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MINUTES – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–DECEMBER 11, 2012

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 11th day of December, 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  Solvie, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Council member Carrington arrived at 5:21 p.m.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Beauregard, Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier, Public Works Director Dittbenner, Fleet Manager Searle, Outgoing Fire Chief Storck, Incoming Fire Chief Dybdal and City Attorney Jordan.

CITIZENíS COMMENTSResignation of Fire Chief Storck:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to accept the resignation of Fire Chief Storck.  Motion carried.  Council member Miller stated Fire Chief Storck has done a heck of a good job and the City of Morris has been blessed.  Council member Storck stated he was proud of his son and being the chief was not always an easy job.

Installation of New Fire Chief Dybdal:  City Attorney Jordan administered the Oath of Office to incoming Fire Chief Dybdal. 

PUBLIC HEARINGSPublic Hearing for St. Francis Health Facility Revenue Notes:  Mayor Giese opened the public hearing at 5:25 p.m.  Steve Fenlon, representing St. Francis Health Services, was present at the meeting.  Fenlon stated St. Francis is a non-profit entity that owns several senior housing assets throughout the state.  They are allowed under state law to access tax exempt debt as long as they can persuade a municipality to be the conduit in the transaction.  Fenlon noted that even though the city is being asked to conduit this debt there is no risk on the part of the city that it would be called upon to repay a single cent.  This note is being bought in its entirety by Bremer Bank.  Hill indicated there were no comments from the public or from the city's bond consultants, Briggs & Morgan.

Mayor Giese closed the public hearing at 5:29 p.m. and brought the matter back to the council for action.

Resolution Approving the Issuance and Sale of a Health Care Facilities Revenue Note, Series 2012, in the Aggregate Amount of Not to Exceed $10,000,000 and Authorizing the Execution of Documents Relating Thereto:  Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3123-12-12, Resolution Approving the Issuance and Sale of a Health Care Facilities Revenue Note, Series 2012, in the Aggregate Amount Not to Exceed $10,000,000 and Authorizing the Execution of Documents Relating Thereto.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 11/27/12 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 11/27/12 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

11/27/12 Condensed Version Minutes:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to approve the 11/27/12 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      November Transit Report

         C.      11/14/12 Library Board Minutes

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSGambling Report from American Legion:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, 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 RESOLUTIONSResolution Setting the Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association Membership at $1,800 per Year:  Hill stated this is the way the firemen get their retirement by way of an annual benefit designation.  The recommendation is to set it at $1,800 per year.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3124-12-12, Resolution Setting the Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association Membership at $1,800 a Year.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving an Amended Encroachment Permit for Prairie Surgicenter, LLP:  

City Manager Hill explained that Prairie Surgicenter, LLP was issued an Encroachment Permit in November of 2002 that allowed them to encroach into the cityís right of way by .2 feet.  The building is being sold and a new survey has determined that the actual encroachment is .45 feet.  The attorney for the purchaser would like to see the permit amended to allow for a .45 encroachment.  Miller asked what direction the encroachment goes.  Hill stated it is in the corner of the building next to the alley by Ottertail.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Carrington, to adopt Resolution #3125-12-12, Resolution Approving an Amended Encroachment Permit for Prairie Surgicenter, LLP.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services:  This assessment is for a $500.00 fire call for the Best Northland Inn from July 5, 2012. 

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3126-12-12, Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS2013 Liquor Licenses:  Council member Carrington moved, seconded by Miller, to accept the 2013 liquor licenses as presented. 

City Manager Report:  Hill stated this is an important night for the Fire Department and the city is blessed to have outstanding people in public safety.  Hill noted a Minnesota community recently lost a police officer and sometimes we forget what kind of job they do and want to thank them for what we have.

NEW BUSINESS:  None

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS2013 Fire Department Officers:  This was informational for the council.

Mayor Giese recessed the council meeting at 5:42 until the budget meeting could begin at 6:00 p.m.  Council member Carrington left the meeting at this point.

BUDGET MEETINGBudget & Levy Presentation:  Hill stated this year the city was with Health Partners for insurance and their renewal came in at 20%.  Medica came in at 12% higher so the city will be switching back to them for 2013.  Hill indicated insurance is something that will be looked at annually to try and figure out which company has the best rates.  Hill noted there is a committee that gets together to try and talk about what the city wants.

Hill stated the city is looking at a 3% increase in the levy.  Through his review of the budget Hill asked the council to keep in mind the importance of local government aid.    LGA is given to help lower the tax burden on taxpayers in communities like Morris. 

The property tax levy is broken down into three items:  the general fund for $636,000, $50,000 for the library fund and $602,529 for debt service for a total of $1,288,529.  Hill reviewed a levy comparison from 2001 to 2013. 

The market value is the assessorís estimated value of property in the City.  The 2012 market value was $222,267,500 and 2013 is $221,782,200 for a .2% market value decrease.

Hill reviewed the revenue & expense considerations.  Hill stated the cityís primary funding source is LGA and it has been frozen at the same level since 2010, which is $2,110,244 .  The cityís exposure for health insurance is an 8% increase.  Wages are included with a 2% increase.  Increased fuel and maintenance costs continue to be big issues.  Hill stated he is proposing an increase of 3% in utility rates.  Hill feels focus needs to be directed to invest in infrastructure projects.  The city recently had three water breaks and none of them were in a project area thatís coming up for reconstruction.  The breaks had cast iron pipe which indicates the areas are 30-40 years old.    

Hill noted the overall budget went down by 7.6% because in 2012 a lot of money was spent on fixing roads.  The general fund budget itself is going up 3.1%   Hill reviewed a breakdown of revenues and expenses in the general fund.  Local government aid is the primary revenue source at $2,335,712, with the next largest portion of $638,000 coming from taxes.  The largest fund for expenditures is public safety at $1,189,011 and the next highest with general government at $618,683.  Sales tax and payroll taxes are the major sources of Local Government Aid.  Hill pointed out some communities don't get LGA because they don't need it.  It is an ongoing fight in the legislature each year. 

The Capital Improvement Fund is going down from last year because a large portion of the reserves were spent.

Hill reviewed the franchise fee projects.  These include sealcoating, crack filling, mud jacking, a bike path overlay on the east side and the west side, sidewalk from the West 4th Street bike path, a reclaim of East 4th Street from  Oregon Avenue to College Avenue, tree trimming and various engineering projects.

The capital outlay fund will be decreased, due to the $163,500 that was used in 2012 for Pacific Avenue.  The estimated budget for 2013 is $275,132.

Hill stated the city is paying the price of not doing projects and not everything can be fixed in a year.  All areas were looked at and staff tried to determine which were the worst.  City Engineer Fier stated the city used to put overlays down to take care of things briefly but now there are so many overlays on all the streets.  Fier indicated the reclaim is a better product.  Storck stated franchise fees were needed and it is working out well.   Storck felt that doing the bike path was not as important as doing another street that needed work.  Fier noted that if the bike paths arenít kept up the city will end up having to reclaim those as well and the equipment would be hard to get in there.  Council member Miller pointed out that this plan is not set in stone and if something comes up that needs to be done instead it can be reshuffled. 

Storck asked about the annexed areas and when they would have water and sewer.  Hill indicated in order for that to happen the residents would have to petition the city or the city could decide to do it but as of right now there is no money for that.  Hill indicated when 7th Street is done again that would be the time to stub it in but that will be a long time from now. 

Hill reviewed the remaining funds which were the library, debt service, utility, liquor store and central garage.  Hill stated for the future the biggest concern is LGA.  Hill also feels the city needs to change the road assessment policy and start charging property owners for a portion of the road because the city canít keep doing what itís doing.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3127-12-12, Resolution Approving the Final 2012 Tax Levy for Collection in 2013.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3128-12-12, Resolution Adopting the Final 2013 Budget for the City of Morris.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3129-12-12, Resolution Increasing Sewer and Water Utility Rates for 2013.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:43 p.m.

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