City Council  |  Contact the City  |  Home

MINUTES    MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING    JUNE 25, 2013

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this         25th day of June, 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, Public Works Director Dittbenner, City Attorney Jordan and Police Chief Beauregard.  City Engineer/Surveyor/Inspector Fier arrived at 5:20 p.m.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  6/11/13 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 6/11/13 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

6/11/13 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 6/11/13 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.       Application for Exempt Permit – MN Deer Hunters

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:  Resolution Authorizing a Mutual Aid Agreement for the Use of Fire Personnel and Equipment Within Stevens County:  Council member Miller stated the city has been working on this for a couple of years to protect the county as a whole.  Miller stated the guys involved have put a lot of work into it and feels it is a great service.  Fire Chief Dybdal stated this will improve customer service and allow for better response time for residents of the county instead of having boundaries.  Dybdal feels this will be a good situation for everybody.  Wohlers indicated it will be nice to share resources with regard to equipment and acquisition going forward.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3165-6-13, Resolution Authorizing a Mutual Aid Agreement for the Use of Fire Personnel and Equipment within Stevens County.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Accepting the Resignation of Police Chief James Beauregard:  Police Chief Beauregard stated he has been asked to do some consulting work for the state so as of July 31st he will be retiring and taking on that challenge.  Beauregard has worked for the department for 30 years and wanted to personally thank the city for all their support in the department's endeavors. 

Beauregard explained he took over as chief in 2001 and reviewed the commitments he made to the community at that time. 

Beauregard stated landlord/tenant issues have dropped dramatically.  Morris has one of the lowest burglary rates in western MN.  Beauregard stated this is due to the departmentís work with businesses and a comprehensive patrol system.  The juvenile crime rate is at 7%, which is the lowest it's been in 40 years.  Beauregard noted he made sure he had open door policy and hopes that when he leaves people would say that is true.  Time and effort has been spent to professionalize the department, along with the individual officers.  Beauregard indicated Morris is one of the most highly educated departments in this area, having one of the top three investigators in the state and also one of the top forensic investigators.  Beauregard stated he tried to police with compassion, empathy and commitment and hopes that people will say that was fulfilled.  Beauregard thanked the council, and past council members, for all the time and commitment given to himself and Morris police department over the past 30 years. 

The Council, City Manager and City Attorney thanked Beauregard for all his hard work. 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3166-6-13, Resolution Accepting the Resignation of Police Chief James Beauregard.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  Hill commended everyone for all they did to deal with the recent storm.  The power was out, several trees were down and there were many fire calls.  Hill indicated there was a lot of damage to trees and to houses with water and sewer back up.  Hill noted one of the biggest reasons for the sewer back up is that people's drainage is going into the sanitary sewer from sump pumps, tiling and roof drains.  Hill explained the city tries to fix those issues every time

a construction project is done.  Another part of it is that the sewer system isn't built to the newest standard which is why updating the underground infrastructure is critical.  Hill noted property owners do have options, which include getting a battery powered generator for their sump pump or putting in a valve to prevent sewer back up.  Hill indicated the city needs to be more forceful on the sump pump issue to the point where maybe every spring someone needs to go out and make sure sumps have been switched over.  Hill stated in this case the city's insurance will not cover sewer backup because it's not the system that's creating the problem, it's mother nature.  Hill indicated people can file a claim and an adjuster will come out and look but usually they won't cover it unless the city has done something wrong.   

City Manager Report:  Hill explained that three development proposals were received for the elementary school property.  Hill recommended the EDA schedule a time at their next meeting to hold a closed meeting to determine whether or not there are any issues with the proposals.   Hill noted closed meetings like this are not uncommon when you're negotiating deals. 

Hill indicated the engineers met with the contractor for the school demolition and a fence will be going up by the end of the week.  The abatement of hazardous material is about 60% complete and they anticipate they will start the demolition by the end of July.

NEW BUSINESS:  Motion to Approve $2,000 Contribution to PPD Fireworks:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve a contribution of $2,000 from the tourism fund to be added to the $4,000 from the Eagles for the Prairie Pioneer Days fireworks celebration.  Motion carried.

Appointment of Maggie Buss to Tourism Board:  Mayor Giese appointed Maggie Buss to the Tourism Board.

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  Fire Department Bylaws:  This was informational for the council.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:06 p.m.

Website Services by Iceberg.