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MINUTES   –   MORRIS CITY COUNCIL  -  REGULAR MEETING     –   AUGUST 11, 2015

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 11th day of August, 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, Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Council member Solvie was absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch and Police Chief Tiegs. 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSWater Issue:  Kevin Kotts, 23 Brook Street, was present at the meeting and stated he has had water issues on this end of town for quite a few years.  Kotts lives at the corner of Brook Street and Eleanor Avenue and has had water in his yard a number of times during heavy rains.  Kotts presented the council with photographs of the area in question.  Kotts explained that during a heavy rain Eleanor Avenue turns into a river.  Kotts pointed out there is no storm sewer in this area so when it rains it backs up fast.  Kotts stated it is his opinion that there's more water than the undersized culverts can handle since there is a combination of water coming down Eleanor and then from Green River as well.  Kotts is also concerned about trees along Green River that are loose because of erosion from running water.

Hill noted that City Engineer Fier surveyed and staked the area.  Hill explained that one of the stakes is where the property pin is and the other marks off a 15' platted alleyway, of which part of Kotts' shed and rain garden sits on.  Hill stated the city is trying to find out if this alley has ever been vacated.  Fier stated the alley runs behind the first four houses on that end and the first four houses on the other end coming off Columbia Avenue.    

Hill stated Kotts' property is in a bad spot but there is nowhere for the water to go during a heavy rain.  Hill stated the city could look at adding dykes but whatever water is being kept out, other water is also being held in which doesn't help.  Hill suggested maybe the time has come to build a storm water holding pond between South Columbia and Eleanor Avenue.  Fier noted that this development was built without underground storm sewers so all of the water from the area flows on to Eleanor Avenue to get to the river. 

Darron Carr, 201 Eleanor Avenue, stated he lives on the east side of Eleanor and the ditch there is at least 8 feet deep.  Carr explained that in the creek by his property there are a number of big rocks and trees which doesn't help the flow either.  Carr added that the water definitely tears up that stretch of road on Eleanor Avenue. 


Considerable discussion was held on the issue.  It was the consensus that city staff would look further into the issue and hopefully the 2017 improvement project would also alleviate some of the problem. 

PUBLIC HEARINGS2nd Reading and Public Hearing of Ordinance No. 103, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code Chapter 3, Municipal Utilities – Rules and Regulations, Rates, Charges and Collections:  Mayor Giese opened the public hearing at 5:43 p.m. 

There being no comments from the public, Mayor Giese closed the public hearing at 5:44 p.m. and brought the matter back to the council for action.

Wohlers asked if the city has always billed bi-monthly.  Hill stated yes the city has and staff looked at doing it monthly but because of the workload and cost of mailings decided to continue with bi-monthly billing for now.    

Storck asked about the storm sewer utility fee.  Hill noted a paragraph was added that will allow the city to set a rate by resolution.  This fee will help pay for non-construction costs associated with all the requirements the city needs to follow for permitting to discharge storm sewer into the PDT river.  There will be many ongoing administrative items such as monitoring of residents mowing grass clippings into the street, silt fences and runoff at construction sites and additional water sampling.  Hill added that money is being spent on engineering right now and there isn't a source to fund it. 

Wohlers pointed out the state is not going to let up on this so the city needs to stay ahead of the game.  Hill noted this utility fee will go into a fund to pay for the stuff that isn't assessed.  The council will have a chance to discuss the rate before it is set.    

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to accept this as the 2nd reading and adopt Ordinance No. 103, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code Chapter 3, Municipal Utilities – Rules and Regulations, Rates, Charges and Collection.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES7/28/15 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member   Storck moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the 7/28/15 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

7/28/15 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 7/28/15 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      July Transit Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS:  None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution to Enter Into an Agreement – Transit Grant:  Hill stated usually the city only gets a bus once every two years but the state is saying they have money to get an additional bus this year.  Hill indicated the funding for transit comes from state and federal grants and the fares the riders are charged. 

Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement – Transit Grant: (continued)

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3328-8-15, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for Transit Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Newsletter:  Hill stated the city received the preliminary plat for the rest of the elementary school property.  There may be a potential new purchaser that's going to take control of the storm water pond.  The plat will be presented to the Planning Commission next week.    

Hill indicated North Ridge Drive has been put on the list for next year. 

Hill stated there are a number of property owners in Parkview Heights interested in city water and sewer so the council may see that coming up in the next couple of months.  The residents would have to request it by petition to the city council.  Hill noted he has some ideas on how to fund that project. 

Storck asked about the storm water by the hospital and noted the city never had a problem before SCMC tarred the parking lot.  Fier indicated he is aware of the situation and has looked at it to try and come up with some solutions.  Hill added that new information will be put in the code so that if a new parking lot is put in drainage needs to be addressed. 

NEW BUSINESS:  Wohlers asked about the lack of stop signs at businesses coming into town on Highway 9.  A constituent had approached him and said he had some close calls with accidents because of drivers not stopping while exiting businesses.  City Attorney Jordan explained that by law you have a duty to stop while coming out of a parking lot.  Hill indicated he wasn't sure the city could regulate private parking lots but staff would take a look at it. 

OLD BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:10 p.m.

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