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MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 12th day of September, 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, Miller and Mayor Giese. Council member Gullickson was absent. Also present was City Manager Hill, Police Chief Tiegs, Public Works Director Dittbenner, Finance Director Raasch, Fire Chief Dybdal and Head Librarian Barber.

ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor Giese added to the agenda Pay Estimate #1 - Magney Construction, Water Treatment Facility.

 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS: Rick Lahn - Morris Area Schools, Referendum Presentation: Rick Lahn, Superintendent with the Morris School District, was present at the meeting. Lahn informed the council of the upcoming school referendum. Lahn explained the building is 50 years old and has some needs. Lahn pointed out water lines are clogging, fresh water supply lines are corroded, sewage pipes are leaking and rusting through and some of the electrical is not up to code. Lahn stated they are asking the public to make an investment in the school building to make the necessary renovations to continue to serve the community for decades to come. Lahn stated he feels strong communities build strong school districts and strong school districts build strong communities. The amount of the referendum is $19 million. Lahn indicated they have worked carefully to minimize the tax impact and will be holding three community meetings to inform the public.

 

Council member Solvie asked if going forward there would be any effort to increase maintenance of the building. Lahn noted they would continue to fix the building and work on it as they can and there has been a lot put into it throughout the years. Lahn stated there are some systemic items that need to be replaced. Mayor Giese added that the new water plant should assist in the longevity of some of the improvements.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS: None

 

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 8/22/17 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 8/22/17 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.

 

8/22/17 Condensed Version Minutes: Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the 8/22/17 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 #1 - 2017 Reclaims

C. Pay Estimate #2 - Eleanor/Brook/N & S Court

D. Pay Estimate #3 - Eleanor/Brook/N & S Court

E. August Transit Report

F. Gambling Report

G. Pay Estimate #1 - Water Treatment Facility

Motion carried.

 

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: None

 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Supporting the Efforts of Stevens County for the ACT Work Ready Communities Initiative: Lloyd Campbell, Mayor of Glenwood, was present at the meeting. Campbell stated Pope County is in the process of expanding their ACT Work Ready Communities Initiative pilot project. This is an economic development project that tries to match or close the gap between education and job skills. Campbell informed the council there were 26 states that recognized this and MN was not one of them so they tried to figure out how to have this tool in not just the community, but the whole state. Campbell indicated they would have companies coming to them saying they couldn't find employees so there was a need to develop the work force.

 

Campbell stated they received a grant from the West Central Initiative to help with education and testing. Campbell stated they would like to expand into Stevens County and need at least one community in the county to participate. Campbell pointed out they have been working on this for two years in Pope County and would like it to eventually be a self-sustaining entity.

 

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller to adopt Resolution #3504-9-17, Resolution Supporting the Efforts of Stevens County for the ACT Work Ready Communities Initiative. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Approving a Franchise Agreement Extension for Mediacom: City Manager Hill stated there are two resolutions and then a discussion needs to be had about the public access channel. Hill explained both of the agreements with Mediacom and Federated have timed out so he recommended both of them be extended for another five years. As far as the access channel, Hill indicated it is an old, outdated system. The videos that are played consist of 5 churches and the city council meetings. Hill noted there is no production of video done through the franchise agreement. Hill questioned what the future of public access TV is. Hill stated neither one of the cable companies are too interested in paying for any new equipment.

 

Wohlers stated his concern is that the shut-ins who can't get to church won't have access to the services on the channel and some of them don't have computers if something was uploaded to YouTube. Hill noted the city does not have an IT person but Mike Cihak at the University might be able to help if the city were to have a new system.

 

Miller stated it's a pretty big item for the senior community. Giese pointed out for those that don't have internet access, that's their only means of getting their church service. The council wondered if there could be a 3 way split of costs. Hill pointed out the council does have the authority to raise franchise fees from 3% up to 5%. Hill stated raising the fees would be easier because if you ask the cable companies for money for equipment they will just turn around and put it on their bill anyway.

Giese indicated he would only be in favor of an increase to 5% if the city earmarked the increase to go to this system. Giese stated he thinks it's a good system and the city should keep it going and maybe even expand it. It was the consensus of the council that updating the system makes sense.

 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3505-9-17, Resolution Approving a Franchise Agreement Extension for Mediacom. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Approving a Franchise Agreement Extension for Federated Telephone: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3506-9-17, Resolution Approving a Franchise Agreement Extension for Federated Telephone. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Setting a Public Hearing for a Comprehensive SCDP Grant Proposal for the HRA:

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3507-9-17, Resolution Setting a Public Hearing for a Comprehensive SCDP Grant Proposal for the HRA, setting the public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on September 26th. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Agreement for the Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) Project for 2017-2018: Police Chief Tiegs stated the city would be the fiscal authority for the coalition of departments for this project, which includes the Morris Police Department, Stevens County Sheriff, Grant County Sheriff and Breckenridge Police Department. Tiegs noted they are authorized through the state to receive approximately $15,000 for different enforcement periods which will be pro- rated between the four departments. Tiegs noted Officer Collins would be in charge of the submissions from the other departments.

 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3508-9-17, Resolution Authorizing Execution of an Agreement for the Towards Zero Deaths (TZD) Project for 2017-2018. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Approving an Airport Land Lease with MTM Farms, LLC: Hill explained the city just built a parallel taxiway and disturbed a lot of land. Hill stated the farmer worked with the construction company to bring in some fill and help drain the property better. Hill indicated MTM Farms is doing a good job of farming the land and recommend doing an extension for three years and maybe bidding it out again after that.

 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3509-9-17, Resolution Approving an Airport Land Lease with MTM Farms, LLC. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Authorizing a Contribution of $4,500 for the PDT Park RUSC Kinship Patio Project: Hill stated when the city was doing the improvements to the bathroom facility at PDT last year, a patio was discussed but there wasn't enough grant money. The city was approached by RUSC Kinship to do a patio with donations from the sale of paver bricks with the donors name

 

on them. Hill informed the council they are $4,500 short of what is needed to pay for the project. Hill stated it is a good investment to get a nice patio out there.

 

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3510-9-17, Resolution Authorizing a Contribution of $4,500 for the PDT Park RUSC Kinship Patio Project. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Establishing the Joint City-County Commission on Sharing Opportunities: Hill indicated this joint commission would be in place for a five year period and consist of two members from each of the governing bodies. This commission would make recommendations back to the council and county board.

 

Council member Miler moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3511-9-17, Resolution Establishing the Joint City-County Commission on Sharing Opportunities. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Approving an Underground Line Easement with Ottertail Power for Eagles Park: Hill explained when work was being done on the dugouts it was found the electrical line in Eagles Park was failing so Ottertail Power decided to put a new one in. Ottertail has asked for an underground line easement for the area around the line. Hill noted there is no cost to the city for anything.

 

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3512-9-17, Resolution Approving an Underground Line Easement with Ottertail Power for Eagles Park. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of a New E1 Fire Pumper/Rescue Truck: Hill stated the Fire Department has a heavy rescue truck which is 26 years old and the department is looking at going to a new style truck, where it's a combination of a rescue and a pumper. Hill indicated there is a window of opportunity to order a truck, as it takes a year to build and price changes typically happen in the fall. Hill noted the truck would be purchased from Fire Safety USA through the Houston-Galveston Area Council purchasing cooperative, in the amount of $625,000 less a trade in of $125,000 for the 2007 Pierce pumper and the sale of the 1991 Ford heavy rescue and the 1985 IHC pumper truck.

 

Hill explained typically the city would go to bids but purchasing through this cooperative satisfies the MN bid laws. Hill pointed out the truck would take a year to build and the city doesn't have to pay for it until it's delivered. Financing could be done through a certificate of debt or a lease purchase. Hill recommended a 10 year COD.

 

Fire Chief Dybdal stated this has been a four year process and when looking at trucks they decided to combine things to make it more feasible, especially when it comes to dollars. Dybdal stated this is the largest investment he will ever recommend as chief. Council member Miller suggested that if something has to be done with the ladder truck within five years it might be nice to have a shorter term for this piece of equipment.

 

 

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3513-9-17, Resolution Authorizing the Purchase of a New E1 Fire Pumper/Rescue Truck. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3514-9-17, Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

 

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Newsletter: This was informational for the council.

 

OTHER BUSINESS: None

 

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None

 

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:34 p.m.

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