CITY OF RIVER FALLS: 3/10/09 COMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS
March 10, 2009
Council President Beebe called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located in City Hall.
City Council Members Present: Wayne Beebe, Tom Caflisch, Dave Cronk, Bob Ebert, Joleen Larson, Jim Nordgren and Michael Woolsey
Members Absent: Mayor Don Richards
Staff Present: Bill Thiel, City Attorney; Julie Bergstrom, Finance Director/Interim City Administrator; Reid Wronski, City Engineer; Carl Gaulke, Utility General Manager; Roger Leque, Police Chief; Lanny Gleason, Public Works Director
Others Present: Adam Schmidt
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
February 24, 2009, Regular Meeting Minutes and February 24, 2009, Closed Session Minutes
MSC Cronk/Beebe to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
February 18, 2009, Special Meeting Minutes
MSC Nordgren/Larson to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
APPROVAL OF BILLS
City – $3,097,781.20
Utility - $1,293,741.90
MS Cronk/Woolsey approve the bills subject to comptroller. Nordgren said payments of $540,000 were made for the new City Hall, $50,000 for TID 6 and Utility paid $164,000 in loan payments and $652,432 to WPPI. The bills were approved unanimously.
PUBLIC COMMENT, PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:
Adam Schmidt, The Route Bike Shop – came to speak regarding a request to hold a bike event in August. Schmidt clarified the request and answered questions from Council.
Resolution No. 5235 - to Approve Temporary Class “B” Picnic License - River Falls Youth Hockey Association
Resolution No. 5236 - Approving Street Closing and Parade on March 17th for St. Patrick’s Day
Resolution Approving Hiring and Replacement Policy --Pulled by Cronk
Resolution No. 5237 - Approving Request for Mountain Bike Event/Use of City Resources on August 14-16, 2009
MSC Caflisch/Ebert move to approve remainder of Consent Agenda.
Resolution No. 5238 - Approving Hiring and Replacement Policy
Cronk said he did not feel qualified to be making decisions on hiring City staff. He wants the City Administrator to do reviewing for filling staff positions as Cronk feels he is better qualified to make the decision. MS Cronk/Beebe to approve resolution.
Caflisch felt the policy was well-written and helpful for the Council to make decisions. Beebe agreed.
Nordgren felt it was a guideline for Department Heads and was very well put together.
The resolution passed unanimously.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:
Ordinance 2009-4 – Amend 2.10.020 of the City Code, Appointment and Removal of City Administrator – First Reading
Caflisch was pleased with the changes in the ordinance.
Resolution Approving Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park Concept Plan Refinement
There was a presentation by Jason Raverty from Stevens Engineers on Phase III of Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park. There were four alternate concepts for future development – two parkland and two residential developments. Raverty gave background regarding the process including meeting with City staff and the property owners next to the City’s land. Options were then put together for a concept. Cost comparisons were given showing the differences in costs between Phases I and II and the current Phase III of the project. There was also a comparison between a hypothetical site (30 acres of flat land). Based on the cost comparisons, it appears the development of Phase III is cost effective.
Beebe asked if the actual cost figures were known. Raverty said the costs were a best guess estimate and that was why the cost range was there.
Cronk asked the cost for the surveying and preliminary design. Raverty said the cost was about $18,000. Nordgren clarified that soil borings were not included in that figure.
Caflisch asked about stimulus funding. Wronski said stimulus money shouldn’t be counted on, and he talked about the funds for which he applied. Wronski said the project should be evaluated on its own merit. He noted that if the preliminary design were complete this year, it would be possible to apply for a second round of stimulus money next year if that was offered.
Nordgren asked if the City should be looking to develop flat land instead of the hilltop. Wronski thought the hilltop would be a very attractive place for an office building but that was just speculation.
Larson asked about EDC involvement. Wronski said EDC’s concern was it economically sound to develop a small area on the hilltop. Caflisch asked if the development would result in approximately five lots. Wronski said that was dependent upon the buyer’s wishes as the lots are finalized upon purchase.
Larson asked about Gaulke’s vision. He talked about the booster station, and he said he would be on board with whatever happened.
Woolsey asked about the original concept. Wronski gave background about the project stating the EDC hired Cedar Corporation at the beginning. The EDC decided on alternates on the bottom of the hill but not on the hilltop. Wronski reviewed the cost comparison tables in the packet and discussed the possibilities with Council.
Woolsey asked about residential development costs. Raverty talked about the sewer service and the cost. Wronski talked about officially mapping the road.
Woolsey asked about the urgency of moving forward with the project if the stimulus funds were unlikely. Wronski said the City has fast tracked the project up until now. Caflisch felt the project could be delayed until the Council had a chance to look at alternatives including purchasing other land. He felt it was a lot of work to do for only five lots.
MS Woolsey/Larson move to table resolution. Wronski asked Council when it would like the item brought back. There was discussion of June 1. The motion to table was unanimous.
Resolution No. 5239 - Approving Hiring of Police Department Staff
MS Larson/Beebe move to approve resolution. Caflisch asked for clarification on a couple of items. There was also discussion about the reduction of hours for the Community Service Officer. Larson thanked Leque for all the information he provided in the packet. The resolution was approved unanimously.
Resolution No. 5240 - Regarding Public Works Seasonal Contract
MS Caflisch/Nordgren move to approve resolution. Caflisch clarified the number of staff and hours. Ebert asked about Express Personnel’s involvement and costs. Gleason answered Council’s questions. The resolution was passed unanimously.
MSC Cronk/Caflisch to adjourn the meeting at 7:43 p.m. Unanimous.
Kristi McKahan, Deputy City Clerk