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MINUTES   –   MORRIS CITY COUNCIL   -   REGULAR MEETING   –   MAY 22, 2018

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 22nd 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, Miller and Mayor Giese.  Council member Gullickson was absent.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Tiegs and City Attorney Jordan. 

CITIZEN’S COMMENTS:  Mary Elizabeth Bezanson was present at the meeting and thanked the council for the sidewalks at East Side Park.

Resolution Accepting Insurance Renewal Proposal:  Tom Quam of Bremer Insurance was present at the meeting to review the city's upcoming insurance renewal on July 1st.  The expiring premium was $235,918 with a renewal premium of $249,322.  The city received a dividend of $12,984 for all coverage lines except work comp. 

Quam stated the city's experience modification on work comp went from a .84 to a .90 which resulted in an $8,034 renewal premium increase.  Quam recommended the city take the no deductible option on the work comp for the renewal policy period.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3560-5-18, Resolution Accepting Insurance Renewal Proposal with the zero deductible option on the work comp.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  5/8/18 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the 5/8/18 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

5/8/18 Condensed Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 5/8/18 condensed version minutes.  Motion carried.

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

            A.         Audit of City Bills

            B.         4/18/18 Tree Board Minutes

            C.         5/9/18 Library Board Minutes

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSAmerican Legion Day Proclamation:  Mayor Giese read the proclamation which calls for August 24, 2018 to be American Legion Day.  The proclamation will be read as part of the Memorial Day services this weekend.   

Tourism Board Request for Funds:  Wohlers stated the Tourism Board is requesting funds to create an event app which would be targeted for events in the area.  The initial set up fee is $300 with a $1,000 annual fee to maintain the app.  Wohlers indicated Babe Taylor, who sits on the Tourism Board and has a company called Shooting Sky Entertainment, would be setting up the event app.     

City Attorney Jordan mentioned that it might be a conflict of interest if Taylor is on the board and he is also the one providing the service to the board.  Hill indicated he assumed the app would be done through Dayta Marketing, who is doing other work for the Tourism Board.  Wohlers stated Dayta is not in that business.  Wohlers understood that if it was a conflict they would have to look elsewhere.  Giese suggested tabling this item and having City Attorney Jordan look at the conflict of interest policy to make sure this is kosher.   

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to table a motion to enter into an agreement with Shooting Sky Entertainment until City Attorney Jordan has a chance to review a possible conflict of interest.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Authorizing the Submission of a West Central Initiative Fund Planning Grant Application:  Mike Reese, Renewable Energy Director at WROC, was present at the meeting.  Reese stated Morris has been a leader with climate smart municipalities and applying for this grant would be another step forward.  Reese indicated the application is for a West Central Initiative planning grant of up to $7,500.  The grant funds would be used to have a strategic planning retreat.  Reese noted it has been mentioned to hold it at Camp Ripley, which is an excellent facility for an event and the hope is to gather input from the city, county, school, hospital and others. 

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3561-5-18, Resolution Authorizing the Submission of a West Central Initiative Fund Planning Grant Application.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: Addition of Another City Representative on the Germany Trip:  Hill recommended the council pass a motion to authorize Council member Gullickson to participate in the climate smart municipalities trip to Germany.  Hill noted the only stipulation for the trip is that the city pays for her airfare.  Hill pointed out it is important for members of the council to get involved in this and it would be a great opportunity to learn more about what happens in Germany.  Hill noted it depends on when his daughter has her baby as to whether or not he will be going on the trip. 

Council member Wohlers stated with the city facing an uncertainty in LGA and an increase in insurance premiums, maybe the City should revisit the list of projects and apply the airfare money to some things that were already identified.  Wohlers stated his personal feeling is that the city could spend the $1,500 on something else.  Wohlers indicated it is hard for him to justify spending the taxpayer’s money on this in light of all the potential shortfalls.

Mayor Giese stated he understands where Wohlers is coming from but does not support those thoughts.  Giese noted Morris has been a leader in renewable energy and received several awards.  Giese noted now is not the time for Morris to sit back and reassess, plus the city hasn’t spent a dime yet on the trips.  Giese pointed out there are travel funds in the budget that aren’t typically used.  Giese stated he would support this effort.   

Council member Miller added that Gullickson has something to learn as an elected official to see first-hand what is being done over there.  Miller commented that it’s a very minimal investment to have an elected official go to Germany.  Council member Solvie stated he thinks it’s a good idea that someone from the council is going.  Solvie acknowledged that the city is trying to save money and that it is a balancing act but supports Gullickson going.   

Hill added that this is absolutely not a sight-seeing trip.  Gullickson will be involved in activities with information and policies and be asked to sit on a panel and answer questions. 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to authorize spending money on airfare for Council member Gullickson to go to Germany.  Motion carried.

City Manager Newsletter:  This was informational for the council.

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMSMorris Police Department Media Reports:  This was informational for the council.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:11 p.m. 

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