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MINUTES    –    MORRIS CITY COUNCIL  -   REGULAR MEETING   –  MAY 8, 2018

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 8th day of May, 2018, 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, Fire Chief Dybdal, Public Works Director Dittbenner and Police Chief Tiegs.   

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to add to the agenda a Temporary On-Sale Liquor License for the Morris Eagles and an Application for Exempt Permit from the Morris Fire Department Relief Association.  Motion carried.

CITIZEN’S COMMENTS:  Jeanne Ennen and Erin Koehntop of RUSC Kinship were present at the meeting.  Ennen thanked the city and council for their participation in the patio project at Pomme de Terre.  Ennen invited the council to a garden gala they are hosting to dedicate the patio.  Ennen indicated there are currently 21 kids matched with adults or families from the community.  Ennen and Koehntop thanked the city for investing in the kids in Stevens County.

City Manager Hill introduced Sydney Bauer, an intern who is doing work with energy on the UMM campus. 

PUBLIC HEARINGS:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  4/24/18 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to approve the 4/24/18 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

4/24/18 Condensed Version Minutes:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 4/24/18 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 #8 – Magney Construction

            C.         April Transit Report

            D.        Gambling Reports

            E.         Application for Exempt Permit – Morris Fire Relief Association

            F.         Temporary On Sale Liquor License – Morris Eagles

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSFire Department DNR Grant Request

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to allow the fire department to apply for a matching grant for the fire department.  Fire Chief Dybdal stated the funds would be used for personal protective equipment.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Approving a Communications Policy and Internship:  City Manager Hill stated when looking at updating the access channel it led to a discussion about how the city could utilize social media and the need for a communications policy.  Hill introduced Ruby DeBellis, an intern through UMM that has been working on the communications policy for the City.  DeBellis stated she looked specifically at rural towns like Morris for examples and combined the language and procedures and wrote a policy tailored to Morris.   

Hill reviewed some examples where the communications policy would apply.   Hill recommended that for the initial phase the city have an intern through the Center for Small Towns at UMM.  The initial position cost would be $1,500 for the summer and be paid out of the additional franchise fees.    

Gullickson asked about an ongoing manager for the communications policy and noted the Tourism Board has one.  Hill indicated this would be a way of getting information to the people of Morris, not information to others about Morris.  Gullickson pointed out some grammatical items that needed changing in the policy. 

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3557-5-18, Resolution Approving a Communications Policy and Internship.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Discussion took place as to how it would affect the library.  Hill noted for most matters, everything should be deferred to the department heads but the library is a little different because it is run by the Library Board.

Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #3558-5-18, Resolution Adopting Assessment for Current Services.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving a Green River Area Planting Project with the Stevens County SWCD

Hill noted there has been some additional erosion taking place on the river.  City staff met with representatives from the DNR, the MN Board of Water and Soil Resources and the Stevens County Soil and Water Conservation District.  Hill explained Matt Solemsaas from SWCD took the information and created a plan for the area.  Solemsaas suggested planting dogwood trees that would do very well in that environment, along with native grasses and wildflowers.  The plan is to have the area between Columbia and Eleanor Avenue planted with dogwoods and grasses and wildflowers.  The area between Eleanor Avenue and the bypass would be planted with grasses and wildflowers.  The cost of the project is estimated at $5,050.  City staff would do the prep work of the ground and the SWCD would plant and seed it.  Hill noted there would not be any green grass but the area would be mowed 2-3 times a year and up to the right of way. 

Hill pointed out there is still room for people to access the area behind their properties.    

Council member Miller asked if any personal property was still on city land.  Hill stated for the most part everything was moved when letters were sent two years ago.  Hill indicated there might be a shed or garage that's a little over the line.  Miller asked if a garage or shed were on city property for more than 7 years would the city lose the property.  City Attorney Jordan explained that if a letter was sent it restarted the timeline for adverse possession.

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3559-5-18, Resolution Approving a Green River Area Planting Project with the Stevens County SWCD.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

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

Hill stated the city and council members received a letter from the Secretary of State that had to do with the closing of the campus polling place.  Hill noted he sent an email back to the Secretary to let him know exactly what the city did and now they know and understand all the facts because they were not told everything that went on.  Hill stated the Secretary’s office does not have an issue with what the city did.    

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMSMPD Media Reports:  This was informational for the council.

HRA Open House:  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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