MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR
MEETING–JANUARY 28 , 2014
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 28th
day of January, 2014, 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, Storck and Mayor
Giese. Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch and
Police Chief Tiegs. Public Works Director Dittbenner arrived at 5:19
p.m. Council member Miller arrived at 5:23 p.m.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor Giese added two Application for
Exempt Permits to the agenda.
CITIZENíS COMMENTS: Jerry Lesmeister, 502 East 4th
Street, was present at the meeting and stated the city needs to act differently
in enforcing sidewalk shoveling because it is not effective. Lesmeister
indicated they do a lot of walking and it is a public safety issue.
Lesmeister pointed out there is an ordinance and heís wondering what can be
done to enforce it.
City Manager Hill
explained that the city does not have the manpower to enforce every
ordinance. The public works departmentís first priority is to clear the
snow off the streets. To physically tour the city after every snowstorm
and inspect every sidewalk in town is a long and complex process and the city
doesnít have the resources. Lesmeister indicated the city has police
officers that drive around 24/7 and transit drivers driving around all
was held about snow removal on sidewalks, snow alerts and businesses and
homeowners pushing snow from their sidewalks into the city streets.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Resolution Approving a Wastewater
Treatment Facility Plan:
Kris Swanson of Bolton
& Menk was present at the meeting. Swanson stated the project
overview includes evaluation of the cityís aging infrastructure, the capital
improvement plan and compliance with the national pollution discharge elimination
system. This means the cityís NPDES permit requires lowering the chloride
from approximately 700 mg/L to 406 mg/L, prior to the year 2020.
Swanson indicated they
feel the cityís pond system is adequate for a short time and suggests focusing
on water treatment. Swanson suggested in order to treat for
chlorides, source reduction such as lime softening is the best. This
softens the water so residents and industries use less salt. Then it
removes what salt is there and puts it in to a lime sludge that can be hauled
off to farms. Swanson stated the other option is a reverse osmosis plant where
the reject stream would be discharged into the wastewater plant, but the MPCA
has indicated they will regulate that as well so that doesnít solve the
With regard to the
wastewater recommendations, Swanson stated the ponds are at or near capacity
and the city should consider mechanical treatment in 4-7 years. The recommended
project location would be near the existing ponds or main lift station.
The cost for this update is approximately $9.5 million with a $40,000 increase
in operating and maintenance costs. The projects are split out separately
for a better chance of funding.
Swanson stated the current
recommended project of a lime softening facility is approximately $9.4 million
to construct with the availability of low interest loans and grants. The
projected impact on water rates is an increase of $24.35 a month to anywhere
from $42 to $52, based on 700 cubic feet. Swanson noted this increase
will be offset by the salt savings. This facility is proposed to be
located near the existing facility near the well field. Swanson reviewed
the proposed schedule which has the plant being projected to be online by the
fall of 2016.
Mayor Giese asked if the
city would consider adjusting sewer rates as well in anticipation of the
wastewater project. Swanson noted the city almost has to implement a rate
increase each year to pay for infrastructure. Storck asked what would
happen with the MPCA if the city didnít make the changes. Hill stated they
would come back to the city and there is a repercussion for not doing anything.
Hill added that this issue
goes beyond Minnesota. The city is not the problem but the MPCA has control
and the city cannot discharge without a permit. Hill stated next year the
city may have to start looking at water conservation rates, which are rates
that penalize people for using more water than they should. Todd Valnes indicated
there are a lot of ground sprinkling systems that would be affected by
Lesmeister asked if the city
of Alberta would participate. Hill indicated they will participate by paying
the increase in rates. Lesmeister asked about houses out in Hillside and
along East 7th. Hill stated the only way they would pay is if
it was paid through a tax.
was held on the cost of the plant. The possibility of having some of the
smaller surrounding towns hook up was discussed. It was the consensus of
the council that this was a necessary project.
Mayor Giese closed the
public hearing at 6:26 and brought the matter back to the council for action.
Council member Solvie
moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3210-1-14, Resolution Approving
a Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 1/14/14 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member Storck moved, seconded by Solvie, to
approve the 1/14/14 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council member
Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the 1/14/14 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
Commission Minutes, 12/17/13
for Exempt Permits – Stevens County Pheasants Forever
29, 2014 and May 10, 2014
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
Approving a Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy for the City of Morris Public Works:
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3211-1-14,
Resolution Approving a Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy for the City of Morris
Public Works. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in
favor, motion carried.
Resolution Approving a
Title VI Civil Rights Program for Morris Transit: Council member Solvie moved, seconded by
Storck, to adopt Resolution #3212-1-14, Resolution Approving a Title VI Civil
Rights Program for Morris Transit. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Neighborhood
Commercial Zoning District: Hill indicated the Planning Commission is
going to hold a public hearing at their next meeting on the new Neighborhood Commercial
district. Notices will be sent to the same group that received them the last
time. Hill explained that for the most part the commission took
commercial and residential stuff that was already in place and morphed it
together. This was provided to the council for comment and informational
City Manager Report: This was informational for the council.
NEW BUSINESS: None
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:43 p.m.