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MINUTES    –    MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING  –   JUNE 12, 2012

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 12th day of June, 2012, 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, Accountant Deb Raasch, Public Works Director Dittbenner, City Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier and City Attorney Jordan. 

CITIZEN’S COMMENTS:  Sarah Buchanan, a professor at UMM, Johanna Luetmer, a student and intern at UMM and Rachel Engh, an intern at the Center for Small Towns, were present at the meeting to discuss their idea for a Morris Mural Initiative.  Their idea is to paint murals on buildings at various places across town. 

The Initiative asked the council for feedback on whether or not it would be something they would endorse. Luetmer stated she felt this would be a great way to bridge a gap that exists with the campus community and Morris' citizens, as citizens of all ages could participate.  Luetmer stated she felt people would remember Morris, not only for the University, but for the town itself with the addition of the murals. 

Hill stated in a situation like this, one of the things government can do is get out of the way.  Hill indicated this looks like a project that this group could certainly take and run with.  It was the consensus of the council that this was a great idea.  The group would continue to work on ideas and keep in touch with the city.

Presentation of Grant from Center Point Energy:  Dennis Schroeder of Center Point Energy was present at the meeting.  Schroeder presented a community partnership grant to the city for $2,500 for portable rescue lights and two sets of turnout gear for the Fire Department.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  5/22/12 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Webster moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 5/22/12 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

5/22/12 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 5/22/12 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      Final Pay Estimate – East 2nd Street

         C.      Pay Estimate #8 – East 8th/9th/Arizona

         D.      May Transit Report

         E.       Street Dance Permit

         F.       Gambling Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSGambling Report from American Legion:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Carrington, 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.

Council member Carrington left the meeting at this point at 5:45 p.m.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Accepting Insurance Renewal Proposal:  Tom Quam of Bremer Insurance reviewed the city's insurance renewal proposal.  The expiring premium was $207,795 with a renewal premium of $223,594.  The vast majority of the increase was in the workers compensation insurance.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3084-6-12, Resolution Accepting Insurance Renewal Proposal.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER’S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  City Manager Hill stated the City received a letter of thanks from the City of Sartell for the Fire Department’s assistance at a paper mill fire in their city.  Hill indicated the State of MN put out a mutual aid call for firefighters and the City of Morris sent four firefighters up there for a day.  Hill explained the City will submit a bill but it is unknown whether or not it would get reimbursed. 

City Manager Report:  This was informational for the council. 

Budget Guidance:  Hill explained he feels the city has to get back to the reality that citizens have to pay for what they use.  Hill noted he is looking at percentage changes to the special assessment policy to include a street pavement assessment and storm sewer assessment. 

Hill plans to include a financing package for the removal of the old elementary school into the 2013 budget.

Hill stated the tax levy increase in the budget should not be more than 5% and would probably be closer to the 3% mark.

Hill proposed that sewer and water rates be increased by 3% for the coming year.

Council member Webster moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 2013 budget guidance as presented by the City Manager.  Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:   None

OLD BUSINESS:  Hill indicated over 600 surveys have been returned and he is tallying the answers.  Hill noted that by far the three things that are standing out is the condition of the roads, the appearance of the city and snow plowing. 

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS2011 Population Estimates:  The State Demographer's estimate for the city's population for 2011 is 5,343.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:35 p.m.

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