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MINUTES     –    MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING    –     MAY 26, 2015

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 26th day of May, 2015, 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, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Tiegs, Public Works Director Dittbenner, Fire Chief Dybdal and City Attorney Jordan.

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None 

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  5/12/15 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member   Miller moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the 5/12/15 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

5/12/15 Condensed Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the 5/12/15 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 #6 – Par Piping

         C.      4/15/15 Tourism Board Minutes

         D.      Application for Exempt Permit – Assumption Church

         E.       Revenue & Expenditure Report

         F.       Raffle License Reports

         G.      4/21/15 Planning Commission Minutes

Motion carried.

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

Motion to Approve Use of Tourism Funds for PPD Fireworks Display:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the use of $2,000 in tourism funds for the Prairie Pioneer Days fireworks display.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Requesting a Variance from MN State Aid Rules:   Hill explained that there are two parts to the downtown project.  The first is the paving and overlay project and the second is the sidewalks, crossings and stoplights.  Hill noted the sidewalk work is being picked up by the state because of ADA requirements.  The city is allowed to use state aid funds for both parts.  Hill explained that when the city went to apply for reimbursement of the state funds the city was told they couldn't be reimbursed because bids were already let and the city missed the process deadlines.  Hill stated Jeff Kuhn had checked with the State to see if we could use state aid funds but he was not informed of the deadlines.  In order to get reimbursed the city needs to pass this resolution to request a variance from the normal rules. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3309-5-15, Resolution Requesting a Variance from MN State Aid Rules.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving a Conditional Use Permit for LP Properties of Morris, LLC:  Hill stated the Planning Commission is recommending approval of the conditional use permit without any conditions.  Hill noted that a storm water pond is being built big enough for the whole property.  Hill noted there is a slight change from the preliminary plat for some additional feet to allow for future expansion and additional parking and garages.

Wohlers asked if TIF would be granted on a parcel by parcel basis as the property gets developed.  Hill stated yes, that is how it would work.  Hill indicated that a request for TIF might be coming to the council as early as the next meeting.  Hill stated to do these housing projects, the cost of building is almost prohibitive without the TIF financing.  Wohlers asked if TIF would be granted for the future memory unit talked about in the plans.  Hill doesn't anticipate there will be any additional costs moving forward on this parcel that they would want to use TIF for. 

Hill stated there are no businesses across the street that should be bothered by the development and everything on this property will be housing.  Council member Miller stated the resident that attended the PC meeting was in favor of the development but just had a concern about the water issues. 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3310-5-15, Resolution Approving a Conditional Use Permit for LP Properties of Morris, LLC.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving a Final Plat Titled "Old Elementary School Property":  Hill stated the only change was the adjusted boundary line, which would square off the parcel a little more.  The pond will be owned by that property owner but they will have to tap into the city's storm sewer.  Hill does not think it will be an issue.  The goal is to have everything be accessible to one of the side streets on the property. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3311-5-15, Resolution Approving a Final Plat Titled "Old Elementary School Property".  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3312-5-15, Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Newsletter:  Hill expressed that the Memorial Day celebration was very nice.  The city received a $2,500 Centerpoint Energy grant for the fire department for some ventilation fans and a ladder safety harness. 

The stoplights are out at 5th and 7th Street and it will be approximately 90 days before they will be put back in.  Four way stop signs will be used for the summer. 

Hill noted Ted Storck is back but has not agreed to meet with the service clubs as to playing the chimes.  Solvie wanted to point out that it is not the city council that has stopped the chimes from being played.  There is an individual that has taken it into their own hands and are being selfish about playing them.  Solvie encouraged the service groups to talk to this individual because the city wants them to be played; the city just wants it to be a little more neighborhood friendly.  The council agreed with Solvie's opinion of the chime situation.

Considerable discussion was held on the energy HUB and how it could be used for updating rentals.

Morris Fire Department - 125th Anniversary Celebration:  Hill stated he was approached by the Fire Relief Association and the people that are helping with the celebration.  The city has to watch very closely how it deals with taxpayer's money, but Hill feels $2,000 can be used to document the celebration and falls into the allowable guidelines.  The money would come out of unallocated contingency funds.

Giese noted he was disappointed that the Tourism Board didn't participate in helping fund the celebration.  Wohlers, who serves on the Tourism Board, stated that while they think it is a worthy cause they were concerned with setting a precedence.  Giese understood but stated this is not a normal business having a celebration.   

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to authorize $2,000 out of unallocated contingency funds be spent to assist with funding for the 125th anniversary of the Morris Fire Department.  Motion carried.

NEW BUSINESS:  None

OLD BUSINESSGreen River:  Giese asked what can be done with Green River from Columbia to Eleanor.  Hill explained that all of that water comes from the north court, south court, east court and brook street area because they have no underground storm sewer.  Hill added that when that project is done is two years this will not be an issue anymore. 

Storck raised a concern about discharging pumps into green river during the heavy rains last weekend.  Storck noted that people need to have their sump pumps routed outside and not in the sanitary sewer. 

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:22 p.m.

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