MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–
NOVEMBER 26, 2013
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 26th
day of November, 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 and
City Engineer Fier.
CITIZENíS COMMENTS: Library Board: Melissa Yauk,
Library Director, was present at the meeting to ask the council to consider a
staffing increase. The library currently has 4.25 staff members and would
like to see it increased to 6 full time employees. The library is open 54
hours per week, including evenings and Saturdays. Yauk indicated when she
was hired she was asked to promote more programming. Staffing has changed
in the aspect of what they do and Yauk would like to see a position geared more
Council member Wohlers asked
if there were enough computers at the library. Yauk stated when she
started there were four and there are now six personal computers, along with six
laptops. Yauk indicated there really isnít much space left for more
Yauk noted the library
relies on volunteers from the community and UMM. Wohlers noted, referring
to Yaukís memo, that he liked the thought process of transitioning since people
are nearing retirement. Yauk noted Tammy Smith would be able to bring a
great depth of skill as a full time person as she completed her library
education with a Masterís degree.
Council member Solvie asked
if the city had budgeted any more staff for the library. City Manager
Hill explained that he is recommending the city maintain the current
workforce. Hill stated this epitomizes services versus the resources the
city has to pay for them. Hill noted that as soon as staff is increased itís
an ongoing issue and full time employees equal benefits. The City Manager
budget recommendation allowed growth for the normal wage increase but no more
Solvie asked if there was any
consideration given to adjusting the hours of business. Yauk indicated
she suggested that option to the Library Board. A survey of the community
was conducted and showed that people didnít want the hours cut and an overwhelming
amount wanted the evening hours.
Yauk added that at one
time there was a work force center in the area but that is no longer there.
Tammy Smith has created an area at the library where people who are looking for
a job can receive some help with the training and programming.
Hill stated the purpose of
tonightís presentation was to have the director and board come and talk about
their concerns. The next council meeting is when the final budget meeting
will be held.
Riley Brothers –
Elementary School Property:
Mike Stoebe of INH was present at the meeting and stated they have been working
with Riley Brothers Properties on plans for the old elementary school
property. INH has been developing apartment units for about 10 years.
Stoebe stated they feel it will take multiple aspects of different types of
housing to develop this property, along with lots of energy, resources and
Stoebe stated their
company was formed in 1981. They are certified property managers and a national
accredited property management business. They manage 4,000 units in
roughly 40 cities throughout the state, have had a development business for the
last 12 years and also lease and manage commercial office space.
With regard to this site,
Stoebe stated if Rileyís purchases the property INH has agreed to represent them.
Their services would include promoting and facilitating the development
(multiple uses), raising investment capital for various ventures, and handling
the related transaction services through their commercial brokerage
Stoebe indicated some of
the housing types they are looking at would require tax increment
financing. Stoebe explained that his partner has contacted UMM and spoke
with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and they have an interest in what Rileyís
is doing but have not made a commitment. Stoebe stated there is no
concept plan at this point but it would be logical to say the NE corner of the
site lends well to having a storm water retention pond. The SE corner is probably
best suited for student housing. Given the demographics of the community,
Stoebe envisions some sort of senior housing eventually. There could also
be a general occupancy development and perhaps an affordable housing rental
community as well. INH currently manages Crystal Lakes Townhomes and
Green Briar Apartments in Morris.
Wohlers noted in the original
proposal there was talk about a 2015 start date. Stoebe noted it could be
as soon as this coming summer if the leads they are working on materialize.
Solvie asked if there was any
change in the amount of money being offered. John Riley stated at this
point they are ready to make an offer to purchase. Riley indicated he
would like to have a meeting with the city within a short time and work it
out. Riley indicated they would certainly try to start development this
coming summer. Riley pointed out they have a lot of housing developments
in Morris that they maintain and INH adds to the project because they have a
lot of experience.
Hill indicated to the
council that if they are interested in doing a deal with either one of the
parties they should pass a motion to direct him to meet with them and put
together a purchase agreement. Riley added that they are interested in
all 18 acres. Wohlers stated he definitely supports working with a local
A motion was presented but
needs to be done during the EDA meeting because the EDA is the owner of the
Don Werk asked what the
city was going to do with snow removal and if it would be piled on the school
property again. Werk stated they are annoyed with getting woken up by
snow plows early in the morning. Hill noted once the city doesnít own the
property anymore they will go back to doing what they did before. Until
then the city will continue to put snow on it and do the best they can.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 11/12/13 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to
approve the 11/12/13 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council
member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 11/12/13 condensed
version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the following
of City Bills
Commission Minutes, 10/15/13
& Expenditure Report
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
Off Site Liquor License Application from American Legion: Council
member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to accept the gambling report from the
American Legion. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in
favor and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion, motion carried.
Authorizing the Soliciting of Qualifications for Airport Engineering:
Hill stated this is a requirement from the FAA. Every five years the city
has to secure a consulting engineering firm to work on airport projects. Hill
state he would bring back a recommendation to the council in December.
Council member Wohlers
moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3194-11-13, Resolution
Authorizing the Soliciting of Qualifications for Airport Engineering.
Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: City
Manager Report: This was informational for the council.
The question of boards and
commissions was discussed and what to do when it is hard to maintain members
and there are no issues to discuss.
NEW BUSINESS: None
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:10 p.m.