CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR
MEETING - JANUARY
The regular meeting
of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 14th
day of January, 2020, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris
Senior Citizens/Community Center.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
ROLL CALL: Roll call was taken with
the following members present: Council members Wohlers, Solvie,
Gullickson, Miller and Mayor Giese. Also present was City Manager Hill,
Police Chief Welle, Finance Director Raasch and City Attorney Jordan.
OFFICIAL ACTS: Election of Mayor Pro
Tem: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie to appoint Jeff
Miller as Mayor Pro Tem for another year. Motion carried.
Boards and Commissions: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to
approve the appointments to the various boards and commissions as
presented. Motion carried.
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to keep the ex-officios
the same for the coming year. Motion carried.
Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Miller, to designate the Stevens
County Times as the official paper of the Morris City Council. Motion
Mike Sax was present at the meeting to discuss a number of items. Sax
first asked when the city passed an ordinance making it illegal to park a car
on the street for more than 24 hours. Sax asked what the policy for
enforcement was because he clearly believes it is rarely enforced. Giese
indicated it is not a new ordinance and Hill confirmed it's been in place since
before he started for the city in 2007. Sax stated he made the mistake of
leaving a vehicle on the street while he made a quick trip to Pennsylvania and
he received a ticket. Sax noted when he is in Morris during the summer he
violates that ordinance any day his van isn't driven.
Police Chief Welle explained
it is an ordinance that can be enforced year round, but it is done specifically
in the winter when the plows need to get through and open up the roads by
clearing away snow and ice berms. Sax stated he begs to differ and thinks
it is an ordinance with no good practical purpose because the city doesn't go around
and clean up the streets anyway.
Sax addressed the
fact that at a November council meeting there was consideration given to
eliminating any on street parking which he feels is a lousy idea. Sax
stated there is no reason to not allow residents to park overnight on the
streets. Sax asked the council to keep in mind that the customers are the
taxpayers and residents, not the Public Works Department.
Sax questioned why
the streets weren't plowed the weekend after Christmas when it warmed up.
Council members Solvie and Wohlers agreed that the roads would have been in a lot
better shape if they had been cleared off. Sax stated it is his
impression that the city doesn't salt and sand near as much as they used to and
that weekend exacerbated it. Sax noted there are many intersections that
at least need some sand put down. Hill pointed out that the city is trying
to do a lot less of it because of the MS4 permit requirements for storm sewer.
Hill added that if someone is sliding through an intersection they are driving
too fast for the conditions.
Sax stated he has read
what the city is contemplating and the MN Supreme Court has told the city that they
cannot regulate a building component any differently than the state building
code, and yet the City is off on a path where eventually the city thinks they
can do that. Sax is referring to the City entering properties to check on
water softeners. Sax understands the city has a problem with salt, but if
the City gets to the point where they need to do something about softeners
inside residences, there is a mechanism to allow the city to regulate it with
permission from the state. Sax stated there is a process and it would be
nice on all issues if the city would actually follow the law.
Hill explained there
is no intention of going into properties right now. The city is simply asking
people to adjust their water softeners. Hill noted there was language put
in the code stating that the city will have to ask to go into a property, and
if the owner states they don't want the city to, then staff will not unless the
proper legal channels are followed. Hill pointed out there is a letter going
out asking citizens to manage their water softeners and staff has met with the
water softener companies.
Sydney Bauer was
present at the meeting and stated there is a group of citizens meeting as their
own version of the Morris Model and they are wanting to do something about
sustainability. They are holding monthly meetings and are aiming to
become more educated and sustainable citizens. Bauer indicated they are
hosting a meeting the first Saturday in February on waste and invited the
council to attend and also help provide information on who would be good
resources for this topic.
PUBLIC HEARING: None
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
12/23/19 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Gullickson moved,
seconded by Solvie, to approve the 12/23/19 regular meeting minutes.
Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 12/23/19
condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Solvie, to approve the consent agenda which included
the following items:
Audit of City
for Exempt Permit - Stevens County Pheasants Forever
REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: None
Resolution Adopting the 2020 Morris City Council Standing Rules:
Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3665-1-20
Resolution Adopting the 2020 Morris City Council Standing Rules. Upon a
roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
correspondence was discussed and whether or not that should be incorporated
into the standing rules. City Attorney Jordan stated the open meeting law
doesn't allow the council to conduct business by email and the safest and best
practice is to wait until the meeting to discuss any issues. It was the
consensus that if need be, changes could be implemented for next year.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: 2020 License for Best Northland Jalaram:
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 2020 liquor
license for the Best Northland Jalaram. Motion carried.
was informational for the council.
OTHER BUSINESS: Police Chief Welle asked
that the council approve a donation of $400 to the Morris Police
Department. These funds were given by West Central Christian Homes to be
used to finalize items for the fair booth that was donated last year. Council
member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to accept the donation of $400 from
West Central Christian Homes. Motion carried.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further
business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 5:54 p.m.