MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING –DECEMBER 13,
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 13th day
of December, 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, Police
Chief Beauregard, Finance Director Krosschell, Fleet Manager Searle, Public
Works Director Dittbenner and City Attorney Jordan.
CITIZEN’S COMMENTS: Presentation
of Thomas B. McRoberts Human Rights Award: The Human Rights Commission noted that
they have changed the name of the award to the Thomas B. McRoberts
Award. This year's award was given
to Eugene and Darlene Pasche.
Becki Jordan, Chairperson of the Commission, presented
the award to Pasche’s. Pastor Jack Baumgarn
of Zion Lutheran Church said a few words about the recipients and their
outstanding service to church and other areas in this community and
Paul McDonald: McDonald
was present at the meeting to let the council know about the Legion state
tournament that is coming to Morris in 2015. McDonald stated the Baseball Association
is planning to raise enough funds to expand the press box and put a permanent
roof on the grandstand, with the city’s permission. McDonald indicated the city of Morris
has never hosted a Legion state tournament before and it could be a big money
maker for the city. McDonald will
keep the council up to date as things progress.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor
Giese added an Application for Exempt Permit from the MN Deer Hunter's
Association to the agenda.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 11/22/11 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by
Webster, to approve the 11/22/11 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Storck, to approve the 11/22/11 condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor
Giese removed the Audit of City Bills from the consent agenda. Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Miller, to authorize payment of the City bills dated December 13,
2011. Upon a roll call vote taken
and all present voting in favor and Council member Storck abstaining, motion
Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Webster, to approve the consent agenda
which included the following items:
A. Raffle License
B. November Transit
C. Application for
Exempt Permit – MN Deer Hunter's Association
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
COMMUNICATIONS: Gambling Report from 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,
RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Approving a Special
Assessment Deferral for Lloyd M. Plocker: Hill explained city code allows property
owners to apply for a special assessment deferral based on certain criteria. Hill
stated some of the criteria in the code is outdated. Hill recommended that based on the two
applications the deferral be granted for each one. The assessment does continue to accrue
Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3046-12-11,
Resolution Approving a Special Assessment Deferral for Lloyd M. Plocker. Upon a
roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Approving a
Special Assessment Deferral for Stella E. Hill:
Council member Webster moved, seconded by Mayor
Giese, to adopt Resolution #3047-12-11, Resolution Approving a Special
Assessment for Stella E. Hill. Upon
a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Assessment for a Current Service: This current service assessment is for
lawn mowing charges at 102 South Oregon.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck,
to adopt Resolution #3048-12-11, Resolution Adopting Assessment for a Current
Service. Upon a roll call vote
taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Setting the
Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association: Hill
is recommending that the annual pension benefit from the Relief Association be
increased from $1,700 to $1,750.
The city did not make the additional $21,750 contribution to the relief
association because of the major cuts received in LGA and the Market Value
Homestead Credit. The relief
association had another good year with investments and their most recent report
to the State of MN indicates that they did not need the money and no additional contribution is required by law for 2012. Miller suggested that it be added to the
resolution as to when the increase takes effect, which is January 1, 2012.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3049-12-11,
Resolution Setting the Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief
Association at $1,750, with the addition of an effective date of January 1,
2012. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Appointment to Library Board:
Mayor Giese appointed
Julie Monroe to the Library Board to fill the unexpired term of John Amundson.
Appointment to WCI Economic Development District Board:
It was the consensus of
the council that Council member Storck be appointed as Mayor Giese's
replacement on the WCI Economic Development District Board.
Gas Leak Donation from Centerpoint Energy: Hill informed the council that Centerpoint Energy presented the city with a check for
$2,500 for everything they did to assist Centerpoint during
the emergency gas leak this fall.
Amendment to CGMC
Bylaws: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Miller,
to approve the amendment to the CGMC Bylaws. Motion carried.
Council member Storck moved, seconded by
Miller, to approve the 2012 license renewals as submitted. Motion carried.
City Manager Report: Hill
explained that the water meter conversion is going well. Meters were read on the east side of
town and bills were printed. Hill
pointed out approximately 50 leaking meters have been
identified and Finance Director Krosschell has drawn up a notice to go out to
Hill indicated he is
working on negotiations but believes he is close to an agreement and hopes to
finalize things next week. Health
Partners Insurance has come in 35% less than what the city is paying now. Hill stated he doesn’t want to finalize the
budget until negotiations are completed.
Hill stated he believes there is a good offer on the table.
Hill informed the council
that preliminary estimates are around $900,000 for demolition of the old school
and that doesn't include landfill costs or asbestos removal so it would probably be closer to $1.4
million. The vandalism is getting
worse and city staff is spending a lot of time over there.
Beauregard stated the
second round of compliance checks were completed and Pizza Hut failed, which is
their first ever violation.
NEW BUSINESS: None
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
BUDGET MEETING: Hill
stated the city is at the will of the state for the majority of its
funding. The 2011 levy is
$1,251,465, which is the same as the 2010 levy. The tax levy is made up of $618,231 from
the general fund, $48,500 from the library fund and $584,734 for debt
Hill indicated the market
value of property in Morris has continually gone up, which is a good thing. The 2011 market value is $222,267,500,
which is a 1.3% increase over last year’s value of $219,496,400.
Hill reviewed a list of
revenue and expense considerations which include an elimination of the
contribution to the Fire Relief Association, maintaining the workforce, a draw
on liquor store reserves, using reserves to pay for the city’s share of Pacific
Avenue and no increase in the utility rates. Hill noted he would have a recommendation
for the council towards the beginning of next year for a storm sewer utility.
The total city budget for 2012
is $9,673,103, while the 2011 budget was $8,461,221 for an increase of 14.3%. Hill summarized a breakdown of the
general fund budget.
The Capital Improvement
Fund includes $440,000 of road work, the majority of
which comes from franchise fees.
The capital outlay fund is budgeted at $309,500 for capital equipment
purchases. The various debt service
funds of the city are budgeted at $584,734.
The public utility fund has
projected revenues of $1,088,664 and expenses of $1,028,844 for a net income of
$59,820. Money from the liquor
store will be used to buy down the pumper truck debt.
Hill explained for the
future the city will continue to rely on state
aid. Health insurance rates have dropped
considerably for the coming year.
The city will need to continue to invest in its infrastructure and the
old elementary school will have to be dealt with.
Council member Webster
asked about the school building and if the county’s economic development was seeking
out interested people. Hill indicated
the city’s bond consultant is looking to see if there is any interest. Hill noted the market is not good for
building right now. A TIF district is an option but that only
works if development occurs to pay the taxes.
Webster asked if the parks
budget came out of the general fund and if there was the ability to add a
special project in there, such as something for the state tournament. Webster stated the budget seems to
maintain the parks but he considers them to be part of the main attraction for
Morris. Hill indicated it would not
be a problem to add a project to the parks budget.
Hill stated the bottom
line is that the city is holding their own on spending and taxes and will have
to sit back and wait to see what the legislature does next year. The savings in health insurance will give
the city a little bit of flexibility for the coming year.
the Final 2011 Tax Levy for Collection in 2012: Council
member Webster moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3050-12-11,
Resolution Approving the Final 2011 Tax Levy for Collection in 2012. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:43 p.m.