MINUTES – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR
MEETING APRIL 22 , 2014
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 22nd
day of April, 2014, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
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,
Public Works Director Dittbenner and Police Chief Tiegs.
CITIZENíS COMMENTS: Presentation on Green Dot Bystander
Training: KiloMarie Grande, the Violence Prevention/Response
Coordinator at UMM was present at the meeting to discuss a new program called
the Green Dot Strategy. This is a violence prevention program that looks to
awareness, education and skills in proactive behaviors for intolerance of
violence and intervention in high risk situations. This program will be
introduced to university students in the fall. Local businesses will be
informed of the program and training will be available if they are interested.
Geoff and Monique
stated that since she and her family moved to Morris a year and a half ago they
have experienced a lot of negativity regarding the city and the lack of
amenities. Richardson stated they have two teenagers and buy a lot in
bulk and find themselves running back and forth to larger cities. When
they are in those larger cities they run into many people from Morris that are
buying things out of town. Richardson feels too many of the local dollars
are going elsewhere but isnít sure how to change it.
Richardson indicated she
doesnít feel it would have to be a Target or Walmart but another grocery store
would be helpful. Richardson stated she goes through the sale ads for the
local store but if itís not on sale itís pretty outrageous.
Geoff Richardson stated he
read the article in last weekís newspaper talking about how businesses are
struggling to find people to come to work. Geoff pointed out he doesnít
want Morris to become a Cyrus where it continues to shrink. Geoff noted
the quality of life in Morris is fantastic and believes there is an opportunity
to grow the city.
Council member Storck stated
he understands their concerns and is not sure how to fix it but feels the city
has to be loyal to the business owners that have been here forever.
Richardsonís for coming forward. Wohlers suggested more marketing for the
area because there is a great opportunity to position Morris as a hub for this
Geoff stated there seems
to be many urban legends about the cityís treatment of businesses like Walmart
and Cobornís. Hill pointed out that it is a myth that the city is
blocking development. It was a corporate decision for Coborn's to pull
out of town. If people want a Walmart Hill suggested that everyone that
shops in Alex get ahold of Walmart and tell them that. Hill indicated he
feels the reason they are not here is because everybody is willing to drive up
to Alex. Hill explained that the city does everything it can to help
businesses come to town including finding buildings, land or financing. Hill
reiterated that nobody in city government is blocking any business from coming
Hill pointed out that the
manufacturing firms are having trouble filling positions and questioned how a
new business would find staff to fill jobs. Hill noted clothing stores
are difficult to bring to town because they donít have the variety people
want. Hill stated the city would be open to any ideas.
Council member Miller stated
he would have a tough time walking into a local store when heís out drumming up
other business, although he agreed that he has shopped out of town. Miller
stated he feels itís a fine line between taking care of what is here for
business and turning your back on your local people.
Geoff pointed out that he
sees them working together, because there will be things the small business
will supply that other places wonít. Geoff stated he sees it as a benefit
and something that will draw more people to this area.
Monique stated that the last
thing she would want to do would be to put someone out of business but the reality
is that people want more selection, more convenience and more amenities.
Solvie thanked the
Richardsonís for coming out because it shows they care about the
KiloMarie Grande stated
she feels Morris has quite a few things going for it and people move here
because they want a small town. Grande agreed with a lot of what was said
but feels that if the community is built up too much, too quickly and too much
is brought in, it will increase the negativity from businesses owners and
students. Grande suggested be less of a disconnect between everyone and
to expand the businesses that the city currently has.
and Approving the 2013 Financial Statements for the City of Morris: Jamie Faye, from Eide Bailey, was present
at the meeting and reviewed the city's audited financial statements. The
city received a clean audit opinion, or an unqualified opinion, which is what
the city wants. Total revenues for the city were $4,107,260 and
expenditures totaled $3,958,643.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #Resolution Accepting and
Approving the 2013 Financial Statements for the City of Morris. Upon a
roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 4/8/14 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member Storck moved, seconded by Mayor
Giese, to approve the 4/8/14 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council
member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 4/8/14 condensed
version minutes. Motion carried.
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor Giese added a liquor license for Mi
Mexico #2 to the agenda.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the following
of City Bills
for Exempt Permit – Deer Hunters
Commission Minutes, 3/18/14
& Expenditure Report
Bleacher maintenance and
rental fees were discussed.
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
Report from American Legion: Council member Storck moved, seconded by
Wohlers, 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.
Recommendation – PPD Budget:
Council member Storck stated he feels the vendors should not be charged to be
at the park. Giese indicated if they didnít charge and have a little skin
in it itís easier for a vendor to back out if something else comes up. A
suggestion was made to give the vendors their money back at the end of the
Miller asked if there were
plans for the Eagles to contribute to the fireworks. Hill stated he
believes there is, he just hasnít heard anything yet.
Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the proposed 2014 Prairie Pioneer
Liquor License for Mi
Mexico #2: Council member
Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the liquor license for Mi Mexico
#2 contingent upon receiving their insurance. Motion carried.
Authorizing Advertising for Bids for the DENCO II MPCA/DEED Grant Project:
Hill explained that there are two funders for this project which are the MPCA
and DEED. The next part of the process is to advertise for bids.
The DEED paperwork hasn't been done but they are close to having the
grant contract. Hill
recommended advertising for bids but not awarding a contract until the DEED
contract comes through. The work will take approximately 60-90 days to complete.
Council member Storck
moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3222-4-14, Resolution Authorizing
Advertising for Bids for the DENCO II MPCA/DEED Grant Project. Upon a
roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Motion to Approve Sale
of the Former Elementary School Property to Riley Bros. Properties, LLC: Hill explained that there needs to be a
motion for the sale of this property on the city council side and a resolution
on the EDA side. The motion is simply to acknowledge that the city
council approves this sale. Any TIF activity on the property would come
back to the city council.
Wohlers stated after comparing
the two proposals, the plus to this one is that they are going to pay for all
the infrastructure which is key. Wohlers noted the purchase price
probably isn't what the city wanted but those other costs are huge.
Storck asked if the
council was going to have a worksession with the developer to go over whatís
going to be put on the property. Miller pointed out that this property is
not going to get developed overnight and is going to take some time. Wohlers
agreed that the city hasnít seen a laid out plan and it would be
beneficial. Storck stated he is willing to sell it to Rileyís because
heís sure they're going to do it right and it will get on the tax rolls. Wohlers
stated another plus is that Rileyís is going to buy the entire acreage, whereas
the other company wasnít.
Solvie stated he feels
this price is at the low end. Solvie is interested in acquiring the
same amount of land from Rileyís in the Industrial Park to bring in businesses.
Hill pointed out he does not want to make the two sales contingent upon one
another. Hill explained that the price for that land would be the same at
$10,000 an acre.
Mayor Giese stated Rileyís
have been a good citizen in the area and done a lot of things for Morris.
Giese noted it is no secret that the city wants land in the Industrial Park and
he doesnít believe Rileyís are going to come back and say they're not going to
sell to the city.
Solvie stated the price is
hanging him up because it is 17.75 acres plus TIF money.
Council member Storck
moved, seconded by Wohlers, to authorize the sale of the former elementary
school property to Riley Brothers Properties, LLC. Upon a roll call
vote taken and all present voting in favor and Council member Solvie voting
against, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: City
Manager Report: This was informational for the council.
Mowing and snow removal
were discussed. These items would be put on a future agenda.
NEW BUSINESS: Arbor Month Proclamation:
Mayor Giese proclaimed May as Arbor Month.
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: Tree City USA Designation:
This was informational for the council.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 7:18 p.m.