CITY OF RIVER FALLS: 4/10/12 COMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGSApril 10, 2012 Mayor Don Richards called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located in City Hall.
April 10, 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: David Cronk, Bob Hughes, Randy Kusilek, Scott Morrissette, Jim Nordgren, David Reese
City Council Members Absent: Tom Caflisch
Staff Present: Scot Simpson, City Administrator; Bill Thiel, City Attorney; Carl Gaulke, Utility General Manager; Roger Leque, Police Chief; Julie Bergstrom, Finance Director/Assistant City Administrator; Buddy Lucero, Community Development Director; Tony Steiner, City Planner
Others Present: Kelly Cain, Jim Farr, Chris Gagne, Dan Toland
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
March 27, 2012, Regular Meeting Minutes
MSC Cronk/Morrissette move to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
APPROVAL OF BILLS:
City Bills $1,504,728.50
MSC Kusilek/Cronk move to approve the bills subject to the comptroller. Unanimous.
PUBLIC COMMENT, PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:
There were no public comments.
Annual Investment Report – M & I Investment Management Corporation and Resolution No. 5583 - Regarding Annual Investment Report and Renewal of Agreement
Finance Director/Assistant City Administrator Bergstrom introduced David Ness and David Alder from M & I. They gave a brief presentation on the City’s investments. They talked about performance, portfolio structure and yield and investments. They are taking a balanced approach and are cautiously optimistic.
Reese asked about total value. Ness said it was about $3.9 million. Morrissette asked about how closely the accounts tied to Europe were being watched. Ness said they are closely watched. The investments are liquid within a day. There was further discussion. The Mayor thanked them for their presentation.
MS Cronk/Nordgren move to approve resolution. Reese asked if the term of the renewal was annual. Bergstrom said the resolution is set up on an annual basis. It was unanimously approved.
Resolution No. 5584 - Awarding Bid for 2012 Rout and Seal Program
Resolution No. 5585 - Approving Compensation/Classification Study Consultant
Resolution Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Contract Between City of River Falls, State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and Short Elliot Hendrickson for Highway Safety Improvement Project on Cascade Avenue ((Pulled by Hughes
Resolution No. 5586 - Approving Amendment to City Administrator Employment Agreement
Resolution No. 5587 - Approving revised CityWatch Community Notification System - Memorandum of Understanding
Resolution No. 5588 - Approving Water Rate Adjustments
Resolution Approving Sustainability Proclamation Declaring River Falls an Aspiring Sustainable Community -- Pulled by Hughes
MSC Nordgren/Kusilek move to approve the Consent Agenda. Unanimous.
Resolution No. 5589 - Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Contract Between City of River Falls, State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and Short Elliot Hendrickson for Highway Safety Improvement Project on Cascade Avenue
Hughes had no comment but wanted a separate vote on the item. MS Nordgren/Kusilek move to approve resolution. The motion passed with all voting in favor except for Hughes.
Resolution No. 5590 - Approving Sustainability Proclamation Declaring River Falls an Aspiring Sustainable Community
Hughes asked for a full reading and a roll call vote. The Mayor asked why he wanted it read. Hughes said proclamations are normally read and thought the Mayor would want to read it out loud since he put a lot of effort into it. The Mayor read the proclamation. Hughes thanked the Mayor for reading it.
MS Cronk/Nordgren moved to approve resolution. The Mayor asked for discussion. Reese supported the sustainability proclamation. He said in the proclamation the City pledges to support other entities in their efforts and that is a concern for him. He said his yes vote is to generally support sustainable goals of the City and other entities the City wants to cooperate with but if in the future some of the goals are inconsistent with the City’s goals, he reserves the right to not support them. He doesn’t want to commit the City to support every goal. He wants to maintain the City’s separate entity.
Nordgren agreed with Reese. He doesn’t want to hurt the City in an economic way. He wants to carefully consider things. He does want to be conservation orientated. Nordgren will vote in favor.
Morrissette agreed. He feels consideration of fiscal responsibility and economic vitality need to be in the forefront when making decisions.
Hughes said unchecked growth is its own enemy and if it is not sustainable, eventually there will not be growth.
The Mayor asked for a roll call vote. The roll call vote was 7-0 with all members voting in favor of the resolution.
ORDINANCE AND RESOLUTIONS:
Resolution No. 5591 - Approving Specific Implementation Plan for Eco Village/Habitat for Humanity Project on Apollo Road
City Administrator Simpson introduced City Planner Tony Steiner for a brief overview of the item. Steiner said a general development plan was reviewed and passed by Council in 2011. He said the project was put on hold but has now gone through the Plan Commission for review and is now put before Council. He said approval of this plan is the final step in this process.
Reese asked about the amount of letter of credit. Steiner said that is yet to be determined. He said the developer and the City staff would determine it. Reese asked further clarifying questions about the letter of credit and affirmed that the letter is in place to finish the project if the developer went away. Steiner said that was correct. It is based on the value of the projects. Wronski explained he would make sure that the letter of credit is in place to complete the project.
Simpson said each item could be motioned and approved as Council finished them.
MSC Morrissette/Cronk move to approve resolution. Unanimous.
Resolution No. 5592 - Regarding Habitat Loan Agreement – Eco Village Project
MS Nordgren/Morrissette move for approval for resolution.
Reese had a question about the wording of the resolution involving the City having a first mortgage on the property until the homes were sold. He said one of his questions in workshops was if the City was secured in its $400,000 loan. The City having a first mortgage is one of the things he was looking for and is happy to see it in the agreement. He asked if all 18 units are sold, does the mortgage on the property go away? Attorney Thiel said a partial release would be granted as homes as sold and retain the mortgages on the remaining units.
The Mayor asked for a vote. The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution No. 5593 - to Authorize Conveyance of City-Owned Real Estate to St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity, Inc.
Community Development Director Lucero gave a brief introduction on the item noted the size of the property has increased, the time limit has decreased and there is a quick claim for the conveyance.
MS Cronk/Morrissette move to approve resolution.
Kusilek asked if nothing happens, would everything return to the City? Lucero said yes. Attorney Thiel suggested adding the following wording at the end of paragraph three: “free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.” Morrissette asked about tax impact.
MSC Kusilek/Morrissette move to amend resolution by adding the following wording at the end of paragraph 3: free and clear of all liens and encumbrances. Unanimous.
The Mayor asked for a vote on the original resolution. The original resolution as amended passed unanimously.
Resolution No. 5594 - to Authorize Waiver of Fees for St. Croix Habitat for Humanity, Inc.
MS Hughes/Nordgren move to approve resolution.
Reese asked if it only waived parkland dedication fees. Simpson said yes but the Council could waive more fees if desired. Hughes asked why the staff didn’t recommend deferring or delaying the payment for sewer connection/water impact fees. Simpson said the language in the ordinance says other waivers are solely up to the Council. He noted that any fees waived would impact the accounts which would normally receive them upon a new building. Hughes said it didn’t have a problem putting them on a deferred payment plan.
Dr. Jim Farr, St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity, prepared a request for additional fees to be waived. He asked for a waiver of fees for parkland dedication, park impact, library impact, and also a reduction in the water and sewer fees to a 2011 level.
Kusilek asked about the building timeline. Farr said in one year there would be six units would be built; in year two – eight; and in three year four homes plus the additional buildings would be built.
MS Hughes/Cronk moved to amend resolution to include a waiver for library impact fees and the difference in 2011-2012 water impact sewer connection fees.
Morrissette has been supportive of the project but was concerned about waiving fees other than parkland fees. He doesn’t want to set precedence. He feels the City is already a partner in this project. He would not support waiving other fees.
Hughes said in the past library fees for the Windmill Place and the library and water and sewer for the last Habitat project were waived. Morrissette said that did not include a gift of land and interest free note.
Reese said the land and about $190,000 have been given to the project by the City, and he did not support waiving any other fees. Hughes said this project falls into aspirations of sustainability above and beyond, and he felt it was important to support it. He did not think their request was unreasonable.
Nordgren said there has been tremendous amount of support for it and doesn’t feel the fees need to be waived at this time.
The Mayor asked Farr if he had comments if the amendment did not pass. Farr noted they are a non-profit organization. They would make things happen if it didn’t pass. The savings per home would be $11,230. They are looking at any way possible to reduce the fees. The Mayor clarified that it was not a make or break amendment.
With no further discussion, the Mayor asked for a vote on the amendment. The amendment failed with all members except for Hughes voting against it.
The Mayor asked for a vote on the original resolution. It passed unanimously.
No comment. Simpson noted Cronk had a presentation.
Cronk recognized Hughes for his two years of service on Council. He presented Hughes with a plaque and thanked him for his service. Hughes said he was honored.
Cronk recognized Mayor Richards for his service of eight years as mayor. He presented Richards with an award and thanked him for his service. Richards said he would make some remarks in a moment.
POLICE AND FIRE COMMISSION AND AMBULANCE COMMISSION
New appointment of Jean Wespetal through April 2017
MSC Morrissette/Hughes move to approve appointment. Unanimous.
The Mayor thanked the people who had been supportive of him. He thanked the staff at City Hall and the Council. He said it was a wonderful city and a pleasure to serve. He thanked staff for the award and thanked everyone for all their support.
Motion by Cronk to adjourn meeting at 7:38 p.m.
Kristi McKahan, Deputy City Clerk