MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - APRIL 11,
The regular meeting of the Morris
City Council was called to order at 8:30 a.m. this 11th day of
April, 2017, by Mayor Giese in the Auditorium of the Morris Area High School.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
ROLL CALL: Roll call was taken with the following
members present: Council member Wohlers, Gullickson, Miller, and Mayor
Giese. Council member Solvie was absent. Also present was City
Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Tiegs and City Attorney
CITIZEN'S COMMENTS: Pheasants Forever Pollinator Plot
Project: Hill stated this Pheasants Forever pollinator plot project
would give authorization to utilize approximately one acre of land in PDT Park as
a demonstration project in conjunction with the Morris Area Schools.
Matt Christianson of
Pheasants Forever was present at the meeting. Christianson stated through
their partnership with the state they have the opportunity to do what they're
calling pollinator projects and are looking for a 1/2 acre minimum sized area
located on public land. Christianson indicated they would like to try to
implement one of these projects this spring in PDT Park. Christianson
noted the uniqueness of this project is that it involves young people and
allows them to implement conservation into the schools and teach them some
important lessons along the way. Christianson added that there is no plan
for any prescribed burning at least for the first season.
Council member Miller
asked if there would be a problem if there were trees in the one acre
area. Christianson stated they picked a spot closest to the road and
there were one or two trees scattered within that one acre area. Christianson
stated they could adjust it slightly to exclude the trees. Christianson noted
with prairie reconstruction and the native landscape of prairie habitat they
typically don't associate trees with that landscape or habitat
Nick Milbrandt, Ag Teacher
at Morris Area Schools, stated he is the school contact person for this
project. Milbrandt noted this is an important project to the school
because they teach a class called Ag Processing and also have four bee hives
located behind the softball field at UMM. Milbrandt indicated they talk a
lot about the importance of providing areas for these honey bees and other pollinators.
Milbrandt stated one of the big concerns is the diminishing number of
pollinators so it's not just important for their project but as a whole,
because without pollinators a lot more is lost than just honey. Milbrandt
pointed out there would also be an informational board put in so that anyone
walking by would be able to see the different plants and native species in this
Sue Granger, member of the
Tree Board, stated they looked at the trees slated for removal and there is an
elm in good shape and standing by itself so it is important to keep that.
Granger indicated Sally Finzel, who is a Tree Board member and native plant specialist,
saw no reason why the shape of the area couldn't be changed or to just work
around the trees. Granger added that they fully support the pollinator
Council member Gullickson stated
her only concern was if the trees had been looked at and she would hate to see
any come down. Hill indicated there is no plan to take down any
trees. There is talk of a controlled burn in the next year or two but it
would be more on the river side.
Granger stated PDT is river
bottom, not prairie, so to have trees in this area is native and natural.
Granger asked that whenever the city takes on management of this piece of land
the Tree Board be involved in helping to decide its future.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Gullickson, to authorize Pheasants Forever to restore a one acre
site at PDT Park as a Pollinator Project with the Morris Area Schools.
The area should be without trees or if there are trees they should not be
removed. Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 3/28/17 Regular
City Council Meeting Minutes: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded
by Mayor Giese, to approve the 3/28/17 regular meeting minutes. Motion
Version Minutes: Council
member Gullickson moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 3/28/17 condensed
version minutes. Motion carried.
4/3/17 Board of Review
Minutes: Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the 4/3/17 Board of Review
Minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by
Council member Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the
of City Bills
Tree Board Minutes
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
COMMUNICATIONS: Arbor Day
Proclamation 2017: Mayor Giese read through the proclamation
announcing May as Arbor Month.
Accept Donations from
Land O Lakes and WCI for Fire Department UTV: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to
accept the donations from Lands o Lakes ($1,000), West Central Initiative
Riverview Fund ($5,000) and West Central Initiative Federated Telephone
Charitable Fund ($1,000) for the Fire Department UTV. Motion carried.
Reading of Ordinance No. 107, An Ordinance Establishing Morris City Code -
Chapter 15, Storm Water Management - Illicit Discharge Ordinance: City
Manager Hill explained the City of Morris is required to be an MS4 permitted
community in order to discharge storm water. Hill noted with that comes a
number of rules and regulations the city needs to follow, including having a
specific ordinance and enforcement policy. Chuck DeWolf of Bolton &
Menk was present at the meeting. DeWolf stated the city is required to
submit a permit application to become a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System
community. DeWolf stated with that process there are several requirements
the city will have to address over the next few years. One of the first items
is to adopt an ordinance dealing with illicit discharge. DeWolf indicated
there are a few items that are not required to be in the ordinance but they
would recommend including information pertaining to easements, documentation of
rate, quality and water compliance, oil and grease as well as off-site
tracking. There will be other steps required to complete as part of the
MS4 permit in 2017, and also additional items in 2018 and 2019.
Wohlers asked how the
monitoring of the storm water would be accomplished. DeWolf noted there
would need to be a certain number of compliance checks per year, along with documentation.
Construction monitoring would also take place.
Hill indicated a $5 charge
was put on utility bills to go into a storm water administration fund and it could
be that some of that money be utilized to do some of the inspections. Hill
noted the building inspector will take care of the construction inspection
requirements. Hill suggested, as the city gets into some of the more
technical inspection requirements the city may have to hire a company to specifically
do sampling and testing. Hill stated the biggest thing will be to map
everything out, know where it is and figure out what needs to be done and who's
going to do it.
Granger asked about the storm
water management and the area in front of the old Burlington Northern depot
across from McDonalds. Granger claimed that Burlington Northern has dumped
sterilant along the railroad which killed some evergreens and eventually
washed into the storm sewer system. Granger asked if this new storm water
ordinance would address this kind of problem. Granger noted that from a
Tree Board perspective they would like to see a system that would keep the
sterilant out of the grassy area and the storm water system.
Hill stated this ordinance
would absolutely address that. Hill noted if the city has a 5" rain the
entire city gets washed and it all goes into the river. Hill indicated
enforcement will be a big part of this and violations will be issued.
Council member Wohlers
moved, seconded by Miller, to accept this as the first reading of Ordinance No.
107, An Ordinance Establishing Morris City Code - Chapter 15, Storm Water
Management - Illicit Discharge Ordinance and set the second reading and public
hearing for April 25th at 5:15 p.m. Upon a roll call vote
taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
a Lease Purchase Agreement with Titan Machinery for a Stump Grinder:
Hill explained this
resolution would allow a lease purchase agreement with Titan Machinery to lease
purchase a new Fecon Stump Ex stump grinder for $20,250. Hill stated this
runs more or less like a big auger system and operates very slowly. Hill
noted the blades are guaranteed for 1,000 stumps.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3471-4-17,
Resolution Authorizing a Lease Purchase Agreement with Titan Machinery for a
Stump Grinder. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in
favor, motion carried.
Giese stated it goes without
saying, but with all the discussion on trees the city will make sure it's very
careful in making stumps with the new piece of equipment.
Resolution in Support
of Increasing LGA in the 2017 Legislative Session: Hill indicated the legislative session is
not going very well for the City of Morris. Hill stated the CGMC and LMC are
working hard to try and get local government aid increased, but the legislature
is nowhere near an agreement on anything. Hill stated that could be a
major issue with the city's funding source going into the budget.
Council member Wohlers
moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3472-4-17, Resolution in
Support of Increasing LGA in the 2017 Legislative Session. Upon a roll
call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
the Construction of Two New JV Baseball Field Dugouts: Hill noted the plan was to replace the JV
baseball field dugouts next year but one of the dugouts collapsed this
winter. Hill recommended the council approve the construction of two new
dugouts using capital outlay fund reserves for a cost of $13,787.56. Hill
pointed out there is also money in the budget for a new backstop and fence on the
new JV softball field.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3473-4-17, Resolution
Approving the Construction of Two New JV Baseball Field Dugouts. Upon a
roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Trees
- 2017 Construction Project - Green River: Hill recommended that a
change order be developed to remove almost all the tree removal from this
project and to remove the regrading of Green River. Hill indicated Jeff Kuhn
of WSN has talked with the contractor and it is not completely settled exactly
what trees will come out. Hill noted there are some trees in the actual
creek bed and because of the two culverts on Eleanor Avenue and Skyview Lane a
few may need to come out.
Jeff Kuhn of WSN was
present at the meeting. Kuhn stated he and Hill met with the Board of
Soil and Water and the local Soil and Water Conversation District
representative Matt Solemsaas. Kuhn stated they discussed at this time
removing from the project the grading of the Green River and cleaning out of
the channel and flattening of the side slopes. Kuhn indicated those items
could be introduced back into the project if the city wants but with the
recommendations from the local experts, and trying to keep a meandering channel,
it was decided at this point to remove that. Kuhn noted he had a
discussion with the contractor and they're not jumping up and down about the
loss of some of the work, but it's within the city's right to do that.
Giese asked with the replacement
of the new culvert how much it would extend beyond the road. Kuhn noted
generally beyond the aprons themselves, maybe 20-30 feet for riprap and
stabilization and those areas will be marked. Kuhn stated the major part
is the culvert improvements. Kuhn explained that the water flow model of
the culverts in the existing condition of the channel has a minor impact but
it's safe to say they can do a wait and see approach on whether or not there is
going to be any other sort of meandering of the channel or dangerous
encroachment on to Green River road itself. Kuhn added the worst case
scenario is that the actual encroachment area could be tackled, without
Wohlers asked what type of
riprap would be used. Kuhn indicated it is specked as MN DOT riprap which
generally speaking would be the less expensive rounder field stone rock.
Granger stated the Tree
Board's recommendation was that the amount of riprap be minimized. Granger
indicated sometimes there's some engineering leeway and to do the job
effectively but don't overdo the riprap because that's going to allow the trees
to grow back in. Granger suggested just doing the amount of riprap needed
to protect from erosion but not overspread it. Granger hoped that the rounded
rocks could be part of the specifications as opposed to crushed granite.
Granger asked what would
happen to the soil that's removed because oftentimes it is taken offsite and
the area is left with compacted clay. Granger pointed out that the trees
as part of new street projects aren't growing as well because the soil is so
compacted and poor. Granger also asked what the provisions are for replanting.
Kuhn noted there will not
be any extra soil removed and the only trees that will be removed are on the culvert
crossings. Kuhn indicated they are not looking at removing any other trees
at this time unless there is approval by all parties. Kuhn explained they
generally put down granular material that's called for in the design on the box
culvert crossings and then on the inland slopes where its outside of the 1 to 1
protected area they will try to utilize some of the top soil instead of hauling
it away. Kuhn confirmed that the riprap is probably a moot point because
it will probably be field stone.
Hill stated the actual
change order would be brought back to the council.
City Manager Newsletter: This was informational for the
council. Hill reviewed the changes to the enhanced 911 system.
OTHER BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: Arbor Day Foundation - Tree City USA:
The City of Morris was recognized as a Tree City USA for 2016.
Status of CGMC
Priorities: This was
informational for the council.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 9:45 a.m.