CITY OF RIVER FALLS: 4/14/09 COMMON COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS
April 14, 2009
Mayor Richards 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
Staff Present: Bill Thiel, City Attorney; Julie Bergstrom, Finance Director/Interim City Administrator; Reid Wronski, City Engineer; Carl Gaulke, Utility General Manager; Lanny Gleason, Public Works Director; Buddy Lucero, Community Development Director; Bob Schwalen, Fire Chief; Roger Leque, Police Chief; Lu Ann Hecht, City Clerk; Tony Steiner, City Planner
Others Present: John Garden, Matt Frisbie
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
March 24, 2009, Regular Meeting Minutes
MSC Beebe/Nordgren to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
March 24, 2009, Closed Session Minutes
MSC Cronk/Larson to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
March 26, 2009, Council Joint Workshop Minutes
MSC Woolsey/Nordgren to approve minutes as submitted. Unanimous.
APPROVAL OF BILLS:
City – $1,360,581.57
Utility - $652,041.10
MS Woolsey/Cronk approve the bills subject to comptroller. Nordgren said a payment of $485,640 was made to City Hall suppliers and Graystone and $151,200 was paid toward a new ambulance.
The bills were approved unanimously.
PUBLIC COMMENT, PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:
Reid Wronski, City Engineer, invited the public to two meetings coming up the week of April 20.
The Mayor recognized outgoing Alderpersons, Mike Woolsey and Wayne Beebe, for their dedicated service to the City of River Falls. He presented each of them with a plaque in honor of their service. Woolsey served from 2007-2009 and Beebe from 1993-2009.
Change of Agent - River Falls Moose Lodge - Joseph Simonet
MSC Caflisch/Larson move to approve change of agent. Unanimous.
Ordinance 2009-5 – Ordinance Amendments to Extraterritorial Zoning Ordinance/Town of River Falls – Second Reading and Disposition
Mayor Richards recessed Council at 6:42 p.m. and went into a public hearing. At 6:42 p.m. with no one wishing to speak for or against this issue, Council reconvened into Open Session for disposition.
MSC Beebe/Woolsey move to approve ordinance. Unanimous.
Resolution Approving Heritage Park for Town ‘N Country Days/City Hall Open House -- Pulled by Larson
Resolution Approving Fire Chief Job Description -- Pulled by Caflisch
Resolution Approving Revised Job Description for Police Sergeant -- Pulled by Caflisch
Resolution No. 5248 - Approving Bureau of Justice Assistance 2009 Recovery Act Grant
Resolution No. 5249 - Authorizing Receipt of Bids for 2009 Rout and Seal Program
Resolution Approving Plumbing Supervisor Services Agreement -- Pulled by Caflisch
Resolution No. 5250 - Approving Request for Street Closure for Unity in the Community
Resolution No. 5251 - Approving 2008-2010 Contract Between the City of River Falls and Communications Workers of America (Sewer and Water Utility)
Resolution No. 5252 - Approving 2008-2010 Contract Between the City of River Falls and Communica-tions Workers of America (Electric Utility Craft)
MSC Beebe/Larson move to approve remainder of Consent Agenda. Unanimous.
Resolution No. 5253 - Approving Heritage Park for Town ‘N Country Days/City Hall Open House
Larson pulled the item indicating that she serves on the Chamber and Town ‘N County Boards. She said this year, they would like to move Town ‘N Country Days to Heritage Park and combine the event with a City Hall Open House. She said in two weeks a request will come back to Council for funding not to exceed $500. She wanted to see if Council was open to the change of venue and Open House. There were questions by Council and further discussion. MSC Larson/Cronk move to approve resolution. Unanimous.
Resolution Approving Fire Chief Job Description
Caflisch said he was unable to attend the meeting which the Fire Chief position was discussed but was under the impression that consideration would be given to combining the Fire Chief position with the Ambulance Director position.
Beebe was in attendance of that meeting and he said that it was explained that a separate Fire Chief position was needed due to expanded responsibilities and regulations.
Caflisch felt in moving from a part-time to a full-time Fire Chief that more responsibilities should be incorporated into the position.
Ebert wanted to wait until the City Administrator was onboard to work through this issue.
Woolsey said there was discussion that the Fire Chief would have enough to do in working with State compliance issues, doing fire inspections and working with volunteer firefighters along with other duties to merit having a full-time Fire Chief. Woolsey felt confident in what Mr. Meyer said regarding the Fire Chief position and did not want to overburden that person.
Cronk felt some confusion over moving from a part-time to a full-time position and felt there may be room for more duties to be incorporated into that position.
Nordgren understood that there would be additional duties included in the position.
Bob Schwalen, Fire Chief, spoke about the position. He said his monthly pay does not cover the hours he works. He said the department services 147 miles and about 25,000 people including the townships. He said it is becoming more of a recordkeeping job and less about firefighting.
Woolsey said a community comparison was provided at the meeting. He said initially he agreed with Caflisch but after going to the meeting and seeing the data, he felt there was enough work to warrant a full-time chief.
There was further discussion by Council.
MSC Caflisch/Cronk move to table the resolution. The vote was 6-1 to table the resolution with Beebe voting against.
Resolution No. 5254 - Approving Revised Job Description for Police Sergeant
Caflisch wanted a comparison between the old and new job descriptions, as he did not know what was being changed.
Leque said it was a the Patrol Officer job description with supervisory duties added. Leque read the additions to the Council.
Caflisch asked if the changes would affect the current pay level. Leque said no; the pay was set.
MS Cronk/Beebe move to approve motion. Woolsey said it would be helpful in the future to have a comparison from the old to new job description.
The Mayor requested a roll call vote. The roll call vote passed 4-3 with Beebe, Cronk, Ebert and Nordgren voting in favor and Woolsey, Larson and Caflisch voting against.
Resolution No. 5255 - Approving Plumbing Supervisor Services Agreement
Caflisch asked if a request for proposals had been done.
Lucero said it was not advertised, but area plumbers were contacted. He said when he didn’t get a good response, he pursued it. He said there is a job requirement which restricts a lot of the local plumbers from being able to do the job and that is why he is looking to continue the arrangement with the current plumber. He said the City is required to have a plumber. He said the arrangement would be for one year.
Caflisch asked if it was an hourly position or salary. Lucero said the position was a set yearly fee.
MSC Caflisch/Beebe move to approve resolution. Unanimous.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:
Resolution No. 5256 - Approving Purchase of Plow Truck
Beebe felt a good explanation was provided for Council in the packet. The Mayor asked about the $17,000 savings that was noted. Gleason said it was a potential savings of $17,000 if the City acts now. MSC Cronk/Woolsey move to approve resolution. Unanimous.
Resolution No. 5257 - Approving Purchase of Fencing for Hoffman Park
MS Caflisch/Cronk move to approve resolution. Beebe noted $12,000 was budgeted but the bids were around $10,000. The resolution was approved unanimously.
Resolution No. 5258 - Regarding Developer’s Agreement-Frisbie Properties, LLC
Matt Frisbie, of Frisbie Architects, gave a presentation about his proposed project on River and Clark Streets. Frisbie discussed the different phases of the project, the size of the building, the future of the apartment building, landscaping and trails. He said they would be striving for silver LED certification. Frisbie fielded questions from Council. MS Beebe/Woolsey move to approve resolution.
Nordgren wanted to wait until the new City Administrator arrived to discuss the project with him.
Caflisch felt that the opportunity for proposals should have been provided. Larson wanted the new City Admini-strator to have an opportunity to review the project.
Frisbie wondered about the timeline and noted that Frisbie Properties has put a lot of time into the project already.
Woolsey felt it was okay to approve the project. He said the City is waiting all the time for people to be interested in developing properties. The City has someone local who has spent the time to develop and plan this project and is open to historic preservation. He felt the City should move ahead with the project.
Caflisch said he couldn’t vote for something he didn’t know the value of and how much money the City was giving away.
Frisbie called the Council’s attention to the figures in the developer’s agreement outlining the values.
The Mayor said he had spoken with the new City Administrator, Scot Simpson, about this developer’s agreement and his only concern the number of years for payback. The Mayor felt this project had moved so far along that it wouldn’t be fair to Frisbie to wait now.
Frisbie said he wanted to move forward and be under construction this summer.
Cronk wondered why this building would be different than any other building built in the industrial park. He wasn’t sure why Council would want to delay the project.
The Mayor asked for a roll call vote. The resolution was approved 5-2 with Larson, Woolsey, Beebe, Cronk, and Nordgren voting in favor and Caflisch and Ebert voting against.
Resolution No. 5259 - Regarding Revision to Martinsen Investment & Land Co., Inc. Development Agreement
Attorney Thiel noted that 1.4 acres of land was conveyed to Martinsen Investment & Land Company. He said the proposal was that 11,000 square feet in one corner would be released to another company for the purpose of putting in a restaurant.
John Garden from Martinsen Investment & Land Co., Inc., asked the Council to let them release the piece of property in order to move ahead with the project plans.
MSC Caflisch/Larson to approve resolution. Unanimous.
Mayor’s New Appointments and/or Qualifying Reappointments
MS Caflisch/Cronk to approve the following appointments:
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT BOARD
Reappointment of Jen Burleigh-Bentz through December 2011
Reappointment of Terry McKay through December 2011
Appointment of Kevin Flynn through December 2011
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION
Reappointment of Betty Most through January 2011
RIVER FALLS HOUSING AUTHORITY
Appointment of Keith Chavey to fill vacancy through December 2011
Reappointment of Patrice Veit through December 2012
POLICE AND FIRE COMMISSION
Reappointment of Patsy Nelson through April 2014
Reappointment of Patsy Nelson through April 2014
DOWNTOWN DESIGN REVIEW AD HOC COMMITTEE
Reappointment of William Donais through July 2011
BOARD OF APPEALS
Appointment of Andrew Brown as Second Alternate through April 2012
The appointments passed unanimously.
Mayor’s Appointments – Consideration of Reappointment Exceptions
Caflisch had a problem with making exceptions to the policy. He felt these appointments could wait until a later time for Council action as the people who were up for reappointment could continue to serve on the committee until action was taken.
Lucero said the issue was that the people could attend the meetings but could not vote.
Attorney Thiel said that they could vote. Lucero cited an example of the Plan Commiss-ion when a commissioner couldn’t vote because his term was up. Thiel responded that generally when a person’s term runs out, s/he is a de facto member until another person is appointed.
It was the consensus of Council to not make any reappointments at this meeting and to let the current appointments continue serving until a later date.
Caflisch asked that the Evaluation for the City Administrator and Budget for the New City Hall be placed on the next agenda.
Arbor Day Proclamation
The Mayor proclaimed April 24 as Arbor Day. He read the proclamation aloud.
MSC Cronk/Beebe to adjourn the meeting at 7:56 p.m. Unanimous.
Kristi McKahan, Deputy City Clerk