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The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 22nd day of September, 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 and City Attorney Jordan.

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS:  Police Chief Tiegs recognized Officer Brett Collins as he has reached his two year point and presented him with his first award pin for his Class A uniform. 


READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  9/8/15 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member      Miller moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the 9/8/15 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

9/8/15 Condensed Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 9/8/15 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 #2 - F and S Concrete

            C.         Pay Estimate #2 - Mudjacking Program

            D.         Community Ed Information

            E.         8/18/15 Planning Commission Minutes

            F.         Raffle License Report - Stevens County Extension

            G.         Revenue & Expenditure Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSAppointment of Wes Flinn to Library Board:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Stork, to appoint Wes Flinn to the library board for the remainder of Esther Jordan's term.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Approving a Final Plat Titled "Old Elementary School Property First Addition":   Hill indicated there were no changes to this from the preliminary plat and this should be the last plat for this property. 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3334-9-15, Resolution Approving a Final Plat Titled "Old Elementary School Property First Addition".  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving a Design Engineering Services Proposal for a New Water Treatment Plant

Kris Swanson of Bolton & Menk was present at the meeting.  Swanson stated the city has been working towards design of a new water plant and replacement of the aging infrastructure.  The city is eligible for a $3.3 million point source implementation (PSI) grant and has qualified for low interest loans through the MN Department of Health Drinking Water Revolving Fund.  Swanson stated the last couple years the low interest loans have been between 1 and 2 percent.  Swanson stated the city has the funding package they were shooting for and now there are some deadlines that need to be met, which is the reason for the proposed engineering services. 

Swanson noted they are continuing to track the bonding bill and the city has made a State of MN capital budget request of $7 million.  Swanson stated they are hopeful that this legislative request would be funded in part given the environmental, regional and economic impact a new plant would have.  The direct bonding would be equivalent to a grant but at this time is the biggest unknown for the project. 

Swanson pointed out the two secured funding sources require that plans and specifications be submitted by March of 2016.  By June of next year the project must be certified, with as-bid costs, to obtain the PSI grant.  The next six months will be spent designing the project.   

Swanson touched on some different rate scenarios, which could increase utility bills anywhere from $35 to $60 a month depending on funding.  Swanson stated the $50-60 per month range is pretty typical across the state for cities that have built water plants. 

Hill asked that everyone keep in mind this will be treated, softened water so residents will no longer need a water softener.  Hill noted the city will eventually need to put into place legislation that, at a minimum, would require that if people are going to continue treating water there will have to be a system that determines the softness of the water and how much it takes to recharge their system. 

Swanson noted currently the city's water hardness is around 800 milligrams per liter and with the new plant that will be reduced to about 100.  Swanson stated customers will see significant savings on their end with the corrosiveness of the water, water heaters getting scaled up, use of softener salt and water usage. 

Solvie asked if the city would be able to filter the nitrates with this system.  Swanson stated that was not included in the plans because of regulations from the MPCA regarding discharge. The city instead needs to go with a lime softening process.  Swanson stated historically the city doesn't have nitrates in the water.  Swanson confirmed that the city does have a lot of water and a pristine aquifer.   

Hill asked what would happen if the city received $7, or even $8 million in the bonding bill.  Swanson indicated it is highly unlikely the whole project would be paid for and he would be happy with $7 million in total grants.   

Solvie stated it seems that the city has to put a lot of money up front for engineering and asked what would happen if the grants didn't come through.  Swanson noted the engineering costs are reimbursable with grants and low interest loans.  The only risk for the project would be if bids were to come in way too high.  The low interest loans would be for 20 or 30 years at a rate of 1-2%.  The revolving loan fund through the state also provides 5% contingency on top of bid costs.   

Solvie asked what the city would do if it prepays for engineering services and the bid does come in too high.  Solvie stated he feels the city needs to move forward but he is a little uneasy about the costs.  Hill stated the project could be rebid.  Swanson indicated they would work through the process with the city, to either rebid or examine why the bids were too high. 

Hill stated the city needs to make sure that DENCO II will be required to buy water from the city in the future.  Hill stated it could be that DENCO will want to inject some cash or it could be they want to strictly pay for water.  Hill noted the same is true with the City of Alberta.  They are currently using more water than they're authorized to use so the city needs to negotiate a new use agreement.  Alberta is talking about wanting another 5 million gallons of water per year and Swanson stated the water is available for them. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3335-9-15, Resolution Approving a Design Engineering Services Proposal for a New Water Treatment Plant.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing an Updated LED Lighting Project:  Hill stated there was a minimum requirement of $100,000 in LED lighting changes and the city was a little short so this has been updated to meet that requirement.  Hill asked that the council approve the full project but staff will take a look at two items before they're done.  The first is the water treatment plant because the city is not going to want to update the lighting if a new plant will be built.  The second is the library, and they are also in discussions about a possible expansion.  The net project is $179,000, which is funded through a 7 year lease with savings from energy use and maintenance.  The city owns the downtown street lights and they are included in the project.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3336-9-15, Resolution Authorizing an Updated LED Lighting Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

First Reading of Ordinance No. 104, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code Chapter 5, Alcoholic Beverages Licensing and Regulations:  Hill explained the only change with this ordinance is that it will change the law to allow for liquor to be sold at 11:00 a.m. vs. 12:00 noon on Sundays. 

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to accept this as the first reading and set the second reading and public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on October 13th.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Newsletter:  This was informational for the council.


ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:17 p.m.

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