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MINUTES  – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING – APRIL 26, 2011

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. This 26th      day of April, 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 Fleet Manager Searle.  Public Works Director Dittbenner arrived at 5:25 p.m.

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added to the agenda an Application for Exempt Permit for the Morris Fire Department under the Consent Agenda and the Prairie Pioneer Days budget from the Tourism Board under City Manager Reports.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  4/12/11 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 4/12/11 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

4/12/11 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 4/12/11 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Mayor Giese removed the Audit of the City Bills from the consent agenda.  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Carrington, to authorize payment of the City bills dated April 26th.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor and Council member Storck abstaining, motion carried.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the consent agenda with the following items:

A.             SCMC Administrative Report

B.             Gambling Reports

C.            Street Dance Permit – Met Lounge

D.            Revenue & Expenditure Report/Fund Summary

E.             Planning Commission Minutes, 3/15/11

F.             Application for Exempt Permit – Morris Fire Relief Association

Motion carried.

Council member Webster suggested it would be a good idea to send a letter to SCMC requesting information on what their planned purpose is for the property they are purchasing along South Street.  Miller agreed that it would be nice to know their long range plans.  Hill indicated he could contact them and get a report to see what theyíre planning on doing.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  Gambling Report – American Legion: Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to accept the gambling report from the American Legion.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion, motion carried. 

Arbor Day Proclamation:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to observe Arbor Day on April 29th and proclaim May, 2011 as Arbor Month.   Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:   Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of Six Toughbook Squad Car Computers:  Police Chief Beauregard stated Stevens County was able to secure a technology grant to help offset the cost of transitioning to electronic ticketing.  Beauregard stated they were able to outfit each of the squad cars with Toughbook Computers.

All but $13,000 of the $45,000 price tag would be covered by the grant.  Beauregard stated the remaining $13,000 would be covered by a recent forfeiture vehicle sale of $9,000 and Safe & Sober grant money of $2,000.  The city would only have to contribute an additional $1,000 to $1,500 to purchase about $45,000 worth of equipment.  Beauregard stated they are the type of computers that the military and construction companies use so they are very durable.  The whole process should be up and running by the middle of June. 

Beauregard asked that the council also authorize the acceptance of the $2,000 Safe & Sober Grant in the form of a resolution.   

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Webster, to adopt Resolution #2996-4-11, Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of Six Toughbook Squad Car Computers.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #2997-4-11, Resolution Authorizing Acceptance of a Traffic Safety Award for the Safe & Sober Challenge through the Morris Police Department.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Accepting a Donation and Authorizing the Purchase of a Mower:  Hill stated the Morris Baseball Association has requested that a new mower be purchased to mow the ballfields.  They have offered a donation of $4,500 to help offset the cost, but the mower would be owned by the city.  The cost of the new mower is $11,732.74 and Hill is asking that the city contribute the balance of the cost from the Capital Outlay fund.  Hill noted the Baseball Association does a lot of things with the ball fields and they work closely with Community Ed.   

Hill stated the current Toro mower that was being used at the ballfields would come back to the shop.  This one that is being proposed to purchase would be used on the ballfields and also on other parks in the city for mowing.  Fleet Manager Searle stated the new mower would be purchased off the state bid.  The University has one similar to it and it has worked very well for them. 

Council member Webster stated his concern is that he thinks the city is buying a cadillac mower that's only going to be used in the summer months.  Webster indicated to spend $7,000 of the taxpayer's money that only a fraction of the citizens participate in seems extravagant.  Miller pointed out the mower would be used at all the city parks.  Giese added that the amount of mowing the city does is extensive.  Searle stated it would be different if the city was mowing just a little section but the city crew mows over 100 acres.  If the city were to look at buying a John Deere it would cost around $21,000. 

Storck stated there are a lot of kids that come to town to play baseball.  Webster also brought up that he feels athletes seem to be favored.  Searle explained that he doesnít want to buy a ten year old mower and then have the city end up turning around and putting more money into it because itís older.  Hill stated the bottom line is that the mower is for the city, not the baseball association.  Hill noted that if the city had to do everything that the association does to take care of the field there is no way the city could do it because the association really contributes a lot.

Webster added that he searched on the computer and found commercial mowers from reputable companies that cost $6,000.  Hill stated if it wasn't good for the city in general staff would not be bringing it before the council.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #2998-4-11, Resolution Accepting a Donation and Authorizing the Purchase of a Mower.  Upon a roll call vote taken and four voting in favor and Council member Webster voting against, motion carried.

Resolution Approving a Wastewater Treatment Agreement with DENCO II Ethanol Production Facility:  Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #2999-4-11, Resolution Approving a Wastewater Treatment Agreement with DENCO II Ethanol Production Facility.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

Resolution Providing for the Sale of $1,050,000 G.O. Improvement Bonds, Series 2011A:  Mark Ruff of Ehlers and Associates was present at the meeting.  Ruff explained the city would be calling for the sale of bonds on May 24th to finance infrastructure repairs on East 8th and 9th Streets and Arizona Avenue.  Ruff stated the good news is that this is the smallest bond issue for street projects that the city has had for a number of years and interest rates still remain very affordable.  Another plus for the city is that property values are remaining steady. 

Ruff indicated the bond issue would be paid back by a variety of sources including property tax levies, assessments and then a small amount from water and sanitary sewer revenues. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Webster, to adopt Resolution #3000-4-11, Resolution Providing for the Sale of $1,050,000 G.O. Improvement Bonds, Series 2011A.

Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  Liability Coverage Waiver Form: 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to not waive the monetary limits on municipal tort liability as established by M.S. 466.04.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

City Manager Report:  This was informational for the council.

Hill stated the Pacific Avenue project would probably be bid out this fall.  Hill indicated he would like to sit down with the council and staff and review the Capital Improvement Plan and discuss the possibility of doing projects every other year.  Hill explained next year's Pacific Avenue project is funded almost completely with federal money so the city definitely needs to take advantage of that.   

The possibility of a storm sewer assessment was discussed.

Prairie Pioneer Days Budget from Tourism Board:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Webster, to approve the projected Prairie Pioneer Days budget presented by the Tourism Board.  Motion carried. 

NEW BUSINESS:  Mayor Giese accepted the resignation of Pam Solvie from the Library Board.

OLD BUSINESS:   None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:06 p.m.

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