MINUTES - MORRIS CITY
COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - SEPTEMBER 22, 2015
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.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
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
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member
Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the following items:
of City Bills
Estimate #2 - F and S Concrete
Estimate #2 - Mudjacking Program
Planning Commission Minutes
License Report - Stevens County Extension
& Expenditure Report
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Appointment 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 RESOLUTIONS: Resolution 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
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
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
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,
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 & RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Newsletter:
This was informational for the council.
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor Giese
adjourned the meeting at 6:17 p.m.