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MINUTES  –  MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING  –  MAY 28, 2013

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 28th        day of May, 2013, 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 Wohlers, Solvie, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Also present was City Manager Hill,  Finance Director Raasch, Fire Chief Dybdal, and Police Chief Beauregard.  Public Works Director Dittbenner arrived at 5:25 p.m.

ADDITION TO AGENGA:  Mayor Giese added to the agenda a Resolution Authorizing Advertising for Bids for a New Airport Hangar. 

CITIZENíS COMMENTSCemetery Association:  Bob Stevenson was present at the meeting representing the two cemetery boards.  Stevenson stated that Summit Cemetery has a little bit of space left but Calvary is really short on space.  Stevenson said they are requesting some of the school property, which is the only avenue they have left as far as land.  Stevenson indicated they would put a buffer in against the remaining property. 

Jay Dietz noted that Calvary is in a little tougher situation.  They have done all they can with the University and they are bordered by either the University or Summit.  Dietz indicated both cemeteries have closed what roadways they could to maximize space.  Dietz stated he has a dual interest because he also runs the funeral home and needs to find a respectable place to bury the dead.  Dietz confirmed that they have had a wonderful relationship with the city and the city has always kept the area clean.  Dietz understands the property is in high demand by a number of people.  Dietz noted the board did discuss this issue with the city in 2005 when Ed Larson was City Manager.  At that time the city was very receptive to the idea but had just acquired the school property and agreed to put it on hold.

Miller asked for a rough idea of when they thought the cemetery would be filled up.  Dietz estimated that Calvary would be out of space in 10 years.  Stevenson guessed that Summit would have room for about 1,000 more plots, depending on cremations. 

Council member Storck stated back in the old days cemeteries were always built out in the country.  Storck noted historically towns get bigger and cemeteries get land locked.  The cemetery association is looking for the city to give them 4.92 acres of the 17 acre school property.  Storck agreed that the cemeteries need more room but now the process has been started to sell the land.  Storck suggested if it is sold as one piece of land maybe the developer would be interested in helping out.  Storck doesnít think that the city could give the land away.

Dietz reiterated that after meeting with Ed Larson the agreement was that it was in the city's hands to come back to them and that they wanted to be invited to a council meeting.  Dietz stated they should have been more forward but felt they had taken the necessary steps. 

Storck suggested the association put what they are looking for in the form of a proposal and it would be looked at with the others.  Mayor Giese stated the city has already released an RFP to developers for the whole 17 acre property and they are due by June 20th.   

Wohlers asked if the various groups that worked on the design of the school property incorporated a cemetery.  Hill noted there was one design that incorporated a cemetery on the corner.  Hill pointed out there are interested developers that want to build an assisted living facility and they will not build next to a cemetery. 

Council member Solvie suggested that if they went out of town they could expand infinitely.  Potentially the cemeteries would be land locked on the school property in another 30 or 40 years.  Solvie expressed his concern about the buffer and how much it may devalue the other property.  Solvie did agree that more property for the cemeteries was needed.    

Stevenson indicated they could go outside of city limits or they would certainly give the whole works over to the city.    

Storck stated he doesnít think the city should be asked to donate the land when there's people from all over the county that get buried there. 

Hill concluded that the city is not out of the clear as far as tearing down the school.  Hill explained if TIF doesn't cover all the cost of demolition then the city taxpayers have to take on the burden of tearing it down and the only thing of value is the land.  The city needs to make some money off this land in order to recoup the costs.  The city is looking at this as a business deal so taxpayers don't have to pay additional taxes for it.  Hill stated the city has to look at all the options and he has talked to at least 8 developers that are interested.  A plus for the property is that all 17 acres are surrounded by utilities.  Hill noted the association could get farmland at a much cheaper price than this land is valued at.   

School Property - Kelly Nichols:  Nichols was present at the meeting to inquire about a bid packet for the property.  Nichols owns several rental properties in town and was wondering what the city was looking for with regard to the property.  Hill stated there was not a bid packet but anyone interested should tell the city what they want to do, how much they want to pay and whether or not a person would need any assistance from the city.  Hill noted TIF can be used to help with the development of the property.  The zoning regulations will guide the development of the property.  Hill pointed out covenants are a private thing that the city does not enforce. 

 

Nichols asked if an offer could be made on any piece of the property because obviously some parts are more valuable those others.  Hill indicated that was a possibility.  Hill indicated it could be that there's 3-4 proposals that work or it could be that one person wants it all.    

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES5/14/13 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 5/14/13 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

5/14/13 Condensed Version Minutes:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Giese, to approve the 4/9/13 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.      SCMC Administrative Report

         C.      Gambling Reports

         D.      Revenue & Expenditure Report

         E.       4/17/13 Tourism Board Minutes

         F.       Application to Conduct Excluded Bingo

         G.      11/20/12 Planning Commission Minutes

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Approving Agreements for Transfer of Entitlements for Federal Airport Funding from Various Airports to the City of Morris:  Hill explained that the Morris Airport gets an allocation of funding of $150,000 each year that can be built up for four years, or a maximum of $600,000.  Over the past few years the city has given away about $385,000.  Money can be transferred in or out from other airports and the city was able to pick up enough extra funds from other airports to do the airport hangar.  This resolution authorizes the cityís agreement with the other airports. 

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3157-5-13, Resolution Approving Agreements for Transfer of Entitlements for Federal Airport Funding from Various Airports to the City of Morris.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Establishing Municipal State Aid Route 115:  Hill explained the city would like to take .48 miles of existing state aid and replace it with State Aid Highway on Oregon Avenue from East 7th Street to South Street.  The issue has been presented to MN DOT and they have no problems with it.  Hill explained that this would allow the city to access funding from both the Federal and State government for the Oregon Avenue project next year.    

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3158-5-13, Resolution Establishing Municipal State Aid Route 115.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Revoking Municipal State Aid Route 114:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3159-5-13, Resolution Revoking Municipal State Aid Route 114.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Revoking Municipal State Aid Route 113:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3160-5-13, Resolution Revoking Municipal State Aid Route 113.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing Advertising for Bids for a New Airport Hangar:  Hill explained the total hangar project cost is estimated at $845,800.  It will be a 90 x 110 hangar.  The city will receive $638,000 from the FAA with a local contribution of $63,800.  The payback for the local share will come from hangar rent for approximately $12,000 a year.  The money being transferred from the entitlements from other airports will make up the difference.

 

Wohlers asked if the city was in line with other airports as far as hangar rent.  Hill indicated there is a study being done right now and Morris is probably a little low. 

 

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Mayor Giese to adopt Resolution #3161-5-13, Resolution Authorizing Advertising for Bids for a New Airport Hangar.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSPurchases – Changes in Budget:  Hill indicated he builds contingency money into the budget and he would like to see some of that spent for a shortfall on a donation to the spray park and an additional light bulb change out at one of the fields at Chizek since the vendor would already be in town to do another field.  It was the consensus of the council that these were acceptable expeditures.

Giese asked if anyone had talked about a new press box at Chizek.  Hill stated the Park Board is looking at it for next year.  It will be in place for the American Legion state tournament in 2015. 

City Manager Report:  This was informational for the council.

It was questioned who was paying the light bill at the old School because it appears the lights are being left on all the time.

NEW BUSINESS:  None

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:34 p.m.

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