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MINUTES   -   MORRIS CITY COUNCIL    -  REGULAR MEETING  -  JUNE 25, 2019

The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 25th day of June, 2019, 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 member Wohlers, Solvie, Gullickson, Miller and Mayor Giese.  Also present was City Manager Hill, Police Chief Welle. 

CITIZEN'S COMMENTS: Melanie Fohl - MN Housing Partnership: Melanie Fohl of Stevens County HRA was present at the meeting to talk about some statistics the MN housing partnership puts together. Cost burdened – paying more than 30% of their income for housing. In Stevens County about 1/3 are renters and not home owners. Morris is higher. 40% range. Cost burdnded renters in the whole state. Another concern statistics about seniors who are cost burndeded, renting and home owners. 56% of senior renters and 15% of homeowners are cost burdened. Expected to grow because of socoail security, housing/utility costs.

Among renter households widening gap between the median income and the median rent. Income has declined by 10% since 2000 and the rent has increased by 26%l. Gap between what people can afford and what they're earning. Morris seems it's going through an adjusdtment as student popoulation declines, impact on houses - pay attention and maybe put together some kind of plan for how to maintain the housing in the community, keep the neighborhoods in good shape.

Working on 2 different surveys. - one for seniors. What working on currently and what their needs are. Surveying employees - do they live in or outside of the community. If outside, why. Concrete facts and how we change those statistics. Work with center for small towns on surveys. Get people together from broader community and see how that can happen. Think of a way to be more wholistic. Community as a whole. Maintain neighborhood and market value. Research will help us see a few things more clearly.

Fohl - landlords, seniors, employers - broad spectrum of perspectives. Down the road is the state of MN has put in place where a statute if a community forms a housing trust and raise money the state will match those dollar for dollar.

Wohlers - ebb and flow of housing market - pretty strong. Vacancy rates for rentals are very high. 12% region. Plan for survey is to do the largest employers.

Giese - concerned about overlooking some of the smaller busineses. Fohl - we can talk about how you could go about adding them. Easy to pick up a dozen or so smaller employees

PUBLIC HEARING:  None

READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  6/11/19 Regular Meeting Minutes:  Council member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 611/19 regular meeting minutes.  Motion carried.

6/11/19 Condensed Minutes:  Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 6/11/19 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:

         A.      Audit of City Bills

         B.      Application for Exxempt Permit - MN Deer Hunter Assn

         C.      Community Ed Information

         D.      Revenue & Expenditure Report

Motion carried.

PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Motion to Appoint Stephanie Cid to Tourism Board: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Gullickson, to appoint Stephanie Cid to the Tourism Board. Motion carried.

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONSResolution Scheduling a Public Hearing on a Project by Farmington Health Services and St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc.:  Carol Raw of St. Francis Health Services

Aaron Youngdahl of Northland Public Finance was present at the meeting to discuss . Serve as underwriter for some bond refinancing. Project in farmington - doing an expansion so the purpose would request a public hearing to issue up to $22 million in tax exempt bonds. Only a conduit, no responsibility saves on interest costs. Hill - laws allow it to happen. We look at whether or not we have any bond issues. Very common to do these types of issues. Located here and very important. Important to facilitate. Bond consultant will look it over at no cost to city.

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3632-6-19, Resolution Scheduling a Public Hearing on a Project by Farmington Health Services and St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried. 

Resolution Approving the Sale of Industrial Park Land to Jerry's U-Save Inc.: Hill - if approved they're going to purchase 12.38 acres of city land. Do a petroleum and propane product distribution center. Create 9 jobs. Requires a conditional use permit. 60 foot easement on property so property was discounted to reflect that.

Pete - open new windows for a lot of different things. Eventually want water and sewer. Propane storage for now. Miller - qualify for help with water and sewer. See what he says about farmers.

Hill - when backmans were going to come in - on the west side of prairie trailer. Buying whole thing so can come in on middle road and it's already there and built.

Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3633-6-19, Resolution Approving the Sale of Industrial Park Land to Jerry's U-Save Inc. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2019 Airport Pavement Rehabilitation Project: Hill - following FAA rules and sometimes that limits people's interest. Engineer's estimate was ___. Fahrner Asphalt Sealers had a bid of $55,983 and Asphalt Surface Technologies, Corp was $134,540. have to have a bid and contract in hand before we can get the grant before we can begin.

Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3634-6-19, Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2019 Airport Pavement Rehabilitation Project. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution Selecting a Tourism Marketing Firm and Authorizing a Website Rebuild:   Hill - taken us awhile to get to this point where we could make a recommendation. Spark 27 Creative out of Alexandria. Click Content Studios of Fargo, ND. A positive was that CC had many more resources. Seemed to be the best fit. Website is terrible and it needs to be redone. Expensive to redo. Hire them to do marketing company and then redo website. Marketing strategies, campaigns. $121,000 in lodging tax fund with annual revenues of $65,000.   

Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #___, Resolution Selecting a Tourism Marketing Firm and Authorizing a Website Rebuild. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for a2020-2021 (2 year) Operating Grant

Council member Miller moved, seconded by, Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #___, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for a 2020-2021 (2 Year) Operating Grant for Morris Transit. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.

CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS2020 Budget Guidance Recommendation: Hill - a lot is the same. Legislature is done and approved LGA of additional $55,000. Up to 3% increase in taxes. Wages settled, final year in a 3 year contract at 2.5%. Insurance was up, part of it was new water treatment plant. Last levy for loader lease. Evaluate our fleet and look at options. Look at how we're using every vehicle we have.   

Haven't heard back on MPCA grant - if we don't get it would recommend that we put it in. Rath construction might be able to do sidewalk work. Quotes for Green river and California avenue. Chizek field and parking lot.    

Giese - maintain current work force. Library is wanting to add something. If they could work it out would this preclude them from doing that? Hill - just my thoughts as guidance, doesn't preclude costing it out.    

Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Miller, to accept the 2020 budget guidance. Motion carried.    

City Manager Newsletter: Water treatment plant up and running just fine. We haven't made an announcement yet. At the same time I talked to one of the water softener sales that we can soften down to 5 grains of hardness at a city plant. Last thing will be landscaping and taking down the old building. Seems like lots of people want to keep their softeners, which is fine as long as it's adjusted right.          

German visit went very well.   

Garbage will be a big issue. Have to figure out what we're going to do with it.    

OTHER BUSINESS:  None

INFORMATIONAL ITEMS:  None 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:21 p.m.

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