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MINUTES- MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING- JULY 11, 2017

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 11th day of July, 2017, 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, Gullickson, Miller 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 consent agenda an Application for Exempt Permit from Assumption Church and the Fire Department Relief Association.

 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS:  None

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

 

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES6/27/17 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to approve the 6/27/17 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

 

6/27/17 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the 6/27/17 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.         Pay Estimate #2 Parallel Taxiway

            C.         June Transit Report

            D.         Application for Exempt Permit Church of the Assumption of Mary

            E.         Application for Exempt Permit Assumption Church

            F.         Application for Exempt Permit Fire Department Relief Association

Motion carried.

 

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSGambling Application American Legion:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to accept the gambling report from the American Legion.  Upon a roll call vote being taken and all present voting in favor and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion, motion carried.

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Authorizing the Purchase of a TNT Brute Force C-Cutter for the Fire Department:  Fire Chief Dybdal explained that the department has run into problems twice where blades have broken using the existing cutters.  Dybdal indicated the newer vehicles have a hardened boron steel which needs a thicker blade to cut through.  The older two tools would be traded in to bring the cost of the new one down to $4,495.00.    

 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3490-7-17, Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of a TNT Brute Force C-Cutter for the Fire Department.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

MINUTES- MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING- JULY 11, 2017

Resolution Authorizing Additional Costs for an HVAC System and LED Lighting at the Library:

Hill stated the council has authorized the updating of the library HVAC system, but hasn't decided about the building automation system (BAS), a maintenance contract and an upgrade to LED lights. 

 

Hill indicated the lighting update is reasonable given that the price is in line with what the city would have been charged a few years back when they looked into.   Hill noted the city chose not to do the lights before because the library was talking about a renovation or expansion, but if they do end up remodeling the lights will be in place. 

 

Hill recommended the city go ahead with the LED lighting for $25,940 after rebate, $4,488 for the first year of a maintenance contract for the new geothermal system and to take out the BAS for $20,000.  The automated system takes the building to the next level and Hill is not sure this is the right time to do that.  Hill noted the city doesn't really have a full time maintenance person who watches over the buildings, other than the Fleet Manager. 

 

Considerable discussion was held on whether or not to add the Building Automation System.  It was the consensus of the council to go ahead with the LED lighting and maintenance contract and have Mike Harding of Johnson Controls come to the next meeting and explain more about the BAS.  

 

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3491-7-17, Resolution Authorizing Additional Costs for an HVAC System and LED Lighting at the Morris Public Library, omitting the $20,000 for the Building Automation System at this time.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Newsletter:  Hill stated he has been corresponding with County Coordinator Young and it is his understanding that about 10 years ago there was a joint look at a city/county/MNDOT shop.  Hill explained that the city doesn't have a shop building on its agenda and it doesn't make any sense to put it on a month or two before a project starts.  Hill recommended the city not take a look at a joint building.  Hill noted there is a lot involved and the city shouldn't hold the county up.  Hill explained the city does share services with the county when there are opportunities, such as the County Attorney and County Assessor.   

 

Mayor Giese asked if a project of that size would have to go to a referendum.  City Attorney Jordan stated it wouldn't necessarily need a referendum.  Hill commented that many things would have to be a part of the discussion including equipment, employees and the current building, not to mention the fact that budget wise the city doesn't have a major expenditure for a building on the current horizon.  Hill pointed out next year there is a major expenditure for a fire truck which will probably be upwards of $600,000.  Hill noted it's also a question of how it would be financed.  Hill explained that the same thing came up when the joint law enforcement center was built.  The city chose not to participate because it was too much space and it was a huge amount of money.  Hill indicated the best time to look at merging law enforcement is when a chief retires.  Solvie pointed out it wasn't looked at when Chief Beauregard retired.  Solvie indicated the city has to look at things and put them in place so that when events happen the city is ready.  

 

 

MINUTES- MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING- JULY 11, 2017

City Manager Newsletter: (continued)

Solvie stated he knows the garage isn't on the agenda, and he respects Hill's opinion to the council, but the county is willing to put their stuff on hold to see what the city wants to do.  Solvie noted there are a lot of great points about all the information that needs to be gone through, but it is the council's duty to the taxpayers to go through the process to see if there are places the city can save money.  Solvie pointed out once the county moves forward and builds the opportunity is gone.  Council member Wohlers stated he remembers former Councilman Storck talking about how tight it is to get all the equipment to fit in the shop so it's a safety concern as well.  Wohlers agreed that there is some merit in taking a look at what the city can do with the county.  Hill noted he is not hearing from the maintenance people that they have a problem with space. 

 

Hill reiterated that the number one thing is going to be money and the city can't afford a new shop building that it doesn't need.  Hill pointed out the city gets $2.3 million from the state because it doesn't have enough of a tax base to pay for stuff.  Solvie reviewed Chapter 2 of the City Charter which states, the council may establish boards or commissions to advise the council with respect to any municipal function or activity to investigate any subject of interest to the city.  Solvie stated the council needs to make an informed decision, not just one person saying it's not going to work.   

 

Mayor Giese stated since this issue came up he originally thought it made a lot of sense but then he got to thinking that there's not a whole lot of overlaps.  Giese noted the county has a lot of equipment the city doesn't need and the city has a water and sewer plant and a new water plant coming in that the county doesn't need to share in.  Giese stated he doesn't think at this point in time the city can afford it and doesn't want to slow the county down in their process.  Solvie informed the council he has talked to two county commissioners and they're willing to talk about it and slow things down so the city can make an informed decision.  Solvie suggested there be a commission established to interact with the county coordinator and two commissioners.  Solvie stated it is his job to serve the citizens, keep taxes down and take advantage of opportunities as they come.

 

Solvie moved to make a motion to form a shared services commission to make contact with the county.  City Attorney Jordan suggested there be two motions, one to direct the City Manager to look into shared services, specifically a joint building project of the maintenance facility, and a second to direct the City Attorney to look into the legality of forming that kind of commission.

 

Considerable discussion was held on the process for forming a commission.  Jackson County has recently built a joint city/county shop so there was talk of getting in touch with them to gather information and possibly tour their facility. 

 

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to direct the City Manager to further investigate shared services with the county.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

 

 

MINUTES- MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING- JULY 11, 2017

City Manager Newsletter: (continued)

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to direct City Attorney Jordan to research forming a commission for shared services and present the information at the next meeting.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Council member Miller stated the city has talked for years about getting together with the county so it's a good time for a couple of commissioners and some of the council to put their heads together and work on things. 

 

Mayor Giese indicated he has no problem at all directing the City Manager to further research the issue and agreed that the city is not a committee form of government, but stated he will yield to the second motion.

 

Hill encouraged the council to ask if there's something they want to know.  Hill pointed out he hoped that the employees that use the shop building would be a part of the discussions. 

 

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

 

INFORMATIONAL ITEMSLMC Legislators of Distinction:  This was informational for the council. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:13 p.m.

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