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MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - JULY 25, 2017

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 25th day of July, 2017, by Mayor Pro Tem Miller 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, Gullickson and Mayor Pro Tem Miller. Mayor Giese and Council member Solvie were absent. Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Public Works Director Dittbenner, Fire Chief Dybdal, Police Chief Tiegs and City Attorney Jordan.

 

ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor Pro Tem Miller added the following items to the agenda:

* Application for Exempt Permit from the Stevens Community Humane Society

* Motion to designate the Stevens County Times as the official newspaper of the city

* Resolution Approving a USA Federal Aviation Administration Grant Agreement for the Airport Master Plan

* Resolution Approving a MN Public Facilities Authority Bond Purchase and Project Loan Agreement

 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS: Tom McSparron - West Central Initiative: McSparron was present at the meeting to discuss items the Initiative is working on and the ways the city's contribution impacts the region.

 

PUBLIC HEARING: None

 

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 7/11/17 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 7/11/17 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.

 

7/11/17 Condensed Minutes: Mayor Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to approve the 7/11/17 condensed version minutes. Motion carried.

 

CONSENT AGENDA: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the following items:

A. Audit of City Bills

B. Pay Estimate #1 - North & South Court/Eleanor Avenue Project

C. 6/8/17 Tree Board Minutes

D. 6/21/17 Tourism Board Minutes

E. Application for Temporary Beer License - Assumption Catholic Church

F. Application for Exempt Permit - Stevens Community Humane Society

Motion carried.

 

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: City Attorney Opinion on Joint Commissions:

City Attorney Jordan stated at the last meeting he was asked to provide a legal opinion on whether or not the city could create a commission to study a joint city-county shop. Jordan indicated he looked at statutes, the city charter and ordinances and the bottom line is that the council can absolutely have a joint commission if they so desire. Jordan noted typically there is the mayor and one or two council members but there's no certain prescribed method.

City Attorney Opinion on Joint Commissions:

Mayor Pro Tem Miller suggested working with the county on several items, not just the garage. Jordan indicated the council has the ability to do that if they think it's necessary. Wohlers stated things are changing and the current issue with the shop needs to be addressed along with other opportunities.

 

Hill pointed out that this is a formal process including meeting dates. Hill noted any ideas or questions can be brought up during a regular council meeting. Hill asked how many issues the council wanted to discuss because the council may set up a commission that might not ever meet. Hill suggested discussing any issues at a council meeting and inviting the county commissioners to come to a meeting. City Attorney Jordan noted one thing to keep in mind is that the commission would be a public body and subject to the open meeting laws.

Considerable discussion was held by the council on the joint commission idea.

 

Waiver of Independent Counsel: City Attorney Jordan stated that ethics rules mandate that he advise the council that with the creation of a joint commission it is possible that he may end up providing legal advice to both the City and County pertaining to the same manner. The council does have the option to have their own counsel if need be.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the waiver of independent council with the joint City/County Attorney Aaron Jordan. Motion carried.

 

Designation of Stevens County Times: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to designate the Stevens County Times as the official newspaper of the City of Morris. Motion carried.

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Authorizing a Building Automation System (BAS) at the Morris Public Library: Hill stated at the last meeting he wasn't sure whether or not this system was needed at the library. Hill noted after talking with Mike Harding of Johnson Controls it was determined that it is very important to have this system as part of the project. This system will control the geothermal heat pumps, system pumps and heat recovery air exchange with conditioned supply/discharge air and the new LED lighting system. The objectives of the system are to improve occupant comfort, efficient operation of the building system, reduction in energy consumption and operating costs and improved life cycle of utilities and HVAC equipment.

 

Hill noted as far as who would be in charge of the system, Anne at the library is very computer savvy and she will watch over the system for things like alarms and information on scheduling and performance. If there are problems the city has a service contract with Johnson Controls, and they can access the system through the internet. Also, Fleet Manager Searle could help with the system.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3492-7-17, Resolution Authorizing a Building Automation System (BAS) at the Morris Public Library. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfers and Fund Closing: Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3493-7-17, Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfers and Fund Closing, transferring money from the 2007A, 2008A and 2009A G.O. Bond Funds to the 2016 G.O. Bond Fund. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Approving a United State of America Federal Aviation Administration Grant Agreement for the Airport Master Plan: Hill explained that this is the agreement for the federal share of the grant for the airport master plan. It allows the city to approve the grant agreement and authorizes the Mayor, City Manager and City Attorney to sign documents as needed on the city's behalf.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3494-7-17, Resolution Approving a United States of America Federal Aviation Administration Grant Agreement for the Airport Master Plan. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Approving a MN Public Facilities Authority Bond Purchase and Project Loan Agreement: Hill explained the estimate for the water treatment plant is $18,381,820. This resolution would approve the bond purchase and project loan agreement. Hill stated once this is signed the money can be distributed starting next month. Hill noted one thing that came up is that the city didn't anticipate changing water rates until 2019 but with taking out a loan for potentially $6 million the city will need to start paying it back. Hill indicated it's a possibility that the city may be able to spend all the grant money before the loan money, otherwise there may be a rate increase for construction and again for operation.

 

Hill noted that DENCO will not be paying in on the plant but will be buying 75 million gallons of water a year. Hill stated that there was talk about a capital contribution from them, but in the end they're just a customer and the city didn't ask anybody else to buy in. Wohlers acknowledged that this was a big change because he thought they were contributing up to $1 million. Hill stated it was sticker shock for them just to buy the water.

 

Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem, to adopt Resolution #3495-7-17, Resolution Approving a MN Public Facilities Authority Bond Purchase and Project Loan Agreement. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: Information - Joint City/County Shop Project - Sharing and Cooperation: Hill recommended that a meeting be set up with representatives from the County and two council members to discuss the possibility of working together on a joint shop. The purpose of the meeting would be to share information and determine if there is an opportunity to work together on a public works facility. Hill stated he did share this information with County Coordinator Young who talked to the company who's doing the design and it would double that cost from $16,000-$17,000 to $33,000.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to table a decision until the next meeting and continue discussions to determine how to proceed.

Completion of the DNR Firefighters Semi-Tractor: Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Wohlers, to accept a quote in the amount of $6,622 from Westmor to paint the Fire Department water truck.

 

City Manager Newsletter: It was the consensus of the council that the boulevards on Oregon Avenue look terrible. Hill stated the city has retained 5% of the project cost. Hill explained that the boulevards were seeded and graded but they didn't get watered. Hill noted the sub-contractor may have to come back and redo them. The council directed Hill to contact Riley's again to make sure the boulevards get taken care of.

 

Mayor Pro Tem Miller asked about the house that looks like a hazard on the corner of West 6th & Wyoming. Hill indicated he has a building permit and the building official is working with him. Miller stated it is a safety hazard from his perspective. Wohlers asked how long something could sit on blocks and if there was a deadline on building permits. The council would hate to see something bad happen and directed Hill to talk to the building inspector about the house.

 

Wohlers asked about the sidewalk project at East Side Park. Also, Wohlers and noted the Park Board would be coming to the council to recommend the blacktop be taken out in front of the band shell. Wohlers stated one issue that comes up every year is the shade issue at East Side Park during Prairie Pioneer Days. If the blacktop were removed it would allow for a temporary tent to be put up in that space and then maybe some type of concrete landing in front. Miller indicated it is food for thought as the budget process begins. Public Works Director Dittbenner stated he has obtained quotes for steel siding on the outside of the bandshell. The council was not in favor of steel siding and felt it wouldn't go with the look of the bandshell.

 

Wohlers relayed to the council that he received a call from a constituent unhappy with the city for hiring someone from out of town to replace the doors at City Hall. Wohlers hoped the city was doing its due diligence in seeking out local people first. Hill noted this wasn't necessarily a door project, but a door opener project and he wasn't aware that anyone in town did that.

Wohlers suggested that going forward the city should get at least one local quote. Hill stated the city always tries to hire local but sometimes it doesn't work.

OTHER BUSINESS: None

 

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None

 

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor Pro Tem Miller adjourned the meeting at 6:36 p.m.

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