CITY OF RIVER FALLS: 8/28/12 City Council MinutesCOMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS - August 28, 2012 Mayor Dan Toland called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located in City Hall.
COMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS - August 28, 2012
Mayor Dan Toland 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, Christopher Gagne, Scott Morrissette, Jim Nordgren, David Reese
City Council Members Absent: Randy Kusilek
Staff Present: Scot Simpson, City Administrator; Bill Thiel, City Attorney; Julie Bergstrom, Finance Director/Assistant City Administrator; Carl Gaulke, Utility General Manager; Roger Leque, Police Chief; Buddy Lucero, Community Development Director; Nancy Miller, Library Director; Adam DeKleyn, Community Development Intern; Chuck Beranek, Electric Operations Superintendent
Others Present: Jennifer Campbell
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
August 14, 2012, Regular Meeting Minutes
MSC Morrissette/Nordgren move to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
APPROVAL OF BILLS:
City Bills - $1,795,104.23
MSC Nordgren/Caflisch to approve bills subject to the comptroller. Unanimous.
PUBLIC COMMENT, PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:
Appeal of Operator License Denial - Jennifer Campbell
Campbell addressed Council, stating she had debts to pay and she needed the license to be able to work.
Nordgren asked if she has been working. Campbell replied that she has not been working this month. Her manager asked her to get the appeal process going. When asked when the offenses occurred, she stated they were in December 2011, and January and February 2012. She is trying to get her life back in order and staying away from the wrong people.
Reese asked Campbell if there was anything on the application that made her aware that she would need to get an operator license. Campbell stated that after she was hired she was told to get the training. She worked while waiting for the license. Her manager does the license paperwork.
Morrissette asked Attorney Thiel if Council could hold up the license until the fines were paid. Thiel explained that the fines are not treated the same as a tax or fee due.
Caflisch asked if Council could put a contingency on her license. Thiel replied Council could not.
Discussion was held concerning approving the license with the understanding that if she had another offense she would lose her license. More discussion following about an operator license issued allowed the licensee to sell liquor/beer either in sealed containers or at a bar, that the Police Department does their job and denies a license application based on the City’s licensing guidelines and that the guidelines should be followed to be consistent. Council Members wondered if issuing a license to someone with three misdemeanor offenses in three months would detract from the goals of the licensing guidelines, and how would that be viewed by license holders who have not committed offenses, and applicants who were denied a license in the past. Cronk, Caflisch, and Gagne talked about making mistakes when you are young, learning from them, and turning your life around and applications should be looked at on a case by case basis.
Campbell stated she has the job at BP Amoco and will be able to work again once she gets the license.
MSC Gagne/Nordgren move to approve the Operator License for Jennifer Campbell. Motion passed 4-2 with Morrissette and Reese voting in opposition.
Ordinance No. 2012-07 An Ordinance Amending the Official Zoning Map of the City of River Falls – Rezone Sterling Ponds Park from Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) to Park (P)
Mayor Toland recessed the Council meeting at 7:05 p.m. and went into a public hearing. At 7:06 p.m. with no one wishing to speak for or against this issue, Council reconvened into Open Session for disposition. MSC Caflisch/Nordgren move to approve ordinance.
Ordinance No. 2012-08 – An Ordinance Amending the Official Zoning Map of the City of River Falls - Rezone River Falls Public School District Properties from Single Family (R1) and Industrial (I1) to School Zoning District (SZ)
Mayor Toland recessed the Council meeting at 7:07 p.m. and went into a public hearing. At 7:08 p.m. with no one wishing to speak for or against this issue, Council reconvened into Open Session for disposition. MSC Morrissette/Cronk move to approve ordinance.
Ordinance No. 2012-09 – An Ordinance Amending §17.72.010A and §17.72.010B of the Municipal Code of the City of River Falls – PUD Planned Unit Development
Mayor Toland recessed the Council meeting at 7:09 p.m. and went into a public hearing. At 7:10 p.m. with no one wishing to speak for or against this issue, Council reconvened into Open Session for disposition. MSC Gagne/Cronk move to approve ordinance.
Resolution No. 5625 – Requesting Application for Exemption from County Library Tax
Resolution No. 5626 – Authorizing Street Closings for Homecoming/Shrine Parade
MSC Morrissette/Nordgren move to approve Consent Agenda. Unanimous.
Report on Electric System
Carl Gaulke, Utility General Manager, used a Power Point presentation to give Council the overall objectives of the Electric Utility Department. Gaulke pointed out that the power plant originated at the Junction Flour Mill site to provide water power for lights, replacing gas lamps. The Power Plant was decommissioned in 2011 following the termination of the Generation Output Agreement with WPPI Energy. The Electric Utility has approximately 6,000 urban customers and 320 rural customers. They have an $883,000 operating income and pay a property tax equivalent of $486,354. He also explained the function of transmission lines, substations, and distribution lines. All the distribution lines are owned and operated by the Electric Utility Department. Of the 205 miles of distribution lines, 106 are underground. Gaulke stated that they use underground whenever they can. The department has installed squirrel guards on the line poles, and they are using an aggressive tree trimming program to help prevent power outages. Gaulke also stated hydraulic generating plants must maintain water flow at all times to comply with the U.S. Geological Survey, the DNR, and Trout Unlimited. The Electric Department follows the Public Service Commission (PSC 113) rules which regulate disconnection and reconnection, billing and payment procedures, safety and service standards, meter accuracy and testing, and more. The Electric Utility has earned recognition for providing consumers with the highest degree of service in several areas of service, including reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. The utility received recognition in 2007 and 2009 at the Diamond level and in 2011 at the platinum level.
Simpson noted that City Offices and the Library will be closed on Labor Day. He mentioned that the 2013 Budget Workshop will be held at 5 p.m. on September 25. Simpson thanked everyone who attended the Pool Birthday Party, and noted the Mayor gave a rousing speech.
Simpson reported that District 2 Voters will be using the University Center for the November Election. The City and University are working on a parking plan for voters, and assured Council there will be parking available for voters. He explained that the gym at Meyer Middle School will be used by District 3 Voters for the November Election. Using the gym will allow enough room for voters to be in the building if there is a waiting line.
Morrissette asked about the completion date for the Cascade Project. Simpson stated that the project is on schedule and it is the preference of all staff involved that the road stay closed until all work is finished and the road is ready. The street opening will be toward late October. There may be a temporary opening for college students to use for move in day.
Reese reported General Fund revenues through the end of July were $4,012,065 or 47 percent of budgeted and expenditures for the same period were $4,407,960 or 52 percent of budgeted, for a net of expenditures over revenues of $395,895. July revenues included 15 percent of state shared revenues, exempt computer aid, and the annual payment in lieu of taxes from the River Falls Housing Authority.
MSC Caflisch/Gagne to recess into Closed Session at 7:34 p.m. per Wisconsin State Statutes § 19.85 (1) (g) for the following purposes:
“Conferring with legal counsel for the governmental body who is rending oral or written advice concerning strategy to be adopted by the body with respect to litigation in which it is or is likely to become involved; to-wit: update on pending legal matter.”
The roll call vote to recess into Closed Session was unanimous.
Council had discussion on Closed Session topic.
MSC Cronk/Reese move to adjourn into open session. Unanimous.
Motion by Reese to adjourn meeting.
Lu Ann Hecht, City Clerk
(Pub. 09/20/12) WNAXLP