City Council  |  Contact the City  |  Home

MINUTES – MORRIS CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR MEETING – March 12, 2019

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 12th day of March, 2019, 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, City Attorney Aaron Jordan, Head Librarian Barber and Interim Police Chief Welle.

ADDITION TO AGENDA : Mayor Giese added to the consent agenda – application for exempt permit and pay estimate. Also under ordinances and resolutions, item C, resolution supporting state legislation. Solvie second. Motion carried.

CITIZEN’S COMMENTS: Resolution Appointing Reggie Welle as City of Morris Police Chief:

Hill – following the CCC process the second time around, interviewing and rank priviledge to recommend Reggie Welle be appointed as the next police chief for the city of morris.

Solvie – like to see the council ask questions or our candidates. We haven't had this chance yet. We do have to ratify this. Postpone the resolution until the city council has had an opportunity to question the candidate.

Hill – that's not the process is in place. The civil service is selection by the council and tasked to select the to make a selection to make an appointment. Not saying it's the correct candidate. I has to ratify and yes to it. That's why I would like to postpone it until we as the council have the chance to

Hill – then you should sit get rid of the civil service commission and then it would come to the city manager. Ratify it or reject it. By city charter or civil service commission. To change and implement your own process or vetting candidates, wouldn't be appropriate. Solvie – selection has been given to us. For me to give my answer of yes or no. Without asking questions – I've been elected by the citizens. Just voicing my opinion on it. No disrespect to the candidate or the process.

Wohlers – support the police commission. Inportant that the public has representation and we as a council need to trust their judgment. Good chiefs that have been hired in the past. They've been elected through that same process. Maybe be nice to have a change to know the candidate. I think Reggie is going to make a fine chief. Miller – agree with you Kevin. They've gone through it twice, done their process. Ready to move on it.

Giese – echo Kevin and Jeff. Understand where you're coming from. Gullickson – while I can see where Brian is coming from but I do think we should have a little more say going forward. It's not just this, there are several things I feel we should have more information on.

Wohlers – we as a council we're expected to stamp off on this and perhaps nice to know a prospective candidate. I'm comfrotable with the way things have gone in the past.

Hill – it is a strange system. Important to understand is not approving the appointment of the chief of police. Ratifying the selection of the city manager for chief of police. Only two instances in city employment. Ratification of termation of department heads and ratification of selection of department heads. That's by design of the council and the charter and the civil service commission rules. If you need more information we can try and give you more information. Provide you more information on the process. CCC spent a tremendous amount of time on the process. Lot of dynamics in that. Good people and they do a really good job of vetting candidates for you. If you don't like the process then sit down as a council and look at the process.

Solvie – is there a process post employment that the council can meet with the police chief that we can get our questions answered. Reggie is a wonderful candidate – what are his goals, what does he have in store for the department, what is his emphasis. Maybe this isn't the proper way to do it. Be very satisfied if we could have that question and answer. Once they're an employee then you're in charge.

He's not working for you, he's working for me. And I work for you. I'm the person that you interact with. Important to note that you get to sign off on department heads. Maybe there's some discussion that we have to have as to what the process is. In a city manager form of government – hard to keep you informed. Maybe other tools we can use to get at that. Make it easier for you to understand what's happening. Had the chief opening kind of blind sided all of us.

Hill – if you're uncomfortable that's okay but let's figure out a way to talk about those things.

Jordan – we do have the CCC still in place and as long as that's in place it's going to be difficult that solve wants to do it. There's strict guidelines in the statutes for the duties they're given. Since we've adopted it in that manner they have the power to do the vetting process. Put together a chart what the difference is between the civcil service process and police department and chief and union contracts. Outlined in a chart. As long as CCC in place there's always going to be conflict with something. With union contract or other statutes. Going to have to address that at some point. Maybe we can address the procedure for a high level department head like this.

Giese – behoves us that when we get our packet and we see something get ahold of Blaine. We can't get together as council because of open meeting laws. Questions that you have were probably asked and Blaine may have those answers anyway.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #____, Resolution Appointing Reggie Welle as City of Morris Police Chief. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

City Attorney Jordan administered the Oath of Office of Police Chief to Reggie Welle.

Donation of Defibrillator to the Library: Library Director Barber stated that about a month ago approached. Audrey Larson contacted her about donating a defribrillator to the library due to her husbands sudden death from cardian arrest. Papa's Angels. Fortunate to have the donation. They ask any place that we have the Stevens County Ambulance staff train us and it will be open to the public. Also ask that the recipient be responsible for the update and maintenance. New battery every 4 years – $170.; New pads every 2 years – $60, Child pads – $180.
Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to accept a donation of a defibrillator from Papa's Angels for the morris public library.

PUBLIC HEARING: None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 2/26/19 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes: Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 2/26/19 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.

2/26/19 Condensed Version Minutes: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 2/26/19 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. February Transit Report

C. Revenue & Expenditure Reports

D. Application for Exempt Permit – Morris Lions

E. Application for Exempt Permit – Women of Today

F. Pay Estimate #18 – Magney Construction

G. Application for Exempt Permit – Stevens County Ducks Unlimited

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Appoint Brandi Ross to Tourism Board and Clement Loo and Melanie Fohl to Library Board: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to appoint Brandi Ross to the Tourism Board and Clement Loo and Melanie Fohl to the Library Board. Motion carried.

Crystal Lanes Consumption and Display Permit Renewal: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the Crystal Lanes Consumption and Display Permit Renewal.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Approving an Airport Runway Extension Project Funding Agreement with Superior Industries, Inc.: Had a public meeting after last council meeting to give everyone a heads up about what the project will entail. Back in the beginning when we talkeda bout the runway extension that superior wanted. Difficult time as a small city to fund projects. Concerned that we weren't going to be able to find the money to offset the local share to fund the project. End result is the funding agreement before you. Funding of the local share where superior industries has committed to fund that local share. Good for them and us and a nice thing they're doing. Because this project is such a good project and mn aviation and the faa are really interested, given it a quick review and thumbs up to the point where they don't even have the grant moineyy available to reimburse us for any money but we can start work. Again, superior stepped forward and said we'll help cash flow until such time as the grant money comes back in anhd they will get reimbursed. Get into some of the bigger stuff, maybe land acquisition, need their help. Small stuff we can probably fund. Talked to micah zeltwanger. Recommend city council approve the funding agreement.

Solvie – asked if the property owners around the airport had been notified. Hill – they have. It's not a lot of land unless something changes with the environmental assessment. Couple that weren't happy with the project at the public hearing. They get airport noise. That will be part of the environmental assessment. But at the same time – they bought a house by the airport. Did identify anybody that lived around there, farmed around there to be part of the process. Wohlers – not like it's a commercial airline where there will be planes coming and going all the time.

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #____, Resolution Approving an Airport Runway Extension Project Funding Agreement with Superior Industries, Inc. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving an Independent Fee Estimate for the Runway Extension Project Environmental Assessment: Hill – have an airport engineer – TKDA. We can only have an airport engineer designated for five years. Last thing they can work on prior to us going out to bids for the next term. Requirement to find an independent engineering firm and they will provide an estimate of what they will charge. See what they would and TKDA would and compare them. Required by the federal government. Can't be one that's part of this project and KLG is not and they can't be one that put in a proposal to be our engineer five years ago and they are not. Next thing is the resolution to go ahead with the environmental assessment.

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #___, Resolution Approving an Independent Fee Estimate for the Runway Extension Project Environmental Assessment. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Supporting State Legislation Resulting in a Voluntary Stretch Code Option for Cities in the State of Minnesota: Hill – they reached out to us because they know who we are and they wanted us to sign off on this because they want our name on the listing of communities that are in favor of doing this. Main jist is for the metropolitan area. All this is under the current state laws – we adopt the state building code – the state building code cannot be modified to make it more strict. Some metropolitan cities want to implement as a voluntary code – a stricter code for commercial and renovated buildings to make them carbon neutral. Ways to protect the building owners from the fees being too great. Reduce the amount of energy and make sure new buildings are made environmentally friendly and sustainable. Addition to the building code that puts this into place cities that want to adopt this some additional language to make buildings more energy efficient. Lend support to other communities that are maybe further ahead of us. Resolution is really where it ends with us.

Aaron – with building code you're either in or you're out – make so that one section of it would be voluntary. Give cities the option to add on the 2030 building code. See what he says.

Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #____, Resolution Supporting State Legislation Resulting in a Voluntary Stretch Code Option for Cities in the State of Minnesota. 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.

Two people that were missing. Thank Deb, Stacey and Jodi for all their hard work.

Month later on the water plant. Dewatering and bad weather starting towards the end of December. Engineers have uppsed the number of meetings with the contractor team. Every two weeks. Not going to be able to put soft water out to the public until May instead of April. Backing off increasing fees until May. Impressive place. Toured St. Cloud plant to learn about the process. Been contact by two farmers interested in the lime. One load a week.

One of the softner companies upset with us about the brochure. After I explained it they understood it more. Didn't say anwhere that you could update your water softener to an on demand one.

Wohlers – with the original contract was there any fine in there not meeting the deadline. Hill – there is – we don't want to be unreasonable. We haven't waived off anything. Sit down and see where they're at when its done. Engineers will recommend back whether or not we penalize them but not being on time.

Hill – lime helps adjust the ph of the land.

Miller – super job with snow removal. Hopefully everyone is patient and know that they're doing the best they can.

KEVIN – SERIOUSLY. Is there something about noise from snow blowers. 4:30 in the morning.

OTHER BUSINESS: Board of Review Memo: This was informational for the council.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None

ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:21 p.m.

Website Services by Iceberg.