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MINUTES  –  MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING – AUGUST 13, 2013

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 13th day of August, 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, Interim Police Chief Tiegs and City Attorney Jordan. 

ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added the following items to the agenda 1)Street Dance Permit for Old #1 and 2)Pay Estimate #2 for Dore & Associates for the former elementary school demolition.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:   None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES7/23/13 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 7/23/13 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

7/23/13 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the 7/23/13 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

8/1/13 Special Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 8/1/13 special meeting 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.      Pay Estimate #1 – F and S Concrete

         C.      Pay Estimate #3 – West 9th/10th/11th Street Improvements

         D.      Gambling Report

         E.       Temporary 3.2 Beer License - Assumption Church

         F.       July Transit Report

         G.      Raffle License Report – Morris Post Prom

         H.      Raffle License Report – Morris Rifle Club

         I.       Revenue & Expenditure Report

         J.       Street Dance Permit – Old #1

         K.      Pay Estimate #2 – Dore & Associates (School Demolition)

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution to Enter Into an Agreement with School District No. 2769:   Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3173-8-13, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement with School District No. 2769.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Council member Storck asked if the doors to the school were locked.  Interim Police Chief Tiegs stated only the main doors to the office and the main doors to the elementary are supposed to be open but it doesn't always happen that way.  Tiegs indicated the unfortunate thing is that the kids know you can tap those doors open with an allen wrench.  This matter has been brought up to the school and they don't want to spend the money to change the locks.  Tiegs stated the school is not as secure as they would like it to be but it's in the school's hands.  

Tiegs explained that there are cameras in the school but they don't have someone that monitors the camera while school is in session.  Council member Solvie asked if the cameras were recording.  Tiegs noted they are but then it would take someone to sit and review 8 hours of tape every day.  Tiegs reiterated that theyíve pointed it out to the school and they do not want to spend the money.  Tiegs noted the officerís presence at the school has reduced the amount of calls the department used to have.  They are also seeing a reduction in the number of bullying cases.  Tiegs stated there is some concern this year as the 6th graders move into the high school building because of space considerations. 

Miller asked what the penalty was if students leave the building.  Hill indicated that would be the schoolís responsibility.  Tiegs stated officer Lieblís primary function is not to watch the doors.  Tiegs indicated there are a lot of issues and it helps that she is there to deal with them before it becomes an incident.  Tiegs noted a lot of the students are comfortable talking to Anita. 

City Attorney Jordan added that Anita does a lot of the diversion when incidents happen.  Jordan stated instead of running them through the court system there is a plan set up for remedying the situation before it gets to that.  Tiegs stated a lot of parents and students sought Anita out at the fair to say hello or ask questions and that opens the door for them to meet other officers as well. 

It was the consensus of the council and staff that the presence of an officer at the school was a huge asset and that Officer Liebl does a great job. 

Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for Transit Services:  Hill explained this resolution approves the annual transit grant and not much changes from year to year.  The city is not buying a bus this year.  Hill noted most of the increases in expenses are the normal wages and benefits.  Hill explained he will be meeting with MN DOT on September 19th with regard to the transit program.  The program is heavily funded by the state and federal government and one of the things they are trying to do on the state level is stream line systems.  The state handles approximately 64 transit grants and there is a push to reduce that number.  Hill noted MN DOT has talked to the city about working with Rainbow Rider but the city likes the way things are run and unless there's a really good reason to join together the city is not interested.  However, Hill pointed out the bottom line is that the city doesn't control the funding.  Solvie asked if this could this be forced upon the city and Hill stated it absolutely could.  Miller noted the city has a good system in place and hopes that things can be maintained the way they are.    

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3174-8-13, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for Transit Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3175-8-13, Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Entering Into an Agreement for Airport Hangar:  Hill explained that the council has already done a resolution saying they wanted to apply for the hangar grant and a resolution for the land.  This resolution basically says that when the state makes the offer the city going to accept it and authorizes the city to sign the grant agreement as soon as it comes in.  The state has until September 13th to make an offer.  

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3176-8-13, Resolution Entering Into an Agreement for Airport Hangar.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSTourism Board Recommendation – Christmas Lights:  Hill stated the Tourism Board is recommending that the city use lodging tax dollars to help fund new Christmas lights.  Carolyn Peterson was present at the meeting and stated a Community Pride Project was started in June and the goal of this project was to have banners, benches, flowers, Christmas lights, etc. to make the city more welcoming.  Letters were sent throughout the county asking for donations for this project.  The estimated cost was close to $50,000 to get all of these things done.    

Peterson stated the Tourism Board is recommending that the Lodging Tax Fund pay up to $10,000 towards the Christmas lights.  The total for the lights is $19,436.  Solvie asked if they would be asking for more money down the line for the other projects if they were to fall short again.  Peterson stated the lights were the priority and the other things would come only if the money was there.  Peterson indicated Monson Trucking is willing to pick up the lights at no cost.  Peterson noted the old lights could be sold or run down some additional side streets.

Solvie asked what else comes out of the lodging tax fund.  Hill pointed out a little over $3,000 was given to this yearís Prairie Pioneer Days, while $20,000 goes to the Tourism Office at the Chamber.  The rest goes to promoting and marketing Morris as a tourist destination. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to authorize using up to $10,000 of lodging tax money for Christmas lights.

City Manager Report:  Hill noted that with the recent hail storm the city ran into an issue with a couple of companies that came into town trying to sell their services.  Companies have to get a peddlers permit and a fee is required.  There are two companies working in town with permits with relatively the same name, Aspen Contracting and Aspen Exteriors.    

Council member Solvie asked why the alarm was not sounded during the recent storm.  Tiegs explained that the long and short of it is that there was a miscommunication that happened the day of the storm.  Tiegs noted most people got the emergency management alert before law enforcement got the notice from he National Weather Service.  Tiegs noted that the spotters did not ever see any formation that looked like it was going to organize into a tornado.  Tiegs indicated they have since looked at the current policy and will start advertising that if the NWS puts out any kind of a warning the alarm will be sounded.  Tiegs pointed out the department also doesnít want people to get used to hearing the siren and then ignore it. 

Hill noted that a phone call is still the best way to get a warning out to people.  Storck argued that not everybody has that service.  Hill suggested that may be a good project for the boy scouts or some organization to get that set up for people.  Tiegs encouraged citizens to check out the police departmentís website and facebook page for the updated policy.

NEW BUSINESSAccept Resignation of Julie Monroe from Library Board and Appoint Becky Hennen:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to accept the resignation of Julie Monroe from the Library Board.  Mayor Giese appointed Becky Hennen to the Library Board.

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:11 p.m.

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