MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - JULY 25,
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.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
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.
Mayor Pro Tem Miller added the following items to the agenda:
for Exempt Permit from the Stevens Community Humane Society
to designate the Stevens County Times as the official newspaper of the city
Approving a USA Federal Aviation Administration Grant Agreement for the Airport
Approving a MN Public Facilities Authority Bond Purchase and Project Loan Agreement
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.
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.
Mayor Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to approve
the 7/11/17 condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Miller, to approve the
consent agenda which included the following items:
of City Bills
Estimate #1 - North & South Court/Eleanor Avenue Project
Tree Board Minutes
Tourism Board Minutes
for Temporary Beer License - Assumption Catholic Church
for Exempt Permit - Stevens Community Humane Society
REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: City Attorney Opinion on Joint Commissions:
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.
Attorney Opinion on Joint Commissions:
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.
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.
discussion was held by the council on the joint commission idea.
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.
Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the waiver
of independent council with the joint City/County Attorney Aaron Jordan.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Approving a MN Public Facilities Authority Bond Purchase and Project Loan
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
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.
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.
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.
Pro Tem Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to table a decision until the next
meeting and continue discussions to determine how to proceed.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no
further business, Mayor Pro Tem Miller adjourned the meeting at 6:36 p.m.