City Council  |  Contact the City  |  Home

MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - SEPTEMBER 13,2016

 

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 13th day of September, 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 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.   

 

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese added to the agenda a Resolution Authorizing Execution of MN DOT Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition. 

 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSBarb McGinnis:  Barb McGinnis, 552 East 5th Street, was present at the meeting.  McGinnis stated she has owned her home since 1963 and asked the council to take a minute and think about having a 55 foot tall building 100 feet from your front door and how it will affect their neighborhood.  McGinnis indicated that last summer the newspaper reported that City Manager Hill stated this building would be 30-36 units.  McGinnis stated the numbers reported at the time of the groundbreaking were double that amount.

 

McGinnis asked that the council address some things left out of the permitting process such as lighting and landscaping.  McGinnis requested there be tree screening and low level dark sky lighting.  McGinnis asked if the council is prepared to assume the cost of planting large evergreen trees along one-third of that block.

 

McGinnis stated that apartment manager, Mike Stoebe, told her daughter that there are plans for a three story apartment building on the corner of East 5th and Columbia.  The council or City Manager Hill was not aware of anything in the works at this time.  McGinnis requested that the council enforce the city code because this project is too big and important of a development to the city and neighborhood to ignore the intentions of the city code.

 

Marty Siefert - Coalition of Greater MN Cities:  Marty Siefert, Government Relations with Flaherty and Hood representing the Coalition of Greater MN Cities, was present at the meeting to give a report on the 2016 legislative session.  Siefert stated the 2016 session had a lot of unfinished business.  Siefert indicated the Coalition goals for the session were to return LGA to the 2002 funding level, to pass greater MN economic development programs, to come up with a comprehensive transportation package and see funding for water and wastewater infrastructure.

 

Siefert explained at the end of the session LGA went up 3.85% to $539.4M, which is still $25.58M short of the 2002 LGA level.  Of those funds, Greater MN got 56.3% of new money and the metro got 43.7%

 

Siefert stated that the City of Morris was used as a poster child to illustrate how dire it is to have funding for clean water programs.  Siefert noted that the city of Morris was one of the few cities that qualified for both the drinking water loan fund and the point source implementation program but the bonding bill crashed in the end.  Siefert indicated the good news is that the table is set and Morris is ready if the bonding bill passes in the next session.    

Marty Siefert - Coalition of Greater MN Cities: (continued)

City Manager Hill stated Siefert is very well respected on both sides of the aisle and the Morris project got a lot of attention because of him.  Council member Solvie asked how soon the bonding bill could be passed in the next session.  Siefert indicated it could be right after they convene, which is the first week in January.  Siefert noted they believe the bonding bill is very good and would like to see it passed quickly but that depends on the election between now and then. 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

 

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES8/23/16 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to approve the 8/23/16 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

 

8/23/16 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Storck, to approve the 8/23/16 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.         August Transit Report

            C.         7/20/16 Tourism Board Minutes

            D.         Gambling Reports

Motion carried.

 

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSMotion to Approve Final PPD Report:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the final PPD report with the city picking up the remaining balance of $3,784.  Motion carried.

 

Motion to Approve Donations for Wells Park Memorial Shelter:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to accept the donations as presented for the Wells Park Memorial Shelter.  Motion carried.

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Approving a School Resource Officer Agreement for the 2016-2017 School Year:  Police Chief Tiegs stated there is not much change other than a difference in a couple of working days.  Tiegs noted the contract is for 66% time but Officer Liebl would be at the school 5 days a week. 

 

Council member Solvie asked if having a school resource officer was required.  Tiegs indicated it is not but Superintendent Lahn is in favor of it and wanted to see the school get back to the 66% time officer as both the police department and school find it beneficial.  Tiegs noted they don't deal with as many criminal juvenile issues with having an officer at the school.  Tiegs also stated by having an officer at the school it helps with communication and allows the exchange of information that wouldn't take place otherwise with some of the data practices issues.  Tiegs added there are no mandates in the state at this point requiring an officer but more and more communities are going to a program of some sort. 

Resolution Approving a School Resource Officer Agreement for the 2016-2017 School Year: (continued)

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Storck, to adopt Resolution #3412-9-16, Resolution Approving a School Resource Officer Agreement for the 2016-2017 School Year.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Authorizing Execution of a MN DOT Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3413-9-16, Resolution Authorizing Execution of a MN DOT Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition.  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 #3414, Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer, moving $183,228 from the capital outlay fund to the FAA Airport Parallel Taxiway Grant Fund.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

 

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Report:  Hill stated the city received a request for information about a potential liquor license.  Hill noted in looking into the request it was discovered that service clubs and restaurants that serve alcohol are not included in the 7 licenses the city is allowed by state statute.  Hill indicated the city does not have a license application at this time but he wanted to give the council a heads up.  Hill noted that no one else can have an off sale establishment besides the city.   Wohlers questioned how many people had been turned down over the years thinking the city could only have 7 licenses.  Hill stated he wasn't aware of anyone that had submitted an application and been turned down.      

 

Council member Storck stated he had been approached about the city of Morris having too many police officers.  Police Chief Tiegs stated there are different specialists and many other officers that handle a variety of duties.  Tiegs pointed out statistically Morris is below the state average as to how many officers you should have based on population.      

 

OTHER BUSINESSINFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  Council member Wohlers asked about status of the apartment complex being put up because he missed the last meeting.  Hill stated that no one has ever done a landscaping plan but the Planning Commission is going to have a discussion on codes in general.  Hill noted dark sky compliant lighting is part of the project and as far as screening goes the code does not address it.  Hill added that there was nothing in the Planning Commission minutes where they were approving landscape plans for apartment buildings. 

 

Solvie noted that there was ample opportunity to participate in the discussion of this property.   Solvie stated he sympathized with the residents but part of the responsibility as a citizen of the community is to engage in things that are impacting their residential neighborhood.  Solvie encouraged residents for future projects to engage before the fact.  Hill pointed out there was a public hearing held by the Planning Commission for the plat of that parcel of land and notice was given to all property owners within 350 feet. 

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: (continued)

Miller noted that things are going to change and it's not going to be like it was for those residents.  Miller stated it is all part of dealing with a college community and the growth the Morris deals with as part of it, which is a good thing. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:33 p.m.

Website Services by Iceberg.