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MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL- REGULAR MEETING–NOVEMBER 22, 2011

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 22nd         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 was absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, City Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier, Finance Director Krosschell and Police Chief Beauregard. 

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  Public Hearing and 2nd Reading of Ordinance No. 89, An Ordinance Updating a Zoning Map for the City of Morris and Modifying Zoning Language:  Mayor Giese opened the public hearing at 5:16 p.m.  City Manager Hill explained this is a second reading of the ordinance.  The Planning Commission had a public hearing on this matter as well and nothing has changed from the last time the council met. 

Tom Lesmeister stated he owns three buildings along Pacific Avenue and he is dead set against the rezoning of his property out of heavy industrial.  City Manager Hill stated the bottom line is that all businesses are grandfathered in.  Lesmeister is concerned about the future and if he wanted to tear one of his buildings down and rebuild that he wouldnít be able to do that.  Lesmeister does not believe it is in his best interest to change the zoning.    

Hill explained with this change the Planning Commission is trying to avoid having heavy industry in the downtown area.  Hill stated what would be allowed would depend on what type of business Lesmeister would change to.  Lesmeister stated he does not want to give up his right to do what he wants on his property.  Hill stated the way it is now a person canít do whatever they want on their property anyway.  A change in operation, depending on what it is, would still require a conditional use permit. 

Hill asked Lesmeister if all of his buildings were destroyed by a tornado would he want to build in the same little spot?  Lesmeister stated he wouldn't be able to afford land anywhere else.  Lesmeister believes he has a lot more flexibility being zoned heavy industrial.  Lesmeister stated he doesnít know what heís going to be doing five years from now and the city is taking away his options. 

Miller noted there are residential houses just north of where the shop is and if everyone did what they wanted it may infringe on some of the neighborhood.  Miller stated he is confident the Planning Commission and City Council would work with Lesmeister, within reason, to do what he needed to do.  Lesmeister stated the problem is there is no way to know who's going to be on the council in the future.

There was a question as to which item of the ordinance this related to and it was determined it was 1(h) but it should read ďChange the lots from West 5th Street south to County Road 22 on the west side of Pacific Avenue from Heavy Industrial (I2) to Highway Business (HB)Ē.

Hill reiterated that what Lesmeister is doing is grandfathered in and it doesnít matter if itís heavy industrial or highway business, he would still have to come back to the city to get authorization if the scope of the business changed.  The Planning Commission works on these issues to take into consideration such things as noise, dust and traffic control.

Lesmeister stated there is already dust and noise issues with the elevator.  Hill agreed and the city has specifically dealt with the elevator on those issues.  Hill indicated worse care scenario is that if something happened and Lesmeister needed to relocate, the city would try and help him.   

Webster asked if Lesmeister decided he could manufacture a piece of equipment that could feed another company but needed to upgrade his current operation, could he petition the Planning Commission and City Council to allow that.  Hill stated that is always an option to come and ask for a change. 

On other note, Hill stated he received an email from the president of the fair board association and learned that the city does not have the authority to zone fair property.   

Mayor Giese closed the public hearing at 5:54 and brought the matter back to the council for action.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Webster, to accept this as the second reading and approve Ordinance No. 89, An Ordinance Updating a Zoning Map for the City of Morris and Modifying Zoning Language with the change in Item 1(h) from West 4th Street to County Road 22.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Public Hearing and 2nd Reading of Ordinance No. 90, An Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 81, An Ordinance Regulating the Use of Golf Carts and All Terrain Vehicles on City Streets and Amending the Morris City Code:  Mayor Giese opened the public hearing at 5:56 p.m.

Giese stated there was one question last time about whether or not the permit is for the vehicle or the person driving.  Beauregard stated it is the person that needs to be permitted according to state law.  The State wants to control who is driving and that they have a valid driverís license and are physically capable of driving.  This ordinance would grant a permit for three years for the same $25 fee.  Beauregard noted his department inspects the vehicle and they have to have insurance, a rearview mirror and a slow moving sign on the back. 

Mayor Giese closed the public hearing at 5:59 p.m. and brought the matter back to the council for action.

Council member Webster moved, seconded by Miller, to accept this as the second reading and adopt Ordinance No. 90, An Ordinance Repealing Ordinance No. 81, An Ordinance Regulating the Use of Golf Carts and All Terrain Vehicles on City Streets and Amending the Morris City Code, Section 8.21, Golf Carts and All-Terrain Vehicles.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  11/8/11 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Webster moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 10/11/11 regular meeting minutes.   Motion carried.

11/8/11 Condensed Version Minutes:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Webster, to approve the 11/8/11 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:   Mayor Giese removed the pay estimate from Central Specialties from the agenda. 

Mayor Giese removed the Audit of City bills from the consent agenda.  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to authorize payment of the City bills dated November 22, 2011.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor and Council member Storck abstaining, motion carried.

Council member Webster moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the consent agenda with the following items:

            A.        SCMC Administrative Report  

            B.         Gambling Reports

            C.        Raffle License Report

            D.        Revenue & Expenditure Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:   None

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

Hill noted with regard to health insurance the rates have come in substantially lower.  There will be an insurance committee meeting and then Hill will be sitting down with the unions to talk about a contribution adjustment so the council may see a change to the final budget in December.

Radio Service – Radio Equipment Purchase from Stevens County:  City Manager Hill asked the council to authorize spending $4,000 for the purchase of some of the old radios and the repeater system from the county.  This is all brand new equipment that was used for less than two years.  The county has recently converted to the new 800 MHz radio system for law enforcement and fire, but the Cityís public works and transit will remain on the old radio system. 

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to authorize payment of $4,000 to from the capital outlay fund to Stevens County for their old radios and repeater system.  Motion carried.

Environmental Assessment Worksheet for Old Elementary School:  Hill asked the council to authorize him to work on an environmental assessment worksheet for the old elementary school and in December he will be coming back to council with a recommendation that the city apply for a DEED grant.  If the city receives a grant Hill has looked into funding for the local share in the form of either a general obligation bond or a tax increment bond.  It was the consensus of everyone that something has to be done with that building.

Hill stated one concern with receiving a DEED grant is that the building is on the National Historic Registry but research has been done and the conclusion is that nothing can be done with the building.  The environmental worksheet has to be done first which puts everybody that is concerned with that designation on notice that the city is thinking about doing something with the building.

Hill noted the underground tank issue at that site has already been taken care of but there is also the issue of the asbestos. 

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Webster, to allow City Manager Hill to work on an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for the old elementary school. Motion carried.

Water Meter Project:  Hill stated there are only 80 water meters in town that need to be replaced.  Ferguson Waterworks will be putting together a door hangar that will give those customers two more weeks to make an appointment.  If they donít make an appointment, their water will be shut off and it will cost homeowner $25 to have it turned back on.  This is the last step in trying to get them to comply.  They have found a couple locations where there has been an illegal hookup of plumbing before the meter and those people will be notified that they need to make that change.

NEW BUSINESS:    Beauregard gave an update on the new safe routes to school signs by the school, noting that on the first day there were 63 cars going 35 miles and hour and faster and by the third day that number dropped to 7.  These signs were paid for by a Safe Routes to School grant. 

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:19 p.m.

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