CITY OF RIVER FALLS: 3/27/12 COMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGSMarch 27, 2012 Mayor Don Richards called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located in City Hall.
March 27, 2012
Mayor Don Richards called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located in City Hall.
City Council Members Present: Tom Caflisch, David Cronk, Bob Hughes (6:31 p.m.), Randy Kusilek, Scott Morrissette, Jim Nordgren, David Reese
Staff Present: Bill Thiel, City Attorney; Scot Simpson, City Administrator; Carl Gaulke, Utility General Manager; Roger Leque, Police Chief; Tony Steiner, City Planner; Julie Bergstrom, Finance Director/Assistant City Administrator; Buddy Lucero, Community Development Director; Scott Nelson, Fire Chief; Jeff Rixmann, Ambulance Director; Holly Mitchell, Ambulance Operations Supervisor
Others Present: Josh Eidem, Andrew Thomas, Jason and Kristy Andersen, Heather Logelin, Karen Swenson, David Miller
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
March 13, 2012, Regular Meeting Minutes
MS Cronk/Morrissette move to approve minutes as submitted. Morrissette noted he was absent for the last meeting and asked for that change to be reflected in the minutes. The motion passed unanimously.
APPROVAL OF BILLS:
City Bills $1,116,184.81
MSC Cronk/Morrissette move to approve the bills subject to the comptroller. Unanimous.
PUBLIC COMMENT, PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:
Nordgren noted there are some political signs in City’s right-of-ways and asked that candidates be mindful of the City’s ordinance regarding signs.
Resolution No. 5577- Approving Sewer Rate Adjustment
Mayor Richards recessed Council at 6:32 p.m. and went into a public hearing. At 6:33 p.m. with no one else wishing to speak for or against this issue, Council reconvened into Open Session for disposition. MS Morrissette/Nordgren move to approve resolution.
Alderperson Nordgren asked City Administrator Simpson to provide the Council information on where River Falls stood relative to surrounding communities. Nordgren has seen the information and said Simpson would provide the information to the rest of the Council. Nordgren said the City is near the top in sewer rates in the area but the rate adjustment has to be done due to the situation with the debt. With no other comment, the Mayor called for a vote. The motion to approve the resolution passed unanimously.
Acknowledgement of the following minutes:
Library Board – 2/6/12; Police, Fire and Ambulance Commission – 2/6/12; Fire Department – 2/6/12; Historic Preservation Commission – 2/8/12; River Falls Housing Authority – 2/14/12; Park and Recreation Advisory Board – 2/15/12
Resolution 5578 - Disallowance of Insurance Claim for Susan Duven
Resolution No. 5579 - Regarding Replacement of Brush Truck
Resolution No. 5580 - Approving Contract for Sewer Cleaning Bids
Resolution No. 5581 - Approving FEMA Grant Application for Hoffman Park Storm Shelter
MSC Caflisch/Nordgren move to approve the Consent Agenda. Unanimous.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:
Resolution No. 5582 - Approving Lease Maintenance and Operation Agreement with River Falls Baseball Council
Buddy Lucero gave a short introduction about the lease agreement. He said the request is for a 20 year lease for $1 per year for a 7.7 acre site located at Hoffman Park East. Included in the lease are concession rights, provision for sale of beer, signs, field maintenance, shared parking, schedules of use, and bonding. Lucero talked about third party use and the appeal procedure. He also showed Council a graphic of the field design and the storm shelter/concession stand. He noted the Baseball Council was present for questions. The Mayor asked if there were questions.
Kusilek asked the size of the shelter. Lucero said it was designed to hold 300 people. There was discussion about the location. The Mayor asked about the light poles.
Josh Eidem, President, River Falls Baseball Council - said an initial lighting design was just completed. He said they are definitely lighting the field.
Cronk asked when the first game would be played at the field. Eidem was hopeful that the first game would be the summer of 2013. He said they have the opportunity to host the Wisconsin Amateur Baseball finals. He said the opportunity only comes once every seven years.
The Mayor asked about contributions. Eidem said initial conversations have begun with bigger regional businesses. He said businesses feel this is valuable, and he doesn’t have to sell the idea.
Kusilek asked about tournaments. Eidem said a tournament is held during River Falls Days. He also talked about the possibility of field turf and how that would provide an opportunity to host more tournaments. Kusilek said he was 100 percent for the project.
Reese asked about concession rights for beer for other tournaments and parking. Lucero addressed the questions. Morrissette asked about a street and access to the field. Simpson addressed the question.
With no further questions, Caflisch moved and Kusilek seconded the motion to approve the resolution. It passed unanimously.
Appeal of Home Occupancy Permit – 1501 W. Maple Street
Tony Steiner, City Planner, gave a brief introduction on the appeal. Steiner explained the permit process. He said Mr. Thomas applied for a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives to sell guns out of his home. Steiner said the permit was reviewed by staff and the only contingency that was attached was that the license needs to be provided to the City within 30 days of receipt. Steiner said there is an appeal process and the Andersons are appealing.
The Mayor asked Mr. Thomas to speak first and the Andersons can then present their objection.
Andrew Thomas, 1501 W. Maple Street - has applied for a license through the ATF. His intention is to buy one or two guns to sell a month. Background checks are run on all prospective buyers. He said the license also allows him to purchase ammunition cheaper.
Cronk asked if the business was primarily over the internet. Thomas said yes. Cronk asked if anyone would ever knock on the door to buy something. Thomas didn’t believe anyone would attempt to do business that way. He explained the parts of the process.
Morrissette asked about delivery of guns. There was discussion. Reese asked about the number of guns per month and about growing the business. Thomas said selling one to four guns per month is an overestimation. He is not looking to create a large business. Reese asked about keeping a transaction log. Thomas said he will be keeping a log for business purposes. Caflisch asked about delivery of guns for customers. Thomas explained the rules regarding gun delivery. Nordgren asked about ammunition at his business. Thomas said he would not be selling ammunition. Hughes asked about gun storage requirements. Thomas explained the requirements.
Reese noted there has been a home occupancy permit for guns issued to another resident for ten years with no adverse occurrences. He wanted to note that on the record. Reese asked Thomas if he ever spoke to him. He said he had not.
With no other comments, the Mayor asked if the Andersons wanted to speak.
Kristy Anderson, 1443 W. Maple Street – explained that she did not have an issue with the permit – just the type of home occupation permit. She quoted the municipal code Chapter 17.82 regarding to the home occupancy permit saying it did create a risk to adjacent properties. Anderson did not want the permit to be allowed in its current form which includes walk up traffic and publication of the business address. She wanted the City to be proactive before something happens. Anderson asked Council to add two restrictions to the permit: no walk up traffic and no publication of the address or public signage. She thanked the Council.
The Mayor confirmed the restrictions she asked. Nordgren asked if they have spoken to Mr. Thomas. Anderson said she did not have a direct conversation with Thomas. Morrissette asked her how this situation would differ from a recreational hunter. She said the difference was because the situation was known and can be mitigated before something happens.
Morrissette asked Chief Leque about an inspection. Chief Leque said an inspection of the residence was not done. He said they evaluated the situation and felt it would not cause a disruption to the neighborhood. Leque also noted that firearms thefts in the City were minimal. He did not feel the permit as presented caused a risk.
The Mayor asked Mr. Thomas if he wanted to respond. Ms. Anderson asked if she could speak again. The Mayor allowed her to speak. Anderson felt that each department – planning and the police – addressed their own issues but did not address her concerns. Kusilek asked a question and Attorney Thiel directed Council to focus on the issue before them. He suggested that Mr. Thomas get the opportunity speak again and then that Council engage in discussion.
Thomas said in order to get a license, you have to have a business and intend on making a profit. The address of the business is a matter of public record. The Mayor noted that would negate Anderson’s first request. He then asked about the second request regarding walk up traffic. Thomas said that would be part of the business, and he would not want to concede from that. He noted the state law which restricts the ability to limit sales regarding firearms sales. There was further questions and discussion by Council.
With no further discussion, the Mayor asked for a motion. Attorney Thiel noted it is an appeal. He said it was appropriate for the Council to discuss it as necessary and then exercise reasonable discretion. Thiel said if Council felt the permit presents an issue, the Council may revise the permit to impose the conditions suggested by the appellate, devise its own conditions, deny the permit or affirm the staff decision in regard to the permit.
Morrissette asked Thiel if it was possible to retract the permit, if necessary, in the future. Thiel said Council should focus on whether the decision of the zoning administrator was appropriate.
Reese shared that he has spoken to 7 or 8 residents and has received calls. Some were for; some were against. He said the people that know Mr. Thomas were in favor of granting the permit. They were comfortable with him. He wanted to represent both sides of the issue but wanted to share his observations.
The Mayor asked for a motion. MS Reese/Kusilek moved to grant the permit without restrictions. Simpson clarified that Reese meant to affirm the permit with the restriction which was already placed on it with the federal firearms license. Reese said he made the motion with the testimony that Mr. Thomas would be willing to share records with the City. The Mayor clarified that the motion denied the appeal. Reese said yes. The Mayor called for a vote. A motion approving the permit was passed unanimously.
Update on Cardiology Program with Ambulance Service and Allina
Jeff Rixmann, Ambulance Director, reviewed with Council the annual report. In 2011, there were 1,763 calls. It is a paid on call department with only four full time staff. He said the average response time is 3:06 minutes. Rixmann talked about advance life intercepts, mutual aid requests and partners, call volume, users, budget and revenues. He said they write a lot of grants. He talked about Medicare patients. He talked about the first responder staff and recruiting. Rixmann recognized Dr. Tim Steinmetz and Dr. Greg Miller who are the Medical Directors for the ambulance service. They donate several volunteer hours and the ambulance department would not be possible without their service.
Rixmann said this year the department is looking at advanced patient care monitoring system. They are writing grants now. He would like to purchase two of those this year. He talked about the community outreach the department has performed with the school district and university. He asked if the Council had any questions.
The Council asked about call scenarios. Rixmann explained the guidelines the ambulance follows. Morrissette asked about mutual aid calls. Hughes asked about the fast response time. Rixmann credited the response time to staff being in close proximity to the station and available to respond.
Rixmann talked about the cardiology program. He partnered with United Hospital to establish a pilot program to address pre-hospital service for post cardiac arrest hypothermia. Dr. Jim Flank from United helped develop a program. The information was submitted to the State of Wisconsin. River Falls is the only ambulance service doing this. Rixmann talked about purchasing Lucas devices for this program. He said the department would be partnering with the local hospital which would match donations dollar for dollar allowing them to purchase two devices. Rixmann showed Council the total donations received so far for this program. He is seeking $5,800 in donations.
Rixmann introduced hospital staff: Heather Logelin, River Falls Hospital Foundation Director; Karen Swenson, Emergency Room Director; and Dave Miller, President of River Falls Area Hospital.
David Miller talked about the chain of survival. He began his career as a Paramedic, and he oversees Allina medical transportation. He provided Council with background regarding cardiac arrest and survival rates. He talked about the new technology, the use of defibrillators, and the high quality of the City’s ambulance service. He said that the hospital should play a bigger role in supporting local EMS. He said that if they get Lucas on board all the parts will be there.
Karen Swenson and Holly Mitchell provided a demonstration of the Lucas device. Rixmann explained the device allows EMS staff to perform other functions while the Lucas device performs the chest compressions. Rixmann fielded questions from Council. If persons are interested in donating to the project, donations can be sent to the River Falls Ambulance Service, Attention: Lucas program.
Reese read the Comptroller’s Report for February 2012: general fund revenues through the end of February were $2,094,437, which include the February property tax settlement and municipal services payment. Expenditures for the same period were $960,078 or 11 percent of budgeted, for a net of revenues over expenditures of $1,134,359.
MS Morrissette/Cronk move to recess into Closed Session at 8:23 p.m. per Wisconsin State Statutes § 19.85 (1)(c) for the purpose:
“Consideration of employment, promotion, compensation and performance evaluation data of any public employee over which the governmental body has the jurisdiction or exercises responsibility; to-wit: City Administrator evaluation.”
The roll call vote to recess into Closed Session was unanimous.
Council had discussion on items for Closed Session consideration.
RECONVENE INTO OPEN SESSION:
MSC Caflisch/Morrissette move to adjourn into open session. Unanimous.
Motion by Cronk to adjourn meeting.
Kristi McKahan, Deputy City Clerk (Pub. 04/19/12) WNAXLP