MINUTES – MORRIS CITY
COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING – DECEMBER 9, 2014
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 9th day of
December, 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,
Police Chief Tiegs, Fleet Manager Searle and City Attorney Jordan. City
Engineer Fier arrived at 5:21 p.m.
CITIZENíS COMMENTS: None
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 11/25/14 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member Storck moved, seconded by Council
member Solvie, to approve the 11/25/14 regular meeting minutes. Motion
Version Minutes: Council
member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 11/25/14 condensed
version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Storck, to approve the consent agenda which included the following
of City Bills
On Sale Liquor License - Eagles
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
Appointing Fire Department Chief and Officers: Hill
stated these recommendations come directly from the fire department. The
Fire Chief isn't on here because thatís a two year position. Miller asked
about the first and second assistants because he thought they were two year
terms. Hill stated Pay Daly is retiring so it could be that they are
replacing him on one of the positions.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3270-12-14, Resolution
Appointing Fire Department Chief and Officers. Upon a roll call vote
taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Setting the
Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association: Hill provided the council with a survey on the
comparison of benefits to other departments. Hill noted they are starting
to see a few departments turn their money over to the state of Minnesota for
administration. Hill stated the biggest issue the department is facing is
finding new firemen. Hill recommended the council increase the benefit as
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3271-12-14, Resolution Setting
the Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association to $1,900 per
year starting January 1, 2015. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Accepting
a Donation from the Morris Public Library Foundation: Hill explained
that the Morris Public Library Foundation is a private non-profit foundation
that was set up through the West Central Initiative Fund. There is a
separate board that makes the decisions as to the spending of foundation funds.
The money can be donated into that and then the board decides where it's going
to be spent. Hill stated recently the board approved using funds to pay
for the cost of an architectural study to see where the library is at and what
the future will be. There was enough money donated to the foundation to
pay for the estimated $20,000 in costs. Hill indicated the Initiative Fund
can't give the money directly to the library so the council needs to approve a
motion to allow the library to accept this money. The next step would be
to try to raise funds to do whatever they want to do.
Council member Wohlers
moved, seconded by Storck, to accept the donation and contribution from the
Morris Public Library Foundation to pay for the costs of an architectural study
of the Morris Public Library. Motion carried.
2015 Licenses: Council member Miller moved, seconded by
Solvie, to approve the 2015 licenses as submitted, pending insurance as
noted. Motion carried.
City Manager Newsletter: Hill stated union contracts should be
settled soon and he would be bringing that to the next meeting. Health
insurance is a big issue going forward. Wages are proposed at an increase
of 2, 2 ½ and 3% for the next three years.
Hill noted he has received
more complaints about the chimes in the cemetery. The solution is turning
it down and playing it less but the person that takes care of that is gone for
Hill stated he has been
asked by people what the standard is for removing snow on the sidewalks. City
staff identified 38 properties that need to clear their snow and there's over
200 that have some snow and ice that was trampled down. Hill noted
it takes a long time to go around and check and a long time to figure out who
owns 240 properties. The next thing to do is to send a last chance notice
to those that didnít clear their snow. Hill stated the city will have to
start issuing fines but staff needs to figure out a good way of doing
that. Hill suggested getting a ticket book.
Fier updated the council
on the commercial property across from McDonalds. Fier stated he was
pleased that the water pressure test passed. They have been flushing to
get the chlorine out and hope to do a bacteria test soon. Fier noted he
is really concerned about compaction and settling due to the weather. Fier
indicated there has not been a push to put water and sewer services in the
property for Heartland Motors but the motel is ready to go.
Hill noted another project
coming up is the redoing of the road surface along Atlantic Avenue, and that
includes embedding some new technology stop lights. Hill stated it is a
state project but the city has to pay for a share of the parking lanes and the
stop lights, which will be done with state aid money. Part of the project
also includes redoing some of the sidewalks because of the slopes and
curbs. Fier stated because of the disability act the intersections all
have to be redone.
BUDGET MEETING: Budget & Levy Presentation:
Hill stated a couple of changes since the preliminary budget the addition of 10
hours of staffing per week for the library and the elimination of the CSO for
the police department. Hill explained that the city offers tuition
assistance for law enforcement officers and there are a couple of younger
officers taking advantage of this so that will eat up some of the departmentís resources
Hill stated the levy for
2015 is frozen at the 2014 level which is $1,288,529. The tax levy is
$563,725 for the general fund, $42,430 for the library fund and $682,374 for
debt service. Hill showed a graph of levy comparisons going back to
The 2015 estimated market
value is $229 million, compared with $226 million is 2014, or a 1%
increase. The 2015 estimated tax capacity is $2,291,000, which is an
increase of 1.8% over 2014.
The General Fund budget is
$3,671,489, which is an increase of 1.7%. There is no election this
coming year. Propane is up this year, especially in the Airport due to
the addition of the new hangar. A transfer of $270,000 will be made to
the Capital Outlay Fund.
The capital improvement
fund budget is $303,750 for 2015. This is where the franchise fees
The capital outlay fund is
budgeted at $662,532. This includes borrowing money for two major
purchases of a fire truck and loader. Hill stated he will also be recommending
the refund of a couple old bonds. Hill stated the city would get rid of
the 1984 and 2000 fire trucks and replace them with a new one. Hancock and
Chokio are both buying new trucks as well and they are backups for the new
mutual aid system. The new loader is needed for the airport. There
is a significant increase in the amount of activity at the airport. Hill
stated there is a request in to the State of Minnesota Aviation to fund a major
portion of the loader because it is the primary snow removal equipment for the
airport. Hill noted one thing that changed on the capital outlay listing was
the addition of two new AEDís for the police department.
The Library fund budget is
down from last year but the roof work was included in this past year. The
upcoming budget is $327,575 and this includes an extra 10 hours a week of
Debt service funds total
The utility fund has
projected revenues of $1,180,814 and expenditures of $1,148,023, or a net
income of $32,791. The biggest issue with this fund is that rates are
going up 3%. Hill explained the city had a rate study done and are waiting
for the final information.
The liquor store fund is
doing well with sales and has a projected net income of $207,108.
The central garage fund
has projected revenues of $149,442 and expenditures of $143,795. Of this,
15% has been allocated to the street department for 2015.
Hill stated that looking
ahead the city will continue to depend on state aid. Union negotiations
are done through 2017. Health insurance is critical but stable. The
city needs to continue to invest in capital equipment and infrastructure.
the Final 2014 Tax Levy for Collection in 2015: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Stork, to adopt Resolution #3272-12-14, Resolution Approving the Final
2014 Tax Levy for Collection in 2015. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Adopting the
Final 2015 Budget for the City of Morris: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt
Resolution #3273-12-14, Resolution Adopting the Final 2015 Budget for the City
of Morris. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor,
Sewer and Water Utility Rates for 2015:
Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3274-12-14,
Resolution Increasing Sewer and Water Utility Rates for 2015. Upon a roll
call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
NEW BUSINESS: Motion to Close City Facilities at Noon
on Christmas Eve: Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor
Giese, to close city facilities at noon on Christmas Eve. Motion carried.
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:34 p.m.