MINUTES – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING – JULY 9, 2013
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 9th day of
July, 2013, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
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, Police
Chief Beauregard and City Attorney Jordan.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor Giese added the following item to the
agenda: Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the
2013 Airport Large Hangar Project.
CITIZENíS COMMENTS: Kathy Benson, 612 West 5th
Street, was present at the meeting and stated she has lived in her house since
1978. Benson noted she has read with interest the proposals for the old
school and the possible mixing of seniors and students in the same general location.
Benson urged the council to do some research on the wisdom of that. Benson
indicated a colleague of hers has said there is research to support the fact
that when seniors are mixed with students, crime rates against seniors
The second topic Benson
wanted to discuss was the aftermath from the June 21st storm. Benson
stated some people, including herself, experienced devastating losses, and
wondered if the council appreciated the extent of how this has impacted people.
Benson explained she was of the understanding that the City of Morris did not
have back-up generators for every lift station so they had to pick and choose
which lift stations got the generators. Benson asked why the city would
knowingly have too few generators. Benson also asked on what basis were
the locations chose that got the generators. Benson stated residents have
experienced life-long devastating losses.
Council member Storck stated
it was an act of God that mother nature brought the storm on. Storck
indicated everybody seems to be blaming the city because they didn't have
generators. Storck asked why Ottertail didnít have generators.
Hill explained that there
was no decision made as to who got a generator. Hill pointed out that
Benson lives by the Lyndale Avenue lift station and loss of power was an
issue. Hill stated the primary reason why there was major sewer back up
into basements was the excess rain water that got into the sanitary sewer
system. Hill stated moving forward the city hopes to start a comprehensive
program next spring to make sure sump pumps are routed outside. The lift
stations have a certain capacity so as sewage builds up it doesn't
automatically get pumped out, itís partly a gravity fed process. When the
lift stations are inundated with rain there is no way to keep up with it.
The electricity went off and pumps were placed to pump the lift stations out
into the street. This involved notifying the duty officer that raw sewage
was being pumped into the street.
Hill acknowledged there has
to be a way to get all the rain water out of the sewer system and right now
heís not quite sure how to do it. Benson suggested having a public meeting
to discuss these issues and Hill indicated that was a possibility. Hill
noted City Engineer Fier has found several properties on the west side project
that are hooked up incorrectly. Benson stated her sump pump hose is
outside year round.
Benson stated it might be a
good idea to look at the whole system and perhaps Morris needs some major
upgrades of their system. Hill indicated the city is doing a major
improvement project on the west side and as part of that project staff is
looking to see how sewers are connected. Every street that is rebuilt has
tiling into the street and sump pump connections. Hill acknowledged that Highland
Homes neighborhood was a good example. Drainage was put it there and its
working very well. City staff has talked about getting generators and
more pumps but the bottom line is that the surge of rain water is what overloaded
Miller stated the city has
been doing a major street project every year and there is a fine line with
trying to keep everyone happy. Miller stated this was an act of God to
have that much rain in that short of a period. Miller feels hopefully in
five years the majority of the problem will be solved.
Benson stated her basement
has stayed dry during other heavy rains. Solvie asked if sewer came in
Bensonís basement before or after the power went out. Benson stated
she doesnít know the sequence because she was out of town when it
happened. Solvie affirmed that he feels bad for people in
town and hopefully the city can keep doing projects to help fix the situation.
Benson wondered whether or not it was a good idea to put in new walls and
baseboard if it was going to happen again. Hill noted a valve could be
put in to prevent sewer back up but it has to be maintained.
Amanda Duerr –
Coaltion of Greater MN Cities Visit:
Amanda Duerr, Lobbyist/Communications Director with the CGMC, was present at
the meeting. Duerr stated the Coalition is traveling to all 83 member
cities in greater Minnesota to update them on the latest legislative session.
Duerr reviewed the status of LGA, the sales tax exemption beginning in 2014,
levy limits, economic development, transportation, annexation and environmental
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 6/25/13 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to
approve the 6/25/13 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council
member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 6/25/13 condensed
version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Wohlers, to approve the consent agenda which included the following
of City Bills
Estimate #2 – West 9th/10th/11th Street
Dance Permit – Met Lounge
for Exempt Permit – Humane Society
for Exempt Permit – Assumption Catholic Church
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2013 Airport Large Hangar
Project: Hill stated this is a Federal Aviation Administration
project so the specifications were much different. Hill indicated he
looked this over with the cityís engineers and is recommending the bid with
alternates 1 and 2, which is the in floor heat and expoxy flooring and vapor
barrier. The lowest bid was from Ebert Construction from Corcoran,
Minnesota with a bid of $795,283.77, including the alternates. Hill asked
that the council award a contract contingent on federal funding.
The local share of the project will be approximately $98,945 and will be funded
through the Capital Outlay Fund, but recouped through annual rentals over a
period of approximately 10 years. It was the consensus of the council and
staff that the project was a good idea.
Council member Storck
moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3167-7-13, Resolution Accepting
a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2013 Airport Large Hangar
Project. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor,
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: City
Manager Report: Hill indicated he received a call from Ron Staples, County
Commissioner, asking about the possibility of joining law enforcement with the
County. Hill stated now is not the time to do that. Both parties
would have to look at all the things involved, not to mention there are two governing
bodies that operate separately and differently. Hill stated he would be
willing to sit down and take a look at the issues for a future time.
Hill informed the council
that Officer Velde put in his resignation. The Police Civil Service
Commission will assemble a ranked list of candidates.
Solvie stated, with regard
to the joint law enforcement, he thinks it is worth researching but would not
be in favor of anything that would diminish the cityís services or priorities.
Wohlers noted there would have to be significant efficiencies and savings in
order for it to work. Miller pointed out there are so many things the
department does and responds to that the average person doesn't realize. It
was the consensus of council and staff to possibly research the issue in the
future but to keep things as they are for right now.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: City
Hill indicated with regard
to the access on the corner of Highways 28 and 9, MN DOT is supposed to meet
this week on whether or not they will allow access to that land. Hill
declared that if they do allow it, there would be some possible development of
that area. There are currently soil borings being done to determine what
is needed to prep the land for buildings.
With regard to health care,
the biggest concern for the city is that there may be a change in how groups
are rated. Itís possible that would mean paying more in premiums but itís
not clear yet what is going to happen.
NEW BUSINESS: None
OLD BUSINESS: Access Channel System: Hill informed
the council that the city did not receive the Bremer grant. Miller suggested
that something be included in the budget for next year.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:27 p.m.