the annual PMP, a dynamic that was not in evidence 6-8- years ago.


Mayor Roe noted that due to this endowment fund and use of interest earnings, property owners in Roseville had not been assessed in any significant degree for street projects and improvements, making the City's assessment rate low compared to other communities.


Mr. Miller concurred, noting preliminary discussions by the City Council over the last few years to determine if the assessment policy was still appropriate in today's construction and economic climate.


Councilmember McGehee noted that the PMP endowment fund had been advertised to the community as a fund that would be maintained and questioned the extent of the MSA reduction or cost of maintenance/street replacements and their net effect.


Mr. Miller advised that the net effect was the additional cost of street replacement relative to a stagnant MSA fund if compared in the past and then again over the last 7-8 years.  Without hazarding a guess, Mr. Miller deferred to Public Works Director Mark Culver for any detailed comparisons that could be provided at a later date once researched by staff based on when the PMP was initiated in approximately 1987 as a dedicated levy was established for the PMP endowment.


Noting that this endowment had been a significant hit for taxpayers to support, Councilmember McGehee asked staff for more information on what it would look like for residents to have their streets reconstructed without that endowment in place, and how significant that hardship would be; especially recognizing that a new PMP replacement cycle would be coming up soon.


Mayor Roe noted that the policy for this PMP fund had been recently revised as recommended by the Finance Commission, to retain it at a level between $8 and $12 million.


Mr. Miller noted that this was the recommendation, but it was not yet reflected in the graphs presented tonight.


Mayor Roe noted the need for a City Council decision by 2025 given the challenges already being experienced in MSA and interest earnings to the PMP fund.


Park Improvement Fund (PIF)

In reviewing the current versus revised funding forecast, Mr. Miller noted the City Council discussions to-date to dedicate new tax levy dollars to strengthen the PIF and to address the surges as shown.  Mr. Miller noted that while the long-term projections looked better, there were still some timing issues to address to cash flow major improvements, adjust their timing, find additional revenue, or not replace those CIP items at the end of their useful life.  Mr. Miller advised that staff could run sensitivity scenarios for various timing replacements, but suggested having City and Park staff weigh in on policy implications for operational impacts in deferring any of those CIP items over the next 5-10 years. 


Mr. Miller advised that both the Finance and Parks & Recreation Commissions had discussed use of the Park Dedication Fund balance to help out the situation, but deferred further comment on the status of those discussions to City Manager Trudgeon.  However, Mr. Miller noted the need to balance the leeway in using those funds with the City Attorney's previous caution on how and where those funds could be used.


City Manager Trudgeon reported that a good discussion had been held with the Finance and Parks & Recreation Commissions on retaining a minimum balance in the Park Dedication Fund.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that the Parks & Recreation Commission was scheduled for a joint meeting with the City Council in November of 2015 and would report on those discussions, including the Park Dedication Fund and the Golf Course.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Miler reported that the current Park Dedication Fund balance, including the recent Owasso Field transaction, was approximately $1 million.  Without expenditure timing changes, as noted by Mayor Roe, Mr. Miller concurred that the PIF was not brought to sustainability even if all Park Dedication funds were applied and continued to run a negative.  However, Mr. Miller noted that part of that was due to the front-ended deficit included for the purpose of educating and keeping everyone aware of the deficit, and alerting the public and future City Council's to sustainability issues requiring further discussion.


Mayor Roe suggested that it might be helpful - between now and the December decision-making for the 2016 budget and tax levy - for staff to come forward with several recommended scenarios.  For the purpose of projections, Mayor Roe stated he was more comfortable with having a plan in place closer to staying above "zero" and understood the implications that created. Mayor Roe suggested it would be helpful to have staff and advisory commission input on those scenarios.


Councilmember McGehee agreed with Mayor Roe, noting that in her discussions earlier today with Finance Director Miller, she had noted the difficulty in addressing sustainability from an abstract versus a more realistic view including the fine detail.  Councilmember McGehee stated that information as requested by Mayor Roe was necessary and asked that a combined effort by the Finance and Parks & Recreation Commissions and staff should lay out at least the details of what's involved beyond graphics.


Mayor Roe noted that it would be nice to have those details to allow an exercise in defining the dollars, but that analysis also needed to address impacts to programs, services, and facilities.


Councilmember McGehee noted the expertise of the Finance Commission in providing those various scenarios, and appreciated them providing options for City Council consideration.


Without objection, Mayor Roe asked staff to provide that information to the City Council prior to final CIP approval.


Councilmember Etten expressed interest in creating a scenario that would also put these things on the front burner, not just to further defer timing of the CIP items.


Mayor Roe noted the challenges ahead for this and future City Councils in making some tough decisions and whether they were willing to adopt those changes or put them off.  However, Mayor Roe reiterated the need for the City Council to understand the position in making those decisions based on current and future revisions, and the implications involved.  Overall, Mayor Roe noted the goal was to maintain funding and not move further in the negative realm as that didn't help future sustainability; and addressed the need to retain a fund balance in case something unforeseen occurs that could move the fund further into the negative.


Councilmember Etten, with agreement by Councilmembers Willmus and Laliberte, spoke in support of several scenarios being presented, recognizing some may be more painful than others. 


Councilmember Laliberte noted the need for this ongoing and periodic review to avoid a situation where previous recommendations were followed on a continuing basis, and without addressing the ever-growing operating budget.  By not addressing these issues, Councilmember Laliberte opined that it would only serve to defer those difficult decisions.


Mayor Roe noted the rationale in concentrating on these three funds, based on them having the greatest funding deficit; with others addressed previously and not having as much of an issue.


b.            Continue Discussions on the 2016 Budget & Tax Levy

At the request of Mayor Roe, Finance Director Chris Miller, as detailed in the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated October 19, 2015, reported on new information and trends through September 30, 2015, projected by staff since the last discussion with the City Council.  Mr. Miller clarified that previous discussions and direction from the City Council to staff had been incorporated in this information as well; and had recognized that there remained several larger pieces requiring additional discussion as part of the final budget and tax levy. 


Mr. Miller reviewed the projected 2015 budget savings in various funds and identified potential operational savings to carry forward and offset future budgetary impacts as detailed in the RCA.  Mr. Miller further addressed trending to-date in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Employment Cost Index (ECI) used as guidelines per City Council policy to establishing annual non-union employee cost-of-living-adjustments (COLA).  Mr. Miller cautioned that these are trends, and while weather-related or overtime may impact cost savings before year-end, staff felt confident in projecting these potential positive revenue situations.


Mr. Miller provided specifics and projected cost savings in the General, Recreation, Communications, and License Center Fund and potential carryover from each fund.


Specific to the Communications Fund, Mayor Roe noted that based on ongoing cable commission discussions and the pending status of the Comcast Franchise Agreement renewal, this fund may not be as lucrative as in past years; with some of that money possibly shifting over to the cable access entity for their operational needs.  Therefore, Mayor Roe recommended that a healthy fund balance remain until future financing was finalized that may not represent the same revenue stream.


Regarding the License Center Fund, Mr. Miller advised that based on 2016 programming as approved by the City Council's preliminary budget and levy, additional discussion may be required in 2017 as to whether it could continue its current business plan in funding the City's Information Technology department.  Mr. Miller noted that the License Center was addressing mandated changes requiring additional personal without even considering additional marketing to solicit title transfer and passport business.  Mr. Miller noted that this would require City Council policy discussions for budget years 2018 and beyond as to sustaining funding for other City operating areas. 


Based on analyses by staff to-date, Mr. Miller advised that the 2016 City Manager recommended budget - as adjusted - would represent a reduction of $335,000 from the preliminary budget as adopted on September 14, 2015.


In addressing the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Employment Cost Index (ECI) Mr. Miller noted that the City Manager recommended budget had included an across-the-board 2% COLA for union or non-unions employees, but advised that not all city contracts had yet been settled.  Mr. Miller further reported that some peer communities were settling at more than 2%.


In reinforcing Finance Director Miller's comments, City Manager Trudgeon referenced the indices, and noting that peer communities are ranging between a minimum 2% to 2.5% COLA for non-union employees, he supported a 2% COLA for Roseville City employees as a fair adjustment.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, City Manager Trudgeon reported on remaining union contracts yet to be settled and depending on negotiations in process.


2016 Preliminary Budget and Tax Levy

Based on previous discussions and to continue transparency efforts, Finance Director Miller reviewed new positions included in budget projections. Mr. Miller noted that the tax levy impact was only $5,000 as the remainder of the proposed positions would be funded by fees or other funding sources, including a significant amount of non-local funding.  The new positions were listed in the RCA, page 6, lines 138 - 145.


Mr. Miller asked that the City Council alert staff now before the final budget is presented to the public and the City Council, that they provide staff with any additional feedback or present additional information requests now in order to guide discussions and recommendations between now and then.


City Manager Trudgeon concurred, noting that the attempt was made to leverage non-levy dollars to make the new positions happen and minimize impact on the tax levy.


Councilmember McGehee requested additional information on the Part-Time Park Building Scheduler and further analysis based on current staff performing those scheduling duties, comparison information on past and increased use of park facilities by residents and non-residents, and fee disparities for those two groups.  Councilmember McGehee stated her concern was that Roseville residents are being asked to provide an unfair amount of subsidy for non-resident use of buildings while those non-residents also do not pay city taxes that go toward upkeep and maintenance, suggesting the non-resident fees may need to be adjusted accordingly.


Without the benefit of that additional analysis, City Manager Trudgeon preliminarily reported that the use of park buildings continued to be busy; and while a report was planned year-end, staff could report now on current trends, depending on what information was being requested (e.g. overhead and maintenance).  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the position would pay for itself through providing improved rental scheduling and supervision; but opined with that better management revenue could also be increased.  Mr. Trudgeon offered to provide a breakdown of that information, advising that staff had seen a spike in park building use from residents as well as non-residents, and also in use of the facilities by the City organization itself. 


Speaking to the need for a scheduler, Councilmember Etten provided an example of an experience in his family renting a facility several weeks ago, and the staffing resources required through that rental process.  Councilmember Etten opined that the majority of the scheduling had been taken on by Assistant Parks & Recreation Director Jill Anfang, outside her already full-time job duties.  Councilmember Etten noted the need to balance use and care of the facilities without continuing to drain the lifeblood of full-time employees already exceed a 70-80 hour work week.  Furthermore, Councilmember Etten noted that some former park facilities had not been used in this manner in the past due to their poor conditions; and it therefore required someone capable of monitoring use of the buildings on a regular basis.


Councilmember Willmus echoed the comments of Councilmember Etten; and referenced the comments of City Manager Trudgeon on users of the buildings whether inside or outside the City organization programming itself and the community and non-residents. 


Councilmember McGehee clarified that she was not arguing against the position; but was simply seeking more detailed information to make sure sustainability was built into the position; as well as reviewing fees to make sure planning was done going forward.


Councilmember Etten noted that City Council had already had a robust discussion on that issue some time ago providing that information.  Councilmember Etten further noted that the goal of providing park facilities had not been to make money only, but to encourage their use and provide an additional benefit to the community. 


Councilmember Laliberte expressed her interest in seeing who was actually using the park buildings, with the first year now under the city's belt, opining it was her understanding that was why Ms. Anfang had been performing scheduling to track and monitor usage accurately.  Councilmember Laliberte questioned there wasn't already someone in the employee system that couldn't take on those scheduling duties without the addition of another employee.  While sounding rhetorical, Councilmember Laliberte reiterated her previously stated question as to how the communication functions now having been streamlined had allowed other employees additional time after that burden had been removed.  Councilmember Laliberte stated that was her question; quantifying the time gained by those employees freeing them to perform other duties such as this, especially using someone already in the system who knows programming, the buildings and having that institutional knowledge.  Councilmember Laliberte questioned how the City could move this function from Ms. Anfang internally to an existing employee, based on the steps taken to gain efficiencies.


City Manager Trudgeon advised that staff would provide that additional information to the City Council in more detail, but as a preliminary response noted that, while communications efforts had been retooled for a more centralized approach, a lot of communication work continued to be done on a department level.  Mr. Trudgeon noted this was especially evident in the Parks & Recreation Department given their annual recreation programs; and many of their employees going beyond the capacity of a normal work day.  Mr. Trudgeon noted that the communication efforts in that department had been streamlined somewhat.


However, City Manager Trudgeon advised that while the communications efforts had been restructured, he could not equate that to a significant dollar savings.  In order to do so, Mr. Trudgeon advised that he would have to take all communication efforts away.  Mr. Trudgeon recognized that Councilmember Laliberte had asked this question in the past, but also recognized that the City was also doing more communicating than in the past, therefore, he couldn't identify anything specific for cost savings, even though he and staff continued to look to further evolve those efforts, but it was a challenge in defining actual dollars.  Specific to the Parks & Recreation Department, Mr. Trudgeon reported that he and Parks & Recreation Director Lonnie Brokke continually discussed how to address staffing issues; and advised that to-date no other solution or staff capacity had been found beyond part-time staff to address this need.


Based on his recollection in approving the communication reorganization, Mayor Roe stated that it was not intended to necessarily free up Parks & Recreation staff and time, but simply bringing them back down to the work level of what their job description actually entailed before that additional work had been added, or in other words back to a sane level.


As part of a future discussion and in requesting additional staff information, Councilmember Willmus asked for a historical full-time employee (FTE) count and trending over the last few years for the Parks & Recreation Department.


Specific to the proposed new passport supervisor and auto dealer license specialist positions, Councilmember Laliberte noted that creating new positions would not necessarily create additional businesses.  Therefore, Councilmember Laliberte asked staff to provide additional information showing ideas for pursuing memorandums of understanding (MOU's) or agreements with automobile dealers or auto rental companies or other options to know those agreements or commitments from auto dealerships are in-hand before adding these high level positions and their related annual costs.  Councilmember Laliberte further stated that, included in that information request she would be looking to how more revenue would be gained in the passport area, recognizing the mandates and firewall in separating this function from the other deputy registrar duties, but defining how revenue would increase to support this position. 


Referencing his past e-mails with Finance Director Miller, Councilmember Willmus noted that while much business came in from auto dealers, there was also considerable foot traffic.  Councilmember Willmus noted that many license centers offered later hours that could prove beneficial for the passport center given pending mandates on driver's license and additional forms of identification for air travel.


Based on her recollection, Councilmember McGehee noted that the License Center had paid its own way as well as providing revenue for other areas of city operations.  Given that history under Finance Director Miller's management, Councilmember McGehee stated that she was inclined to move forward as recommended, since the areas of operation managed by him appeared to make money.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she felt the same with the License Center as she with Rosedale Center: they know what they're doing, so therefore, she had no problem in allowing them to continue operating as they have been.  While not having any problem in staff providing more information, Councilmember McGehee questioned if a MOU would work with that type of business, but if so, she anticipated Finance Director Miller pursuing that option, otherwise she expressed confidence in allowing the current track record to prevail.


With concurrence by Finance Director Miller, Mayor Roe noted that, while the credit was being given to Mr. Miller, he was sure Mr. Miller would give credit to those employees in these operations and reporting to him.


Councilmember Laliberte clarified that these operations were well-run with good employees and providing good services to the City and those living near Roseville she also noted that these were two high-level positions being requested.  Therefore, Councilmember Laliberte advised that her purpose in requesting the information to justify the positions through projected new business and not just in adding the positions and hoping business would increase.


As part of that additional information request, Councilmember Willmus asked that it include research on other communities with this type of service and exploring other business models versus continuing as we've always done it, including exploring possibilities or opportunities for people to utilize the License Center outside of the current operating hours.


Mayor Roe agreed that further analysis and information may be prudent; and expressed his personal appreciation of the presentation by License Center employees at the beginning of the budget process and hearing their thoughts and ideas directly.  Mayor Roe suggested scheduling an annual check-in and update from those employees that wasn't necessarily tied to the budget to help the City Council and residents better understand operations and be more attuned to their functions, needs and challenges.


Finance Director Miller offered to provide the additional information as requested for presentation in a more formal capacity between now and November 30th; and thanked the City Council for providing an opportunity to do so.


As a preliminary overview, Finance Director Miller advised that the Passport Supervisor position was being forced upon the City and wasn't not being asked for but due to federal passport and Department of Homeland Security mandates. Mr. Miller stated that staff was attempting to make lemonade from lemons and grow the passport business, since people were already being turned away with only a tiny office space available.  Since passport renewals are only necessary every ten years, Mr. Miller noted it was difficult to track whether or not those customers were returning or going elsewhere. 


Specific to auto dealers, Mr. Miller advised that staff couldn't even solicit any other dealers with the current capacity, even though they and the passport business were the money making aspects, while money was lost on tabs and other customers.  Therefore, Mr. Miller advised that passports and auto dealers allowed the business to facilitate the other services offered. 


Regarding offering extended hours, Mr. Miller reported that this had been attempted in the past, but it had proven a money loser; and since some of the License Center operations were already losing money, a conscious business model decision had been to provide customer services within current hours and fund other services.  Mr. Miller expressed appreciation of Councilmember Willmus' sentiment about thinking outside the box, and advised that the two new positions proposed were an effort in doing so, advising that he was unsure how to transform the current business model without those two new positions.  Mr. Miller reported that Plan B would be to not fill positions coming up with pending retirements unless revenues were increased, thus creating the rationale for this strategic planning effort.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Miller advised that staff had created a preliminary internal concept plan to increase space for passports in the current leased space with minimal restructuring and cost without too many enhancements to addressed increased passport business space.  If that business continues to grow over the next ten years, Mr. Miller advised that this current restructured space - if approved - would not be sufficient and would require either additional leased square footage or a city-owned facility.


At the request of Councilmember McGehee, Mr. Miller addressed pending state legislative action for changes in identification for air travel; but offered to provide additional information as requested on what those proposed changes may imply.


Mayor Roe welcomed a young gentleman from Boy Scout Troop 231 in the audience tonight working on his Citizenship Badge; and invited him to introduce himself.


14.         Business Items (Action Items)


a.            Discussion of 2015 - 2017 Policy Priority Planning Document

While this item is listed under "action items," Mayor Roe clarified that it was intended for discussion tonight; and introduced the topic and discussions held to-date.


At the request of Mayor Roe, and as detailed in the RCA dated October 19, 2015, City Manager Trudgeon asked that the first discussion be specifically address the "Infrastructure Sustainability" strategic priority followed by the "Housing and Redevelopment" priority as previously identified by the City Council.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff was available at the City Council's discretion for responding to questions or addressing anything during their discussion; and offered to share information related to the housing and redevelopment priority learned by staff earlier today and since previous discussions.


Infrastructure Sustainability

To initiate discussion, Mayor Roe noted previous discussions among Councilmembers on the actual titles and how to organize the matrix going forward, seeking individual City Council input.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that the second column heading for "Key Outcome Indicators (KOI)" was not appropriate for the content of the categories listed.


Councilmember McGehee stated she didn't have a particular problem in identifying items under this priority, opining that both categories under KOI were important going forward and she felt were representative of what the City Council was asking staff to bring forward as additional information specific to each.


Councilmember Laliberte questioned if and why staff was working on those categories rather than the City Council's advisory commissions.


Councilmember McGehee clarified it should be staff, and any additional help they wanted from advisory commissions.  However, in deciding across-the-board asset categories, Councilmember McGehee admitted she couldn't think of a particular commission to whom that belonged.  Regarding the infrastructure plan and funding strategy targets, Councilmember McGehee stated her confidence in staff working on funding ideas to make things more sustainable, after which input could be sought from the Finance Commission or other applicable advisory commissions after staff brought items forward to the City Council for ranking purposes.  As for asset categories, Councilmember McGehee opined that they were vital and was a job for staff in suggesting industry standards as applicable (e.g. OVAL chiller, lift stations, etc.) for equipment as a first touch and how best to evaluate them, with staff being in the best position to provide that analysis and information.


Councilmember Laliberte stated that she didn't disagree, but preferred further involvement beyond just the City Council and staff, including receiving public input as part of the conversations for a broader perspective from various audiences.


Councilmember McGehee opined that, until there was something in place for people to react to, it would be difficult to get their input.


Speaking to the broader picture, if agreement is achieved among individual Councilmembers and the Priority Plan is adopted by the City Council, City Manager Trudgeon advised that a lot of staff work would be required at the beginning for this priority, as well as through a number of the advisory commissions and impacts for the CIP. 


After that initial step, Mr. Trudgeon stated that the next step would then be moving the plan itself from funding to policy, with staff able to provide a basis for that information, as well as input from advisory commissions, but ultimately coming to the City Council - all as part of a partnership from his perspective. Once staff gets the green light from the City Council, Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff would perform research work and obtain input from advisory commission before moving forward.  As part of that, Mr. Trudgeon stated his interest in a better CIP process with more detail and easier to understand coming out of this, using industry standards and having appropriate advisory commissions move that process forward as recommendations to the City Council for their ultimate final approval.


Councilmember Laliberte stated her understanding that the asset management program was at various levels of implementation, and while not wanting to create additional work for staff, sought additional information on the areas identified as the highest priority and determining what information staff is capable of providing.


City Manager Trudgeon expressed appreciation of Councilmember Laliberte recognizing the status, but stated that staff could devote their energy to that facet of the process if they knew what they needed to do and would invest their time accordingly beyond the current piece-meal discussion of some topics that were sometimes off and sometimes on the table over the course of time.  Mr. Trudgeon stated that he and staff are interested in doing this strategic planning, which he considered long overdue and requiring time to accomplish.  However, Mr. Trudgeon opined that the critical thinking facing the city as an organization was to get the City's infrastructure under control for replacement and funding in place or identified to accomplish that, putting the city in a better overall position.


Mayor Roe questioned if the current asset management software was proving the exact tool for this process or needed enhancement as well; which he anticipated as a topic of discussion given his lack of confidence that it was the single tool needed moving forward.


City Manager Trudgeon advised that this software provided real time information for what staff was working on and the ability to track information, which would improve as that was built on over time since all of that historical information was yet to be input.


Councilmember Willmus, with agreement by City Manager Trudgeon, suggested the need for a more enhanced CIP tied to metrics for staff to develop and bring back to policy makers as a necessary piece of the plan.


Mayor Roe suggested flip-flopping those two strategic initiatives as identified in Attachment A.


City Manager Trudgeon responded that, as they feed into the infrastructure plan and metrics, that would work.


Since staff was being asked to bring things back to the City Council, Councilmember Laliberte asked staff what milestones they anticipated in 2016, including recommended asset categories by a certain time; since this had initially started as a one-year plan, then moved to a 3-4 year plan, and now moving back toward a one-year plan.


City Manager Trudgeon advised that work had been initiated earlier this year to map things out, and staff could further refine that with the goal of keeping it as aggressive as possible and not allowing it to drag out, shooting for the 2017 budget, which would still be a major undertaking and involve a lot of people for that input. 


Mayor Roe suggested the timeline be through the end of 2016, and while recognizing everything may not be accomplished by then, it would provide a realistic timeframe of where the City Council wanted to be.


Councilmember Laliberte expressed appreciation for the work by staff on the timeline, opining it would be helpful for the City Council to have a timeline continuum of public involvement: where staff was involved, where the advisory commissions would plug in, and thereby identifying those milestones within that year to help everyone stay accountable and on track.


Mayor Roe concurred, noting that would address the what, who and when in a format for easy tracking.


Councilmember McGehee opined she would like the applicable advisory commissions tasked to aid staff in pulling that initial information together, seeking feedback from her colleagues as to whether staff could be authorized by the City Council to task advisory commissions accordingly rather than having that directive come directly from the City Council.


Mayor Roe opined that would need to be agreed on by the City Council and advisory commissions at the time; with City Manager Trudgeon agreeing since staff had the best information available and expertise for their respective fields.


Mayor Roe further noted the need for policy decisions for some items, while others may be straightforward.  As an example, Mayor Roe noted the need for policy discussions on replacement schedules and rationale for choosing options for hard assets underground, with that City Council policy developed and based on staff and advisory commission advice.  However, Mayor Roe questioned if advisory commissions could do a lot of research on those existing assets and compiling appropriate lists as part of that process.


Councilmember McGehee opined that some of the advisory commissions were seeking things to do, particularly when it involved researching other cities for their programs and similarities; further opining it would alleviate some of the more mundane research work and be useful to those advisory commissions making recommendations.


Councilmember Laliberte noted her first instinct was to have staff start the process, and still supported that as the best idea moving forward, and subsequently tossing things to advisory commissions when more specificity was needed.


Mayor Roe concurred, identifying that as a charge from the City Council directly to the advisory commission once something was better identified.


Councilmember Laliberte agreed with Mayor Roe, noting the need to also consider the less frequent meeting schedule of advisory commissions, and allowing them time to build in a level of review, discussion and decision on a judicious recommendations to the City Council after their study and analysis.


Councilmember Willmus agreed that at the front end the process needed to be driven by staff; while he supported having check-ins with advisory commissions along the way.


Councilmember Etten also agreed, noting that when discussion options and technical information, while the advisory commissions could contribute, the City Council needed to rely on its professional staff at the front end followed by that advisory commission input.


Councilmember McGehee clarified that she was not suggesting anything beyond staff's ability to offload more mundane assignments directly versus coming to the City Council for a formal charge of those tasks and seeking assistance more informally.  Councilmember McGehee stated that she would support that process.


Mayor Roe suggested it may be more appropriate, if and when applicable, that such a process work through the Volunteer Coordinator, which Councilmember McGehee agreed was a good idea.


City Manager Trudgeon clarified that he was hearing the City Council direct staff to prepare a schedule of milestones for the City Council to review and potentially adopt in the future.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff would start digging into the details and make sure advisory commissions were aware of their potential involvement in the future moving forward.


Regarding structure, Mayor Roe sought clarification from Councilmember Laliberte on her concept for the product coming back to the City Council from staff.  Based on his understanding, Mayor Roe suggested a written description of areas and basic general starting outlines, but not necessarily including all the details or timelines, for initial City Council approval and to be revised later as the process continued to evolve, but allowing something to be in place as a starting framework prior to 2016; and again without too much detail involved at that point.


Councilmember Laliberte agreed with Mayor Roe's understanding, and suggested another good thing to have would be to adopt standards for each target, or provide smaller targets under the initial target for adoption, and defining what that meant (e.g. various asset categories) to make it clear for future City Councils and benefit the community going forward and inform the work of those future City Councils in an easy-to-understand format for periodic updating.


Mayor Roe suggested identifying asset categories with the ability to measure the level of condition for each category as a strategic initiative.


City Manager Trudgeon advised that, unless the City Council was wedded to this current format (Attachment A), staff could reformat it completely to lay it out in a more reader- and user-friendly document.


Mayor Roe agreed with that reformatting, suggesting also including areas to identify staff, City Council and/or advisory commission responsibilities, as well as public input opportunities.


Council member Etten addressed current headings and strategic priorities and KOI's and suggested key outcome indicator be changed to strategic initiatives. He also questioned those titles beyond the new "strategic initiatives" column.  Councilmember Etten noted that since the initiatives would be acted upon, he found targets are largely outcomes and should be listed on the other side of the 4th column and renamed outcomes and the column known as strategic initiatives becoming Goals or goals area.


Mayor Roe agreed with that, but suggested "outcomes targets" remain where it is now, providing the outcome you want to achieve and then listing how to achieve those outcomes.


In reviewing those things currently listed under "strategic initiatives," Councilmember Etten opined that out of that you could create actions, such as "increase community meeting value, etc that would be a result of the other column rather than the other way around.  However, as stated by Mayor Roe, Councilmember Etten admitted he could understand that concept of the "target."


Mayor Roe noted that would address how strategic planning was done, including where we want to be and how to get there.


Councilmember McGehee suggested, instead of "KOI," titling it  "Areas of Interest."


Councilmember Etten stated he didn't like the word "initiative."


Mayor Roe noted there was obviously a philosophical layout issue with the document and two different ways to look at it from the perspectives of Councilmembers Etten and McGehee in moving "target" to the end of the list as where you wanted to end up.  However, Mayor Roe stated his perspective was that if the "target" was first on the list, it would drive everything after that, opining that it made more sense to put it on the list earlier rather than at the end.


Councilmembers Etten and McGehee agreed with Mayor Roe's process as stated.


Councilmember Laliberte stated that another thing she would appreciate and something not included in this document, was tools to use in measuring those things - in whatever format staff chose - that would be consistent for each area.


Councilmember Willmus opined that even if in transition with the "Housing and Redevelopment" strategic priority, there appeared to be a clear understanding of what to do or enhanced tools needed for the "Infrastructure Sustainability" strategic priority. Therefore, Councilmember Willmus opined that the real discussion was in the Housing & Redevelopment area, and tools needed to accomplish a strategic focus or initiative for reliable KOI's.


For reformatting purposes, Councilmember Etten suggested taking the "target" column and revising it as "Smart Goals" with various pieces listed below, and having each smart goal within a certain time frame.  Related to the housing and redevelopment priority, Councilmember Etten questioned if that priority was too narrow under the current situation and whether a separate strategic priority was needed or if it should simply be renamed "Redevelopment and Economic Growth" to include businesses and not only housing.


Councilmembers Laliberte and Willmus agreed things have changed since this strategic planning effort was begin earlier in 2015; with Councilmember Etten opining that just a "Housing and Redevelopment" strategic priority no longer made sense.


Mayor Roe asked which focus areas Councilmember Etten would put into those two categories.


Councilmember Etten responded that he considered a larger strategic priority category under "Business/Economic Development," noting that SE Roseville fit under housing as well as business.


Councilmember Laliberte agreed that this area needed further revision; opining that it may come down to whether or not to keep everything in the mix for 2016 or lost the housing priority and replace it with economic development.  Councilmember Laliberte suggested the need for the City Council to reconfirm their corporate support of the four KOI's listed for that category, whether tonight or at a future meeting in the near future.


Mayor Roe stated it needed to be tonight; and admitted he was seriously considering whether or not the "move up housing" and "residential housing values" should be removed for focus on "SE Roseville" and "Twin Lakes" in 2016.


Councilmember McGehee agreed that the top two KOI's as noted by Mayor Roe included a heavy economic development piece and opportunity to grow business there. However, Councilmember McGehee opined that in terms of the economic aspect for the broader community, both "move up housing" and "residential housing value" also had a significant impact on the community's bottom line going forward, and questioned any willingness to downgrade or defer their importance.


Councilmember Etten stated that the target for "twenty increased units at $350K" continued to trouble him compared to other targets and for him was a smaller goal that happened automatically versus others in lower valued homes or units seeking an assistance program to build value into their existing home. Councilmember Etten opined that it was not the role of the City Council to address increasing those higher value housing units, and expressed his support to remove that target.


Mayor Roe suggested revising that target to "Improve Housing Diversity."


When considering the type of housing units, Councilmember Willmus defended the need to include those units of over $350K and what tool was needed to facilitate that type of unit, opining it was an important part of the broader picture and a needed housing stock type in the community.  In addressing the lead-in comments from City Manager Trudgeon, Councilmember Willmus agreed with Councilmember McGehee that all items identified in Attachment A are important and he was not seeking to drop any of them.  Councilmember Willmus opined that it was important for the City Council to at a minimum address zoning for lot sizes to facility that type of development, while not seeking out specific programs for funding their development.  Councilmember Willmus stated that there were some things the City Council could do related to that housing need and he was not ready to agree to set it aside at this point.


In recognizing Mayor Roe's suggested target to "Improve Housing Diversity," Councilmember Etten noted there were already developments coming forward in that target zone, but a lack of good low-income-senior housing remained considerably lacking based on the City's own housing studies, whether or not they may be deemed more controversial than other housing types.


Mayor Roe recognized Community Development Director Paul Bilotta noted that, if the City Council ultimately decided to delay housing as a strategic priority until 2017 it would also allow it to be fully slotted into the ten-year comprehensive plan update process.  However, Mr. Bilotta clarified that just because something may be deferred, didn't mean it would stop happening, noting upcoming high density residential housing amendments and zoning issues slated to come before the City Council in November.  Mr. Bilotta advised that staff still anticipated bringing things forward in 2016, and would need to know whether or not the City Council intended to address those priorities in order to scope a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a comprehensive plan update consultant.


Councilmember McGehee opined that if left as suggested with move-up housing it acknowledged to the development community coming forward with plans exactly what the City was looking for, which seemed to her to be useful to staff and also provided the developer a good indication of the direction being sought by the City.


Mr. Bilotta noted that was a concept with comprehensive plans and how they vary in identifying development sites with a specific outline in the comprehensive plan as to the City's desire or how an area was guided.


From his perspective, Mayor Roe stated that it was important to put all of the housing stock needs in the community and currently missing in the market place, based on research done to-date, and put all of them on an equal standing.  Mayor Roe noted this served to identify needs, and provided options for developers without diluting the need for move-up housing.

Councilmember Etten agreed with Mayor Roe's comment.


Councilmember Laliberte opined that the City's existing single-family housing naturally provided for move-up housing from those in other communities (e.g. City of St. Paul) and didn't think it was necessary to change paths on this.  Councilmember Laliberte agreed that it was evident there was a gap for high-end executive housing in Roseville, and a discussion on lot sizes and other tools to allow for their development was called for, but with the current hot housing market, it was possible for first-time homebuyers to get into existing single-family homes in Roseville.


Councilmember McGehee also noted the broad range of available 1-2 bedroom condominiums in already-established senior communities in Roseville for those moving out of single-family housing stock, providing them with a stable sense of community.  Councilmember McGehee questioned what specificity was being sought: condominiums, stand-alone housing, townhomes, rentals, or what.


Councilmember Etten opined the need was for rental housing for seniors.


Councilmember Willmus identified market-rate rentals as a need.


Mayor Roe recognized Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Executive Director Jeanne Kelsey.  Ms. Kelsey advised that the market study done by Maxfield Research addressed a need for townhomes, cooperatives, condominiums and rentals at market and affordable levels, with those priorities discussed several years ago and reported on by the HRA.  As the City Council establishes their priorities, Ms. Kelsey suggested it may be prudent to bring that study forward again for a review of housing priorities and perhaps incorporate them into the City Council's priority planning.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. Kelsey advised that Maxfield performed the original housing study in 2009 and updated it in 2013.


If the City Council intends to move up and become involved, Councilmember Etten opined that, as part of its strategic planning, it needed to look into its role as an HRA and discuss it further.  As far as housing stock needs, Councilmember Etten provided several examples of young families who may be identified as "blue color workers" seeking to stay in Roseville but looking to get into a larger home, hearing that need repeatedly and often.


Councilmember McGehee noted the availability of moving into lower category housing stock at a reduced price and remodeling it into what they wanted and needed.


Councilmember Willmus noted how impressed he was at how quickly the homes built by Hansen Builders and Pulte Homes had filled up.


Mayor Roe noted they were all part of the mix.


Councilmember Laliberte stated that she didn't want to dismiss the data provided in the HRA's Maxfield Study; but opined the private market was currently very willing and able to bring senior housing into Roseville.  While appreciating that increase in that type of housing stock, Councilmember Laliberte expressed concern that the market not be allowed to bring in only that type of housing or for the City to create programs to invite additional senior housing only in that category.


Mayor Roe noted that variables in affordable senior housing beyond that offered at Applewood Point and elsewhere noting the need for and importance of other types of multi-family housing for families in the community. Mayor Roe also noted that just because those facilities area currently senior housing didn't mean they may stay that way forever and could easily be adapted into other types of housing depending on the market for them.  Mayor Roe noted that in promoting more density for affordable rentals, they didn't take up as much space in the community as move-up single family housing would do, creating opportunities to concentrate that housing on a smaller footprint.  Likewise, Mayor Roe opined that there remained nice areas in the community for single-family development not yet taken advantage of, and for several identified needs in diverse housing not yet available in Roseville.  Mayor Roe reiterated that all types of housing are important and should be shown on an equal footing and included on the City's listed priorities as stated by Councilmember McGehee.


Councilmember McGehee provided examples of seniors in Roseville moving out of their single-family homes and not happy with what options are available to them to stay in Roseville.  Also, Councilmember McGehee noted some of those housing options were being built in areas of the community where they weren't close to anything or didn't provide any amenities to encourage relocating to them, which she opined would have been addressed through the original Twin Lakes Redevelopment Area in mixed use designations.  If Roseville didn't want those residents moving to other communities who offered those amenities near their housing, Councilmember McGehee opined they needed to be addressed, and be part of the bigger mix all working together.


No matter which area was being discussed for housing, Councilmember Laliberte spoke in support of leaving it in the timeframe for 2016, and cautioned if the title became, "Improve Housing Diversity," it would include a significant number of categories.  Councilmember Laliberte opined that the goals worked on by the HRA over the summer may no longer be relevant to the City Council, and as with any development at some point, it was prudent to not just state one type, but see that programs were in place to support whatever type was needed and fit that initiative to make it happen.  Councilmember Laliberte opined there was no need to limit anything or require a lot of additional staff time, but simply to be ready to move forward if and when opportunities arise, allowing different developers to make that decision.


City Manager Trudgeon noted that a lot of these things were already in place or being done at the staff level as part of normal operations; and often once programs are approved for a particular area of focus, it simply sat on the shelf until needed.  Beyond the initial set up, Mr. Trudgeon advised that there typically wasn't a significant amount of staff time involved.


Mayor Roe asked if a reasonable 2016 goal would be to have the program up and running.


Mr. Bilotta responded that the plan is achievable and not taking anything away from the other KOI's, since as stated by City Manager Trudgeon, staff already did this work.  Mr. Bilotta noted that currently the Old Highway 8 project was the focus point and the City would actively solicit developers, as well as working on development of the Press Gym site being undertaken by staff as part of their normal business.


In addition to the Maxfield Study data, Councilmember Willmus noted that by using fiscal disparities and home valuations and levels of service at that breaking point, the $350K value had been readily available.


Mayor Roe expressed his lack of interest in being prepared to make a decision based on values versus levels of service when that indicated many homes, including his, supposedly didn't contribute in any valuable way to the community, which he didn't consider a true picture.


Councilmember Willmus opined that was an exaggeration and not his intent, but simply to identify how the community wanted to move forward.


Mayor Roe reiterated his concern in using that as a criterion. 


Councilmember McGehee agreed with Councilmember Willmus on that point, opining she had never seen a complete listing of the number of apartment units in the City, even though there seemed to be a lot they were not all specified for seniors, and also not all necessarily where seniors might choose to live.  Councilmember McGehee opined she didn't necessarily see a terrible need right now and instead saw a real economic need in Roseville to make the community more sustainable.  While recognizing that a lot of amenities had been recently added that people enjoy and encouraged people to locate in Roseville, Councilmember McGehee opined that without creating a huge tax burden, the City would not support those amenities long-term, and further opined that more apartments wouldn't achieve that goal.  Councilmember McGehee opined that the City had a lot of affordable housing now and she was not in that market, but instead supported economic development to improve housing stock with Roseville 98% developed and unable to make any major shifts in existing housing stock.


Councilmember Laliberte suggested moving off the focus of move up housing units and simply to list "economic" in the heading.  However, Councilmember Laliberte questioned if by doing so it missed the commercial/industrial component that needed to be factored in or if the economic development piece only applied in Twin Lakes and SE Roseville.


Councilmember McGehee noted the need for living wage jobs in all areas.


Mayor Roe questioned where other opportunities were in Roseville for commercial/industrial or corporate focus beyond Twin Lakes and SE Roseville unless something was already zoned accordingly.


Councilmember Etten addressed discussions of the HRA over the last few months as part of their plan to refocus on economic development efforts, with the first step being to help existing businesses through development of a loan program to encourage their expansion or to improve their exterior façade as an outcome or goal.  Since some of those HRA programs are already in place or in the planning process, Councilmember Etten suggested that the City Council look at what had been produced and refine it as needed.  While supporting a category for economic development, Councilmember Etten noted that some of that work had already been put in place.


Mayor Roe clarified with staff that rehabilitation of facilities was included under the HRA's business rehabilitation program.


Under the 2016 timeline, with the City Council looking for a more robust economic development program as their focus area, Mr. Bilotta noted that some of that would involve the HRA and what they had been doing, with the City Council in a position to keep or discard some of those efforts depending on which way they decided to move going forward, which should be decided by year-end 2015.  Mr. Bilotta suggested talking through those existing programs during 2016 and then going into the 2017 budget cycle those ideas could be put in place, restructuring accomplished, and other goals that would involve considerable work.  During the interim, Mr. Bilotta noted that low hanging fruit would continue to be addressed before then as a normal part of operations.


Mayor Roe suggested adding a category as suggested by Councilmember Laliberte to address "economic development" with added outcomes for development programs.  With concurrence by Mayor Roe, Mr. Bilotta suggested that the Twin Lakes Development Program may be found by the City Council to be good for all areas, and serve as an incubator process.


Specific to economic development, Councilmember Willmus stated that he felt strongly that the City had been dropping the ball over the last few years in that area.


For that reason, Councilmember Laliberte noted the importance of adding it to this document to verify that it was important to us and not stop work elsewhere and only address SE Roseville and Twin Lakes.


Mayor Roe noted that both were works in progress, and would continue to need public input as the vision was developed, opining that it would take time and considerable public input during that process.

Councilmember Willmus concurred, opining it needed to be a collaborative effort with neighbors.


City Manager Trudgeon expressed his appreciation for where things were heading and the addition of the economic development pieces, noting these were things staff had been working on already but this provided further context.  As noted by Mayor Roe, City Manager Trudgeon confirmed that infrastructure sustainability was the first step to factor in before economic development in order to support it, and to factor in limitations as applicable.


At the request of City Manager Trudgeon, Mr. Bilotta called out the work of HRA Executive Director Kelsey in reporting on staff's work over the last few weeks as part of their due diligence process and adjusting HRA by-laws.  Mr. Bilotta advised that last week some initial red flags had been raised through consulting attorneys from a federal perspective related to the dissolution of the HRA and review of living documents in place.  Mr. Bilotta advised that earlier today at least one document had been identified, an agreement with Ramsey County for federal Community Development Block Grant funds, blocking the ability to directly dissolve the HRA at this time.  While still being investigated, Mr. Bilotta reported that state statute may allow the Economic Development Authority (EDA) process to be established to transfer most things from the HRA to the EDA versus directly from the HRA into a Port Authority (PA) process, which to-date the attorneys indicated seemed to provide the easiest way to transfer items and move toward the desired economic development focus concept.  However, Mr. Bilotta advised due to the CDBG funds with Ramsey County, it may be necessary to retain the HRA shell for the next 25 years and hold an annual meeting similar to that done in the past with the HRA for the former land development entity created under the City Council prior to the HRA's inception.  Mr. Bilotta noted this would be a simple formality annually.


Councilmember Laliberte thanked staff for the update, but since this was not on tonight's agenda, expressed concern that it was being discussed without the public being aware, which she found unfortunate.   


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mr. Bilotta further expounded on the obligations under this CDBG loan program with Ramsey County whose funds could not be transferred, and would remain under obligation through the HRA shell for up to 25 years, and involving AEON and Applewood Point-Phase I single family home developments.


At the request of Councilmember Willmus, Ms. Kelsey reported that she had asked if the City could pay off the bonds and shift the obligation; however, because of the contractual agreement language, there was no providing to allow that since the original contract had been signed by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) arm of the federal government with Ramsey County, and as a HUD contract would not allow for that.


As a long-time proponent of economic development and seeing a need to move from a statutory HRA to EDA format, Councilmember Willmus asked whether his colleagues were supportive of moving in that direction to address commercial aspects and properties that may not qualify as blighted or not have a housing component attached and the EDA format providing that spectrum to convey properties.


At the request of Councilmember Laliberte, Mayor Roe clarified that this item would come before the City Council for action at a later date, with a public hearing already scheduled for October 26, 2016 originally for dissolution of the HRA, with a process then needed to establish an EDA if it was decided to move in that direction.


Councilmember Laliberte stated that she had long been more in favor of an EDA than an HRA.


Councilmember Etten stated he was comfortable in establishing and EDA if the PA didn't work out due to legalities; opining that his goal was to have as many tools available as needed.


Mayor Roe and Councilmember McGehee noted that the City Council appeared to be heading toward having all three formats - HRA, EDA and PA - in place.


Mayor Roe noted the public hearing, as noticed to the public, would still be held next week to receive public input; but it appeared dissolution of the HRA would not proceed based on this new information from staff's due diligence to-date.


City Manager Trudgeon clarified the target would remain as "20 increase units $350K housing" would remain and not be revised to "improve housing diversity;" and that a fifth category would be added under "strategic initiatives" to focus on "economic development" under the revised strategic priority entitled "housing and economic redevelopment."  Mr. Trudgeon further noted the direction to staff to re-title "strategic initiatives" and add a column to determine who's responsible for what as well as attempting a preliminary timeline.  Mr. Trudgeon advised that he and staff would work on a first draft of a reformatted and reorganized document to bring back to the City Council.


Discussion ensued regarding additional guidance to staff related to KOI's and whether or not SE Roseville was appropriate or needed relocated to another category; the 2016 work plan that may become larger than the work plan in place, and including preliminary steps toward that overall plan; potential addition of columns with a timeline, who should be plugged in, and tools to measure progress which may serve to cull out the "target" column for what is or is not achievable; and the need to initially provide a starting point to move toward further refinement.


For the benefit of Councilmember McGehee and her concerns about those existing strategic initiatives that may no longer be relevant as part of HRA programs, Councilmember Etten clarified that the HRA held its own strategic planning process and the results of that exercise existed as a completely and distinct document from that of the City Council and his suggestion was that those goals be taken into consideration as part of the City Council's overarching strategic plan as they specifically related to economic and redevelopment efforts.


Specific to the SE Roseville KOI, Councilmember Willmus questioned what that actually looked like; and suggested including input from other municipalities and the community as initially identified in recent meetings sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and Smart Growth America, as well as Ramsey County to look at the larger corridor of Rice Street and Larpenteur Avenue.  Councilmember Willmus noted the City Council's involvement related to zoning and other steps to make redevelopment and/or economic development happen.


Ms. Kelsey clarified that there was no timeframe yet and follow-up continued with all communities (Maplewood, St. Paul and Roseville) continuing to meet and move forward with a variety of steps, even though it remained in its initial stages.


As part of those efforts for SE Roseville, Mayor Roe reported on his meetings with St. Paul Councilmember Amy Brendmoen representing that area and her staff, as well as with the Mayor of Maplewood, opining that it was a very productive meeting.  As part of that meeting, Mayor Roe reported that they compared notes about other respective community efforts with it prompting collaboration on potential best practices moving forward.  Mayor Roe further reported that City Manager Trudgeon was planning to meet with his counterparts in those communities as well; with the next step to convene a very preliminary and informal meeting of residents and businesses of all three communities, with the City of St. Paul representatives taking the lead on setting that up.  Mayor Roe advised that he had provided various contact information for Roseville's community leaders, with the purpose of getting everyone in the same room and identifying common issues and prompting conversations with each other to formulate subsequent conversations and efforts form a multi-disciplinary point, using those efforts already put in place in Roseville.  Mayor Roe anticipated additional information from the Chamber of Commerce and/or Smart Growth America to have available by that time.  Mayor Roe reiterated that the process was still in its formative stage but would provide additional opportunities for input from all stakeholders as they had been or would be identified.


Further discussion ensued regarding the City of St. Paul's District Planning Councils and Ward boundaries; special plans for smaller neighborhood areas as a potential example; inclusion of various stakeholders in the process; other examples in St. Louis Park and involvement of Ms. Kelsey; similarity of this potential community process with that of previous Roseville community engagement efforts and ideas available from other neighboring communities.

Mayor Roe noted the interest of and need to involve Ramsey County in the process through engaging their staff with three different county commissioners representing the three different corners along that corridor; key partnership of Accelerate Ramsey County as they restructure county government with Assistant County Manager Worthington actively involved in the process; and cooperative efforts from a Public Works perspective in addressing some infrastructure and traffic concerns along the corridor.


Councilmember Laliberte noted distinctions in areas not within the City of Roseville's control and requiring collaborative efforts and those specific to Roseville's ability to drive the timeline.


Mayor Roe reiterated that this would be a long-term effort with larger items needing to be addressed, with some smaller steps along the way and in the more immediate future, but all with the goal for positive improvement.  Mayor Roe asked that staff make this one of their frequent reporting topics to the City Council and for public information.


At the request of Mayor Roe, and specific to the Twin Lakes redevelopment efforts, Mr. Bilotta reported that staff would be bringing forward zoning amendments next week; and reported that the brownfields consultant and infrastructure improvements had been ordered.  Mr. Bilotta advised that the next step would be to get a new entity set up and a façade program or other pieces, some of which were already in process and continuing to evolve.


At the request of Mayor Roe, Mr. Bilotta further reported that the Tree Preservation consultant would be presenting the final draft of the Ordinance and kicking off discussions on revised Planned Unit Development (PUD) processes in early November for the City Council.


Councilmember Laliberte requested presentation of these documents at a work session versus regular business meeting. However, after further consideration, Councilmember Laliberte agreed with presentation of a draft at the November 9, 2015 meeting for an initial view followed by deeper review at the Worksession the following week.


15.         Business Items - Presentations/Discussions


16.         City Manager Future Agenda Review

City Manager Trudgeon briefly reviewed upcoming agenda items.


17.         Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings

At the request of Councilmember Willmus, City Manager Trudgeon provided an update on lighting in the City Council chambers; advising that a consultant had been brought in to provide professional expertise on proper lighting at City Hall, with the goal to convert the Council Chambers to LED lighting, as well as other parts of City Hall in the near future. Mr. Trudgeon advised that he anticipated receiving recommendations soon, and reviewed some of the problems beyond shadows and bulbs burning out at a ridiculous rate; and hoped to get it accomplished before the end of 2015.


18.         Adjourn

Laliberte moved, Etten seconded, adjournment of the meeting at approximately 8:57 p.m.


Roll Call

Ayes: Willmus, Laliberte, Etten, McGehee and Roe.

Nays: None.