MINUTES – MORRIS
CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–OCTOBER 9, 2012
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 9th day of
October, 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,
Storck and Mayor Giese. Council
member Miller was absent. Also
present was City Manager Hill, City Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier, Police
Chief Beauregard, Fleet Manager Searle and City Attorney Jordan.
CITIZENíS COMMENTS: None
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 9/25/12 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member
Storck moved, seconded by Wilcox, to approve the 9/25/12 regular meeting
minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council member Wilcox moved, seconded by
Council member Carrington, to approve the 9/25/12 condensed version
minutes. Motion carried.
AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Storck, to approve the consent agenda which included the following
A. Audit of City
B. September Transit
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
COMMUNICATIONS: Motion to Accept MN Firefighter Grant: Hill explained this grant is for
expenses for a two day training being put on by a fire chief from New York. There is no local match required. Council member Storck moved,
seconded by Carrington, to accept the grant from the Minnesota Board of
Firefighter Training and Education.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor
Giese added to the agenda A Resolution Declaring Costs to be Assessed, Terms
for Repayment and Setting the Final Assessment Hearing for the Pacific Avenue
RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Approving a Memorandum of
Understanding with AFSCME Union Local 2022, General Unit: City Manager Hill explained this was an oversight
and should have been included in the original agreement with the AFSCME general
unit. This was already corrected in
the public works union agreement.
Council member Storck moved, seconded by Wilcox, to adopt Resolution #3109-10-12,
Resolution Approving a Memorandum of Understanding with AFSCME Union Local
2022, General Unit. Upon a roll
call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Election Judges for the State General Election November 6, 2012: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to
adopt Resolution #3110-10-12, Resolution Appointing Election Judges for the
State General Election November 6, 2012.
Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Costs to be Assessed, Terms for Repayment and Setting the Final Assessment
Hearing for the Pacific Avenue Improvement Project: Hill indicated
this project was a federal and state project on Pacific Avenue from County Road
22 to West 5th Street.
The total cost of the improvement was $539,425 with $520,685 being paid
by the city and the total assessable cost at $18,740. Hill noted there were so few hook ups so
they used a rolling average for assessments. The assessment hearing is scheduled for
November 13th. The
cityís portion of the project will be funded internally but the interest rate
was kept consistent with other projects at 5%.
Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3111-10-12,
Resolution Declaring Costs to be Assessed, Terms for Repayment and Setting the
Final Assessment Hearing for the Pacific Avenue Improvement Project for
November 13th at 5:20 p.m.
Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion
CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Public Improvement Code Update: Hill stated he is not asking the council
to take action on this issue right now.
Hill indicated there is a public hearing coming up at the next meeting
and the assessment process will be discussed. Hill stated the biggest thing is that
the city needs to start assessing for pavement because it can't afford not to. Hill explained in some cases the city is
not doing improvements because there is no money.
Hill pointed out there is a
lot of tax exempt property and they are still the
beneficiary of the roads. Hill stated
Morris is one of the very few cities that doesnít assess for pavement. Hill indicated that as he looked through
the improvement code one of the things he noticed is that the code says the
city should be assessing 100% for pavement. Hill wondered at what point in time the
city deviated from what the code actually says because it was that way before
City Engineer Fier was here. Hill
indicated that he would like the code written the way it is actually being
used. Hill noted the council does
have some leeway to deviate from what's written in the code but it needs to be
spelled out as to why the council would deviate. The wrong terminology is also being used
in several places.
Terms such as renewing,
resurfacing, sealcoating and milling were discussed. A new term that was added last year was
reclaiming, which is the process of grinding up the entire road surface to save
Hill stated at the public
hearing next month the face value of the assessments are going to look high. At that time the city will also have a
letter from an appraiser saying what the benefit may be worth. Hill suggested the key time to make
adjustments is when bids come in but typically bids have been coming in almost
30% less. Hill noted if bids are
high there is always the option of doing a rolling average to try and determine
what the city may want to assess. This
can also be done at the final assessment time.
Hill stated there is a
definite benefit to property owners.
Hill stated if someone is
trying to sell their house, they need to take into consideration the
value of the project at the time the listing price is set. Hill indicated the roads on West 8th,
9th and 10th are falling apart and anyone that is trying
to sell a house in that area has to be dealing with that.
Hill noted the public
improvement code is something the city needs to have at its fingertips as it goes
through the next project. Hill
noted in this new draft the language for assessing water and sewer was changed
to how it is actually done.
The street light portion
was completely taken out of the document because the city doesnít do anything
with them. Hill pointed out every
time a project is done the council should look at sidewalks and where they want
the city needs to designate which are collector,
arterial and local streets and then decide on a width. When trying to come up with standards
parking and snow removal need to be taken into
consideration. If streets are made
wider it takes that much more to maintain.
Storck suggested not
having any parking on streets from November 1st to March 1st.
Hill pointed out the emergency system that is in place has eliminated a lot of
Hill indicated if a
property owner disputes an assessment there is a legal process they have to
follow. Hill explained that as a City
people need to understand that having a street with a good water system,
sidewalk, curb and gutter, etc. does have value. In other cities they're assessing
$15,000 to $20,000 for a new road.
Storck asked if the load
limits on the roads were being patrolled and Police Chief Beauregard stated
they work with MN DOT and enforce that very regularly
Hill stated the council will be asked to approve this sometime next year.
DEED Small Cities
Development Program Owner Occupied Housing Rehab:
Council member Storck moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to authorize the
Stevens County HRA to apply for a SCDP grant to do some additional owner
occupied housing rehab. Motion carried.
City Manager Report: Hill
noted it appears Morris Floral is doing some work on their property
themselves. The city will begin
their work on the property on November 1st.
Hill pointed out there
were some arson problems at the old elementary school but the fires went out on
their own. Hill stated it is very
dangerous for the Fire Department to go into that school. The sooner it is taken down the
Office Candidate Forum: The candidate forum for city council and
state offices is on October 11th at the American Legion. The school board and county will hold
their forum on the 18th.
Railroad Track Removal
Project: Crews from BNSF Railway and MN DOT will
remove the railroad tracks at the intersection of Highway 9 and East 10th
Street on October 15th.
NEW BUSINESS: Mayor Giese appointed Kim Ukura
to the Library Board.
OLD BUSINESS: None
being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:08 p.m.