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MINUTES MORRIS - CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR MEETING - OCTOBER 13, 2020

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 13th day of October, 2020, by Mayor Giese.

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 and Mayor Giese were present via Zoom.  Council member Miller was absent.  Also present via Zoom was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Welle and City Attorney Jordan. 

ADDITION TO AGENDA:  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to add to the agenda an Application for Exempt Permit from Stevens County Ducks Unlimited .  Motion carried.

CITIZEN'S COMMENTSJordan Staples - Hockey Association:  Jordan Staples was present at the meeting via Zoom on behalf of the Morris Hockey Association.  Staples stated they have three major improvement projects for the Lee Community Center building budgeted at $250,000.   The first is a dehumidification system, which they have raised enough funds to complete.  The second is resurfacing the boards and the third is a new refrigerant for the cooling system.  Staples indicated the Hockey Association and Lee Center are a huge asset for the community, with hockey bringing many people to town.  Staples requested $25,000 from the city to help with project expenses. 

Council member Wohlers stated the hockey rink is a great asset and the city would be lost without it.  Giese suggested discussing the item under the City Manager report. 

Chris Watkins - Sustainability Coordinator:  Watkins was present at the meeting to introduce himself as the new Sustainability Coordinator for the City.  Watkins stated he has 10 years of experience with the Navy doing utility work.  Watkins noted it is very inspiring to see all the stuff happening in Morris. 

PUBLIC HEARING:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 9/22/20 Regular Meeting Minutes:   Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 9/22/20 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

9/22/20 Condensed Version:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 9/22/20 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.             September Transit Report

C.             Revenue & Expenditure Report

D.            Application for Exempt Permit - Stevens County Ducks Unlimited

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONSAccept Donation to Morris Fire Department:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to accept a donation of $250 to the Morris Fire Department from Bryan and Theresa Kerkaert.  Motion carried.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to accept a donation of $100 to the Morris Fire Department from Bart and Sally Finzel.  Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Setting a Public Hearing for an Active Rental Housing Rehabilitation Project Grant:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3712-10-20, Resolution Setting a Public Hearing for an Active Rental Housing Rehabilitation Project Grant, and set the public hearing for 5:20 p.m. on October 27, 2020.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all presenting voting in favor, motion carried.  

Resolution Approving an Assessing Contract with Stevens County:  Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3713-10-20, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for a 2021 Capital Grant.  Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: 2021 Budget Worksession  Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to hold a budget worksession at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 29, 2020, in the Council Chambers.  Motion carried.

City Manager Newsletter:  Hill recommended the council talk about the donation to the Hockey Association during the budget worksession and look at budgeting for it next year. 

Hill informed the council the building inspector has talked to Chris Melberg at Morris Floral.  Hill stated the failure in the roof and the outside of the building puts it in a category where it cannot be repaired, so the next step is to look at demolition.  Hill noted Melberg is trying to figure out where he might go and how he might demolish the building. 

Considerable discussion was held on how and when the building could be demolished.  City Attorney Jordan explained that the city would want to give Melberg clear notice of what the city wants him to do and a timeframe within which to do it.  Jordan indicated he is cooperating so reasonably the city would want to give him 60-90 days. 

Hill noted that Building Inspector Jacobson is not concerned about the roof caving in, but it is leaking.  Gullickson asked who pays for the demolition.  Hill stated one of the things Cheryl Kuhn of the SCEIC looked into is that there may be dollars available through DEED to rehabilitate that piece of property.  Hill noted the bottom line is that if the city orders the building removed and it doesn't get done, the city will do it and assess the costs on to the property.    

Gullickson stated she would like to see if there are dollars available to help take it down, otherwise this might be something that hangs on for a while.  Giese stated that Melberg does have a viable business and he doesn't want to be part of closing his business.  Giese noted timing is a bit of an issue in order for him to find a better location.  Solvie agreed that the city wants to do the best they can for him.  Hill added it is a tough situation because he has a skill set that he is very good at and it is very needed. 

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to direct City Manager Hill to draft a letter to Morris Floral offering 60 days to find a solution for demolition of the building, and in the meantime do the research to see if grants or any other kind of help is avilable.  Motion carried. 

Discussion was held on park bathrooms and when they are closed and how to notify people of the dates. 

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:24 p.m.

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