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The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 9th day of August, 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 and Public Works Director Dittbenner. 



READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  7/26/11 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 7/26/11 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

7/26/11 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 7/26/11 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      July Transit Report

Motion carried.


ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:  Resolution to Enter Into Agreement with the State of Minnesota for Transit Services:  Finance Director Krosschell stated this is an annual resolution that the State requires as part of the grant application.  Krosschell stated the city contributes 20% of capital and operating expenditures but noted the city could be facing a 10% to 15% cut in the transit budget from the state.   Krosschell stated there are options if the city faces state funding cuts such as decreasing services, raising fares or increasing the contribution from the city to cover a financing gap. 

Council member Webster moved, seconded by Carrington, to adopt Resolution #3027-8-11, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement with the State of Minnesota for Transit Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Accepting Bids and Authorizing a Contract for 2011 Street Improvement Project:  Hill stated the city has $390,000 in franchise funds to work with.  The project was bid out by area and the total bid for everything was $626,228.  Hill recommended the city focus on the East 8th and 9th Street area, which is a total reclaiming of the road.   Hill indicated originally staff had talked about including the fire hall parking lot but the contractor would need to bring in a different piece of equipment and they donít want to do that just for one parking lot.   

Hill recommended everything on the north side of town be included, except for Iowa Avenue, for a total of $370,516.  The contractor is not willing to carry over pricing until next year on the projects that wouldnít be included this year. 

Giese asked what kind of money comes in annually from franchise fees.  Hill indicated it is around $230,000.  Hill stated some of the franchise money has been allocated towards construction projects.  Hill noted this is a good starting point and something to compare to when the city takes bids again in February or March for 2012 projects.

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3028-8-11, Resolution Accepting Bids and Authorizing a Contract for the 2011 Street Improvement Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Webster, to adopt Resolution #3029-8-11, Resolution Adopting Assessments for Current Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  City Manager Report:  With regard to the budget, Hill stated he would be giving a preliminary recommendation and asking to set up a budget worksession to review everything.   

Hill stated he received a complaint from a property owner who was upset that the city was trimming bushes in their alley.  Hill explained the alleys are very small and the alley right of way is actually about 20 feet wide.  The gravel itself is not the right of way.  There are a number of places where it is very overgrown.  Hill indicated there is no way to notify everyone that their alley will be trimmed.  Miller suggested that notice be given on a utility bill or the local access channel.

City staff has noticed a number of trees with dutch elm disease.  The city has taken out quite a few of them on the boulevards.    

Council member Carrington asked about the budget update and the portion about not making a non-mandatory contribution to the fire department.  Hill stated he has put together a breakdown of what the city has lost since December of 2008.  It appears that the city will be locked into this funding level for years to come.  Hill noted he has asked the fire department to give him a recommendation on funding and benefit changes.   


OLD BUSINESS:  Miller asked if everything had been finished with the fireworks show.  Hill explained the fee that the city charges includes the permit and the cost of the firemen to shoot them off.  The firemen got together and decided they would all volunteer their time.  The city does not bill out insurance separately for the fireworks.   

Miller suggested sitting down with the firemen and Eagles to see if there's some tourism dollars available for next year.  Miller feels the Eagles donates to many causes and the fireworks is part of a big weekend for the town.   

Hill stated the Tourism Board never met to talk about any kind of contribution for this year.  Hill pointed out it is a Prairie Pioneer Days event and it is his understanding that the donation is to the city to provide the fireworks.  Hill noted the only complaint he heard was that the fireworks didnít start until 10:45 at night.  Hill stated there is no intention of the Tourism Board to fund the fireworks.  Hill stated if the Eagles decide they can't afford to fund a fireworks show, the city will not be able to and didnít know that the Tourism Board could either. 


ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 5:48 p.m.

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