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MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–FEBRUARY 22, 2011

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 22nd day of February, 2011, 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, Police Chief Beauregard, Fleet Manager Searle and City Attorney Glasrud.

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added two resolutions to the agenda:  Resolution Approving a Labor Contract with the AFSCME Local 2022 General Unit and Public Works Unit.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  ATV Ordinance:  Dennis Fuhrman was present at the meeting to discuss whether or not Class 2 ATVís are permitted on city streets.  Fuhrman stated he thinks there is a gray area as far of what you can and can't do.  Fuhrman mentioned that the city has a Class 2 ATV that is used to and from different parks and the University just bought two new ones.  Fuhrman noted he has found two cities that allow the Class 2 ATVís and they are Ortonville and Pine City.  Furhman questioned what these two cities are doing to make it work if the state is against it.    

Glasrud stands by his interpretation of the law in that Class 2 ATVís are not and cannot be permitted on city streets.  Fuhrman stated when the first ordinance was done back in 2008 these types of ATVís didnít really exist.  Now with taxes and gas prices increasing, Furhman stated it is a way for people to save some money. 

Mayor Giese stated he would like to look at the Ortonville ordinance, as well as have  City Attorney Glasrud look at it. Miller stated if the city could make it work he would love to do it.  Miller pointed out they are an expensive item and he doesnít foresee there being 100 of them ripping up and down the street.  Storck agreed.

Hill commented that the one the city has been using will no longer be on the city streets, along with the Universityís, although they have jurisdiction over some of their own land.  

Webster asked if the city could try and get clarification from the state.   Beauregard stated he heard there has been talk at the state level to get this cleared up because they understand there is a conflict with the clarification of the law.  

Considerable discussion was held on the Class 2 ATVís.  The consensus of the council was to take a look at the ordinance from Ortonville and have City Attorney Glasrud do the same.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  2/8/11 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Webster moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 2/8/11 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

2/8/11 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Webster, to approve the 2/8/11 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Webster, to approve the consent agenda with the following items:

A.             Audit of City Bills

B.             SCMC Administrative Report

C.             Gambling Reports

D.             Raffle License Report

E.             Application for Exempt Permit

F.             Revenue & Expenditure Report

G.             Planning Commission Minutes, 11/16/10

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  Hill explained in the current public works union there is language that allows a retiring employee to deposit severance pay in the State of MN Post Retirement Health Savings Account.  This language sunset on December 31, 2010 and there is one employee Lyle Miller who will be retiring at the end of the month and would like to take advantage of this benefit.  Hill indicated the union has reached a settlement which would take care of this but because the retirement is taking place soon he is recommending the council authorize a memorandum of understanding to allow this benefit.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Webster, to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with regard to depositing sick leave severance pay into the post retirement health savings account.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:   Hill stated the city has reached a settlement through a mediator with the two AFSCME unions.  The key points are basically the same for both unions, those being a contract period of one year, wages frozen at the 2010 level (although step increases remain) and health insurance (froze single coverage and increased family coverage).  Hill stated what he is trying to do moving forward is have single policies get one benefit and families get another.  Hill expected there would be some spirited conversations about this.

Resolution Approving a Labor Contract with the AFSCME Local No. 2022 General Unit for 2011:  Council member Webster moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #2983-2-11, Resolution Approving a Labor Contract with the AFSCME Local No. 2022 General Unit for 2011.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Carrington, to adopt Resolution #2984-2-11, Resolution Approving a Labor Contract with the AFSCME Local No. 2022 Public Works Unit for 2011.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Webster complimented Hill for a good job on negotiations.  Hill stated this is a big issue with trying to balance the budgets.  Hill indicated the city is fortunate to have very good employees that do a very good job.  Hill stated itís been a long process but it's a good process because of the people on both sides.

Resolution Approving State of MN Joint Powers Agreement with the City on Behalf of Its City Attorney and Police Department:  Police Chief Beauregard stated this is the first step to move to the new all electronic system.  Beauregard explained the State has been pushing this for a number of years and the department will be transitioning later on this year.  The agreement states that the police department will uphold their end of the bargain and not put bad information into the electronic system.  Beauregard stated there would be a cost to buy into the system for such things as computers for squad cars.  There is a three year phase-in for the electronic record system. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #2985-2-11, Resolution Approving State of MN Joint Powers Agreement with the City of Morris on Behalf of Its City Attorney and Police Department.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  City Manager Report:  Hill noted with regard to the legislature the governor proposed no cuts to LGA and was very adamant that he did not want to see a shift of state burden to the middle class through property taxes.   

Currently there is a variance authority problem through the legislature and Hill recommended that no one apply for them because the city can't grant them right now.  The state will have a committee hearing on the issue and if nothing happens the planning commission may be pretty quiet.

The Planning Commission is preparing for a huge public hearing for all property owners within ½ mile around the city limits to discuss the rezoning of this area.  The meeting will be held in April at the high school.    

Hill stated Jeff Miller is officially retiring from the fire department and thanked him for all his years of service.

NEW BUSINESS:   None

OLD BUSINESS:   None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:10 p.m.

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