MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING–OCTOBER 26, 2010
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 26th day of October, 2010, by Mayor
Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
ROLL CALL: Roll call was taken with the following
members present: Council
member Carrington, Webster,
Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.
Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Krosschell, Public
Works Director Dittbenner, Fleet Manager Searle, Police Chief Beauregard, City
Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier and City Attorney Glasrud.
CITIZEN'S COMMENTS: None
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Public Hearing on East 8th
& 9th Street and Arizona Avenue Improvement Project: Notice of the public hearing was
provided to all property owners and published noticed was also given. Hill explained if the council decides
tonight to continue with this project they will pass a resolution for plans and
specs to be drawn up. The council
will then look those over and decide if they want to call for bids. Hill indicated they will be looking to
do that in March, with the project starting in the middle of May. There are two hearings that the public
is involved with, the preliminary hearing tonight and the assessment hearing, which
would probably be held in November of next year.
Jeff Kuhn of WSN was
present at the meeting and stated the project consists of the reconstruction of
East 8th Street from Columbia over to College Avenue, East 9th
Street from Columbia to Arizona Avenue
& Arizona from East 9th to 7th Street. The street conditions are old, the
sewer and water is beyond the useful life and there are depth issues from some
of the individual homes in the area.
The sewer flow currently goes over to a lift station on Columbia Avenue
but city staff is looking at rerouting the sewer to a lift station on Iowa
Avenue to gain some additional depth.
There will be new 8” sewer and water mains. Storm sewer is a smaller portion of the project but there
are some minor improvements needed.
Currently the street width is right around 37', and it will be similar
or just a little bit narrower.
As far as costs, Kuhn estimated
the project cost to be $1.5 million of which the sanitary sewer is $244,000,
water $210,000 and storm sewer at $60,000. The city pays for 25% of the sanitary sewer and watermain
costs. The estimated unit
assessment cost for individual property owners is $2,800 for sewer, $2,400 for
water, $1,300 for sidewalk (which is based on $5.20 a square foot) curb &
gutter of $570 (based on a 50 ft lot), storm sewer between $500-$600 for a
total of $7,650. Kuhn stated in
the last few years there have been some great bids on projects that have come
in quite a bit under the estimate.
Hill explained that some people
along East 7th Street received a notice because the storm sewer area
might affect some of the properties along there, but it should be minimal.
Melissa Sax asked if a
property would be assessed again if they were already assessed along 8th
Street for storm sewer that had previously been fixed. Kuhn stated probably not
if the property drains away from the storm sewer area, but he didn't want to
rule it out. Sax asked if the
water and sewer systems were functioning okay. Kuhn explained there have been a lot of issues with the
sanitary sewer and the water is an older system that needs to be updated before
the road is done. Fier added that
the current system is too small and undersized. Sax also asked if a property would have sidewalks put in if
they didn't currently have sidewalks.
Kuhn indicated that at this time there are no plans to add additional
sidewalks unless property owners want them.
Sid Wilcox stated he has a
property on the corner of Arizona and East 7th Street and was
concerned that some of this stuff should be put on hold for a couple of
years. Wilcox stated he, and maybe
some others along the project, are on social security and that has been frozen
for two years. Currently his
property taxes are $2,800 and with the school levy and new courthouse, taxes are
already going up. Wilcox stated
his home on the corner of East 3rd & Columbia has already been
charged for all the drainage to the East and Wilcox figured he would be charged
for his drainage that goes to the south for the East 2nd Street
project. Wilcox suspected the
city's budget would not stay the same so another 5% could be added. Wilcox estimated all these things would
put his taxes at around $4,200. Wilcox
suggested the council think about finding some additional revenue or putting a
hold on some of these projects because right now it seems like spending is a
little out of whack.
Scott Heinrich stated he
didn't see the video for 8th Street but he did for 9th
Street and the person that ran a demo of the camera equipment said it was some
of the most prestine sewer he'd ever seen. Heinrich stated he didn't see how waiting a year or two
could hurt. Storck indicated some
of the water and sewer is 50-60 years old. When it plugs up and fills a basement then it's the city's
fault. Storck stated somewhere
along the way everyone has to have a new road. Storck noted other tax payers are paying for a portion of the
project because the city picks up part of the cost.
Heinrich referenced the
letter he received and asked what the unaccounted $768,000 of project costs was
for. Hill explained that amount is
the actual cost of building the road, including the base underneath, and is borne
by the entire city. Heinrich
expressed his disgust with the contractor on East 2nd Street and did
not believe they were doing a good job on the road work. Heinrich stated he pities the
contractor that gets the 9th Street job because he will ride them
like a diaper on a baby. Beth Heinrich
stated the city of Donnelly is the perfect example of poor work because their
streets are only two years old and are already cracked. Council member Miller stated they didn't
do much of a rebuild of the roads in Donnelly.
Miller agreed that times
are tough but projects have been coming in at a good price. Miller stated he feels the city should
move ahead and see what kind of bids come in.
Fier added, the other
thing with this project that Kuhn touched upon is that everything now goes into
the Columbia Avenue lift station.
This project would eventually allow the city to eliminate that lift
station and cause less overloading in a residential part of town.
Wilcox asked how much
money comes from the taxes on utilities.
Hill stated a couple hundred thousand comes in from franchise fees but is
used for road maintenance such as overlays and seal coats.
Sax asked if the curb
& gutter would be replaced even if it was in good condition. Kuhn stated City Engineer Fier has been
a strong advocate to not replace it if it doesn't need it. However, there are some situations
where the grades don't always work out.
Fier indicated an
advantage is that 4” drain tile will be put in behind the curb so property
owners can hook up their sump pumps if they want.
Hill explained that it
would make no sense to redo the sewer and not redo the water at the same time. The whole goal of a project is to make
sure a road is built that's going to be there for a long time. These projects are picked based upon
the issues in the neighborhood. In
this area there are sewer issues and the road and infrastructure is bad. There are projects on the table for the
next five years for things that can't be put off. Hill stated the irony is that it probably isn't the best
time to add any cost to the taxpayer, but it's the best time to get a
contractor and the bond market is very good for borrowing money. Hill pointed out the city also hires an
appraiser to evaluate the value of the project and the estimation is that this
project will add between $8,000 and $12,000 of value to a property.
Mayor Giese closed the
public hearing at 5:50 p.m. and brought the matter back to the council for
action. It was the consensus of
the council that there have been problems in this area and to at least see what
the bids come in at.
Council member Storck
moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #2953-10-10, Resolution Ordering
the Plans and Specifications for the East 8th & 9th
Street and Arizona Avenue Improvement Project. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor,
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 10/12/10 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council
member Miller moved, seconded by Webster, to approve the 10/12/10 regular
meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Mayor Giese
moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the 10/12/10 condensed
version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese removed the Audit of the
City bills from the consent agenda.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Carrington, to authorize
payment of the City bills dated October 26, 2010. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor
and Council member Storck abstaining, motion carried.
Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Webster, to approve the consent agenda, which
included the following items:
Conduct Off Site Gambling
Commission Minutes, 9/21/10
& Expenditure Report
G. Library Board
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
Report – American Legion:
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to accept the gambling
report from the American Legion.
Upon a roll call vote taken and all voting in favor and Mayor Giese
abstaining, motion carried.
Directing the Distribution of Parking Fines and Other Petty Misdemeanor Fines
Between the City of Morris, UMM and Court Administration: Hill stated it is his understanding
that there has been an audit of the court and they need to have documentation
of how things are being paid. Hill
indicated this is more of a housekeeping item to verify what is currently being
Council member Webster
moved, seconded by Carrington, to adopt Resolution #2954-10-10, Resolution
Directing the Distribution of Parking Fines and Other Petty Misdemeanor and
Misdemeanor Fines Between the City of Morris, UMM and Court
Administration. Upon a roll call
vote take and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Scheduling
of Budget Worksession: Mayor
Giese moved, seconded by Miller, to schedule a budget worksession on Monday,
November 8th at 5:00 p.m. in the council chambers.
Canvassing Board: Council
member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Webster, to hold the canvassing
board meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 8th, with the budget
worksession to follow. Motion
Information on School
Levy: This was informational
for the council.
City Manager Report: Hill thanked Jim Beauregard, all the law
enforcement agencies, UMM and everyone that was involved with the anhydrous
leak. Hill indicated it was amazing
to see all the things that happened in a short amount of time.
With regard to East 2nd
Street City Engineer Fier stated things should be finished if they get 3-4 good
days of weather. Fier indicated he
hopes a project will never start this late. Fier noted he is quite happy with the project, but they struggled
in the beginning with the University area because there were no records.
Storck noted he feels this
project is a bigger mess compared to the Highland Homes Addition. Kuhn stated it all comes down to timing
with subcontractors. Fier
explained that Koehl did a lot of the work and had more people on Highland
Homes, where East 2nd Street has more contractors to try and
coordinate. Fier stated Central
Specialties has been extremely difficult to work with.
NEW BUSINESS: Mayor Giese appointed Tim Dudding to
the library board to fill the vacancy left by Steve Dudding.
OLD BUSINESS: The access channel was discussed and
the need for a new, updated system.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:20 p.m.