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MINUTES     -     MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING   -   DECEMBER 8, 2015

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 8th day of December, 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, Fire Chief Dybdal and City Attorney Jordan. 

ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added the following items to the agenda: 1)Donation from West Central Christian Homes 2)Resolution Appointing the Morris Fire Department Chief and Other Officers and 3)Letter from the Stevens County Sheriff's Office.

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS:  None

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES11/24/15 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the 11/24/15 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

11/24/15 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 11/24/15 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.      November Transit Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSAppointments to Tourism Board:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to appoint Melissa Vangsness and Natasha Mortenson to the Tourism Board.  Motion carried.

Donation from West Central Christian Homes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to accept the $500 donation to the Police Department from West Central Christian Homes.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Authorizing Advertising for Bids for PDT Park Legacy Grant Project:  Hill explained there are two main parts to the project, one of which is to retrofit the concession building into a campground building that would have showers, etc.  This area would be connected to the main picnic shelter through a system of patios and canopies.  The second part would be the remodeling of the picnic shelter.  Hill noted the kitchen area in the picnic shelter is in pretty good shape but costs did go way up.  The bid will be advertised as two separate pieces.  The Legacy Fund Grant is around $120,000 with a cost share by the city.  Bids would be opened on December 29th with substantial completion of the interior by April 1st and the outside work by June 1st.  The 2016 budget has $57,500 set aside for this project.

Council member Storck moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3352-12-15, Resolution Authorizing Advertising for Bids for PDT Park Legacy Grant Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Appointing the Morris Fire Department Chief and Other Officers:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3353-12-15, Resolution Appointing the Morris Fire Department Chief and Other Officers.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS2016 Licenses:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to accept the 2016 licenses as presented, pending insurance as noted.  Motion carried. 

City Manager Newsletter:  Hill stated he sent a letter to main street businesses asking if they are interested in a consolidated snow removal program.  The city provided a short survey and return envelope.  Hill noted he would bring the responses back at the next meeting.

With regard to feedback on the storm water fee letter that was sent out, Hill stated he received one call from a property owner that didn't know they were annexed into the city.  Another person asked for a copy of the letter from MPCA detailing what the city has to do.  Hill noted he didn't know if there was one specific letter but more of a series of things.  Staff will find the information and post it on the city's website. 

The council questioned changing the direction of Green River Road to coincide with the Oregon Avenue Project.  Hill stated for next year it would be a reclaim of that stretch of road from Columbia to Elm Street.  Hill explained the direction could be changed when there is a complete reconstruction of the road.

Snow removal in the downtown area was discussed.

NEW BUSINESS:  None

OLD BUSINESS:   None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMSCorrespondence from Stevens County Sheriff's Office:  Dona Greiner invited the council to attend and participate in an upcoming Table Top Exercise for the train derailment disaster exercise coming up next June. 

BUDGET MEETINGBudget & Levy Presentation:  Hill reviewed the budget adjustments for 2015.  Hill explained that going forward in 2016 the city will charge out City Engineer Fier's time.  Typically Fier's time is assessed to the road projects going on each summer but for the last two years the city hasn't had a major project. 

The 2015 levy is $1,374,733, while the 2014 levy was $1,288,529, which is a 6.7% increase.  Hill pointed out this is an increase of the levy, not the overall budget.

The market value is the assessor's estimated value of property in the City for tax purposes.  For 2016 the market value is $233,327,700, which is a 1.8% over 2015.  The 2016 tax capacity is $2,508,471, or a 1.7% increase. 

With regard to health insurance, Hill stated he thinks the city is going to get slammed next year.  Health partners had a huge rate increase and the city should know in January what the rates for December 1st of next year will be.  Wages are increased by 2.5% for next year.  The general fund levy includes $21,778 for the loader lease levy. 

The total 2016 budget is $10,026,116.  The adjusted total city budget for 2015 is $10,375,617.

This is a total budget decrease of 1.14%.  The 2016 general fund budget is $3,853,916.  The

capital improvement fund budget is $328,519.  Hill explained this is up a little bit higher because Green River Road is going to be fixed, along with a little bit on East 3rd street, North Ridge Drive and some things at the airport. 

The library fund budget is $328,749.  New for 2016 is the stormwater administration budget of $55,000.  This is budgeted for the administrative requirement of the city's stormwater permit. 

The lodging tax budget is $38,000.  Hill stated with the new hotel there will be more money available for the tourism board to market Morris. The city will be adding a bond issue in 2016 for the Oregon Avenue project.  This will be a smaller bond issue because of the addition of state and federal funds on the project. 

The public utility fund has 2016 projected revenues of $1,154,957.  The liquor store fund has projected net revenue of $66,856 after transfers.  The central garage fund has projected revenues of $141,700, expenses of $136,064, with a projected net income of $5,647.

Hill added that for the future the city will continue to depend on state aid, but the state aid future is more secure with a projected surplus for the next budget.  Union negotiations are completed to 2017.  Health insurance will be a critical issue going into 2017.  Hill noted the city has to continue to invest in capital equipment and infrastructure. 

Hill stated that one of the best things that came out of 2015 was the downtown project and the investment that was spurred because of it. 

Citizen's Questions:  No citizens other than city staff were present.

Resolution Approving the Final 2015 Tax Levy for Collection in 2016:  Council member Storck   moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3354-12-15, Resolution Approving the Final 2015 Tax Levy for Collection in 2016.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting the Final 2016 Budget and Approving an Adjusted 2015 City Budget:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #3355-12-15, Resolution Adopting the Final 2016 Budget for the City of Morris.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Increasing Sewer and Water Utility Rates for 2016:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3356-12-15, Resolution Increasing Sewer and Water Utility Rates for 2016.  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:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3357-12-15, Resolution Setting the Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:41 p.m.

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