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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 COMMENTSLibrary 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 towards technology. 

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 computers. 

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 staff. 

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 time.

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 company. 

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 contractor. 

A motion was presented but needs to be done during the EDA meeting because the EDA is the owner of the property. 

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 MINUTES11/12/13 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 11/12/13 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

11/12/13 Condensed 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 items:

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      SCMC Administrative Report

         C.      Gambling Reports

         D.      Planning Commission Minutes, 10/15/13

         E.       Revenue & Expenditure Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSTemporary 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.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution 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 & RECOMMENDATIONSCity 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.

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