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MINUTES– MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 10th day of September, 2013, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.

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, Finance Director Raasch, Fleet Manager Searle, Public Works Director Dittbenner and City Attorney Jordan. 

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES8/27/13 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 8/27/13 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Mayor Giese removed the Temporary Liquor License for the American Legion from the consent agenda.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the temporary liquor license from the American Legion for an event to be held at the National Guard Armory on September 28th.  Upon a roll call vote being taken and all present voting in favor and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion, motion carried.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the consent agenda which included the following items:  Audit of City Bills, Final Pay Estimate – F and S Concrete, Pay Estimate #4 – West 9th/10th/11th Street Improvements, Gambling Reports, August Transit Report  and        Pay Estimate #3 – Dore & Associates (School Demolition).  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Appointing Ross Tiegs as City of Morris Police Chief:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3180-9-13, Resolution Appointing Ross Tiegs as City of Morris Police Chief.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

City Attorney Jordan administered the Oath of Office to Police Chief Tiegs. 

Tiegs stated his first official act was to introduce the new officer, Brett Collins.  City Attorney Jordan administered the Oath of Office to Officer Collins. 

Resolution Approving Crimes Against Children Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Joint Powers Agreement:  Police Chief Tiegs stated this is now a three year agreement instead of a one year.  Tiegs noted Jason Reed would now take over as the Crimes Against Children affiliate.  Tiegs stated it is a good program and the city has a good reputation down at the state for the years it has been affiliated with it.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3181-9-13, Resolution Approving Crimes Against Children Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Joint Powers Agreement.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Implementing the Federal Transit Administration Regulations on Controlled Substances Use and Alcohol Misuse :  Finance Director Raasch stated there were no major changes to the policy.  Hill indicated the city is required to test transit drivers and it is a much more in depth process than the public works employees.

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3182-9-13, Resolution Implementing the Federal Transit Administration Regulations on Controlled Substances Use and Misuse.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving Additional Special Assessments:  Hill stated he is recommending two additional special assessments.  Hill explained that one of them came up during the west side project for Randy and Melissa Hamling, 1008 Nevada.  Their sewer runs in the back of their neighbor's property and actually runs under part of the house.  They would like to hook up in the front of the house and have it added to their regular assessment for the project.  Hill indicated by hooking it up in front it's going to be a better situation for everyone.

Hill stated the second one is a deferred special assessment for Lloyd Plocker, 514 East 8th Street.  In this case the owner of the house passed away and gave the house to his son.  Typically an owner would have to pay that in the event of a death, but they are asking that it be assessed for the remaining time of the deferment.  

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3183-9-13, Resolution Approving Additional Special Assessments.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing Participation in the PERA Phased Retirement Option Program:

Hill indicated this is a new program from the State of MN PERA in which you can retire, draw your retirement and still work part-time for your employer.  Linda Hoffman with the Morris Transit is interested in doing this.  Hill noted one thing with transit is that they have difficulty finding part-time employees.  Hill indicated authorization is needed from the City Council to authorize participation in the program and to authorize an agreement with the employee, which in this case is Linda Hoffman.  Hill pointed out there are some requirements such as an employee must be 62 years of age, a vested member of PERA, have worked a minimum of 1,044 hours in each of the five years preceding the offer and must agree to reduce their working hours by 25%.  Each individual case would have to come back to the council for authorization.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3184-9-13, Resolution Authorizing Participation in the PERA Phased Retirement Option Program.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2013 Tax Levy for Collection in 2014:  Hill explained that the levy is set at $1,288,529.00, which is the same as last year.  Hill is recommending a freeze in the levy.  The general fund operating budget of the city is set at $3,550,409, which is a 1.9% increase over last year’s.  The overall budget which includes all funds is $9,516,177, which represents a 6.5% increase over last year.  Hill noted that this includes the bond levies. 

Hill stated the city received an additional $153,000 in LGA, which helped to keep property taxes down.  Of that, approximately $65,000 will go towards paying for the G.O. bond for the west side project.  Some will go towards reducing the general fund and library fund levy.  The library was given a little more of the LGA so they had a 3% increase in their revenue. 

Hill indicated one of the big issues to be discussed is the library.  The Library Board put in a request for additional personnel which resulted in $73,000 more in expenses.  Hill stated that addition is not included in is his recommendation to the council.  Hill believes the personnel needs to be kept at the current level and now is not the time to be adding people because it's an ongoing expense.  Hill stated one other issue with the library is that they need a new roof and it's about $80,000.  Hill is recommending a transfer of $30,000 from the Capital Outlay Fund and using $50,000 from library reserves for the new roof.  Hill stated these recommendations result in a $13,000 deficit in the library fund.   

The general fund is estimated to have a 1.8% increase.  Hill noted this includes the savings with communication for dispatch and a 2% wage increase.  Hill indicated one of the things the city has learned is that health insurance is going to be an absolute monster moving forward.  The city got an early renewal because come January 1st there will be a new system as to how insurance is rated.  Preliminary figures show a 30% in health insurance with Medica.

Hill stated maintenance costs are going up, along with electricity.  The utility fund is also dealing with some funding issues, which the city saw last year in the audit.  Hill stated every time the city does a road project and picks up 25% of the water and sewer, rates should be adjusted.  Hill doesn’t believe the city has kept up and has included a 5% increase in utility rates with a recommendation that anytime the city adds or lowers debt, the utility rates be taken into consideration.    

Solvie asked about the fire department budget.  Hill explained that the primary funding source is state aid.  The current pension benefit per year per fireman is $1,800.  The fire department gets state aid money and puts it into investments that the fire relief association has.  Hill stated a number of years ago the city decided they were going to give the Relief Association an additional $21,750 a year but it has since been taken out of the budget.  Considerable discussion was held on the pension benefit for the fire department. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3185-9-13, Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2013 Tax Levy for Collection in 2014.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting the Preliminary 2014 Budget for the City of Morris:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3186-9-13, Resolution Adopting the Preliminary 2014 Budget for the City of Morris.  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 6:25 p.m.

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