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The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 24th day of October, 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 and City Attorney Jordan.




READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 10/10/17 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 10/10/17 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.


10/10/17 Condensed Minutes: Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 10/10/17 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. 9/20/17 Tourism Meeting Minutes

C. Gambling Reports

D. Community Education Report

E. Application for Exempt Permit - MN Deer Hunters Association

Motion carried.



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




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


PUBLIC HEARING: Public Hearing and Resolution Adopting Assessments in Conjunction with the North, South and East Court, Brook Street and Eleanor Avenue Project: Mayor Giese opened the public hearing at 5:20 p.m.


City Manager Hill stated this public hearing is being held to take input from anyone that's affected by this assessment. Hill explained the assessment process and informed those present that, if adopted, another notice would be sent out to let people know what happened and what the next step is. Hill noted that those assessed have the ability to dispute the assessments and in order to do that written notice must be given before the end of the public hearing.


Jeff Kuhn of WSN was present at the meeting. Kuhn noted there would be another lift on the road this coming spring and seeding of the boulevards has yet to be determined. Kuhn stated in either case it is going to be the contractor 's responsibility to maintain that for about 30 days afterwards. Kuhn explained with any lawn it takes a long time to establish long, lush grass with routine maintenance.


Kuhn pointed out the whole project was just over $2 million, and of that $917,000 was assessed to affected property owners. The city picked up a little over $1 million. Sanitary sewer assessments were $2,700 per hook up and water was $3,700. Kuhn explained this falls in line with some past projects in the city. The storm sewer assessment is a little higher at $.15 a square foot, which is broken out over the contributing areas of property to the project. The curb and gutter is just under $17 a foot with 100% being assessed. The streets were roughly $23 a lineal foot. Kuhn noted with regard to sewer, water and storm sewer, 75% is assessed back to the property owners and 25% is the city's responsibility. Curb and gutter is assessed at 100%.


Cory Evink, 386 State Highway 9, stated he has no frontage on this road and the back of his property butts up to the apartments and the Apostolic Church. Kuhn explained the drainage area behind his property is a contributing area to the land that drains towards the storm sewer system that was installed. Kuhn indicated this is based on the contours that contribute to the overall storm sewer. Shelly Evink stated that is what they are disputing because they received an almost $9,000 bill while their two neighbors each got a $19 and $20 bill. Kuhn noted just a very small portion of those properties drain into the new system. Shelly Evink indicated she feels everything slopes towards the highway. Kuhn noted they could come out and take some elevation shots and verify where the water drains. Evinks presented a letter to the council disputing their assessment.


Pat Fiest, 9 South Court, asked how the percentage over the 15 years is determined. Fiest also urged that soil preparation and planting of the boulevards be done this fall instead of next spring because everything ends up being pushed back into June. Hill stated the company that did the boulevards on Oregon Avenue is not the same company that will do this area. Hill noted there are some guidelines as to when you can seed.


Hill explained the interest rate is set at 2% higher than what the bond rate is. In order for the city to pay back the bonds the city has to take whatever money comes in from special assessments and pay the bond rate. The assessment will be spread over 15 years.


Kuhn reiterated that it is not the same seeding contractor as Oregon Avenue, but it's not so much the contractor as the time of the year, the weather conditions, and an individual 's ability to try and help nurture that seed along. Considerable discussion was held on care of the boulevards.

Katie Erdman, 21 Thomas Street, stated she would like some clarification on the charges when Thomas Street didn't get any new lines and they are being assessed nearly as much as the other streets. Kuhn explained that for Thomas Street it comes down to an overall drainage area and it 's divided up on an even basis cost per square foot. Kuhn noted the reason Thomas is in the project is because they ended up extending the storm sewer and sized it for the future if Thomas has to be reconstructed. This storm sewer makes the over land drainage a little bit better.


Erdman asked if someone is assessed now if they could potentially be assessed again in 10 years. Kuhn affirmed that yes, there are people in town that have been assessed for storm sewer 3 or 4 times. Kuhn stated it's not just a one-time thing and you're done forever. Hill confirmed that Thomas Street drains into Eleanor Avenue. Shelly Evink asked if all of Columbia Avenue drains into Eleanor Avenue. Kuhn noted that area drains into Green River. Kuhn stated the box culverts were replaced but that wasn 't a part of the overall storm sewer assessment. Kuhn indicated in a heavy rain event or over frozen ground it will use that storm sewer. Council member Solvie pointed out that Erdman is not getting charged for the road.


Leonard Hanson, 12 Thomas Street, asked about West Central Christian Homes. Hanson stated he feels that area is heaped up so water comes down and stays on his side of the street. Kuhn pointed out that property is pro-rated and received more than a normal assessment.


Hill stated a follow up letter will be sent out and property owners have 30 days to pay their assessment without interest. With the Thanksgiving holiday the last day to pay without interest was pushed back to the 27th of November. Hill noted after that the assessments are turned over to the County Auditor to be put on the taxes for next year.


Mayor Giese closed the public hearing at 5:51 p.m. and brought the matter back to the council for action.


Council member Gullickson asked if those properties along Thomas and Birch and Highway 9 were given notice that they would be part of the assessment area. Hill stated yes, everyone got an initial notice.


Cary Bergo stated he was assured that his water problem would be taken care after the project and it's worse than ever. Kuhn noted that issue is not totally resolved and will be addressed in the spring.


Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3522-10-17, Resolution Adopting Assessments in Conjunction with the North, South and East Court, Brook Street and Eleanor Avenue Project. Upon a roll call vote and all present voting in favor, motion carried.


OTHER BUSINESS: Mayor Giese reminded the council of the budget worksession at 5:00 on Thursday, October 26th.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: Construction Progress Report - Water Treatment Facility: This was informational for the council.


ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:00 p.m.

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