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MINUTES  MORRIS CITY COUNCIL     REGULAR MEETING         JUNE 9, 2020

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 9th day of June, 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. 

ADDITIONS TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to add the following items to the agenda:  Resolution Approving Land Purchase Agreements with Calvin and Mary Sommer, Resolution Approving a Land Purchase Agreement with Robert and Gwendolyn Feuchtenberger dba Feuchtenberger Farms and Resolution Approving an Airport Land Lease with Robert and Gwendolyn Feuchtenberger dba Feuchtenberger Farms.  Motion carried.

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSResolution Accepting Insurance Renewal Proposal:  Joel Quam of Bremer Insurance appeared via Zoom.  Quam reviewed the executive summary for the insurance renewal.  Quam stated there is more of an increase than in other years due to the work comp.  The work comp premium for last year was $111,372 with a renewal premium of $143,949.  The total expiring premium is $294,807 with a renewal premium of $339,306.  Quam noted the most recent LMCIT dividend was $5,989 for the property and liability policy. 

Quam explained the city's work comp experience mod went from 1.06 to 1.21.  Last year the city had nine filed claims with paid and reserves of $228,649.31.  For the current policy period the city had seven filed claims with paid and reserves of $13,438.85.  Quam stated that as a whole the city has a good claims record.  Quam recommended that the city continue with no deductible on the work comp as that remains the best choice for the city. 

Quam reviewed insurance with regard to Covid 19.  Quam stated if someone alleges they contracted Covid 19 from one of the city's facilities or staff the League specifies they do have coverage for the alleged transmission.  Quam further stated that a person would have to prove that they contracted it from the city and with things opening back up it would be nearly impossible to prove.  In addition, the city would have to show negligence.  Quam noted the defense would be that the city was doing everything it was instructed and it's very unlikely a lawsuit would hold up in court. 

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3693 6 20, Resolution Accepting Insurance Renewal Proposal.   Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

PUBLIC HEARING:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 5/26/20 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 5/26/20 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

5/26/20 Condensed Version:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve the 5/26/20 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

C.             Raffle License Report

D.            Application for Exempt Permit - Morris Lions

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSAcceptance of Donation to Fire Department:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to accept a donation of $75 from Eleanor Pochardt to the Fire Department.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2020 Airport Extension Phase 1 Project:  Hill stated three bids were received for this project with a fabulous low bid from Riley Brothers Construction for $1.7 million.  The engineer's estimate for the project was $2.6 million.  Hill recommended accepting the bid and awarding a contract, contingent on getting the grant funding.  

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3694 6 20, Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2020 Airport Extension Phase 1 Project.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all presenting voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving Land Purchase Agreements with Calvin and Mary Sommer:  Hill noted one of the keys to being able to apply for the grant was getting an agreement for the land the city needed to proceed.  Hill indicated a tremendous amount of time was spent on this over the course of the last couple of years and Marcus Watson of TKDA has done a tremendous job.  Hill stated the last piece is to acquire these three parcels of land.  The agreed upon price is $8,500 per acre.  Hill expressed that is a justifiable amount based on all the factors. 

Hill explained Cal and Mary Sommer have two parcels of land the city is buying, one for 8.91 acres for a purchase price of $75,735 and one parcel for .81 acres for a purchase price of $6,885.  The money to buy the land will be part of the grant and it is 100% funded from the federal government.  Hill added that if the grant is not completed by June 15th the city has to wait until next year.  Hill noted any shortfall in funds would be covered by the agreement with Superior Industries.  Hill stated based upon everything he has heard about the grant process the money is sitting there waiting for the city.

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3695 6 20, Resolution Approving Land Purchase Agreements with Calvin and Mary Sommer.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving a Land Purchase Agreement with Robert and Gwendolyn Feuchtenberger dba Feuchtenberger Farms:  Hill explained that the city is purchasing a 7.14 acre parcel from Feuchtenberger's for $8,500 an acre for a total of $60,690.  In addition, the purchase price also includes agricultural damages (diminished value based on size/shape) in the amount of $13,500 for creating odd shaped spaces on either side of the acquired land that make it harder to farm and of less value.  The total price to Feuchtenberger's is $74,190. 

Hill stated they are also interested in continuing to farm the land so an airport land lease has been provided.  The agreement runs for five years with the option to renegotiate at that time.  

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3696 6 20, Resolution Approving a Land Purchase Agreement with Robert and Gwendolyn Feuchtenberger dba Feuchtenberger Farms.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Approving an Airport Land Lease with Robert and Gwendolyn Feuchtenberger dba Feuchtenberger Farms:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3697 6 20, Resolution Approving an Airport Land Lease with Robert and Gwendolyn Feuchtenberger dba Feuchtenberger Farms.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONSCity Manager Newsletter:  Hill recommended the council make a decision with regard to the food truck issue.  Hill commented that if the council is going to allow them he doesn't think it is necessary to go through the process to regulate something that's already regulated.  Hill stated the city does not inspect restaurants.  Hill added that he has heard from several people that they do not want to see food trucks banned in Morris. 

Wohlers clarified that he is referring to food vendors, not trucks like Sysco that deliver food to town.  Wohlers stated he does feel like they need to be regulated so that the city knows who is selling in town.  Wohlers indicated he feels it is in the interest of public safety as a food vendor is not as apt to get inspected as often as a regular business.  Wohlers noted he does not want the application process to be long and cumbersome and a financial burden.  Wohlers stated in fairness to the brick and mortar restaurants that are in town there should be some sort of process. 

Solvie asked if the restaurants in town need a license to sell food.  Hill stated the city does not regulate or license them.  Miller noted the city doesn't require anything from the service clubs if they have a catering trailer so where do you draw the line.  Miller stated he understands what Wohlers is saying but feels if someone is setting up on private property the city shouldn't have anything to do with it. 

Wohlers suggested the council look at the ordinance from the City of Alexandria that City Manager Hill provided.  That ordinance speaks to setting up on private property and that it is supposed to be regulated by the Department of Health.

Mayor Giese indicated he would be in favor of looking at something but not necessarily voting on it tonight.  Giese suggested looking at the actual permit from Alexandria to see what it entails and what their prices are.   Wohlers stated putting something in place speaks to future restaurant owners and lets them know the city is looking out for their best interests. 

Hill explained that from the technical side of it the council would not be voting on it, they would be asking for an ordinance.  Hill noted then the city would have to figure out how it would be regulated and would it would cover.  Hill indicated the city is not going to police for the Department of Ag or the Department of Health.  Hill stated if the council tries to limit who comes into town the council may run into a major problem.  Wohlers pointed out it is not his intent to limit anyone.  Solvie stated he doesn't think an ordinance is going to increase the safety of the vendors because they are going to be regulated by the state.  Jordan explained that if the council wants to have teeth for a permit an ordinance is needed.

Gullickson expressed that she thinks the whole thing sounds unfriendly and like the city is saying lock all the gates.  Gullickson stated she understands the idea of the local businesses but feels it can't be taking that much business away from them.  Gullickson noted she very seldom sees food vendors and it's up to the citizens if they want to patronize them.  Gullickson stated she would not like to see Morris permit people who want to come in and out selling things. 

Miller agreed that they are not in town that often and he can't see where they city can tell them no, especially if they're on private property.  Wohlers stated he doesn't want anyone to get the impression that the city is closing its doors to people wanting to come into town.  

Wohlers recommended the issue be dropped in response to the conversation.  Solvie agreed, that it would limit people from doing things.  Giese added that doing nothing now doesn't preclude the council from bringing it back if something comes up.   

On another topic, Hill reviewed the ever changing COVID 19 requirements.  The campground, parks and playground equipment will be open.  The splash park will remain closed, as there is no way to regulate the number of people using it.  

Solvie questioned how the city is supposed to handle restrictions when the governor doesn't follow his own order respect to the protestors and all the people.  Jordan stated the city has a duty to follow the law and enforce the law, even though it's understandably difficult given what is seen on TV and the lack of enforcement at the highest levels.  Welle reiterated, as in past meetings, that the best thing to do is educate and issue warnings if necessary and then turn it over to the County Attorney if necessary.  

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMSMN Council of Airports:  This was informational for the council.

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:38 p.m.

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