MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR
MEETING - DECEMBER 10, 2019
The regular meeting of the Morris City
Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 10th day of December,
2019, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
call was taken with the following members present: Council member
Wohlers, Gullickson, Miller and Mayor Giese. Council member
Solvie was absent. Also present was City Manager Hill and Police Chief
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to add to the consent
agenda Pay Estimate #26 from Magney Construction. Motion carried.
AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 11/26/19 Regular City Council Meeting Minutes:
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 11/26/19
regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Condensed Version Minutes: Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the
11/26/19 condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to approve the consent
agenda which included the following items:
of City Bills
Report - Eagles
Estimate #26 - Magney Construction
REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: None
Resolution Approving an Assignment of TIF Note: Mike Stoebe, the
management agent for INH Properties, stated their operations with the TIF
district are going very well. Stoebe explained that they have the
opportunity to modify the existing loan with their lender. The
modification would convert the existing ownership structure from a master
limited liability company to three separate limited liability companies.
Stoebe indicated the assignment has met the satisfaction of the city's legal
counsel and they are asking for the council's endorsement.
Briggs & Morgan reviewed the paperwork and made a couple of recommendations
that were incorporated into the agreement. Hill added that nothing on the
city's end changes, this was just an opportunity for the partners involved in
the TIF to change their financing. Hill added they will be required to pay the
city's legal fees for Briggs & Morgan.
member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3657-12-19,
Resolution Approving the Assignment and Assumption of Development Agreement and
the Assignment of TIF Note. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting
in favor, motion carried.
Appointing the Morris Fire Department Assistant Chiefs and Other Officers: Council member Gullickson
moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3658-12-19, Resolution
Appointing the Morris Fire Department Assistant Chiefs and Other
Officers. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor,
Dybdal stated it has been a privilege to be a part of all the things the
department has been able to accomplish. Hill stated it was a tough year
for the Fire Department, along with the Police Department, with a lot of
stressful calls. Hill added it is hard on not only the individuals, but
their families as well. The council thanked Dybdal for all his work and
stated they are also looking forward to working with Matt.
presented incoming Chief Matt Solemsaas with the Fire Chief Badge.
MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Newsletter: Snow removal
was discussed and staff is recommending the ordinance be changed with regard to
parking on the streets. Hill indicated the concern is how many off street
parking spots need to be provided per residence. Hill noted UMM has
offered to make some parking available. The plan is to observe how things
go this season and bring something back to the council before next
winter. Snow emergencies will be effect yet for this year.
member Wohlers indicated the challenge will be rental properties with multiple
people in a dwelling and all of them having vehicles. This was something
the city required at one time years ago. Police Chief Welle explained,
after talking with the Stevens County HRA, the number of kitchens dictates how
many parking spots are required. Because most rental units are single
family homes with one kitchen, they are required to have just one off street
parking spot for the single family rental property.
to the Welcome to Morris signs, Hill stated he has done some checking on
possible lighting sources. Solar or battery is an option but a couple of
them are near an electric source. Hill indicated whether or not the city
could redo the lighting of the trees along main street will depend on
a request was made from the Fair Board to consider street lighting along County
Road 22 near the Lee Center and the fairgrounds. Giese suggested
pressuring Otter Tail to put the lights in since they provide them for the rest
of the town. Giese stated that should be the first avenue rather than
just paying for them. It was the consensus of the council that it makes
sense to have lighting in that area.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 2020
licenses as listed, pending insurance for all of them except Crystal Lanes and
Wohlsol as they have already submitted theirs. Motion carried.
Gullickson noted the Tree Board received the grant they applied for. Hill
noted it was quite a bit of money and they hoped to plant 350 trees and provide
some education as well with the money.
MEETING - 6:00 P.M.:
Budget & Levy Presentation: Hill stated the levy is the amount
of money the City certifies to the County to collect for taxes the following
year. The 2019 levy is $1,608,986, compared to the 2018 levy of
$1,562,123, which is a 3% levy increase. Hill noted the loader payment is
less in this levy and that goes away next year when it's paid for.
market value is $270,617,100. The 2019 market value was $261,519,400 for
an increase of 3.48%.
reviewed some revenue and expense considerations. The LGA increase helped
to balance the budget. The reorganization of the water treatment plant
has been finished. Wages are set at a 2.5% increase, with next year being
the last year in a 3 year contract. Health insurance saw a 6%
increase. The airport manager position is down from 30 to 20 hours.
An addition from the preliminary budget is the inclusion of professional fees
for website design for the city. Hill indicated sometime next year he may
be recommending another capital equipment purchase like a road grater or dump
truck. The annual benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association will
increase by $50.
total budget is $11,517,665, which is a decrease of 1% over last year's 2019
budget of $11,636,565. The general fund budget for 2020 is $4,160,544, or
a 5.3% increase over 2019 but also includes the loader levy lease.
improvement fund is budgeted at $372,310. Hill noted more money was moved
last year to do road work. Hill pointed out there is a group of projects
that he may have the engineers put together in a bid package like East Side
Park, the Chizek Field parking lot and sidewalks. This is estimated to be
around $350,000 worth of stuff and some money could be moved from reserves or
the liquor store to do that work.
explained there has been some issues with the hydraulics on the ladder truck
for the Fire Dept. Staff is looking at refurbishing the existing one for
around $150,000 because a new one is over one million.
reviewed the remaining funds including the Library, Stormwater, Lodging Tax,
Debt Service, Water Utility, Sewer Utility, Refuse, Liquor Store and Central
asked if lodging tax money could be used for the lighting on the Welcome to
Morris signs. Hill questioned whether or not that was
marketing and he does not believe it is. Gullickson noted it could affect
anyone coming through town and questioned who sets the definition for tourism.
Gullickson asked about the fireworks and Hill stated it is the one gray area
that the tourism funds are used for. Hill does not believe that a lighted
sign would bring anyone to Morris to stay over.
stated the Tourism Board is focusing on better advertising. Considerable
discussion was held on whether or not the lodging tax funds could be used to
pay for the lighting of the signs.
his presentation with talk about the future. LGA had an increase this
year but it will be interesting to see what happens with the legislature and
the $1.3 billion surplus. Health insurance costs remain a concern.
There are two more years of road maintenance to get caught up with continued
focus on capital equipment.
Approving the Final 2019 Levy for Collection in 2020: Council member Wohlers,
moved, seconded by Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3659-12-19, Resolution
Approving the Final 2019 Levy for Collection in 2020. Upon a roll call
vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Adopting the Final 2020 Budget for the City of Morris: Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3660-12-19, Resolution
Adopting the Final 2020 Budget for the City of Morris. Upon a roll call
vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Setting the Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief Association: Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3661-12-19, Resolution
Setting the Annual Pension Benefit for the Morris Fire Relief
Association. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor,
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further
business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:54 p.m.