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MINUTES–MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 23rd  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 members Wohlers, Solvie, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Also present were City Manager Hill, Police Chief Tiegs, Finance Director Raasch, Fire Chief Dybdal and City Attorney Jordan.

CITIZENíS COMMENTS:  John Anderson of Elbow Lake was present and asked that the City Council consider putting up more speed limit signs on East 7th Street coming off the Highway 59 Bypass.  He received a speeding ticket on that stretch of road and feels there should be more signage.  City Manager Hill indicated he will check into that.

Fire Chief Dybdal was present and on behalf of the Morris Fire Department and Morris Fire Relief Association, presented to the City Council a picture of the Morris Fire Department members.  The Morris Fire Department has been named the Fire Department of the Year by the Minnesota State Fire Department Association.

Police Chief Tiegs recognized several Morris Police Officers that have reached milestones within the Department.  He indicated Patrol Officer Brett Collins finished his one year probationary period a week ago, Patrol Officer Travis Clark will finish his one year probationary period next week, Patrol Officer Jared Dittbenner will receive his 5-year pin at the next meeting, and Command Specialist Shane Nelson completed 10 years with the City of Morris Police Department.  Police Chief Tiegs then presented School Resource Officer Anita Liebl with her 15 year pin.  Her 15 year anniversary date is 9/7/14.

PUBLIC HEARINGS:   Public Hearing and 2nd Reading of Ordinance No. 97, An Ordinance Setting the Salaries for the Mayor and City Council:  The public hearing was opened at 5:26 by Mayor Giese.  City Manager Hill indicated he has received no calls or comments regarding this ordinance.  Council member Miller pointed out that this Ordinance increases the salaries of the Mayor and Council members as of January 1, 2015, but per diems have been eliminated.  The hearing was closed at 5:27.  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Ordinance No. 97, An Ordinance Setting the Salaries for the Mayor and City Council.  Upon a roll call vote, motion carried unanimously.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES9/9/14 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the 9/9/14 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried unanimously.

9/9/14 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 9/9/14 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried unanimously.

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.      8/19/14 Planning Commission Minutes

         C.      Revenue and Expenditure Report

         D.      Community Education Information

        

Motion carried unanimously.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSGambling Report from the American Legion:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the gambling report from the American Legion for the month of July.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion, motion carried.

Request for Payment – Prairie Pioneer Days:  City Manager Hill explained the City makes up the difference between Prairie Pioneer Days revenues and expenditures with lodging tax dollars.  Mayor Giese noted the income from vendor registrations and button sales was down, resulting in a loss.

Council member Storck asked why vendors are charged to have a booth at the park.  Wohlers responded it is pretty standards to charge vendors.  Giese noted the Prairie Pioneer Days committee is looking into that, but pointed out that if vendors pay a fee, they are more likely to show up for the event.  Solvie suggested making the fee a deposit and if the vendors show up for the event, they get their deposit back.  Wohlers will visit with the Chamber Director and Board regarding this.

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the payment of $4,428.78 from lodging tax money for Prairie Pioneer Days.  Motion carried unanimously.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Appointing Judges for the State General Election November 4, 2014:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3261-9-14, A Resolution Appointing Judges for the State General Election November 4, 2014.  Upon a roll call vote and all voting in favor, motion carried unanimously.

Setting a Public Hearing for Ordinance No. 96, An Ordinance Vacating Certain Public Right of Way and Roads in Rileyís Commercial Development Subdivision: City Manager Hill explained the City Council has already held its first reading of this Ordinance.  They now need to set the 2nd reading and public hearing.  The Planning Commission has already held a public hearing on the vacation.  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to set the public hearing and 2nd reading of Ordinance No. 96, An Ordinance Vacating Certain Public Right of Way and Roads in Rileyís Commercial Development Subdivision for October 14th at 5:20 p.m.  Upon a roll call vote and all voting in favor, motion carried unanimously.

Resolution Directing the Morris Park Board to Plan for Updating Playground Equipment at Pomme de Terre Park to Make It ADA Compliant:  City Manager Hill indicated one of the regulations of the Legacy Grant for upgrades at the Pomme de Terre Park is that park equipment be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Hill noted the playground equipment at Pomme de Terre Park may not be compliant, but WSN, who is writing the Legacy Grant Application, feels having a plan to make it compliant will suffice.

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3262-9-14, A Resolution Directing the Morris Park Board to Plan for Updating Playground Equipment at Pomme de Terre Park to Make It ADA Compliant.  Upon a roll call vote, motion carried unanimously.

CITY MANAGERíS REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Report:  Hill indicated he attended a meeting with the FAA and MNDOT Aviation and discussed the Capital Improvement Plan for the next year.  He noted plans for the parallel taxiway may be moved up from 2017 to 2016.

Hill reported he attended the School Board meeting last night and County worksession today regarding tax abatement on the Dripps property.  The School Board voted to approve the tax abatement.  The County will hold their hearing October 1. 

Council member Wohlers asked if there is a date for the local candidate forum.  Miller indicated it is October 9th at 7 p.m. at the American Legion. 

Schedule Budget Worksession for 10/23/14:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to set a budget worksession for 10/23/14 at 5:15.  Motion carried unanimously.

City Manager Salary Comparison:  Mayor Giese asked if Hill gets a salary adjustment yearly.  Hill indicated he gets the same percentage increase as the union members.  Council member Storck indicated he does not feel that is fair as 2% on Hillís salary is a lot more than other employees making less money.  Solvie indicated he feels itís fair and it reflects Hillís level of responsibility and education.

NEW BUSINESS:  None.

OLD BUSINESS:  None.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMSLegislative Candidate Forum – 10/16/14:  This forum will be held at 7:00 p.m. on October 16 at the Morris American Legion.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese closed the meeting at 6:00 p.m.

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