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MINUTES    -     MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING    -     AUGUST 23, 2016

 

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 23rd day of August, 2016, 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 Miller, Storck and Mayor Giese.  Council members Wohlers and Solvie were absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Public Works Director Dittbenner and Police Chief Tiegs. 

 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSShelley Svec - Toward Zero Deaths Program:  Shelley Svec of Horizon Public Health, Glenwood office, was present at the meeting to review the Toward Zero Death grant received by Pope and Stevens Counties.  The grant period was from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.  Svec stated the Toward Zero Death Grant works in the State of MN to reduce deaths on highways.  Svec noted in the early 2000's the state was reaching levels over 600 of people who died on roadways.  Svec explained the Toward Zero Death approach uses enforcement, engineering, education and emergency medical services to work towards zero deaths.  Svec pointed out there is a committee that meets to review accidents and try to come up with solutions to the problems that have happened.  Fatal and serious injuries are reviewed on a quarterly basis.  Svec indicated the area is now below the state average on fatalities so there is no grant for the next time around.   

 

Police Chief Tiegs stated even though the grant did not get renewed, the Morris PD will remain on the email loop and participate in the enforcement periods.  The grant just won't be available for overtime hours. 

 

Chuck DeWolf - Storm Water:  Chuck DeWolf of Bolton and Menk was present at the meeting to give an overview of the things the city needs to start doing for the storm water permit.  DeWolf explained that the permit application has been completed and submitted and it identifies what needs to be done moving forward.   

 

DeWolf indicated ordinance updates would be the first phase and they have already drafted some for the city to take a look at.  The second phase, which is anticipated to take 18 months, will consist of an inventory of public and private storm water components, increased site development inspections and increased enforcement on construction sites.  The third phase would be to implement new training for city staff and increase public education and involvement in storm water issues.  DeWolf noted that an annual hearing and other educational activities are a requirement of the permit. 

 

Mayor Giese asked if this would cover all of the storm water in the city.  DeWolf indicated it would and this permit would have the procedures in place to prevent illicit discharge.  Hill added that mowing of grass into the street is an illicit discharge, which could result in a fine for the City from the MPCA.  Hill is working on adding a whole chapter to the city code that strictly deals with storm water.   

 

 

Old Elementary School Property:  Nancy and Jim Barbour and Arne and Athena Kildegaard were present at the meeting with concerns about the new apartment building going up across from East 5th Street. 

 

Nancy Barbour, 516 East 5th Street, stated she believes in the idea of having higher density housing, but she hopes that as the design and development of the school property continues that there's attention paid to things such as lighting and landscaping so that it enhances and complements what's already in their neighborhood. 

 

Hill stated this parcel is an interesting piece of property surrounded by single family housing on the south, a cemetery on the east, multi-family housing on the west and commercial on the north.  Hill pointed out the property has a storm water pond which is sized big enough to take care of all 17 acres.  Hill noted as far as lighting goes, the standard for all new developments is dark sky compliant lighting.  Hill stated there isn't necessarily the opportunity for the city to step in, other than enforcement of the codes that are in place.  This property is zoned residential multi-family and an apartment is an acceptable use in that zone so a conditional use permit was not needed.   Hill explained the only code issue the city had to deal with on this project was that the one bedroom apartments didn't meet the minimum square footage requirements so the  size was increased.

 

Hill stated he felt the developer would be open to meeting with residents and listening to their concerns but isn't sure what the council could do at this point since the permit is issued and construction is underway.  Giese added that he felt this would be a good time in the project to have the developers meet with the neighbors and find out what their landscaping plans are.  

 

Council member Miller commented that things change and in the past on these 17 acres it's been a football game on Friday nights for only eight weeks every year.  Mayor Giese stated he doesn't want Jim and Nancy Barbour to have to experience Friday night lights every night of the year.

 

Arne Kildegaard, 548 East 5th Street, invited the council to stroll down the street and see what kind of change the apartments will mean for their neighborhood.  Kildegaard noted he is in favor of pro density but also wants to minimize the interface between the existing neighborhood and its characteristics.  Kildegaard stated there are only two rentals out of the 11 houses along that block.  Kildegaard considers this area to be real classy housing stock, with a lot the homes along there being valued at $150,000-$200,000.  Kildegaard noted he feels there are things that can be done at this point and one of them is lighting.  Kildegaard noted it is not a matter of a street light, it's a matter of a whole parking lot of lights.  Kildegaard also asked if there might be some traffic management in the area and if there was any way to keep the bulk of the traffic on the corridor of 7th Street, as opposed to 5th Street.  Kildegaard stated he would like to maintain the residential quality of the neighborhood.  

 

Hill stated that the overall project is at stage 99 out of 100 and this parcel of land has been one of the most studied pieces of ground in Minnesota.  Hill pointed out there have been a number of studies done and one of the most critical needs in this community is for market rate apartments.  Hill indicated he believes this building will not be like anything currently in town. 

 

Old Elementary School Property: (continued)

Kildegaard stated he feels that if the neighborhood becomes unpleasant homeowners are going to leave.  Kildegaard noted he would like to see a meeting with the developer, the council and homeowners.  It was the consensus of the council to have City Manager Hill get in touch with the developers and try to set up a meeting.   

 

PUBLIC HEARING:  None

 

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  8/8/16 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the 8/8/16 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

 

8/8/16 Condensed Minutes:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 8/8/16 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

 

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added the following item to the agenda:  Application for Exempt Permit - UMM Baseball Association. 

 

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 - Oregon Avenue

            C.         Street Dance Permit - Met Lounge

            D.         Revenue & Expenditure Report

            E.         Application for Exempt Permit - Assumption Church

            F.         Application for Exempt Permit - UMM Regents

Motion carried.

 

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSAppointment to Library Board:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to appoint Naomi Fynboh to the Library Board.  Motion carried.

 

Gambling Report from 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.

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution to Enter Into an Agreement for Transit Services

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3407-8-16, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for Transit Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.   

 

Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #3408-8-16, Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer, moving funds from the Capital Outlay Fund to the PDT Park Legacy Grant Project Fund.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

 

 

 

MINUTES    -     MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING    -     AUGUST 23, 2016

Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer:  Council member Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3409-8-16, Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer, moving funds from the General Fund - Unallocated Expenses to the 2016 FD FEMA Equipment Grant Fund.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

 

Resolution Accepting a Federal Grant Offer for the Morris Municipal Airport:  Hill explained the grant offer for the parallel taxiway project has been received.  The project also includes some rehabilitation of the runway itself and reconstruction of the old taxiway.  The federal share for the project is $2,567,160 with local funding of 5% at $142,620. 

 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3410-8-16, Resolution Accepting a Federal Grant Offer in the Amount of $2,567,160 for the Morris Municipal Airport Charlie Schmidt Field Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Accepting a Bid for the 2016 Reclaim Project:  Hill stated the bids for this project came in really nice with a low bid of $347,992 from Riley Bros.  Hill noted of that amount $163,003 is state aid money and the remainder of $184,989 will come out of franchise funds. 

 

Hill recommended that all the proposed streets in the bid be done, even though North Ridge Drive came in just a little bit higher than the capital budget amount.  Hill estimated that next year's project would be bid out in March or April.  It was the consensus of the council that this was a good project. 

 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3411-8-16, Resolution Accepting a Bid for the 2016 Reclaim Project.  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. 

 

Motion to Approve Sale of 99 Dodge Caravan:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the sale of the 1999 Dodge Caravan.  Motion carried.   

 

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

 

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:21 p.m.

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