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MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR MEETING - MAY 12, 2020

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 12th day of May, 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 were present via Zoom. Also present was City Manager Hill appearing via Zoom from the Council Chambers. Police Chief Welle, City Attorney Jordan and Finance Director Raasch also appeared via Zoom.

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS : None

PUBLIC HEARING : None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES : 4/28/20 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 4/28/20 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.

4/28/20 Condensed Version : Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 4/28/20 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. Transit Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS : None

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS : Resolution Approving an Electric Utility Line Easement with Agralite Electric Cooperative at the Morris Municipal Airport: City Manager Hill stated this is more of the paperwork to get all the land lined up for the airport runway project. This utility easement would give Agralite the right to come on the airport land to install and maintain their electric utility lines.

Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3691-5-20 Resolution Approving an Electric Utility Line Easement with Agralite Electric Cooperative at the Morris Municipal Airport. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS : City Manager Newsletter: Hill informed the council that the League of MN Cities sent out a notice that the Senate was working on passing a bill to allocate federal CARES money to local cities for COVID-19 costs. Hill noted at this time the city doesn't have a lot of costs related to COVID but one of the things in the guidelines was assistance to businesses. Hill indicated city staff is waiting to hear what the Governor is going to do after May 18th.

Council member Solvie asked which businesses it might benefit and if any of that money could be used for the RFC. Hill explained he just learned about these potential funds so it is definitely something to take a look at.

Solvie asked what the city's stance would be if the governor extended the stay at home order and businesses opened anyway. City Attorney Jordan stated under no circumstance should the city pass a resolution stating they are going to defer the hierarchy. The city could pass a resolution urging the governor to lift restrictions if they feel that's appropriate. Jordan noted if there is proof that the law isn't being followed they could be subject to criminal prosecution. Jordan explained under Chapter 12 of MN State Statute power is granted to the Governor. Jordan stated the position from his office is that you start with education and warnings if necessary. Jordan stated this area has been lucky that the citizens have voluntarily complied and he hopes that remains true. Gullickson pointed out as time goes on and the weather gets nicer she sees it changing and getting harder to abide by this.

Jordan stated no one wants to be in the position to punish someone for trying to make a living. Solvie asked if there would be checks made on businesses and if so he thinks that's a horrible idea. Giese indicated he feels some of this has to fall back on the citizens to be responsible.

Police Chief Welle stated they are trying to educate to the best of their ability and follow the recommendations from the CDC and the Governor. Welle noted no one wants to issue a citation if they don't have to.

OTHER BUSINESS : Police Chief Welle stated the two new officers have been working for several weeks now and he just finished interviews today for the last open position.

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS : None

ADJOURNMENT : There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 5:42 p.m.

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