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MINUTES – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL -  REGULAR MEETING -  JUNE 26, 2012

A quorum was not present until Council member Webster arrived at 5:25 p.m. so the council began with the following item:

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS:   Presentation by Gary Johnson on Emerald Ash Borer Study:  Gary Johnson, from the Urban and Community Forestry Project Team at the University of Minnesota, was present at the meeting to review the Morris Community Tree Report.  Johnson noted that the city has 8,776 privately owned and 2,542 publicly owned trees.  The percentage of all the trees that are ash is a little over 27%.  On public property, 46% of the trees are ash and 22% on private property. 

Johnson indicated ash, maples and spruce are the three most common trees in Morris and most communities across Minnesota. Many of these trees are large and are the canopy of Morris.  Johnson noted the trees provide shade, shelter from the winter wind and contribute to the overall quality of life in Morris so it important to protect them. 

Johnson stated no one knows how long it will take before the emerald ash borer will be in Morris but it is coming.  Johnson pointed out people come to Morris to vacation and tend to bring firewood with them and that is how the EAB spreads.  Johnson noted the Asian long horn beetle is another impending threat.   

Johnson indicated after this study the City has a better idea how vulnerable Morris is to the EAB.  Johnson suggested the city make plans to diversify the kinds of trees that are being planted.  Johnson also stated that the city has some really good, healthy looking ash trees that are worthy of some chemical controls.  Johnson pointed out the gravel bed the city has is an excellent way to plant a variety of trees and it allows for an autumn plant, which is normally less harsh on the trees. 

CALL OF THE ROLL:  The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:47 p.m. this 26th 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 Webster, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Council members Carrington and Miller were absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Krosschell, Accountant Deb Raasch, Public Works Director Dittbenner and Police Chief Beauregard. 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  6/12/12 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Webster, to approve the 6/12/12 regular meeting minutes.   Motion carried.

6/12/12 Condensed Version Minutes:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the 6/12/12 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      SCMC Administrative Report

         C.      Planning Commission Minutes, 5/15/12

         D.      Gambling Reports

         E.       Application for Exempt Permit

         F.       Revenue & Expenditure Report

Motion carried.

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added to the agenda a Resolution Choosing to Continue to Participate in the State Performance Measurement Program for 2012. 

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

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:   Resolution Choosing to Participate in the State Performance Measurement Program for 2012:  Hill explained that the City chose to participate in the Performance Measurement Program and identified ten key performance questions that were sent out in a survey.  Of the 1,670 surveys that were sent, 634 (38%) were returned.  Hill indicated the issue that came up as having the least support from the public was the condition of the city streets.   

Council member Webster moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3085-6-12, Resolution Choosing to Continue to Participate in the State Performance Measurement Program for 2012.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER’S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Report:  This was informational for the council.   

NEW BUSINESS:  None

OLD BUSINESS:  Council member Webster asked about the status of the water bill for Service Options for Seniors.  City Manager Hill explained that when the building was constructed a gallons meter was put in but it was being billed as a cubic foot meter.  Hill noted nobody knew it was a gallons meter because the plumber put the meter in, not the city.  Hill stated over the course of a number of years S.O.S. was overbilled to the tune of almost $70,000.  Hill pointed out a letter has been sent to S.O.S. and the city is waiting to hear back about how they want to proceed.      

Hill stated the new meter system is incredible and helped to catch this problem.  The city is still doing every other month billing but now offers on line bill pay. Now the city can take a look at whether or not it wants to go to monthly billing, which Hill stated he is in favor of.  Customers can opt out of having paper bills sent as well.    

INFORMATIONAL ITEMSDavid F. Day Fishing Tournament:  Hill indicated as part of the Yellow Ribbon Community committee he would be giving the council updates from time to time about these types of activities.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:17 p.m.

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