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MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–SEPTEMBER 9, 2014

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 9th day of September, 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, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Council member Solvie was absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Public Works Director Dittbenner, Police Chief Tiegs, City Engineer Fire and City Attorney Jordan.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES8/26/14 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the 8/26/14 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried unanimously.

8/26/14 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 8/26/14 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

CONSENT AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the consent agenda which included the following items:

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      Pay Estimate #1 – DENCO project

         C.      August Transit Report

         D.      Application for Exempt Permit – Relief Assn.

         E.       Application for Exempt Permit – UMM

         F.       8/5/14 Planning Commission Minutes

         G.      6/12/14 SCEIC Minutes and Information

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Approving the 2014 Tax Levy, Payable in 2015:  Hill stated he is recommending the city tax levy be set at $1,288,529, which is the same as last year.  The city levy has been frozen three times in the last four years.  The overall preliminary 2051 budget is $9,800,376.  There is a modest increase of 1% overall and an increase of 1.6% in the general fund.

Hill reviewed the key budget issues with the council as presented in his memo.  Hill recommended setting a budget worksession at the next meeting.

Council member Wohlers asked when the city would have to look at the water treatment plant.  Hill stated that would be next year.  The city is on the list for a point source grant.  This would be a $9 million dollar plant and would be paid back with user fees from the utilities.

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3256-9-14, Resolution Approving the 2014 Tax Levy, Payable in 2015.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving the 2015 Preliminary Budget and Setting a Public Hearing:

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3257-9-14, Resolution Approving the 2015 Preliminary Budget and Setting a Public Hearing for 6:00 p.m. on December 9, 2014.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving an Engineering and Financial Feasibility Study Report for the Oregon Avenue Improvement Project:  Jeff Kuhn of WSN was present at the meeting.  Kuhn stated the Oregon Avenue project mainly consists of a storm sewer improvement.  This should alleviate some of the localized flooding in this area and improve conditions downstream.

Kuhn explained that the project starts on East 4th Street and goes down to Elm Street.  The project will be done in several phases.  From East 4th to South Street will be eligible for state aid.  South Street to Elm Street will have some federal and State aid money that will mainly contribute to the storm sewer itself.  This will allow the city to keep the storm sewer assessments at a lower rate.  The storm sewer assessment area for this project is fairly large.  Kuhn stated the street design will be 36í and will be narrowed if it is wider in spots.

There are also three one block segments included in the project:  Pacific Avenue (from West 5th to 6th), Oregon Avenue from East 8th to 9th, and East 5th Street from Oregon to California Avenue.

Miller asked what would be going in behind the fire hall.  City Engineer Fier stated it would be storm sewer and sanitary sewer.  Kuhn noted the storm sewer will still get used behind there but it wouldnít be as taxed as before.  This would help alleviate some of that flooding thatís occurring back there.  Wohler pointed out that this project more than doubles the size of the storm sewer.  Kuhn indicated it is just the nature of trying to catch up with other improvement projects.

Kuhn noted it would be best to call for bids early.  The federal share for the project is going to be capped, even if the bids come in higher as there is a certain dollar figure allocated to this project.  Kuhn noted 80% is the general rule of thumb.

The estimated cost of the project is $3,151,000 with a little over $1.1 million in federal money and $500,000 to $600,000 in state aid money.  A portion of the federal money is from 2017 so the city will have to front some of the cost of that with a short term bond.  Hill stated the estimated assessment for a 50 foot lot is about $7,200.

Hill stated after the last project the city decided it does not want to include sidewalks in these projects anymore, unless they are 100% funded by the government.  Staff will

also be coming up with a different formula for the street assessment and treat it more like water and sewer with regard to connections.

Hill added that he would be presenting a plan for sidewalks.  A map has been completed of the location of sidewalks.  Letters will be sent to property owners informing them they will have a certain amount of time to put in or repair sidewalks.  If it doesnít get done, the city will do it and assess the owner.  Hill noted that property owners can request to have their sidewalk done on project areas and have it assessed to their taxes.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3258-9-14, Resolution Approving an Engineering and Financial Feasibility Study Report for the Oregon Avenue Improvement Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Calling for a Preliminary Assessment Hearing for the Oregon Avenue Improvement Project:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3259-9-14, Resolution Calling for a Preliminary Assessment Hearing for the Oregon Avenue Improvement Project and setting the public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on October 14th.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing a Legacy Grant Application:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3260-9-14, Resolution Authorizing a Legacy Grant Application.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSMotion to Approve Sale of Card Catalog from the Public Library:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to authorize the sale of the old wood card catalog from the library.  Motion carried.

Point Source Implementation Grant Program:  This was informational for the council.

Mayor and City Council Salaries:  Hill stated he would leave this decision up to the council and provided them with an updated comparison of mayor and council salaries.  The current salary is $6,000 for the mayor, $5,000 for council members and a $40 per diem for attending special meetings.  Storck suggested raising the pay and forgetting about $40 per diem for special meetings.  Hill noted these rates have been in effect since January of 2007.  Wohlers stated compared to like cities, Morris is being compensated fairly.  Giese agreed that itís not totally out of whack.  Miller pointed out some of the other cities are getting other reimbursements that add up.

Miller suggested increasing each salary by $500 a year and getting rid of the per diem.  It was the consensus of the council that this was a good idea.

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to accept this as the first reading of Ordinance No. 97, An Ordinance Setting the Salaries for Mayor and  City Council and set the second reading and public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on September 23, 2014.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

City Manager Report:  This was informational for the council.

NEW BUSINESS:  Miller asked if the council could get a comparison of city manager salaries.  Hill stated he would put that together for the council.

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  Local Development Organization Designation:  This was informational for the council.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:29 p.m.

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