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The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 28th   day of August, 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, Wilcox, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Beauregard and Public Works Director Dittbenner. 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSCoalition of Greater MN Cities:  Elizabeth Weffel from the Coalition of Greater MN Cities was present at the meeting to review what happened during the legislature.  Weffel stated LGA continues to be one of the biggest issues they are working on.  Weffel noted cities have taken a huge hit over the last few years, with the City of Morris loosing almost a million dollars in LGA from 2008 to 2012. 


READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  8/7/12 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 8/7/12 regular meeting minutes.   Motion carried.

8/7/12 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Wilcox moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the 8/7/12 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      Pay Estimate #1 – 2012 MSA & Local Street Improvements

         C.      SCMC Administrative Report

         D.      Raffle License Report – Miss Midwest

         E.       Gambling Reports

         F.       Street Dance Permit – Old No. 1

         G.      Community Ed Information

         H.      7/17/12 Planning Commission Minutes

         I.       Revenue & Expenditure Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSGambling 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, motion carried.

Prairie Pioneer Days 2012 Budget and Actual:  Hill provided the council with a copy of the Prairie Pioneer Days budget and recommended that the balance of $3,914.35 be picked up with the lodging tax tourism dollars.   

Mayor Giese commented that the wash stands and the recycling done by the University were definite positive additions for the weekend.  Wilcox noted many vendors commented on how wonderful the free water at the park was as well.    

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wilcox, to approve the actual budget and approve payment of $3,914.35 from the lodging tax tourism funds for the 2012 Prairie Pioneer Days.  Motion carried.

Approval of Tourism Brochure:  City Manager Hill stated the Tourism Board is working with the marketing people from Superior Industries on a tourism brochure.  The cost to design the brochure is $1,052.  Hill indicated this brochure can be handed out locally or sent to groups and put in places where people pick up information about coming to town. 

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Wilcox, to authorize using Superior Industries marketing department to put together a design for a Tourism Brochure for a cost of $1,052.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:   Resolution Approving the Refinancing by the City of Buhl of a Health Care Facilities Revenue Note:  Hill noted this is just a matter of doing some paperwork.  There was absolutely no liability for the city on the bonds that were issued.  With this refinancing it takes the city of Morris out of the equation and the City of Buhl will be issuing new bonds.   

Council member Wilcox moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3095-8-12, Resolution Approving the Refinancing by the City of Buhl of a Health Care Facilities Revenue Note, Series 2007 (St. Francis Health Services of Morris Project).  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

Resolution Approving a Dispatching Services Agreement with Stevens County for 2013 to 2017:  Hill noted Police Chief Beauregard has been working very hard on this issue for a long time.  The five year agreement reduces the cityís share of expenses for dispatch from 20 percent in 2013 to zero percent by 2017.  Hill noted everyone pays for 911 services on their phone bill and the county gets money from that process.  Council member Miller stated that everyone also pays county taxes as part of the city.  Hill indicated the county has already approved the agreement.  It is a good deal for the city and Hill pointed out that those savings would be used to help balance the budget.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3096-8-12, Resolution Approving a Dispatching Services Agreement with Stevens County for 2013 to 2017.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting Assessments for Current Services:  The services included are a curb stop replacement and a fire call bill. Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wilcox, to adopt Resolution #3097-8-12, Resolution Adopting an Assessment for Current Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Report:  Hill stated the comment period for the EAW on the old school closed on August 27th.  The city received a letter from the MN Historical Society wondering if enough research had been done as to reuse of the building.  Hill indicated the city did in fact do quite a bit to try and reuse the building. 

A letter was also received from the MPCA, just letting the city know what needs to be done when the demolition process is started.  Hill pointed out nothing came out of the comments that would require the city to do anything further. 

Hill stated he met with the cityís bond consultant to talk about doing a TIF district on the property.  The bond consultant believes it can be done and linked to two other districts that don't have any obligations after this year.  The first step will be to have the EDA ask the council to create a TIF district, which will require a public hearing.  The TIF will help pay for the demolition of the school.  Hill believes the city will see development on that property.  The property might have to be platted so pieces can be sold off.  Hill indicated during the next four months he will be doing a lot of work to set things up. 

Hill stated he would be bringing the preliminary budget to the council at their next meeting.  Hill noted more than likely he is going to recommend that the city start using a different engineering firm that has the expertise needed with regard to water/wastewater issues.   

Hill also stated he would be bringing a resolution before the council asking for authorization to submit a grant application for DENCO.  This grant application was submitted last year and it didnít work out but there is another grant available.

Hill pointed out the city council and staff need to sit down and talk about roads and infrastructure.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done and the city has roads that have absolutely failed.  Hill believes the city also needs to start assessing for pavement.  Considerable discussion was held on the needed street projects. 

NEW BUSINESS:  Mayor Giese appointed Candra Ruiz to the Tourism Board. 

Miller asked how far the city has to go with its dilapidated housing.  Miller suggested that things get rolling if it's an unlivable property and an eyesore for everybody.  Miller indicated it is sickening to drive around and see all the eyesores that drive the whole town down.  Miller stated it is too bad the city has residents like that instead of everyone doing their fair share.  Hill noted it is unfortunate, but staff doesnít have the time to drive around town and look at that stuff. 

Miller asked if the city could again try and get a hold of the people who own the property west of town.  Miller noted it is a big eyesore and thatís the first impression of the town when coming in from that direction and itís been that way for years and years. 

The issue of dust and debris from New Horizons along Pacific Avenue was discussed and what can be done to control it. 


INFORMATIONAL ITEMSCoalition of Greater MN Cities Brief:  This was informational for the council.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:24 p.m.

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