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City Council Meeting Minutes
November 22, 2010
1. Roll Call
Mayor Klausing called to order the Roseville City Council regular meeting at approximately 6:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone. (Voting and Seating Order for November: Pust; Johnson; Roe; Ihlan; and Klausing). City Attorney Charles Bartholdi was also present. Mayor Klausing announced that Councilmember Pust had indicated the City Council previously of a conflict that she was unable to attend tonight’s meeting. Mayor Klausing further noted that a Special Meeting was scheduled for Monday, November 29, 2010 at 6:00 p.m., for which Councilmember Pust had also indicated a conflict.
CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION
Mayor Klausing announced that the City Council would be going into Closed Executive Session; and asked that City Attorney Bartholdi review the authority of the City Council in moving into closed session.
Discuss City Manager Performance Evaluation
City Attorney Bartholdi reviewed the specific statutory authority, Minnesota State Statutes, Chapter 13D.05, subd. 3.a, and its provision for closing a meeting for the purpose of employee evaluation of employees under its jurisdiction, identifying that employee as City Manager’s Malinen for his annual review; and stipulation that a summary of discussion during closed session was to be summarized in open session for public information purposes.
Land Acquisition Update for 1885 – 1915 County Road C West
City Attorney Bartholdi reviewed the specific statutory authority, Minnesota State Statutes, Chapter 13D.06, subd. 3.c, and its provisions for closing a meeting for the purpose of confidential discussions related to land acquisition, with the specific property involved being located at 1885 – 1915 County Road C West, with two of the parcels acquired by Quick Take Action, and tonight’s discussion for the purpose of the type of settlement through negotiations.
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, recessing the meeting into Closed Executive Session, at 6:07 p.m., related to attorney/client privilege and confidential discussion by the City Council, staff and legal counsel, in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.05, subd. 3.a, specific to confidential personnel-related discussions for the annual City Manager Performance Evaluation; and in accordance with Minnesota Statute 13D.05, subd. 3.c; and for a confidential discussion related to an update of land acquisition at 1885 – 1915 County Road C West.
Ayes: Johnson; Roe; Ihlan; and Klausing.
Mayor Klausing recessed the meeting at approximately 6:06 pm and reconvened in Executive Session at approximately 6:08 pm.
Mayor Klausing recessed the Executive Session at approximately 6:36 pm and reconvened at approximately 6:38 pm in Regular Session.
Mayor Klausing advised that the review of City Manager Malinen had been continued until the December 6, 2010 meeting. Mayor Klausing further advised that no formal action was required yet for the land acquisition, with staff receiving further direction as requested.
2. Approve Agenda
City Manager Malinen requested removal of Consent Item 7.c entitled, “Approve a Recycling Services Contract,” to allow additional discussion and review of several minor amendments following City Attorney review of the contract.
By consensus, the agenda was approved as amended.
3. Public Comment
Mayor Klausing called for public comment by members of the audience on any non-agenda items. No one appeared to speak at this time.
4. Council Communications, Reports, Announcements and Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Report
a. HRA Quarterly Report
Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon and Housing Coordinator Jeanne Kelsey Pat were present to provide the Quarterly HRA Report. Mr. Trudgeon referenced the HRA’s Strategic Plan and overview for providing “a hand up, not a hand out.”
Mr. Trudgeon noted that the HRA had hosted an educational meeting of multi-family property owners in conjunction with the organization, Live Smoke Free, and hoped to repeat similar opportunities in the future.
Mr. Trudgeon also noted that the HRA had embarked on the concept plans for a “Green Remodeling Book” with financial assistance from the Family Housing Fund.
Discussion among staff and Councilmembers included the feedback and receptiveness of multi-family property owners for promoting smoke-free buildings; with staff reviewing their first reaction that they may lose potential renters, but later finding that vacancies had not increased, but renters were supportive of smoke-free environments; and staff anticipating that the future may prove that all multi-family properties would become smoke-free. At the request of Mayor Klausing, staff noted that, to-date, there are no insurance reductions or other incentives for multi-family property owners to promote smoke-free living; however, they were finding that there turnover costs were less due to units not requiring as much cleaning; and that some owners of multiple complexes were utilizing one building for smokers, and the others smoke-free. Staff further noted that findings indicated that a wide range of renters were still being accommodated; and Live Smoke Free had future plans for advocating reduced insurance rates for smoke-free multi-family buildings.
Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the success of the 2010 Free Energy Audits, funded by the HRA at $5,000 annually; noting that all 87 budgeted for had sold out the first day. Of the total participation, 95% indicated that they would be making improvements to their homes based on the energy audit, with items found needing attention including: 72% having insufficient insulation; 31% with inefficient heating and/or air conditioning systems; 20% having inefficient appliances; 14% with drafty windows; and 10% having humidity issues.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that it was the intent of the HRA to continue the free energy audit program in 2011 at the same $5,000 funding allotment. Mr. Trudgeon noted that to-date, staff had received seven building permits as a result of the energy audits, qualifying that information by noting that building permits were not required for insulation improvements. Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the diverse the homeowner makeup of 1-4 person homes; and noted the favorable rate of 75% responses from program participants in returning their stamped post card surveys.
Discussion between staff and Councilmembers included possible follow-up of participants to determine how many proceeded with additional insulation installation following the audits; and a brief review of those tax incentives continuing, as well as those expiring in 2010, for energy-related home improvements; with additional information available on the HRA website, as well as a flyer included with welcome packets sent out to new homeowners in the community.
On a less favorable note, Mr. Trudgeon presented a map showing residential foreclosures in 2010 to-date; and a compilation of comparison information for 2008 – 2010. Mr. Trudgeon advised that a new trend indicated that higher valued homes were being foreclosed upon most recently, indicating fallout from job loss. Mr. Trudgeon noted that the percentage of code enforcement issues related to foreclosed properties was continuing to increase; and staff was closely monitoring possible affected neighborhoods or clusters in those neighborhoods, with some notable impacts in the James Addition, along County Roads D and C, and Dale Street. As part of the 2011 HRA Work Plan currently being discussed and developed, Mr. Trudgeon advised that plans were to look for opportunities to provide education and/or intervention for homeowners where indicated.
Discussion ensued related to the information on the maps and apparent negative trending for Roseville foreclosures, specific to Ramsey County Sheriff’ Office data on Sheriff’s sales; however, staff cautioned that this information was only those homes going to Sheriff’s sales and not providing information on how many were sold prior to going into full foreclosure and eviction, given the six-month redemption period; and not providing information on how many may have sold through short sales during that time.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that staff would continue to monitor foreclosures; and welcomed comments or information of incidents in their neighborhoods.
Further discussion included the unavailability of 2006 and 2007 data from Ramsey County to determine if there was a drastic increase or trending during that time period; with staff noting that the data collection was initiated in 2008 at the height of the economic and housing crisis; and the number of homes being turned around in the community and back on the tax rolls.
Mr. Trudgeon announced the 2011 Living Smarter Home and Garden Fair, scheduled for February 19, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Fairview Community Center; and provided a list of sponsors to-date; and ongoing positive partnership between the HRA and School District. Mr. Trudgeon noted that there was a 75% commitment of registered vendors with several still considering sponsorship of the event; Home Depot supplying kits for kids’ building projects for the 2011 Fair; and Xcel Energy’s donation of Blue Sky Guides; and the recurrent goal in 2011 for a zero waste event.
Ms. Kelsey provided a review of the HRA’s newly-developed Living Smarter website (LivingSmarter.org), and ownership of the trademark for rebranding and marketing Roseville. Ms. Kelsey reviewed demographic tracking data gleaned from users of the site; and responses to Google advertising, in addition to marketing the community in several hard copy venues. Ms. Kelsey noted the successful response in offering online registration for vendors for the Living Smarter Home and Garden Fair; and availability for accessing the Living Smarter website through the City of Roseville’s official website as well; with all marketing created to be user-friendly.
Ms. Kelsey encouraged Councilmembers, and the public, to offer their suggestions and comments to staff; with the intent to keep the site fresh with information remaining relative to time and opportunity and continually changing. Ms. Kelsey advised that the next step was that the Green Remodeling Handbook be offered on the website as a resource, owned jointly by the HRA and Family Housing Fund, but available for sharing with other communities.
Discussion included clarification of the advertising responses and “hits” on the website, having only been operational for two months; cooperative work and market share between the HRA and Roseville Visitor’s Association (RVA) in promoting Roseville and its amenities; future promotion to area real estate professionals; and ease of navigation of the website.
Mayor Klausing thanked Mr. Trudgeon and Ms. Kelsey for their presentation.
5. Recognitions, Donations, Communications
6. Approve Minutes
a. Approve Minutes of November 15, 2010 Regular Meeting
Johnson moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of the minutes of the November 15, 2010 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 Malinen briefly reviewed those items being considered under the Consent Agenda.
a. Approve Payments
Councilmember Roe reminded Mr. Miller of the Council’s previous request to adjust the list of claims to provide more detail, as had been included with the former software program.
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, approval of the following claims and payments as presented.
b. Approve Business Licenses
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, approval of business license applications for the period of one year, for applicants as follows:
Business / Address
Type of License
17 Lock & Dam Lane; Minnesota City, MN
Sale of Christmas Trees
8. Consider Items Removed from Consent
a. Approve a Recycling Services Contract (formerly Consent Item 7.c)
City Manager Malinen noted that the City Attorney had provided a revised Agreement for Comprehensive Recycling Services as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part thereof, with modifications specified on pages 1 and 5.
Klausing moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of a three-year recycling services contract with Neighborhood Recycling Corporation, d/b/a Eureka Recycling.
Ayes: Roe; Ihlan; and Klausing.
Councilmember Ihlan requested that staff provide public information on those pizza boxes allowed and those not allowed.
Councilmember Johnson advised that his vote reflected his inability to attend the meeting when original discussions were held on the proposed contract; and were based on his concerns with this company’s agreement related to commodity markets.
9. General Ordinances for adoption
a. Consider Enacting an Ordinance Amending Title Five, Section 506.03, User Fees regarding False Alarms
Police Chief Mathwig provided additional information following discussions among City Councilmembers and staff at a previous meeting. Chief Mathwig advised that suggestion for a “rolling calendar” as opposed to a calendar year process was deemed by records staff to be harder to track, and therefore was not being recommended. Chief Mathwig advised that the proposed increases to the fee schedule would be addressed by Finance Director Miller during the next agenda item. Therefore, Chief Mathwig advised that the only recommended change to the ordinance since its last presentation was to lines 33-35 to clarify the time period for which false alarms were tracked.
Councilmember Roe noted receipt of an e-mail from Councilmember-elect Tammy McGehee dated November 22, 2010 related to the proposed ordinance; and reviewed and expressed appreciation for the Fire and Police Department‘s responses to that e-mail, attached hereto and made a part thereof.
At the request of Mayor Klausing, and for benefit of the public, Councilmember Roe paraphrased and reviewed the topics and responses on the e-mail, specifically related to the department still sending an officer to the site of a false alarm even after receiving an all-clear from the owner to ensure that response was not provided under duress; with that response not counting toward the annual tally for false alarms. In response to the concern expressed in the e-mail regarding false alarms not the fault of the owner but requiring response, Councilmember Roe pointed to specific ordinance language defining false alarms and exceptions, with the owner only held responsible for those things under their control.
Discussion was held among Councilmembers and staff in response to concerns raised in the e-mail from Councilmember-elect Tammy McGehee; related to the proposed progressive fee schedule; with Chief Mathwig noting that only 2% of the types of alarms being addressed were not charged, given the data presented that of the 1200 annual residential and business alarm calls, 1,176 of those calls, or 98%, were false alarms.
Further discussion ensued regarding capping of fees; how tiers for charges based on the number of false calls were determined and broken down; comparable data from surrounding communities; intent of the proposed ordinance to provide incentive to fix the problem by having people take responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof, rather than having the entire community shoulder the cost for false alarms; noting that the majority of false alarms were for businesses, while recognizing that some residents had a high frequency for false alarms as well.
Lt. Lorne Rosand was also present to assist Chief Mathwig in responding to comments and questions related to the proposed ordinance.
Additional discussion ensued regarding whether to adopt the ordinance, followed by an annual review if any fee adjustments were indicated after it had been in operation for a year; clarifying that the requested action was only for ordinance adoption, with the proposed fees under separate action.
Councilmember Johnson expressed his willingness to support the ordinance and proposed fees; however, he noted the impacts for small business owners, as well as residents, with a fee of $1,500 for the seventh false alarm; and spoke in support of reviewing the ordinance after the first year’s operation to determine if its goals were being achieved. Councilmember Johnson opined that the fees should support the costs of the service provided by the Police Department, above and beyond standard public safety services.
Councilmember Ihlan expressed concerns, similar to those she raised at the last meeting, related to the potential impact to residents versus business; and her concern that the fees may provide disincentives to have an alarm system, creating additional safety issues for residents; as well as the danger in the proposed fees creating a burden on people, and causing the City to lose sight of what was trying to be accomplished, and moving from seeking some compensation to an onerous amount of compensation by creating an undue burden. Councilmember Ihlan expressed her need for additional information: what the problem was that the proposed ordinance and fees were supposed to solve; and which people were going to be penalized. Without a differential between residents and businesses, Councilmember Ihlan opined that the proposed ordinance was not a good policy change to make.
Councilmember Roe reminded Councilmembers that the ordinance was the only action being considered at this time, not the fee schedule.
Mayor Klausing concurred, and clarified that the requested action was to make a change in City Ordinance to establish false alarm fees for residents and/or businesses in the community having multiple false alarm calls in a calendar year.
Roe moved, Johnson seconded, enactment of Ordinance No. 1399 entitled, “An Ordinance Amending Title Five, False Alarms – Security and Alarm Systems, Section 506.03 User Fees;” to establish false alarm fees as set forth by the City Fee Schedule in City Code, Section 314.05.”
Ayes: Johnson; Roe; and Klausing.
b. Consider Enacting an Ordinance establishing the 2011 Fee Schedule
Finance Director Miller summarized the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated November 22, 2010; highlighting staff’s recommended adjustments to existing fees, based on the detailed analysis by staff from various departments.
As previously announced, Councilmember Johnson briefly left the meeting at approximately 7:25 pm for another commitment.
City Attorney Bartholdi addressed Councilmembers, noting that any vote on an Ordinance required a City Council majority vote.
With consensus, Councilmember Roe suggested that other agenda items be discussed, deferring this discussion, until Councilmember Johnson returned to the meeting.
a. Receive Draft City Performance Measures
Finance Director Chris Miller briefly summarized staff’s initial development of performance measures to complement the numerous reports and statistics prepared by the City and to provide guidance for future decision-making, as detailed in the RCA dated November 15, 2010, for informational purposes only. Mr. Miller noted that the measures had begun slowly and in small increments, and that the process was still evolving; and would ultimately link to broader integrated models for goals and visions for the City’s Strategic Plan, Capital Investment Program, goals and strategies established by the Imagine Roseville 2025 community visioning process, and the City’s annual budgeting for outcomes .
Councilmember Pust expressed enthusiasm for work initiated to-date, and that it had been broken down by department; and offered her comments as staff continued to refine it, opining that performance measures were helpful only if they measured those things controllable to employees and were designed to get the City closer to achieving defined goals. Councilmember Pust expressed appreciation for tying the performance measures into the Imagine Roseville 2025 strategies; but questioned why the City of Woodbury was listed repeatedly in the staff report.
City Manager Malinen advised that the Cities of Woodbury and Roseville were part of only a handful of approximately 10-15 other MN cities having weighed in on a performance measure system.
Councilmember Pust questioned if this process had been developed through the International City Manager’s Association (ICMA); with City Manager Malinen confirming that it had initially been developed through their Center for Performance Management program.
At the request of Mayor Klausing, Finance Director Miller advised that this was not a complete list, but those measures for which departments could easily track performance measures and report back to the City Council on an ongoing basis; with departments using other measures to aid them in their recommendations to decision-makers.
Councilmember Pust provided comment on several categories:
Councilmember Pust noted that that there was nothing is included for Elections, and she suggested that performance measures could be included on the percentage of the population voting, and reflecting convenience, and educational efforts for the public.
Councilmember Pust noted that, while the number of website subscribers for electronic communications was included, performance measures could be more in-depth than that, including how often the City’s website content was refreshed to ensure information contained therein didn’t get stale; the number of complaints or comments received on the website related to errors, or comments on helpful information provided.
Councilmember Pust suggested including, under the City Manager/Human Resources Function, performance measures for the number of community organizations and/or events were made contact with on a repeat basis; and the linkage between the City Manager’s office and community.
Councilmember Pust suggested measurements for how many partnerships had been formed or actively utilized with other governments or agencies.
Councilmember Pust suggested that, in addition to the tons of recyclable materials collected, measurements for distribution of rain barrels or assistance in implementing rain gardens or other advances in storm water management would address the community’s goal to become more environmentally sustainable.
Councilmember Pust suggested measurements on proactive or prevention initiatives of staff; as well as steps taken in building relationships with the community’s youth; and evaluation of prevention efforts realized through community presentations.
Related to the Police Department’s work with the City’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), Councilmember Pust expressed interest in measuring whether recent enactment of the nuisance ordinance was reducing the number of police calls to problem buildings; and if the goal was being met to work with residents, managers, and owners of those buildings to ensure the safety of their residents while addressing problem or nuisance properties.
Councilmember Pust questioned the phrasing or purpose of the EMS calls for service per 1,000 residents, and the goal trying to be accomplished, whether it was for more or less than a certain number.
Public Works Department
Councilmember Pust noted that most of their measures were related to cost, such as gallons of water pumped per day, however, those were not items controllable by employees; and she suggested that more emphasis be included for measuring efforts to make the community more environmentally sustainable.
Parks & Recreation Department
Councilmember Pust expressed surprise that their measurements were related to costs per acre for park system maintenance that addressed annual expenditures that were somewhat controllable, but opined that it seemed there should be some measurement of the number of households using the park systems/facilities; and if and how the volunteer based was increasing, thereby reducing maintenance costs accordingly. Councilmember Pust also suggested a measurement on participant fees, and whether they were increasing or decreasing.
Councilmember Roe concurred with the general comments of Councilmember Pust in attempting to tie benchmarks to something that the City Council and/or staff could actively improve upon for the benefit of its citizens to measure impacts of actions, not just quantify measurements. Councilmember Roe had several additional comments:
Councilmember Roe suggested that measurements include the number of water main breaks annually, not just the gallons of water pumped, similar to the City’s Pavement Management Program (PMP) to determine the percentage of utilities above or below standards or goals of the community.
In general, Councilmember Roe suggested that staff attempt to find more connections establishing goals to benchmarks outlined in the Imagine Roseville 2025 document.
Councilmember Johnson concurred with previous comments, noting that there was a correlation with the community’s wellness and the number of emergency calls to a home, with some form of measurement tracked accordingly.
City Manager Malinen expressed appreciation to the City Council for their patience with this process, and for their comments tonight; and offered staff’s intent to become more adept in measuring benchmarks accurately and consistently. Mr. Malinen noted that the attempt was for each department to initially focus on five (5) items that were easy to measure on a monthly basis, anticipating that some data would be available for the City Council in January of 2011, with further efforts made to implement more performance measures thereafter, but not proceeding too quickly, but allowing it to become part of a regular routine across the board for all departments.
Councilmember Roe noted that goals were already listed, and otherwise only requiring annually tracking; and suggested that determining where to go with and following up with those goals would also prove helpful.
11. Public Hearings
a. Public Hearing for 2011 Liquor License Renewals
Finance Director Chris Miller advised that the initial list of liquor license renewal establishments was incomplete, and provided a modified list as bench handout, including all establishments seeking renewal. Mr. Miller noted that the Police Department had reviewed and provided comment on those establishments with compliance check failures over the last year; and had expressed no major or outstanding concerns, and recommended renewal for all those listed establishments.
Mayor Klausing opened and closed the Public Hearing at 7:26 p.m. for the purpose of hearing public comment for 2011 Liquor License Renewals, with no one appearing for or against.
b. Public Hearing to Certify Delinquent Utilities
Finance Director Chris Miller revised the RCA dated November 22, 2010; and advised that all listed property owners had been notified of tonight’s public hearing and requested action. Mr. Miller clarified that those property owners listed had remaining delinquencies of at least 90 days in arrears; and further advised that the City Office would continue to accept payments until December 17, 2010, and before certifying them to the County Auditor for collection on property taxes.
Mayor Klausing opened and closed the Public Hearing at 7:28 p.m. for the purpose of hearing public comment on Certifying Delinquent Utilities, with no one appearing for or against.
12. Business Items (Action Items)
a. Consider Approving 2011 Liquor License Renewals
Roe moved, Ihlan seconded, approval of requested liquor licenses for the calendar year 2011 detailed and identified as “Attachment A,” to the Request for Council Action (RCA) dated November 22, 2010; as revised and distributed as a bench handout, attached hereto and made a part thereof.
b. Consider a Resolution Certifying Unpaid Utility and Other Charges to the Property Tax Rolls
Klausing moved, Ihlan seconded, adoption of Resolution No.10859 entitled, “Resolution Directing the County Auditor to Levy Unpaid Water, Sewer, and Other City Charges for Payable 2011 or Beyond;” as detailed in “Exhibit A” to the RCA dated November 22, 2010; and provided as a bench handout, entitled, “Delinquent Accounts for 4th Quarter 2010 – Property Taxes 2011,” dated November 22, 2010; attached hereto and made a part thereof.
c. Consider Reclassifying one Code Enforcement Officer Position into a Code Enforcement Officer – Housing Position
Community Development Director Patrick Trudgeon summarized the request for reclassification of one Code Enforcement Officer position to a Code Enforcement Officer – Housing position, as detailed in the RCA dated November 22, 2010.
Mr. Trudgeon reviewed the challenges being experienced in the department with the loss of permit and land use application revenue, due to current economic conditions and current budget constraints; while the need remained for staff to address ongoing nuisance and code enforcement issues within the community.
Councilmember Roe noted that the proposed Job Description included Nuisance Code Enforcement, and recommended that the title, “Code Enforcement Officer – Housing,” be revised to recognize those job duties and re-titled as “Code Enforcement Officer - Housing [and Nuisance].”
Mr. Trudgeon concurred with that revised Job Description Title.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned if other positions within the Community Development Department had been reviewed as part of this request, specifically other Code Enforcement Officers; whether a salary comparison with other communities had been done; and rationale for reclassifying this position.
Mr. Trudgeon advised that a review of all positions in the Department had been done, with the position of Economic Development Associate eliminated; but that no other changes were recommended for inspection personnel; and advised that no analysis of salaries had been done with other communities. Mr. Trudgeon clarified that the salary grade and point levels were determined from a grid by the Human Resources Director based on and compared with other job description duties. Mr. Trudgeon advised that he and Code Enforcement Coordinator Don Munson had reviewed the original intent of this specific position when it was created 13 years ago, with the incumbent currently in the position never having achieved the intended certification as a Building Inspector, the most significant reason for the recommended change in pay grades. Mr. Trudgeon noted the community’s continued high priority in the City providing proactive code enforcement services.
City Manager Malinen concurred with Mr. Trudgeon’s summary and rationale.
Councilmember Roe clarified that, if future work load requirements indicated that the duties currently being handled by two Code Enforcement Officers could be handled by a single Officer, that decision could be made administratively based on workloads and staffing needs; but by definition, the position or pay grade wouldn’t change.
Mr. Trudgeon concurred; further noting that while the Department was facing declining revenue; a similar number of permits, even though smaller in size, were still being fielded and required the same actions and process by Building Inspectors as larger, more significant permits.
Klausing moved, Roe seconded, approval of the elimination of one Code Enforcement Officer position (at Grade level 10) and the creation of one Code Enforcement Officer – Housing and Nuisance position (at Grade level 9); with that position to fulfill the duties specified in the job description attached to the RCA dated November 22, 2010.
Councilmember Ihlan expressed her willingness to support the motion; however, she expressed her qualms in not favoring reviewing and reclassifying positions, resulting in turning a filled position into a lower level position, with a subsequent reduction in salary for that person. Councilmember Ihlan sought assurances that the action was documented based on workloads and job duties; and the missing certifications for the position; and expressed her interest in seeing the request in the context of a larger, organizational restructure, rather than just this one position.
d. Consider a Resolution Adopting the 2011 Utility Rate Adjustments Adopting 2011 Water and Sewer Rates
Finance Director Chris Miller summarized the request for adoption of staff reviewed and recommended 2011 Utility Rates, ad detailed in the RCA dated November 22, 2010, noting the components of that analysis for capital, fixed, and operational costs.
Mr. Miller addressed the conservation-based water rate structure implemented in 2009, and the limited data available on the impacts to average household or business use behavior, with no conclusive evidence to-date. Mr. Miller noted that, based on previous comparisons, Roseville residents appeared to reflect water conservation measures before the revised rate structure; with the City’s usage lower than many surrounding communities, particularly first and second ring suburbs. Mr. Miller advised that the City’s Public Works, Environment and Transportation PWET) Commission had reviewed the data and trends to determine if any changes in household behavior was indicated, and had initially discussed and expressed their strong enthusiasm for stronger incentives by increasing the rate structure by adding more tiers, with those high end water consumers to be charged a significantly higher fee than that recommended by staff, for an approximate 50% rate increase for the higher tier.
Mr. Miller noted that staff’s recommended rate increases were outlined on Page 4 of the staff report; and included resulting financial impacts for atypical single-family home, as well as a typical commercial property; for an overall average increase of 4.7% for most single-family homes.
Mr. Miller noted that the charts included on Schedule A (pages 7 and 8 of the report), provided more detail of the various water and sewer rates, including base rates to address fixed costs, and user rates for variable costs; including a suggested increase for conservation-based rates at 10% to cover day-to-day operations and replacement of the City’s aging infrastructure, with a premium included for higher than average users. Mr. Miller advised that Roseville residents had fewer irrigation systems, as well as many smaller lots, impacting water use.
Discussion among staff and Councilmembers included a past rate comparison with other communities based on household demographics and numbers, as well as weather-related water usage; conservation rate impacts for commercial users and how to verify aggregate data to determine commercial use patterns as well as residential use patterns, allowing for meter size, given higher commercial volume that average users, but recognizing the many variables in size of commercial users.
Mr. Miller advised that staff was not recommending a tiered rate structure, based on problematic comparison analyses for types of business or commercial uses; given the huge disparities apparent in some commercial buildings, and the inability to distinguish the type of business to determine tier rates for commercial buildings; opining that a business’s bottom line may provide a better incentive than could be achieved or encouraged by the City’s rate structure.
Councilmember Roe suggested a future review at providing additional incentives for changing behavior through considering bonuses or credits for reducing consumption by percentages for commercial users at certain levels of reduction evidenced, easily achieved through adjustments to irrigation systems, such as frequency of operation or addition of a rain gauge.
Councilmember Ihlan spoke in support of a sliding scale for residential or commercial use, noting that water was a scarce commodity and the need for overall conservation efforts, over and above the City’s cost for providing water service; opining that current conservation rate structures provided no incentive to decrease consumption. Councilmember Ihlan supported more gradation and higher differentials in the rate structure to build in economic incentives for residential or commercial users.
Councilmember Ihlan expressed concern with the proposed base rates that provided for substantial increases for residential users, many of whom were not high volume users and had initially been well below the average consumption rates; and may actually serve the opposite affect for conservation rates, discouraging their natural conservation instincts, or smaller number of people in a home. Councilmember Ihlan spoke in support of finding a way to address revenue needs, while structuring the rates so those using the higher volumes paid the most.
Mayor Klausing sought clarification from staff that the base rate reflected the capital cost of running the water main down the street, which was not sufficiently funded now, and attempting to achieve capital needs now and for future infrastructure upkeep or replacement.
Mr. Miller concurred, noting that the base rate had been revised in 2009 to capture capital costs (including water mains, meters, lift stations, etc.); with some of those significant capital replacements already underway in 2010 and proposed in the 2011 budget. Mr. Miller advised that the revised base rate was based on concern in not having enough revenue, pushing the revenue-generating ability onto the water usage rates; and once conservation rates were mandated by the legislature, it seemed counterproductive to apply those costs to usage rates, while telling people to conserve water. Under this current structure, Mr. Miller opined that smaller users realized some savings in their base rate.
Councilmember Johnson returned to the dais at approximately 7:57 pm.
Councilmember Roe noted that the usage rate also included periodic, if not annual, increases from the St. Paul Regional Water Utility, increased this year at 5.4%, as well as labor costs and other standard operational costs for the utility. Councilmember Roe sought clarification from staff on whether the base rates, and annual increases, were getting the City closer to covering capital costs, and could possibly stabilize in the future.
Mr. Miller advised that the City’s ten year CIP and ten year Financial Plan sustained increases in water and sewer rates to provide for their infrastructure replacement, with the assumption that the City Council continued their preference for replacing infrastructure at the end of its projected life; and noted that increases would be seen in the foreseeable future to accomplish that task.
Councilmember Ihlan expressed concern in her recollection and understanding of those discussions compared to the statement just made by Mr. Miller; and suggested progressively increasing usage fees for higher users to include a greater percentage of those fixed costs, with the base rates remaining constant for all, whether small or large volume users. Councilmember Ihlan reiterated her concern that the rate structure caused the burden to fall on those using the system the least.
Councilmember Roe suggested that the PWET Commission and staff be charged in the future with a more intense review of the conservation rate structure to provide greater incentives for reducing usage; and a more in-depth review of the base rate structure as well.
Mayor Klausing refocused discussion on the action currently before the City Council for 2011 Utility Rates; and deferred that additional discussion to Mayor-elect Roe.
Councilmember Roe sought staff’s rationale in the proposed 2011 Recycling Rates, with single-family rates being reduced, while multi-family rates were increasing substantially.
Mr. Miller advised that staff’s recommendations were directly related to the bid contract received from the contractor, with the previous multi-family rates lower, but with the new contract having one rate for all residential properties; with staff recommending that the fee be set accordingly.
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, adoption of Resolution No. 10860 entitled, “Resolution Establishing the 2011 Utility Rates, as detailed in Schedule A.
a. Consider Adopting an Ordinance Establishing the 2011 Fee Schedule
With the return of Councilmember Johnson, discussion ensued on the 2011 Fee Schedule Ordinance.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned why the fees for amusement devices had been reduced; with Finance Director Miller responding that it had been brought to the City’s attention that previous fees failed to recognize changes in State Statute limiting regulation of amusement devices (e.g. video games, pinball machines, darts, foosball, pool tables) to $15 per machine, with those revisions addressed in the proposed 2011 fee schedule..
Councilmember Ihlan questioned staff recommendation for residential storm water permits and permit renewals every five years, when no current amounts were indicated; and sought clarification under what circumstances a permit was required and staff’s rationale for those fees.
Mr. Miller advised that, as detailed in the staff report (line 40), explanation was provided that the new zoning code, scheduled for adoption in the near future and by 2011, provided allowances for impervious coverage above the current thirty percent (30%) as long as a property owner implemented localized storm water practices on a residential level and on-site. In order to ensure ongoing compliance of the property, Mr. Miller advised that it would require initial and periodic review by City Engineers and Technicians.
Public Works Director Duane Schwartz advised that it was the intention for those exceeding the current zoning code in terms of 30% lot coverage, whenever a variance for 50% coverage was permitted, that sufficient best management practices (BMP’s) be installed; but that no additional requirements were indicated if impervious coverage was at 30% of less.
Mayor Klausing reminded Councilmembers that the proposed fee schedule for false alarms was included with this action; and recognizing previously-expressed concerns about the higher amounts recommended by staff, sought any further discussion or comment specific to those proposed rates.
Mayor Klausing spoke in support of the proposed false alarm fees as recommended by staff; opining that the concerns previously addressed were not sufficient to override the staff recommended rates; and his inclination would be to implement those rates at this time with a caveat for review in 12 months after practical application. Mayor Klausing opined that, whether you were a homeowner or business owner, if you already had five false alarms, you needed to take steps to alleviate the problem and become a responsible user of the alarm system.
Councilmember Ihlan requested, and Mayor Klausing declared the question divided to break out the staff-recommended false alarm fees.
Klausing moved, Roe seconded, enactment of Ordinance No 1400 entitled, “An Ordinance Adopting the 2011 Fee Schedule (Attachment A), effective January 1, 2011; excluding False Alarm Fees detailed on page 3 of the 2011 Fee Schedule.
Klausing moved, Johnson seconded, enactment of Police and/or Fire False Alarm Fees as detailed on page 3 of the 2011 Fee Schedule (Attachment A), effective January 1, 2011.
13. Business Items – Presentations/Discussions
a. Discuss Questions for a Resident Survey
Communications Specialist Tim Pratt reviewed the latest draft of sample questions as detailed in RCA dated November 22, 2010; and following feedback from City Councilmembers at previous meetings, seeking inclusion of priority-based budget-related questions
Discussion included those questions incorporated into the draft at the suggestion of staff and those suggested by Cobalt, or based on boilerplate questions, with staff responding that the civic model had been provided by staff with the divisions and design of survey, its formula and format, provided by Cobalt.
Councilmember Johnson expressed reservations related to the potential validity of questions related to the Parks and Recreation system, given the larger system in Roseville than most metropolitan communities; and his concern that the uniqueness of that system may get lost in the overall compilation when compared to essential services, such as police and fire. Councilmember Johnson questioned how the survey was randomly spread throughout the community demographically, and whether the data could be one-sided. However, Councilmember Johnson noted that, as a result of the recent Parks and Recreation Master Plan process, the Department would be performing their own independent survey, and suggested that data from both surveys be combined or considered in tandem for future budget consideration.
Mayor Klausing opined that it was an important bit of information to have available, to determine on what a majority of residents place the highest value; and it was only one tool in the City Council decision-making processes.
Further discussion included how the random households would be chosen and their representation among the community, whether households using parks or not; methodology for choosing the field of respondents; projected percentage of senior citizens residing in Roseville estimated at 65%; the validity and accuracy of the survey in providing a representative sampling or snapshot of the community; and perspectives of individual and corporate decision-makers in the community in utilizing the survey results.
Councilmember Roe confirmed with staff that the questions presented in the packet represented the latest version; and how respondents were to gauge service level questions; and the value of that information, speaking in support of a statistical evaluation for valuation criteria.
Mr. Pratt noted that those questions were repeated in the budget portion of the survey (page 4) with another set of questions for rating satisfaction and funding priorities.
In general, Mayor Klausing opined that the community survey served as a great tool; but recognized that it was only one tool, with limitations; and didn’t allow elected officials to focus only on the feedback from this one tool. In reviewing funding priorities, Mayor Klausing anticipated that the survey may uncover some surprises on values; but could serve as a benchmark over time to determine if ranking and values were being reflected in citizen satisfaction or whether they perceived that they were getting a return on their taxpayer investment.
Councilmember Ihlan concurred with Councilmember Roe’s comments related to rankings; and opined that even with repeating the categories throughout the survey, they would not provide a useful sense of what was important to residents and their basis for living in Roseville. Councilmember Ihlan expressed her interest in using care to ensure that the questions provide useful information or can answer specific questions, such as Item #16 (last item). Councilmember Ihlan questioned whether support for current City government or administration was helpful for measurement. Councilmember Ihlan further questioned how respondents could rank budget priorities without having general descriptions of those categories to understand, using “housing programs” or “community facilities” as examples of not having enough specificity. Councilmember Ihlan noted that items that aren’t optional, such as elections, didn’t seem an important survey question, since even though respondents could rate current services or ease of voting, their ranking as a priority or to be eliminated was not relevant, since it was a mandated service.
Councilmember Ihlan opined that the most problematic portion of the survey was the budgetary actions supported portion; further opining that people probably wouldn’t support raising taxes of fees; and questioned the accuracy of the information.
Mayor Klausing cautioned pre-judging responses to the survey.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned what such questions provided in the context, whether they were meaningful results, and may simply provide interesting, but unreliable information for policy-making purposes; however, she opined that the first portion of the survey would provide useful information.
As per previous Council action, City Manager Malinen noted the City Council’s request to include budgetary priorities included in the survey.
Mayor Klausing opined that, while he may personally wish to change several questions, he didn’t think it was necessary. However, he questioned the need for respondents to identify whether they felt the City’s leaders were trustworthy..
Mayor Klausing sought consensus of Councilmembers to make additional modifications, or to direct staff to proceed.
Councilmember Johnson encouraged staff to keep the survey “fluid,” depending on their deadline and consider additional refinement or improvements. However, Councilmember Johnson saw no need for the survey to come back before the City Council.
Councilmember Roe opined that he didn’t need the survey to come back before the body; however, he asked that staff review the comments and questions addressed at tonight’s meeting. Councilmember Roe noted Councilmember Ihlan’s comments related to the respondents’ support of government as coming directly from the Cobalt template, and was not valuable for his policy-making duties. Councilmember Roe expressed appreciation for the budget module being included; and while items may be added or removed, he appreciated the “Don’t Know” category as an optional response.
Councilmember Johnson questioned if there would be an “other” category for citizen comment.
Mr. Pratt advised that the mailed representative sample survey was not designed for open-ended comments that would require additional work and expense; however, he offered to discuss with Cobalt the possibility of adding that essay type comment option to the online survey available for all residents, allowing City staff to acquire and compile responses.
While recognizing the limitations on what could be included in mailed surveys, Councilmember Roe suggested including budget information, as provided to Councilmembers with a brief discussion of each service or program, as a helpful and educational enclosure for respondents (Attachment D in 2011 Budget Discussion materials). Councilmember Roe also suggested that the cover letter include additional information for respondents to provide additional comment on issues important to them that may not be covered on survey forms.
No formal action taken.
c. Continue Budget Discussions
1. Review 2011 Capital Items
Councilmember Ihlan expressed appreciation to staff for the additional budget worksheets provided and their helpfulness to her budget review.
Councilmember Ihlan sought clarification of the definition of those items representing “new” capital funding with staff responding that they were items not part of the 2010 budget, perhaps discussed previously, but not funded in 2010.
Finance Director Chris Miller and Public Works Director Duane Schwartz clarified for Councilmember Ihlan that the $64,000 for street light replacement was specific to the City’s oldest lighting system in the west portion of the community, and while identified as a CIP improvement for several years, and subsequently deferred on an annual basis, the system had failed and further repair was no longer feasible.
Mr. Miller confirmed for Councilmember Ihlan that the Street Light Replacement Fund was ‘pay-as-you-go,” and had no reserve funds available.
Related to Additional Pathway and Parking Lot Repairs ($57.000), staff advised that this program had not been funded for several years and continued to faller behind with replacement of those pathways and parking lots under municipal jurisdiction and at the end of their useful lives.
Mr. Schwartz advised that the major projects having been deferred involved Autumn Grove and Oasis Parks; with the parking lot replacements awaiting completion of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan process; with the remainder of the allotted funds expended as needs arise.
Related to the Fuel System Leak Detection Device ($18,500), Mr. Schwartz advised that this was included in the 2011 CIP budget; however, due to system failure, the City Council approved replacement in 2010 with funds temporarily taken from reserves for completion in 2010; and requested funds to replace those reserves.
Mr. Miller duly noted Councilmember Ihlan suggestion that the fund request be reduced to reflect the actual and reduced cost of the system at $13,000 rather than the $18,000.
Councilmember Ihlan sought clarification on the CIP item for $9,000 for Police Officer side arms.
Police Chief Mathwig advised that the Glock handgun was used by the department for the last 20 years and normally replaced every 20 years. However, Chief Mathwig advised that while this is only their ninth or tenth year, the manufacturer of the Glock side arms currently had available a pricing scheme to buy back the old guns at a reduced cost, which they would in turn resell. Chief Mathwig advised that this would provide a net savings by not having to retrofit springs and one or more of the other 30 average components inside a gun, for an annual savings of $3,000 in armoring the old guns.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned the $3,000 CIP expense for long gun parts for squads; the frequency of replacing parts in these guns; and if these funds were partially funded in another area of the budget.
Chief Mathwig advised that the M-16 model was used in all squads, and received extensive use from range training several times each year, where multiple rounds were shot, and requiring replacement of parts. Chief Mathwig advised that this was the first time for this level or replacement parts, but though even only a few years old, some internal parts were failing, causing the need for annual parts replacement funds. Chief Mathwig advised that a portion of the funding was included in the Department’s training funds, along with other incidentals, but the additional expense was necessary even though unexpected due to the age of the guns.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned the CIP expense of $2,500 for Police Tactical Gear.
Chief Mathwig advised that this represented a prorated cost-share portion of consumable supplies for all cities involved in the East Metro Task Force.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned the $2,375 for Police Lobby Furniture, Fixtures, etc.
Chief Mathwig responded that the expense was for replacement of those items falling apart and due for replacement.
Councilmember Ihlan sought further clarification on the $171,000 allotted in the CIP budget for Police Vehicle Replacements and what was included; and confirmed that this was the same amount allotted for replacements in the 2010 budget.
Chief Mathwig advised that it was for six squad cars, with no request included for unmarked (detective) vehicles, with this being the third year in a row that those vehicles had not been replaced. Chief Mathwig advised that there were a total of 17 vehicles in the marked fleet, with one-third scheduled for replacement annually, though none had been replaced in 2009. Chief Mathwig noted that orders for police vehicles were ordered in January, with the order filled in May or June of 2011. Chief Mathwig reviewed mileage estimates on those vehicles at their replacement; and advised that, based on their useful life and for safety purposes, industry standards recommended replacement of police vehicles at 75,000 miles, with projected mileage exceeding that level by the time the new units were received. Chief Mathwig noted that, based on recommendations and collected data, the City’s Street Maintenance Department, advised that annual costs for repair and parts replacement of vehicles over 75,000 miles averaged at $4,800 annually per vehicle.
Councilmember Roe asked Chief Mathwig to provide the distinction between unmarked detective vehicles and unmarked squad cars.
Chief Mathwig advised that for Police Department purposes, unmarked detective units are not included in the 17 units as previously identified; however, the 17 units included “plain wrapped” vehicles used by the Department.
Councilmember Ihlan requested additional information from staff identifying what specific vehicles were included in the $772,000 CIP funding list for each department.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned the ongoing funding of $50,000 annually for the Fiber Network with Roseville Schools.
Mr. Miller advised that the City had continued to work proactively with the School District and other partners to proactively build out the community’s fiber network over the last 6-7 years, and indicated that, at the end of 2011, if the project was funded, all significant City facilities and School facilities would be connected; all accomplished at a fraction of the total cost, and continuing to facilitate the City’s partnership with these other agencies.
2. Continue Discussion on the 2011 Tax Levy and Recommended Budget
Councilmember Ihlan reiterated her appreciation to staff for providing the additional information, consisting of the Budget Reconciliation (Attachment B) and 2011 Budget Workpapers (Attachment C).included in the agenda packet materials dated November 22, 2010.
Councilmember Ihlan questioned the additional $1,050 in the City Council budget for training; with City Manager Malinen advising that this was funding for City Councilmembers to attend training opportunities. City Manager Malinen advised that, with two new City Councilmembers coming on board, he would strongly advocate for their attendance, a minimum, of the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC)-sponsored newly elected officials training. Mr. Malinen noted that the 2010 Budget had been reduced to include no allocation for City Council training.
Councilmember Johnson noted that he’d attended a Planning Workshop in 2001; however, he noted that this had been approved as a separate request on a Consent Agenda, as per City Council directive to staff.
Councilmember Ihlan sought additional information on the increase of $2,080 for the Financial Audit, with Mr. Miller advising that this was the additional percentage increase built into and agreed upon for the three year contract for independent audit services as detailed in the consultant agreement with the City, previously approved by the City Council, and for which the City was obligated to abide by.
Councilmember Ihlan noted the provisions of the City Attorney contracting allowing for annual review of the contract to determine if adjustments were indicated.
City Manager Malinen advised that this was a provision mutually agreed upon by the City Attorney and City of Roseville, and based on numerous factors. City Manager Malinen advised that the review of the City Attorney contract had been completed with no changes recommended.
Councilmember Ihlan reviewed proposed Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) reductions from three percent (3%) to one percent (1%) and confusion in COLA increases and step increases, seeking assurance that that allotment was not counted twice.
Finance Director Miller cautioned that the amounts projected were approximations at this time, based initial Department Head requests and City Manager recommendations for each department, with an approximate $5,000 needed to cover step increases throughout the various departments, but not yet specified per department on their final line item budgets.
Councilmember Ihlan noted a number of Department budgets indicating a significant increase in telephone costs, but not across the board, and sought clarification. Councilmember Ihlan questioned how she could how she could determine if the overall costs were increasing or how they were allocated.
Finance Director Miller advised that city-wide overall phone costs were not going up, just a redistribution of the formula used to allocate costs among departments, with staff tweaking that allocation periodically. Mr. Miller advised that he didn’t have the specific allocation formula with him, but overall, anticipated a slight decrease in phone costs, through the City’s continued partnerships on the City’s phone system to defray costs for Roseville taxpayers.
Councilmember Ihlan advised that she would use the Budget Workpapers as she continued her review, and submit additional questions to staff for their response prior to scheduled final budget adoption on December 6, 2010. Councilmember Ihlan advised that she would need a summary from staff of any positions being reduced or added as part of an organization restructuring before her consideration of final 2011 budget adoption.
City Manager Malinen advised that the information had already been provided to Councilmembers; however, offered to resubmit the information to Councilmembers.
Councilmember Ihlan noted her original alarm in appearances in the Parks and Recreation Department budget and staffing levels at the Nature Center; however, she indicated that it was an apparent reallocation of costs; but she requested that information spelled out in more detail for her further review.
Mayor Klausing noted previous City Council action to reduce the budget levy and budget; and sought any further action by Councilmembers from that action for staff’s response.
Councilmembers Roe and Johnson indicated their concurrence with that previous action.
d. Discussion 2011 City Council Meeting Schedule
City Manager Malinen advised that he had heard no proposed changes from Councilmembers, or from Councilmember-elect McGehee for any changes than presented in the draft 2011 meeting calendar; and proposed to include the schedule on the next Consent Agenda.
14. City Manager Future Agenda Review
City Manager Bill Malinen distributed upcoming draft agenda items and briefly reviewed those items.
Councilmember Roe clarified that meeting packet materials would be distributed for the November 29, 2010 special meeting, with the packet anticipated for distribution on Wednesday, November 24, 2010.
City Manager Malinen noted that it was staff’s intent that the December 13, 2010 regular business meeting be solely for the purpose of the City Council’s review and consideration for approval of the zoning code update.
15. Councilmember-Initiated Items for Future Meetings
Councilmember Roe requested a policy-level discussion, prior to the end of 2010, of allocation of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District funds of $1.1 million from the General Fund, with the exception of the $236,000 plus utilized for new 2011 Capital Investment Plan (CIP) expenditures.
City Manager Malinen scheduled the discussion for the December 6, 2010 agenda.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:12 p.m.