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MINUTES   MORRIS CITY COUNCIL -  REGULAR MEETING  - JANUARY 28, 2020

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 28th day of January, 2020, 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 members Wohlers, Solvie, Gullickson, Miller and Mayor Giese.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch and Police Chief Welle. 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSUniversity Softball Complex:  Bryan Herrmann from UMM was present at the meeting to discuss a proposed softball complex at UMM.  Herrmann noted they started some conversations with the high school and the school board as they are also lacking adequate softball fields.  Herrmann reviewed the site plan and phases of the project.  Phase 1 would consist of a new main field for $280,000, Phase 2 would be a new second field for $280,000, Phase 3 would include a multi-purpose facility for $200,000 and Phase 4 would be the complete complex for $580,000 for a total of $1,340,000.  Herrmann pointed out in working with the school board they have strongly requested that the first phase be two fields and include the bathroom and press box.  Hermann noted this would be a good opportunity to have a community partnership with the UMM, city and high school.  Herrmann stated kids from kindergarten to college seniors would be playing on the same fields and there would be lights for evening play. 

Council member Wohlers asked what kind of timeframe the University is considering.  Herrmann pointed out they are hoping to get started this summer and have the complex available for play next spring.  Herrmann explained as far as the financing they are proposing that each entity take on 1/3 of the costs.  They are also hoping to do some private fundraising and anything that could be raised would come off the top of the project.  The council expressed support for the project but questioned how it could be financed.  Hill stated the funds could be taken out of reserves but there is the question of how much.  The city has items budgeted for this year such as the Chizek parking lot, sidewalks and East side park.

Herrmann explained the first step is getting an architect to draw up the plan and an estimate for the design work and to get the bidding documents out in April.  Mayor Giese asked what happens if the city decided not to participate. Herrmann indicated they would have more discussions with the high school and possibly pare down the project. 

Hill stated this is an opportunity to put together something that is going to be used by many people.  Hill added that the Park Board thinks it's a great idea.  It was the consensus of the council that the complex would be a wonderful asset, but funding would be the biggest concern.

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to support looking at the cost to participate in a joint softball complex with Morris Area Schools and UMM.  Motion carried. 

ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to add the following items to the council agenda:  Application to Conduct Bingo under the Consent Agenda and a Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer and Resolution Consenting to the Issuance of Bonds by the City of Scanlon, MN, Which Refund Notes Previously Issued by the City under Ordinances and Resolutions.  Motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES1/14/20 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the 1/14/20 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

1/14/20 Condensed Version:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the 1/14/20 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: 

A.             Audit of City Bills

B.             Application for Exempt Permit – MN Deer Hunters

C.             Revenue & Expenditure Report

D.            12/11/19 Library Board Minutes

E.             Application to Conduct Excluded Bingo – Women of Today

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSAppointments to Boards and Commissions:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to appoint the individuals to the appropriate boards as presented.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Providing for the Sale of $1,825,000 G.O. Refunding Bond, Series 2020A:  Nick Anhut of Ehlers and Associates was at the meeting to discuss reducing debt costs for the city.  Anhut stated they have set a sale of bonds to refinance four various series of debts for the city.  Anhut noted rates are as low as 2% in the marketplace with the city currently paying between 2.6 and 4%.  This would result in an estimated net savings of $61,000.  Anhut added that an RFP would be sent out to local banks and the results presented at the second meeting in February.  

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3666-1-20 Resolution Providing for the Sale of $1,825,000 G.O. Refunding Bond, Series 2020A.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Consenting to the Issuance of Bonds by the City of Scanlon, MN, which Refund Notes Previously Issued by the City:  Carol Raw, CEO of St. Francis Health Services was present at the meeting.  Raw explained the city issued bonds on their behalf in 2012 and 2015 for construction projects in Duluth. They would now like to refinance the existing debt that is outstanding and issue new debt in the city of Scanlon.  Raw indicated the city would be giving its consent to pay off a couple of bonds that were previously issued. 

Nick Anhut noted the bonds are in the city's name and essentially, they would be redeemed and put in the city of Scanlon's name.

Council member Solvie, seconded by Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3667-1-20, Resolution Consenting to the Issuance of Bonds by the City of Scanlon, MN, which Refund Notes Previously Issued by the City.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving an Updated Emergency Operations Plan:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #3668-1-20, Resolution Approving an Updated Emergency Operations Plan.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing the Soliciting of Qualifications for Airport Engineering:  Hill stated the FAA requires that every five years the city has to advertise and solicit qualifications for engineers.  Hill noted last time the city received three solicitations.  The first step is to authorize the city manager to advertise for engineers and look at what comes in.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3669-1-20, Resolution Authorizing the Soliciting of Qualifications for Airport Engineering.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Police Chief Welle left the meeting at 6:06 p.m.

Resolution Approving a Respectful Workplace Policy for the City of Morris:  Hill explained that the city is required to have a policy in place dealing with behavior and interactions in the workplace.  Hill indicated there is a lot of new terminology in this day and age and this does a good job of identifying that.  The policy would be distributed to department heads and a copy given to all board and commission members, full and part-time employees, volunteers and consultants. 

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3670-1-20, Resolution Approving a Respectful Workplace Policy for the City of Morris.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing the Submission of the 2020 Pay Equity Report:  Hill noted the city is required to submit a pay equity report every three years and it is a fairly straightforward process.  The system determines the value of each of the job classes.  This time 3 job classifications were added to include the sustainability project coordinator, a police sergeant and a repositioning of a person in the water/wastewater.  Hill indicated the city has always been in compliance with the reports and the key is to adjust wages annually at the same percentage rate. 

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3671-1-20, Resolution Authorizing the Submission of the 2020 Pay Equity Report.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Appointing Judges for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Nomination Party Election

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3672-1-20, Resolution Appointing Judges for the March 3, 2020 Presidential Nomination Party Election.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3673-1-20, Resolution Authorizing Fund Transfer.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Newsletter:  This was informational for the council.  Hill commended Police Chief Welle and his department for doing a very professional job from start to finish with the investigation into the bomb threat.  Discussion was held on financing for the softball complex. 

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:36 p.m.

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