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City Council Meeting Minutes
April 13, 2009
1. Call Roll
Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 pm.
(Voting and Seating Order for April: Ihlan; Roe; Pust; Johnson and Klausing)
City Attorney Scott Anderson was also present and Councilmember Ihlan arrived at approximately 6:05 pm.
2. Approve Agenda
Councilmember Johnson requested removal of Consent Item 7.c entitled, "Approve Business Licenses."
The agenda was approved by consensus, as presented.
3. Public Comment
Mayor Klausing called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items.
a. Bryan Olson, 1592 Roselawn Avenue; Falcon Heights, MN
Mr. Olson continued his comments from the March 24, 2009 letter regarding his employment status with the City of Roseville and returned City property.
b. Amber Anderson, co-worker and friend of Janet Delmore, Roseville resident
Ms. Anderson read a commendation presented to Ms. Delmore from the National Youth Leadership Council.
c. Jeff Arsenault, 1255 Shryer Avenue
Mr. Arsenault advised that his son was ambushed on Saturday, April 4, 2009, along the fence line by Cub Foods/HarMar Mall by a group of youth. Mr. Arsenault noted that the Police Department was able to identify those teens that are now facing charges. Mr. Arsenault brought this area to the attention of the City Council for their awareness, and for resolution of concerns of residents in that area related to nuisance and safety issues, with teens operating in that secluded area on foot and bicycles, terrorizing the neighbors. Mr. Arsenault advised that there was considerable drug use, smoking, and lewd acts evidenced; as well as homeless squatters setting up homes in that area, due to overgrowth of plantings in that buffer zone between the fence and property along HarMar Mall.
Mr. Arsenault thanked Councilmember Johnson for his concern and attention to the situation; and noted that there may be other residents in the audience wishing to express similar concerns. Mr. Arsenault encouraged the City to strongly encourage HarMar to secure and maintain this area. Mr. Arsenault noted that HarMar security officers have been repeatedly advised of the situation; however, there was no resolution to date, and expressed his hope that HarMar would step up to the plate. Mr. Arsenault, as an architect, noted that there were several cost-effective options that could be taken to make the area more open and less secluded, and allowing Police and security officers to be aware of what is occurring in that area and stop those activities to avoid similar situations happening again.
Mayor Klausing thanked Mr. Arsenault for coming forward; and advised that the City Council would follow-up with staff to find a solution.
Councilmember Johnson commended Mr. Arsenault for coming forward publicly; and expressed the community's empathy to his son and family for having to experience this difficulty. Councilmember Johnson noted that he had observed HarMar personnel cleaning up some of the brush and vegetation along the west side of their parking lot; opining that he was not aware whether this was them being pro-active, or just coincidence.
d. Bob Barona, 1455 Shryer Avenue W (corner of Pascal and Shryer)
Mr. Barona advised that most of the activities were happening at the Skillman entrance to the fenced-in area along HarMar, not at Shryer. Mr. Barona provided other instances of harassment experienced. Mr. Barona advised that HarMar personnel didn't keep the area maintained, and only cleaned it up 2-3 times annually, and opined that they did not monitor the area at all.
Mayor Klausing reiterated his assurances that the City Council and staff would pursue the matter further.
4. Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority Report
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
a. Recognize Retiring Commissioners
On behalf of the City Council, community and staff, Mayor Klausing presented individual certificates of appreciation to retiring volunteer commissioners; and recognized those unable to attend, noting that their certificates would be distributed to them at a later date.
Mayor Klausing recognized Duane Cady of the Ethics Commission, who was unable to attend.
Mayor Klausing recognized former Human Rights Commissioners Bob Venters and Tam McGehee, both unable to attend; and presented certificates to former Commissioners Phillip Crump and Janet Delmore.
Mayor Klausing recognized former Planning Commissioner Barbara Martinson, who was unable to attend; and presented a certificate to former Planning Commissioner and Chairperson Mary Bakeman.
Mayor Klausing recognized former Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michelle Kruzel, who was unable to attend; and presented a certificate to former Commissioner Mark Kamrath.
Mayor Klausing recognized former Police Civil Service Commissioner Linda Lange, who was unable to attend.
Mayor Klausing presented a certificate to former Public Works, Environment and Transportation Commissioner Ernie Willenbring.
b. Recognize and Accept North Suburban Kiwanis $500 Donation to be used toward the purchase of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
Roseville Police Captain Mathwig introduced Mr. Denny Harris, alive today due to the availability of an AED during a heart episode in 2006; and noted the North Suburban Golden K Kiwanis' donation of $500 for use toward the purchase of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
Mr. Harris introduced four members of the North Suburban Golden K Kiwanis Club. Mr. Harris advised that he also belongs to a Sudden Cardiac Arrest committee, who seek additional private funding to place AEDs, and had provided $500 to the Kiwanis Club for this donation.
Mayor Klausing expressed his personal understanding of the value of AEDs and the Kiwanis' donation.
Roe moved, Pust seconded, acceptance of the North Suburban Golden K Kiwanis donation of $500 to be used toward the purchase of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) in one of the department's marked squads.
Ayes: Ihlan; Roe; Pust; Johnson; and Klausing.
c. Adopt a Resolution Proclaiming April Jazz Appreciation Month
Mayor Klausing expressed his personal support of proclaiming and recognizing April 2009 as Jazz Appreciation Month in the City of Roseville.
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, adopted Resolution No. 10700 entitled, "April is Jazz Appreciation Month."
6. Approve Minutes
a. Approve Minutes of March 30, 2009 Regular Meeting
Pust moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the minutes of the March 30, 2009 Regular Meeting as presented.
7. Approve Consent Agenda
There were no additional changes to the Consent Agenda than those previously noted. At the request of Mayor Klausing, City Manager Bill Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
a. Approve Payments
Pust moved, Roe seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
54716 - 54849
b. Approve General Purchases and Sales of Surplus Items Exceeding $5,000
Pust moved, Roe seconded, approval of general purchases and/or contracts as follows:
Replace tape backup device
d. Renew Bottle Club License for Knights of Columbus
Pust moved, Roe seconded, approval of the Knights of Columbus Bottle Club (set-up) License at 2233 North Hamline Avenue, Suite B-12; expiring March 31, 2010.
e. Adopt a Resolution Accepting the Work Completed, Authorize Final Payment of $17,299.55 and commence the One-Year Warranty Period on the 2008 Sanitary Sewer Lining Project
Pust moved, Roe seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10701 entitled, "Final Contract Acceptance" 2008 Sanitary Sewer Lining Project,: accepting the work completed as the 2008 Sanitary Sewer Lining Project and starting the one-year warranty and authorizing final payment of $17,299.55.
f. Appointment of Variance Board Members
Pust moved, Roe seconded, ratification of the selection of Roseville Planning Commissioners Andre Best, Daniel Boerigter, John Gisselquist, and Thomas Gottfried (Alternate) as the Variance Board members appointed to serve as the Board of Zoning Adjustments and Appeals from May 6, 2009 to April 7, 2010.
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
a. Approve Business License (former Consent Item. 7.c)
Councilmember Johnson sought clarification on staff's investigation of redacted application information for new and renewal licenses.
City Attorney Anderson advised that staff reviewed the information prior to redaction, in consideration of data that was private versus public; however, he offered to follow up with staff and provide additional information to Councilmembers on the licensing and investigatory process.
Johnson moved, Klausing seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one year, for the following applicants:
Type of License
Manel Renshaw @
Bandana Chiropractic and Wellness Center
1712 Lexington Avenue
Justina Person @ Serene Body Therapy
1629 West County Road C
b. Accept a Donation from the Granite Foundation and Authorize the Purchase of a Replacement Park Patrol Vehicle (former Consent Item 7.g)
Roseville Police Captain Mathwig introduced Diane and Tim Madden, representing the Madden Foundation, and recognized their $5,000 donation for replacement of a park patrol vehicle.
Mayor Klausing personally, and on behalf the community, thanked Mr. and Mrs. Madden for facilitating purchase of this unique piece of equipment.
Mr. Madden noted that the Granite Foundation was a family foundation; and their distribution of funds annually, as they were available. Mr. Madden advised that, as long-term residents in the community, they felt safe and protected due to the services of the City's Police Department; and their foundation's ability to fund something functional and tangible was of great benefit to them in helping the Department provide that service and protection.
Mrs. Madden noted that all services in the community were important to them as residents; however, she noted that a number of years ago, their home had been burglarized and a vehicle stolen. Mrs. Madden advised that the City Police Department were very responsive, had found the vehicle, and had kept the family up-to-date on the incarcerated status of the perpetrator. Mrs. Madden noted this was of particular note for the family support of the Police Department.
Klausing moved, Pust seconded, approved acceptance of the donation of $5,000 in funding from the Granite Foundation toward the purchase of an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) for use by the City's Police Department for surveillance and rescue and park patrol; with the remaining funds to be covered from the Department's forfeiture fund.
9. General Ordinances for Adoption
a. Highway 36 / Rice Street Interchange Design Presentation
Public Works Director Duane Schwartz introduced Mr. Jim Tolaas, with Ramsey County Public Works Department
Mr. Tolaas and Mr. Schwartz provided an updated configuration and preliminary design for a single-point diamond on the north side of Highway 36 and Rice Street, as per the revised map presented at the meeting, with further refinement from that included in the agenda packet.
Mr. Tolaas advised that members of the Project Management Team included Ramsey County; MnDOT; and the Cities of Little Canada, Maplewood and Roseville. Mr. Tolaas advised that the Team was seeking concurrence from participating City Council's for this best solution.
Mr. Tolaas reviewed projected funding solutions for the overall project; with preliminary design and environmental work being initiated to hopefully overlap with final design and construction scheduled to begin in 2010, once all funding sources were identified.
Mr. Tolaas reviewed funding available to correct bridge deficiencies and for their replacement; Highway 49 turnback funds; work with the State legislature for state funding or another bonding source; and application for STP funding for federal funds that would be administered through the Metropolitan Council; as well as working with Senator Betty McCollum for federal earmarks. Mr. Tolaas advised that some local funding would be required as application for local improvements related to the project.
Mr. Tolaas further reviewed right-of-way acquisition; three full takings associated with that right-of-way; attempts to secure public access on the west side of Rice and north of Highway 36, which is currently a private drive accessing Rice Street.
Discussion included support of individual Councilmembers for the design.
Councilmember Johnson opined that the design looked great and served to clear up several difficult traffic situations along County Road B and the south side of Highway 36. Councilmember Johnson further opined that it was an unusual design, but that it made sense. Councilmember Johnson sought additional information on a potential park and ride facility in Little Canada or in Maplewood.
Mr. Tolaas advised that Metropolitan Transit had originally looked at several quadrants between County Road B and Highway 36; however, at that time, they felt that they couldn't get buses off Highway 36 efficiently. Mr. Tolaas advised that those discussions had been reopened, with consideration being given to a quadrant on the west side of Highway 49 for an acceptable location. Mr. Tolaas opined that it would be a difficult spot; but that other parking areas may be underutilized and provide additional parking options for such a facility, and that discussions were continuing.
Councilmember Roe expressed appreciation that a park and ride was still under consideration. Councilmember Roe sought additional information on taking of parcels and the purpose, if for construction or right-of-way.
Mr. Tolaas advised that the map didn't portray the actual configuration well; but addressed lanes of approach southbound and cutting into the gas island at the Sinclair Gas Station/Convenience Store; and the need to close access points for safety considerations.
Councilmember Roe requested that Mr. Tolaas highlight differences in the updated map on display compared to that included in the agenda packet.
Mr. Tolaas did so, noting the Grandview median closure; adjustments along the west side of Highway 49 to accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic for Highway 36 and County Road B.
Mr. Schwartz noted that, at the team meetings, the City of Roseville had stressed their bicycle/pedestrian Master Plan; and noted that the plan supports an on-street bicycle facility throughout this corridor; and accommodations were sought to pursue that goal, in addition to off-street facilities. Mr. Schwartz further noted another area of concern was with the Grandview median closure, with the original concept showing median closures at Woodbridge and Grandview, not allowing left-out or northbound traffic; and the City's concern that this would push traffic from the apartment complex and commercial traffic existing northbound Rice through the neighborhoods to the west. Mr. Schwartz advised that, after further discussions and review of crash data, this accommodation at Grandview was proposed.
Mayor Klausing opined that, while he understands the need to consider the larger picture, this was a very ingenious approach, and he was unaware of other comparable examples. Mayor Klausing expressed appreciation for the design intent to appear as a traditional intersection, and further encourage bicycle and pedestrian traffic and safety concerns.
Councilmember Pust expressed appreciation that bike and pedestrian paths were being accommodated in the design; and encouraged the Project Team to continue pursuing continuous pathways.
Further discussion included reduction of the median to allow access to the townhomes; identification of water treatment areas envisioned as infiltration beds; limitations based on the curbs remaining as currently located to facilitate area businesses and to not further infringe upon their property; snow storage provisions along the corridor; and the desire to make the intersection look more traditional to avoid confusion for vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Mr. Schwartz advised that six different concepts and configurations were considered; and that this design appeared to be more amenable to drivers and their navigation of the intersection.
Roger Toogood, 601 Terrace Court
Mr. Toogood, representing the Roseville Citizens League, advised that they had studied this design; and suggested additional entry points available for several areas to further alleviate traffic filtering onto Rice Street (e.g., Cub Foods traffic east via an access lane; and east along County Road B, with an exit going west to avoid Rice Street).
Mr. Tolaas advised that some of the original design concepts had considered those options, and offered to revisit them and provide a more detailed response and rationale to the Committee. Mr. Tolaas advised that the fewer entry points on ramps the better other than for accommodating buses. Mr. Tolaas recognized the Committee's intent to split heavy traffic through use of slip ramps.
Additional discussion included accommodations to the townhome residents and their concerns.
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, support for the offset single-point interchange as presented on the revised map this evening for Rice Street and Highway 36; and to direct staff to continue to work with the project team to address identified concerns.
11. Public Hearings
12. Business Items (Action Items)
a. Consider an Alternative Budgeting Process for 2010
Finance Director Chris Miller provided a summary of the Request for Council Action dated April 13, 2009, related to the merits of using an alternative budgeting process for 2010; and the urgency based on timing of the process.
Mr. Miller spoke in support of development, with the consulting assistance of the firm of Springsted of a matrix of costs per participant or beneficiary and the need for this additional information for further City Council decision-making as the city faced upcoming budget challenges and limited resources.
Discussion included reprioritization of programs and services; approximate cost of $15,000 for this study of tax-supported programs and services; and consideration of Town Hall meetings and receipt of electronic feedback from residents at those meetings, at a cost of approximately $3 - 4,000 per session, in developing and/or maintaining a level of services and programs.
Councilmember Pust personally thanked staff for organizing disparate past conversations for consideration of an alternative budgeting process. Councilmember Pust spoke in support of the expenditure of the $15,000 to hire a consultant to assist staff; however, she spoke in opposition to additional expenses for electronic voting, opining that, while nice, this was an unnecessary expenditure at this time. Councilmember Pust further opined that a bigger issue would be to make sure a sufficient number of residents were in attendance at the Town Hall meetings to ensure an accurate picture of the community.
Councilmember Roe opined that citizen feedback was important; and that the important thing was to hold the meetings after the data had been compiled by staff and Springsted, but not at the end of the process and simply a reaction to the proposed 2010 budget. Councilmember Roe reiterated his preference for early community feedback in the budget process.
Councilmember Ihlan sought additional information from staff on where contingency funding for the study would come from.
Mr. Miller advised that annually, in the General Fund, a small amount of funds were kept aside for unforeseen circumstances or events throughout the year; and noted that the City had set aside $33,000 that was not specifically designated for 2009. Mr. Miller noted that, historically, the City usually expended between $15-20,000, with some years $75,000 needed (i.e., at the height of diseased and hazardous tree removal). Mr. Miller advised that staff felt this was important enough to pursue to make permanent corrections to the City's budget structure and compare programs and services throughout the City departments.
Councilmember Pust requested additional information from staff at a future meeting related to the potential need for additional funding for the Fire Relief Association's pension plan and unfunded liabilities to avoid future surprises.
Mr. Miller advised that he would provide that information with the best information available at this time.
Councilmember Johnson echoed Councilmember Pust's comments related to the Springsted study; however, he also spoke in support of the efficiencies in using the electronic method to determine community preferences.
Mayor Klausing noted his ambivalence related to the merit of the electronic version of the "dot method" and his need to further study that issue; but spoke in support of hiring Springsted for working with staff in preparation of a matrix.
Councilmember Roe spoke in support of splitting the recommendations, and his support of hiring Springsted for the study at a cost not to exceed $15,000; however, he also expressed the need for more time to consider the content of the Town Hall meetings.
Klausing moved, Roe seconded, authorizing the staff to hire Springsted Incorporated for the purposes of calculating the costs of property tax-supported services, in an amount not to exceed $15,000.
13. Business Items/Presentations/Discussions
a. Discuss Amendments to the City Nuisance Code regarding Residential Composting
Economic Development Associate Jamie Radel summarized the Request for Council Action dated April 13, 2009, discussing several amendments to Title 4 of City Code related to yard requirements and regulation of residential composting. A draft ordinance was included in the report addressing those areas of current ordinance that were too vague and not readily enforceable.
Councilmember Pust opined that it sounded reasonable to provide further direction; however, expressed concern in language related to yard cover, when the City was encouraging more environmentally-friendly use of water, and the need to consider other landscaping beyond traditional sod.
Ms. Radel noted several options for environmentally-friendly yards that would minimize water usage; and suggested staff further broaden vegetation language.
Councilmember Roe spoke in support of more detailed explanations in ordinance; and suggested addition of an explanation for yard cover and expansion of other qualified options as well; encouragement of storm water management on site; and definition of what is and is not acceptable.
Mayor Klausing noted that some homes in Roseville (e.g., on Dale Street north of Larpenteur) were naturally wooded; and that those needed to be addressed as naturalistic yards.
City Attorney Anderson noted that "vegetation" was a very broad term and provide substantial leeway for property owners, as long as ground cover was alive, and not "Astroturf."
Mayor Klausing noted concerns with composting language and the comprehensive list, suggesting that "faded flowers" be removed; and the material list be further defined.
Ms. Radel advised staff had drafted proposed revisions based on their review of similar ordinances in the Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but that staff would review language further and more specifically.
Councilmember Ihlan suggested that another approach would be to specify materials that would not be allowed for yard cover; while addressing pervious and impervious materials. Councilmember Ihlan opined that she had no major concerns with the general language; further opining that she didn't want to require people to have lawns as long as their options were aesthetically pleasing. Councilmember Ihlan addressed enforcement issues for such a specific list of compost materials and their diameters, suggesting that guidelines be provided, rather than enforceable language.
Mayor Klausing suggested that the intent in providing a diameter of no more than ¼ inch for compost materials was to avoid fallen trees in compost materials.
City Attorney Anderson concurred; and noted that enforcement with a nuisance code was always an issue; however, if language was changed to guidelines, there would be no way to enforce it at all, and then a nuisance code would not be the appropriate place.
Mayor Klausing spoke in support of language enforceable to avoid people putting general garbage or other non-compostable materials in their compost areas.
City Attorney Anderson noted that this gets to the terms of a list of materials not allowed; items that give rise to effervescence in the air; and basically get enforced when neighbors complain. City Attorney Anderson noted that this allows for a definitive nature as staff reviews each specific situation and can then respond to those complaints.
Councilmember Ihlan requested that staff seek additional expertise from green gardening promoters and how this suggested language fits into composting practices.
Ms. Radel advised that she and Recycling Coordinator Tim Pratt would seek additional information.
On a related note, Ms. Radel advised that composting bins would be available in May at City Hall during regular business hours at a cost of $35 each.
Councilmember Roe reminded residents that the City's Clean-Up Day was scheduled for Saturday, April 25, 2009.
b. Discuss Electronic Council Communications
City Attorney Anderson provided additional comments and revisions to a proposed electronic communications policy.
Mr. Anderson addressed previous concerns of Councilmember Johnson related to First Amendment rights while complying with Open Meeting laws; and further defining applicable communications. Mr. Anderson advised that upon further review and discussion, many items were found unnecessary, were reorganized, and simplified.
Councilmember Johnson thanked City Attorney Anderson for providing additional clarity and expectations for Councilmembers in and outside of chambers. Councilmember Johnson expressed frustration with the apparent confinement and alienation of communications outside meetings and the Council Chambers, and inability to take advantage of opportunities provided by electronic communications in keeping aware of constituent issues and concerns.
Mayor Klausing thanked City Attorney Anderson for the additional work, and sought additional time for review and consideration, then followed by more discussion.
Councilmember Roe specifically addressed the Roseville Issues Forum and individual councilmember participation.
City Attorney Anderson addressed the Forum as it related to Open Meeting law and serial meetings or groupings of less than a quorum, and the intent of the Forum versus attempting to avoid public hearings or fashion agreement before a public meeting. Mr. Anderson advised that he would review Supreme Court rulings to-date and look at the language again for further clarification and expand further on what councilmembers could or could not do.
City Attorney Anderson noted that the advice he provided his clients, with laws related to intent and was based on prohibiting violation, was that if they were in doubt, discuss the content of those private conversations in a public forum, which would serve to negate any doubt about attempting to keep them outside the public arena.
Discussion ensued related to chat rooms and list serves; on-line versus telephone communications and the public process; explaining to the public rationale for individual councilmember decision-making; and further refinement from the original draft of a policy to what the City Council was attempting to accomplish.
Further discussion included whether a disclaimer was necessary; and the public nature of the majority of Council information if not protected by attorney/client privilege or related to personnel issues protected under data privacy laws.
Councilmember Pust sought further clarification on record retention of personal computer documents and expressed confusion with categorization of documents on page 4 of the report.
City Attorney Anderson noted that law was incredibly unclear related to retention; and advised that there was considerable discussion and disagreement within their firm as to requirements for home computer records for Councilmembers as they related to government records; and advised that nothing under MN law was conclusive at this time.
Councilmember Pust questioned a situation where a citizen e-mailed her at home, but later referenced that e-mail in a public meeting; and if she then needed to provide a copy of the e-mail to the City Manager as it had then became public data.
In an attempt to provide further guidance to Councilmembers, City Attorney Anderson advised that he would pursue that issue further by a more detailed review of the Record Retention Act, as the Data Practices Act did not address such a situation.
14. City Manager Future Agenda Review
City Manager Malinen briefly reviewed upcoming agendas, apologizing that he did not have information available for the April 20, 2009 meeting.
15. Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Councilmember Johnson requested that an update and status report on the Parks and Recreation Master Plans be included on the April 20, 2009 agenda.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 pm.