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MINUTES    MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING  – AUGUST 11, 2014

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 11th day of August, 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, Public Works Director Dittbenner, Fleet Manager Searle, Police Chief Tiegs,  City Engineer Fier and City Attorney Jordan.

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added to the agenda a final pay estimate for Mudpumpers Mudjacking. 

CITIZEN’S COMMENTS:  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, 207 East 8th, stated she is unhappy with the cumbersome nature of the sidewalk shoveling request process.  Bezanson stated she walks all winter and it is silly that sidewalks are not shoveled.  Bezanson recommended that a notice be put in everyone's October or November water bill that explains what the requirements are.  Bezanson also suggested that rental properties post notices in their homes saying that people have to shovel their sidewalks.  Bezanson would also like the city to think about high traffic areas and come up with shoveling routes.  Bezanson encouraged people to shovel their sidewalks and for the council to take it seriously because it's an issue of public safety. 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  7/22/14 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the 7/22/14 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

7/22/14 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 7/22/14 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.      Partial Pay Estimate #4 – F & S Concrete

         C.      July Transit Report

         D.      Raffle License Report - AmVets

         E.       Gambling Reports

         F.       5/20/14 Planning Commission Minutes

         G.      Final Pay Estimate – Mudpumpers Mudjacking

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS:  Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for Transit Services:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3245-8-14, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for Transit Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving the Purchase of 12.37 Acres from Riley Brothers Properties, LLC:   Hill explained that this piece of land is south of Prairie Trailers.  The city had previously been looking at property that was approximately 15 acres but it was sloped so that it couldn't gravity feed the sanitary sewer.  This piece runs more east/west and is about 500 feet long.  Hill noted that the city would annex it into the city limits and turn around and market it for sale.  There is already one business interested in approximately five acres.  Hill stated the money for the purchase will come out of the capital outlay fund.

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3246-8-14, Resolution Approving the Purchase of 12.37 Acres from Riley Brothers Properties, LLC.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Setting a Public Hearing to Consider Tax Abatement for Dripps Automotive, LLC:  Hill stated this whole project is hinging on whether or not tax abatement from the city, Stevens County and the school goes through.  The amount of tax abatements for the city is estimated at $230,000 over a 15 year period.  Hill stated that a detailed report would be available at the public hearing.  Dripps Automotive has given the city a $7,000 deposit for Ehlers and Associates to gather the financial information and for Briggs and Morgan for legal assistance on the developer agreement for the abatement.    

Wohlers asked about maintenance of the ponds.  Hill pointed out there shouldn’t be a lot of maintenance unless there's a major failure with it.  City Engineer Fier and Jeff Kuhn from WSN will be looking it over and building it the way the city wants. 

Wohlers asked if the sanitary sewer to Iowa Avenue is sufficient for the project.  Fier noted it should be and that some of the sewage would go back the other way into the holiday lift station.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3247-8-14, Resolution Setting a Public Hearing to Consider Tax Abatement for Dripps Automotive, LLC and setting the public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on August 26th.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

Solvie stated he would not be at the meeting on the 26th.  City Attorney Jordan stated a tax abatement issue may need a 4/5 vote.  Wohlers added that he would probably abstain on the issue for obvious reasons. 

First Reading of Ordinance No. 96, An Ordinance Vacating Certain Public Right of Way and Roads in the Riley's Commercial Development Subdivision:  Hill explained that the city will need to vacate the public right of way and roads in the previous plat for this area.  This is the first reading of an ordinance and then the Planning Commission will need to hold a public hearing to consider the vacation.  Everyone within 350’ of the area will receive a notice of the public hearing. 

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to accept this as the first reading of Ordinance No. 96 and to bring it back for a second reading and public hearing once the Planning Commission has held their hearing.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS:  Motion to Approve Updated Preliminary Plat – Riley's Commercial Development First Addition:  Hill stated another change is required for the plat for this development.  MN DOT informed the city that they did not need the additional 25’ of right of way that was platted along Hwy 28, but they do need an additional 25’ of right of way along Hwy 9.  Hill recommended that the additional 25' right-of-way along Hwy 28 be removed from the plat and an additional 25' of right-of-way along Hwy 9 be added for a left turn lane sometime in the future.  Nyberg is already working on the final plat. 

The pond in this development was also made smaller because MN DOT will be using the ditch for their drainage instead of the pond.   

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the preliminary plat with the smaller pond and the addition and deletion of the suggested right of way changes.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

City Manager Report:  Hill noted there is a request from the Planning Commission to look at sidewalks in the Hwy 28 development.  It will be looked at as an overall city sidewalk project and brought back to the council.  As far as snow shoveling, Hill stated city staff is working on an update to the city’s various nuisance ordinances that will be presented to the council at a later date.  Hill suggested a new ordinance that gives residents a reasonable amount of time to shovel and if they don't do it the city would have it shoveled, along with a bill and a hefty fine to the homeowner.      

NEW BUSINESS:  None

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:15 p.m.

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