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MINUTES    MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING     JULY 8, 2014

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 8th day of July, 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, Miller and Mayor Giese.  Council member Storck was absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Fire Chief Dybdal and Police Chief Tiegs.  City Engineer Fier arrived at 5:25 p.m. 

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added to the agenda an Application for Exempt Permit from the Humane Society and a Resolution Requesting Designation of the SCEIC as an LGO.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  6/24/14 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the 6/24/14 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

6/24/14 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 6/24/14 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.      Pay Estimate #8 – West 9th, 10th and 11th Streets

         C.      June Transit Report

         D.      Application to Conduct Excluded Bingo – Morris Lions

         E.       Application for Exempt Permit – Humane Society

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  Motion to Authorize Selling Old Scoreboard and Batting Cage:   Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to authorize the sale of the old scoreboard and batting cage on the MN bid site.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:  Resolution Appointing Judges for the August 12, 2014 State Primary Election:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3235-7-14, Resolution Appointing Judges for the August 12, 2014 State Primary Election.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Revoking Rental Housing Licenses for Non-Compliance:  Melanie Fohl was present at the meeting and stated one of these properties is being revoked for non-payment and the other is for non-payment as well as non-compliance issues. 

Fohl suggested possibly suspending the licenses, rather than revoking them.  The time limit for these issues has exceeded six months.  Fohl stated past history has dictated that once these issues are made public people usually deal with them.  Miller indicated perhaps getting the license revoked is what needs to happen to get it taken care of.  Miller stated he would hate to see the city take the teeth out of this. 

Fohl added there is another fine that's added on with the suspension and the property is re-inspected to make sure it is in compliance.  Fohl stated she would probably only give them 30 days to get it taken care of. 

It was the consensus of the council that a suspension would be okay, instead of a revocation.  Miller reiterated that he doesnít want to see the city lose control but if Fohl is willing to take care of it he is comfortable with it.    

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3236-7-14, Resolution Suspending Rental Housing Licenses for Non-Compliance.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing a Rate Study of the Utility System by Bolton and Menk, Inc.:  Hill stated one reason for this study is that there is a requirement for the City to have a conservation rate for water utilities in place by 2015.  Hill noted the biggest change will be for the people who water their lawns.  The other part of this study is that the city wants to make sure the rates cover the cost of the utility system.  Hill added this study would also take a look at the potential rates for users that want to come on to the cityís system.  The study will take 6-8 weeks to complete.  Hill indicated he would make a recommendation to the council as part of the budget process based on the results of the study.   

Miller asked about existing wells and septic systems.  Hill stated they would be grandfathered in but eventually the city will have to help them figure out a solution.   Hill pointed out there are some areas of town that have very small drain fields.  Hill explained that at the next meeting he would be bringing the council a draft agreement with a septic tank company to allow them to dump into the cityís sewer ponds.  Hill has talked with the engineers and there will be perimeters.   

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3237-7-14, Resolution Authorizing a Rate Study of the Utility System by Bolton & Menk, Inc.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

Resolution Approving New Four Year Agreement for City Attorney Services:  Hill stated this arrangement works well for the city and believes itís a good price for services.    

Police Chief Tiegs stated it is nice not to have to worry about conflict of interest because there is no private work involved, just county and city work.  Hill noted that they have asked for some additional money for training that is geared towards city issues. 

Council member Solvie asked how it is determined whether or not it is county or city work.  Tiegs explained that if itís a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor itís city and if itís a gross misdemeanor or felony charge it's county.

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3238-7-14, Resolution Approving New Four Year Agreement for City Attorney Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution by City Requesting Designation of the SCEIC as a Local Development Organization:  Hill explained that the city already took action on this but the state made some changes as to what they wanted to see in their document.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3239-7-14, Resolution by City Requesting Designation of the SCEIC as a Local Development Organization.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  City Manager Report:  Hill explained that the next reclaim of streets is going to be the two blocks by the courthouse and First Lutheran.  Also, the block in front of the council chambers and the post office will be done and the frontage road by DJN Electric to the car wash.  Wohlers asked how much more it would cost to do in front of the bowling alley.  City Engineer Fier stated he would have to do some measuring.  Fier pointed out that reclaims are just a temporary deal and nothing is done with the water and sewer infrastructure. 

The Hwy 28 & 9 project was discussed.  Hill stated this is potentially a $10 million dollar project and the property developers have some big decisions to make.  The city could look at tax abatement but that would be limited to the taxes the city levies.  The county and school district would need to abate their taxes themselves.      

Special Assessment Appeals – Settlements – Nichols and Sax:  Hill stated ultimately the city learned a lot during this appeals process.  Hill indicated he doesnít think the city will see a lot of people filing appeals for assessments because not a lot of people have the time or the inclination to fight these assessments. 

Hill stated Kelly and Cindy Nichols had an assessment amount of $12,815 and Michael Sax appealed an assessment of $12,853.  The city settled on the Nichols assessment for $6,000 and with Sax for $5,178 after an appraiser determined the special benefit for the Nicholsí property was $8,000 and the special benefit to the Sax property was $7,000.

Hill indicated there is a tremendous amount of time and resources that goes into these appeals.  Hill noted the city will be looking at taking sidewalks out of special assessment projects, except for Oregon Avenue because there is federal money available.  Also, how the city deals with empty lots will be looked at.  Hill stated in the scope of everything the city is doing with improvements this was a minor hiccup. 

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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