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Protecting Health, Safety, and Welfare
Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of all the residents of Roseville is the most important job of the City Council. This includes protecting our streets, neighborhoods, and businesses from crime and keeping our streets in good repair, swept, and plowed. It included the services of our firefighters and EMT staff. It also includes our financial welfare by protecting the value of our neighborhoods and businesses. Finally, it implies the protection of our environment—our air, water, trees, natural areas, and parks. All these make up the quality of life that we value and enjoy in Roseville!
We are well served by both our Fire and Police Departments. Our Police Department has done significant outreach over the past couple of years, including a newsletter every two weeks and “coffee with a cop” sessions on a regular basis. The Fire Department has undergone a change from a “paid on-call” staff of some 65 volunteer fire fighters to a full-time union staff of around 20. Roseville is well covered for any emergency by our police, fire fighters, and EMT staff.
These past three years, we have initiated several policies and processes that provide stability and safety for our City. Together with the Roseville Housing and Redevelopment Authority (RHRA) we have initiated an inspection program for both our commercial properties and our multifamily rental units. These two initiatives are additions to our Neighborhood Enhancement Program that identifies problem properties and sees that they are corrected. This program also provides assistance for those property owners who, for lack of funds or ability, are unable to make the required repairs. These programs are designed to keep our community looking well maintained. For those living in multi-family housing, these programs are designed to see that all residents of Roseville have safe and well maintained housing. While most of our landlords are responsive and responsible, this specific program aids renters seeking timely and necessary repairs.
Water, sewer, and storm water infrastructure is a significant challenge. The city is updating, repairing and/or replacing significant portions of our water and sewer infrastructure every summer, and there is much to be done. While I strongly support the repairs, I do not support putting the entire burden on residential homeowners. I believe we should bond for major infrastructure repair, charge a reasonable water connection fee of $15.00 or so, and reward citizens for water conservation through strong incentives. I believe this is a fairer fiscal policy, as well as an environmentally correct policy, which helps us conserve a very valuable natural resource—water.
We have taken painful steps to put our fiscal house in order through a comprehensive review of our Capital Improvement Program (CIP). While we must still be vigilant in providing the funding designated to the CIP each year, the planning process has identified the needs and methods to meet those needs. The Council must keep the city on track with the required funding. We have also established a Finance Commission which provides a much needed “resident” eye on the financial details as we go through the annual budget process. A major achievement is our AAA rating by Standard and Poor's and an Aaa rating from Moody's, only the 9th city in Minnesota to hold this dual rating.
All of these are steps in the right direction, but while working to do these things, we concurrently added more assets which need to be supported, namely 6 park buildings and a new clubhouse. These were items that did not require much additional expenditure in the past, but which now require a great deal. For example, the 6 parks buildings have added about $587,000.00 annually in expenses without including monies set aside for future repairs. Income or revenues from these buildings is difficult to assess because of how staff time is tracked. It does seem, however, that even estimated conservatively $70,000.00 annually. This is only one of the many things to keep in mind when we begin to understand sustainability and values.
Preserving our Environment
Understanding Grass Roots Government
Encouraging Citizen Participation and Collaboration
Enhancing and Protecting Neighborhoods
Calming Residential Traffic
Supporting Local Business
Programming for Seniors
Ensuring Stable Affordable Housing
Demanding Fiscal Responsibility
Planning for Sustainable Amenities