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The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 8th day of November, 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 Webster, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Council member Carrington arrived at 5:16 p.m.   Also present was City Manager Hill, City Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier and City Attorney Jordan.  Public Works Director Dittbenner arrived at 5:30 p.m.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  Jason Mueller – Bello Cucina:  Mueller called and stated he would not be present at the meeting tonight.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  Public Hearing and Resolution Adopting Assessments in Conjunction with the East 8th, 9th and Arizona Avenue Improvement Project:  City Manager Hill stated the purpose of the hearing is to give the public the opportunity to talk to the council after receiving their notices and to make a formal objection if needed.  Hill noted he has received two objections from Michael and Melissa Sax on separate properties. 

City Engineer Fier stated the project is not done.  The boulevards will be completely reworked and seeded next spring.  There is some blacktop starting to fail and that will also be removed before the final lift is put on next year. 

Fier reviewed the assessments which included storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water, curb & gutter and sidewalk for the East 8th, 9th and Arizona Avenue portion.  The assessment also included the petitioned sanitary sewer assessment for three houses along East 6th Street and the petitioned sanitary sewer on East 8th Street between Columbia and Montana Avenue. 

For the East 8th, 9th and Arizona Avenue project the sanitary sewer was $1,329.67 per unit.  The original estimate was for $2,816.37.   The water was $2,137.98 per unit and the engineerís estimate was $2,137.98

Fier stated the storm sewer watershed was significantly larger than he had originally anticipated so some properties were not notified of the improvement and because of that the city will eat a little over $10,000.  Fier noted property owners are not paying for somebody else that should have been assessed.  Also, some property owners had paid for a portion of storm sewer back in the 80's, in an area East of Arizona and 8th Street, and they did not pay an additional assessment for storm sewer in this case. 

Fier explained he walked in the backyards to try and decide where the water runs.   At 516 East 8th, which is one of the Sax properties, the lot is quite rough but Fier believes the general tendency is for the water to go the way he anticipates it to go.  Fier stated he stands by his shots and does not feel a need to adjust that. 

Melissa Sax, 516 East 8th Street, stated they found that the water flows back by the garage north towards the street.  Sax indicated there is a ridge by the front of the house that the water cannot flow over and it soaks into the ground.  Sax noted the problem only exists on the east side of the house.  Fier agreed that there is a ridge of earth there but believes the water gets around the edge and certainly if it builds up a couple of inches it gets out.  Fier explained that if the water couldnít get out it would get into the basement and that is not the situation.  Sax stated it may have to build up that high but that basement has always been a wet basement.  Fier pointed out there is no sump pump in that house.

Fier stated Saxís husband, Mike, is disagreeing with the amount of square footage that the property is being assessed for.  Fier explained the basic disagreement is about $80.

The second objection from Sax is that there wasn't a need to replace the curb & gutter at 608 East 8th Street.  Fier indicated those properties along there petitioned to have the sewer replaced and they knew there would be a road surface replacement.  Along with that petition they agreed to pay for the cost of having the work done.    

Hill indicated the final objection from Saxís in both these documents has to do with the appraisal.  Hill stated the city hired a professional appraiser to give their professional opinion as to what the overall added value would be to the property after the improvements.  Hill noted it wasn't an actual appraisal because that would have to be done to each individual property.  If an appeal is made to district court at that point an actual appraisal will be done.   

Hill stated the resolution asks the city council to adopt the assessments.  In the case of the objected assessments they have the right to appeal it further in district court. 

Mayor Giese closed the public hearing at 5:39 p.m. And brought the matter back to the council for action.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, the adopt Resolution #3044-11-11, Resolution Adopting Assessments in Conjunction with the East 8th, 9th and Arizona Avenue Improvement Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Hill further stated the city will send a notice out to all property owners and let them know there is an open window of 30 days to pay the assessment without interest before it gets turned over to the county.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  10/25/11 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Webster moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 10/25/11 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

10/25/11 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 10/25/11 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Mayor Giese removed the Audit of City Bills from the consent agenda.  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Miller, to authorize payment of the City bills dated November 8, 2011.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all voting in favor and Council member Storck abstaining, motion carried.

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

            A.        Pay Estimate – F & S Concrete

            B.         Pay Estimate – Ferguson Waterworks

            C.        October Transit Report

Motion carried.


ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:  Set Hearing for Ordinance No. 89, An Ordinance Updating a Zoning Map for the City of Morris and Modifying Zoning Language:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Webster, to schedule a public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on November 22nd for Ordinance No. 89, An Ordinance Updating a Zoning Map for the City of Morris and Modifying Zoning Language.  Motion carried.

First Reading of Ordinance No. 90, An Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 81, An Ordinance Regulating the Use of Golf Carts:  Hill stated this ordinance would allow for bigger, safer vehicles in addition to the golf carts and four wheelers already allowed.  Previously, state law had limited the level at which local government could permit vehicles.  City Attorney Jordan indicated during the past legislative session the law was amended to allow for the bigger side by side type of vehicles. 

Hill indicated another change to the ordinance is that it also extends the number of years the permit is good for to three years.  The fee remains at $25.00 and a change to that has not been discussed. 

Miller asked why it is the operator getting permitted instead of the vehicle.  Miller stated it makes sense to him that the vehicle get permitted because any other time it's the snowmobile or other vehicle, rather than the driver.  Miller believes a change should be made to permit the vehicle, rather than the operator.  Hill indicated he would take a look and bring the information back for the public hearing.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to accept this as the first reading of Ordinance No. 90, An Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 81, An Ordinance Regulating the Use of Golf Carts and set a public hearing and second reading for 5:25 p.m. on November 22nd.  Motion carried.


Resolution Approving the 2011 DNR Fire Grant Contract:  Hill explained this grant would provide matching funds up to $2,000 which would be put towards breathing apparatus for the fire department.  Hill asked the council to approve the resolution accepting the grant contract from the State of MN. 

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Webster, to adopt Resolution #3045-11-11, Resolution Approving the 2011 DNR Fire Grant Contract.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  City Manager Report:  This was informational for the council.




ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.

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