City Council  |  Contact the City  |  Home

MINUTES – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR MEETING – SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 11th day of September, 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 and Police Chief Tiegs.

CITIZEN’S COMMENTS: None

PUBLIC HEARINGS: None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 8/28/18 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 8/28/18 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.

8/28/18 Condensed Version Minutes: Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the 8/28/18 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. Pay Estimate #12 – Magney Construction

C. August Transit Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2018 Tax Levy for Collection in 2019: City Manager Hill reviewed the preliminary levy and it is an increase of 5.2% over last year’s levy. Hill noted the levy can be reduced down in December but it cannot be raised so that’s why it is higher now. Hill stated there is a slight change in the levy for the fire truck and it should be $65,000 instead of $60,000. Hill noted the city is working with Ehlers and the plan is to issue a certificate of debt to be sold through a local bank. The total levy with this change is $1,600,036.

Hill pointed out that insurance rates for next year haven’t come in yet. Hill anticipated a 10% increase in rates and a $500 increase in the deductible. The levy includes 3% more for the general fund and 3% more for the library fund. Hill indicated between now and December he hopes to get the levy down to a 3% increase over last year’s.

Hill stated with regard to the budget there is not a lot of fluctuation in the general fund. There is a 1.3% increase in the budget over last year. Hill pointed out the city’s number one revenue source is LGA and there was a very minimal increase over last year.

Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2018 Tax Levy for Collection in 2019: (continued)

Hill explained the financing process for the fire truck. The city will need to finance $500,000 after trade in. The truck will need to be financed between now and the delivery date, more than likely with a certificate of debt through a local bank for up to ten years.

Hill noted this budget splits out the utility fund into both water and sewer. Hill explained because the city received financing for the water plant is has to be a separate fund. Hill recommended an increase in rates at the beginning of next year. The start-up for the plant is scheduled for March or April.

Miller stated he has had people question him about the by-products from the plant. Hill noted it could be out sourced to farmers or taken to the landfill. Hill noted it would be beneficial if somebody is willing to buy it rather than pay to dispose of it. Wohlers asked if the city needed to talk about the softener policy. Hill informed the council that the Green Corps service member that's coming in October will be working on the informational piece to property owners and an inspection policy. Wohlers stated he is concerned about people on a fixed income with the increase in rates. Hill noted people shouldn’t need a softener because it will be going from 41 grains of hardness down to 5. Residents won’t be allowed to keep an old system hooked up to the sewer system.

Hill indicated he reviewed the list of capital projects with Public Works Director Dittbenner and Jeff Kuhn. Hill noted the big item is East 7th Street from Columbia to Line Drive.

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #3571-9-18, Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2018 Tax Levy for Collection in 2019. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Adopting the Preliminary 2019 Budget for the City of Morris: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3572-9-18, Resolution Adopting the Preliminary 2019 Budget for the City of Morris. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving the Renewal of a Climate Protection Partnership Agreement with Saerbeck, Germany: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3573-9-18, Resolution Approving the Renewal of a Climate Protection Partnership Agreement with Saerbeck, Germany. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing a Design Engineering Contract for the Airport Apron and Taxilane Reconstruction Project: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3574-9-18, Resolution Authorizing a Design Engineering Contract for the Airport Apron and Taxilane Reconstruction Project. 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: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to schedule a worksession for the Morris Model on September 25th following the council meeting and a budget worksession for 5:15 on October 25th. Motion carried.

Green River/Creek by Ballpark: Miller asked about the creek along Green River and if the trees in there were slowing down the flow of water. Hill noted there has been talk of taking some trees out of the creek. Hill also mentioned that there are a lot of thistles and weeds in amongst the native grass and plants along the river and he will talk to Dittbenner about it. Solvie stated he was under the impression that there would be a strip of grass left before the area where they killed off all the grass.

Liquor Sales: Hill stated a topic in the legislature is whether or not to allow the sale of liquor in grocery stores. Hill noted the city has opposed that in the past. Hill mentioned that state law does allow the city to be the only off sale liquor store. Solvie indicated he feels being the only liquor store is good for the city and helps reduce taxes.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: MPD Media Reports: This was informational for the council.

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at city 6:07 p.m.

Website Services by Iceberg.