MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
MAY 10, 2011
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 8:30 a.m. this 10th day
of May, 2011, by Mayor Giese in the auditorium of the
Morris Area High School.
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.
CITIZEN’S COMMENTS: Lisa
Jacobson was present at the meeting and asked that she be allowed to have chickens
in her backyard for the summer. Jacobson
stated that as it stands now in Section 10.12 of the City Code the definition
of farm animals not allowed in city limits includes chickens. Jacobson stated she would like to use
the chickens for eggs, compost for her garden and to keep the bugs away.
Hill indicated since it is
in the city code the council would have to take action to change it. Glasrud pointed out it is his understanding
that municipalities all over are looking at this issue. Glasrud stated
as the city looks at sustainability issues the question comes up of why it is
prohibited and some possibilities are noise and other environmental health
Jacobson stated she has
talked with her neighbors and they have no problems with the idea of chickens
but she understands the snowball effect it may have. Hill stated when he discussed Jacobson’s
question with the 9th graders the students had brought up issues
such as the smell and how the chickens would be controlled. Council member Webster indicated
he would be very willing to have a serious discussion about this.
Peg Rinkenberger asked if
this is something that would even be viable for this year, given the amount of
time it may take to change the code.
Glasrud explained because this is a zoning issue it would need to be
taken up at two different meetings, the Planning Commission and City Council.
The consensus of the
council was that they would like to research the topic.
Jacobson asked if the
definition of Section 10.12 of the code could be looked at to change the wording to exclude
chicken as farm animals without changing the zoning. Mayor Giese indicated the council would
bring the issue back for discussion at their next meeting.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor
Giese added to the agenda Acceptance of a Seatbelt Enforcement Grant.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 4/26/11 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council moved Miller, seconded by
Council member Storck, to approve the 4/26/11 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Webster,
to approve the 4/26/11 condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor
Giese removed the Audit of City Bills from the consent agenda. Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Webster, to authorize payment of the City
bills dated May 10, 2011. Upon a
roll call vote taken and all voting in favor and Mayor Giese abstaining, motion
Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the consent agenda
which included the following items:
A. Raffle License
B. April Transit
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
COMMUNICATIONS: Appointment to Library Board:
Mayor Giese appointed
Shana Ulrich to the Library Board to replace Pam Solvie, subject to confirmation
by the City Manager that it is allowable since she lives in Chokio.
RESOLUTIONS: An Ordinance Vacating a Portion of
the Utility Easement in Block One of Riley’s Skyview Estates 1st
Addition: City Manager Hill
explained this vacation is for Lots 15 and 16 in Block 1 of Riley’s Skyview
Addition. The current owner, Don
Sperr, is selling the property and the new owner wants to build a house on both
lots, most likely in the middle, and that is where the utility easements run. The city has to vacate these utilities
before any construction can take place.
Glasrud noted there is currently nothing in the easement and no one is
Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Webster, to accept this as the first reading of
Ordinance No. 87, An Ordinance Vacating a Portion of the Utility Easements in
Block One of Riley’s Skyview Estates 1st Addition, and to set the
second reading and public hearing for May 24th at 5:20 p.m. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Report: Hill reviewed some items happening
with the legislature. The variance bill was passed by the Governor so at the next Planning
Commission they can begin working on the backlog of variance requests. Other items for discussion were drilling
of wells in the city, a storm water fee study and the photo ID voting
bill. With regard to the storm
water fee, the city has received a request from the railroad that they be
exempt from any fees.
Hill stated the liquor
store failed a compliance check. It
was the second violation within a year and because of it the store will have to
be closed for one day and a fine imposed on the store and the employee who made
the violation. Hill indicated the
store has now implemented a policy where anyone, regardless of age, will have
to show an ID. If another violation
occurs within two years the store would have to close for a week.
Council member Storck
asked why when the first violation occurred the manager got his hands slapped
and business continued as usual and this time the employee was terminated. Hill explained that it is a lot easier to
dismiss a part time employee than it is a full time employee. In the previous violation the manager
carded the person but misread the ID.
Storck stated the ID card system should have been put in place after the
first offense. Storck indicated he
feels a part time employee who's working two jobs trying to make a living is
being picked on.
Hill stated it was a judgment
call and the bottom line is that is cannot happen again. Hill indicated every single person in the
liquor store can’t be given the opportunity to make a
mistake. The policy moving forward will
be to terminate anyone who sells to a minor. Hill explained that part of the new
system at the store included cameras and staff was able to go in and review the
sale to see what happened and in this case the individual wasn’t even
carded. Storck again stated he
didn’t agree that a full time person should get a second chance and a part time
Hill noted they are having
some issues at the liquor store with people who don't have a driver's license
or have one from another country. The
City Code states a person can use a passport if it has a photo.
On a different matter,
Hill indicated there was a preconstruction meeting on the East 8th/9th
and Arizona Avenue project and weekly informational meetings will be held just
like last year’s project.
Available space on the
water tower was discussed and whether or not the tower can handle any more antennas.
Theater Store Front
Grant: The Morris Theater is working with Mike
Haynes of the SCEIC to get a store front grant. Hill noted this is a loan and more
information is needed before this can move forward.
Electronic Recycling: The
school is not offering the program this year so staff is looking to see if it's
something the city can offer.
Grant: Council member Miller moved,
seconded by Mayor Giese, to accept the $2,000 Seatbelt Enforcement Grant. These funds are used for the city’s
officers to conduct checks. Motion
NEW BUSINESS: Storm
water Fee: With regard to the
storm water fee, Mayor Giese wanted to make sure as this process continues the
city keep in mind that some places offer a credit for reusing rain water.
Parking at School: Storck
asked what could be done about cars that are parked in the fire lane at the
elementary school and left unattended.
Beauregard explained this is a problem that pops up three or four times
a year and Officer Liebl has been working on this the past couple of weeks. Giese suggested the school make
available more short term parking spaces because everything
else that's close is filled up with teacher's cars. Beauregard stated there is a constant
battle with enforcement of this issue.
Hill noted there is a small
amount of money left in the Safe Routes to School grant that will be used for speed
limit signs by the school that tell how fast you're going. Beauregard informed the council that in
order to apply for a second round of grant money you have to complete spending
of the first phase.
OLD BUSINESS: East
2nd Street: Fier discussed
that there has been some blacktop failure near Tom Hoffman's house and the entrance
to the RFC. Fier wanted to reassure
the public that East 2nd Street will get straightened out before the
final lift is put on, which will be done around the middle of June.
Fier indicated the city
crew has done some serious pruning of trees the last few days, which will
hopefully save some of the trees.
Storck noted there are a lot
of cracks on the west side project.
Fier indicated he is aware of the problems and the pavement is still within
the one year warranty so it would be dealt with.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 9:34 a.m.