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MINUTES   – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING     MARCH 8, 2011

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 8th day of March, 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 and City Attorney Glasrud.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  Michael Haynes was present at the meeting and discussed the particulars about the storefront renovation program and indicated seven businesses are interested so far.  The funds are available to a property owner, not each individual business in a property.  Haynes indicated the idea for this fund is not to compete with banks or supplement financing but there is money in the fund so why not stimulate it with a project like this.  Haynes also provided information on the history of the SCEIC. 

ATV Ordinance:  Dennis Fuhrman was present at the meeting and stated he has talked to Bill Ingebritsen and Torrey Westrom about the ATV ordinance and they are working on it together.  City Attorney Glasrud stated with all due respect to Ortonville, he doesnít believe you can do what they did with the ATV regulations according to Chapter 169 of state statute.  Mayor Giese indicated from his perspective the council isnít going to look the other way and let this happen.  Miller stated he would love to see clarification from the state.  Glasrud noted this is just bad statute drafting and the legislature needs to figure out what their intent is. 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  2/22/11 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 2/22/11 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

2/22/11 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Webster moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 2/22/11 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      February Transit Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:  Resolution Authorizing Sewer Repairs to be Assessed for Sharon Pederson at 407 West 5th Street:  Hill stated Sharon Pederson, 407 West 5th Street, has a sewer line that is currently not working to the point where she almost can't use anything such as her dishwasher or washing machine.  The sewer connects to a line in West 5th Street but it is very expensive to dig in the highway. 

There is a sewer line in the alley behind the house that she can hook into.  Pederson is asking for the councilís help in getting it repaired.

Hill indicated without this being corrected it is going to be impossible for her to stay in the house.  Hill stated it is important that homes in Morris have working sewer and water lines.  If not, the properties continue to be substandard and then the city has to step in and remove them. 

Hill pointed out this is not a normal use of an assessment.  Pederson is willing to pay for the repair but cannot afford the full amount.  Hill recommended that the council allow this as an assessment, with an interested rate of 5.23%, which is what the property owners paid on East 2nd Street.   Hill stated he doesnít believe this will set precedence.  Pederson received quotes from a plumber and an excavator and the plan is to do the work in the spring.  It was the consensus of the council that this was a great idea.     

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #2986-3-11, Resolution Authorizing Sewer Repairs to be Assessed for Sharon Pederson at 407 West 5th Street.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  City Manager Report:  Hill discussed a number of things currently going on with the legislature. 

A proposed variance bill would take away the authority of cities to regulate or place conditions on variances.  The original language allowed for conditions pertaining to public safety, public interest and health and welfare.

Legislation was introduced to take away City authority to regulate wells in city limits,  meaning that a resident might be able to install a well rather than use city services. Currently, the city allows well use for lawn watering but not for consumption.

Hill stated he and DENCO II manager Mick Miller will attend a committee meeting in St. Paul on Thursday on a proposal to use stormwater in ethanol production. 

NEW BUSINESS:  None

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  Board of Appeals Information:  The council was reminded of the Board of Appeals on Thursday, April 7th at 5:15 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 5:43 p.m.

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