MINUTES – MORRIS
CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
– MAY 24, 2011
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 24th day of May, 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 Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese. Council members Carrington and Webster
were absent. Also present was
City Manager Hill, Finance Director Krosschell, Police Chief Beauregard, City
Attorney Glasrud and Public Works Director Dittbenner.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor
Giese added to the agenda an Application for Exempt Permit from Assumption
Catholic Church under the Consent Agenda.
CITIZEN’S COMMENTS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 5/10/11 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Storck moved, seconded by
Miller, to approve the 5/10/11 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by
Mayor Giese, to approve the 5/10/11 condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor
Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the consent agenda
with the following items:
Audit of City
#1 – East 8th/9th/Arizona
#7 – East 2nd Street
for On Sale Liquor License
G. Revenue &
Expenditure Report/Fund Summary
H. Planning Commission
Minutes - 4/19/11
for Exempt Permit – MDHA
for Exempt Permit – Assumption Catholic Church
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
COMMUNICATIONS: Gambling 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 present voting in favor and Mayor
Giese abstaining as an officer of the legion, motion carried.
RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Providing for the Issuance and Sale of $1,050,000
G.O. Improvement Bonds, Series 2011A: Brian Reilly of Ehlers and Associates was
present at the meeting to review the results of the bond sale. Reilly stated three bids were received
with the low bid coming from the local firm of Bremer Bank of Alexandria/Morris
with an interest rate of 3.0076.
Reilly indicated a nice
thing that happened with this bid is that Bremer has offered a par bid which
means the approximate $13,000 for underwriting costs is essentially waived and
these dollars can be moved into the construction costs to be available for the
project. Reilly stated if the money
doesn’t get spent it would be put into the debt service for the bonds and used
to buy down some of the levy over the next few years. Reilly reviewed the city’s
A1 rating from Moody’s Investors and the repayment schedule which will take
place over the next fifteen years.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3001-5-11, Resolution Providing
for the Issuance and 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.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Public
Hearing and 2nd Reading of Ordinance No. 87, An Ordinance Vacating a
Portion of the Utility Easement in Block One of Riley's Skyview Estates: Hill indicated two lots have been
purchased from Don Sperr and the new owner would like to put a house in the
middle of the lots and in order to do that a utility easement
vacation must take place. Hill
stated Otter Tail Power had an electric line in there that has since been
moved. Glasrud noted it appears the
easement is not needed so everything should be fine. Mayor Giese suggested the portion of the
ordinance that indicates a 4/5 vote of the council is needed should be removed
since City Attorney Glasrud has determined that just a majority vote of the
council members present is sufficient.
Council member Storck
moved, seconded by Miller, to accept this as the second reading and approve
Ordinance No. 87, An Ordinance Vacating a Portion of the Utility Easement in
Block One of Riley’s Skyview Estates 1st Addition, with the above
mentioned change. Upon a roll
call vote taken and Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese voting in favor and Council
members Webster and Carrington absent, motion carried.
Resolution Accepting a
Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the Automated Water Meter Reading System
Project: Hill stated the city had two companies
that asked for specs for this project but the one company found they couldn’t
comply with the specs having to do with the changing out of the batteries on
the meters. The only bid received
for the project was from Ferguson Waterworks for $427,088.07.
Kim Foster from Ferguson Waterworks
and Ian Coburn from Neptune Meters were present at the meeting. Foster stated they have a staff that will
come to Morris and install the meters over a 60 day
period. This system will allow for
the city to detect leaks much faster.
It is also possible the city may recoup some additional revenue from the
replacement of old meters. The city
would also have the option to go to once a month billing instead of every two
months, which Hill indicated staff is leaning towards. This technology is capable of reading up
to 10,000 meters in an 8 hour day, so based on that it should only take a
couple of hours to do the whole town.
The quote the city received comes with a hand held device but there is
an option to upgrade to a laptop.
Police Chief Beauregard asked
about the employees that will be going into the homes. Foster stated they do extensive
background checks on their employees and also get daily reports of what areas
of town they have been to and where they will be going the next day. All employee information would be
submitted to the police department.
Foster explained that the
city would send out information about the process and ask people to call their
office, which has Spanish speaking capabilities, or go online to schedule an
appointment. A total of three
notices are sent out and after that the city will have to decide how they want
to handle non-responsive customers, which Foster stated is usually about
5%. One option is to terminate water
service until the customer complies with the request. The average time it takes to change out
the meter is a half hour. Foster noted
they are not in the business of replacing valves and that is something the
homeowner would have to line up on their own.
Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3002-5-11,
Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the Automated Water
Meter Reading System Project. Upon
a roll call vote taken and four voting in favor and Webster voting against,
Resolution Approving an
Assessing Agreement with Stevens County: Hill explained the
assessing fees have been frozen for the last two years and Stevens County is asking
for a slight increase in the two year agreement with $26,000
for 2012 and $27,000 for 2013. Don Gieselman is the licensed assessor
the County contracts with and Hill believes the price is fair as he does a
great job for the city.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3003-5-11,
Resolution Approving an Assessing Agreement with Stevens County. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
First Reading of
Ordinance No. 88, An Ordinance Establishing a Zoning Map for the Orderly
Annexation Area Outside the Morris City Limits: Hill
stated this area was basically given to the city for watching over back in
1978. The area in question for the
zoning map is the area between the red line of the
city limits to the outer brown line on the proposed map. Hill explained a couple of farmers to the
west of town felt their farmland shouldn’t be in the Municipal Conservancy zone
and the Planning Commission agreed so that change was made to Farm Residence. Hill noted the commission is also working
on zoning changes within the city limits and notice will be given to everyone
for a public hearing that will be held sometime this fall. Hill pointed out the city has no authority
over University property. There
will also be a signature block added to the maps so they will officially be
Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Storck, to accept this as the first reading of
Ordinance No. 88, An Ordinance Establishing a Zoning Map for the Orderly
Annexation and to set the second reading and public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on
June 14, 2011. Motion carried.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Disposal of Excess Property –
Transit Bus: Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Miller, to authorize the sale of the 2000 transit
bus. Motion carried.
City Manager Report: The
legislature was discussed. Hill
suspected the state would shut down by the second week in July.
Hill congratulated City
Attorney Glasrud on his appointment as judge. Glasrud noted that Assistant City
Attorney Economou would continue until the city decides what they’re going to
do. Hill stated the city would wait
to see how the county proceeds and believes they will make a decision sometime
There has been continued
vandalism at the old elementary school and Hill feels something needs to be
done within the next couple of years.
NEW BUSINESS: Public Health Building: With regard to the old
public health building Hill doesn’t believe it will work for what the city needs. Storck suggested the south side of the
building be made into parking for transit buses and there is room in the back
of the building for employee parking.
Storck feels the existing City Hall is a bunker and should be torn down
for senior center parking. Storck
stated the public health building has a nice atmosphere and doesn’t see how the
city could go wrong purchasing the building. Hill indicated some of the issues are
the lack of a conference room and space for an engineering office. Hill stated they are asking $200,000
for the building and additional money would be needed for rearranging the outside
and remodeling of the inside. Hill
stated it is not on the city’s agenda and there is no money for it.
Franchise Fee Money: Storck
asked about the $400,000 of franchise fee money and why streets are not getting
fixed. Storck stated on average is
takes $14,000 to do a city block and a lot of blocks could be done for that
amount of money. Hill explained
that in the past City Engineer Fier has overseen the road
work and that process needs to be changed because Fier doesn’t have time
to do it. Hill stated another issue
is whether or not the infrastructure needs to be done before a road is
paved. Considerable discussion was
held on the condition of the roads in town. It was the consensus of the council and
staff that a meeting be held in the next few weeks to plan what needs to be
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:40 p.m.