MORRIS CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR MEETING - MAY 26, 2020
The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at
5:15 p.m. this 26th day of May, 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, Miller
and Mayor Giese were present via Zoom.
Council member Gullickson was absent. Also present was City Manager Hill in
the Council Chambers. City Attorney
Jordan, Police Chief Welle and Finance Director Raasch also appeared via Zoom.
CITIZEN'S COMMENTS : None
PUBLIC HEARING :
READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES : 5/12/20 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by
Wohlers, to approve the 5/12/20 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
5/12/20 Condensed Version : Council member Solvie moved, seconded by
Mayor Giese, to approve the 5/12/20 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:
Audit of City Bills
Pay Estimate #1 – 2020 Improvement Project
Revenue & Expenditure Report
Library Board Minutes, 3/11/20
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS : Arbor Day Proclamation 2020: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Wohlers, to proclaim May as Arbor Month in the City of Morris. Motion carried.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS : Resolution Approving an Amendment to
a MN DOT Airport Maintenance and Operation Grant: City Manager Hill explained the Federal CARES
Act stimulus package has allocated $30,000 of additional airport maintenance
and operations grant money. Hill
indicated there have been issues with the fueling system at the airport and
this money could be used to replace it.
This resolution would approve the additional funds of $30,000 on the
airport grants for a total of $88,902.
Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3692-5-20,
Resolution Approving an Amendment to a MN DOT Airport Maintenance and Operation
Grant. Upon a roll call vote taken and
all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS : Fairgrounds Road Light Poles: Hill explained this was brought up by
the Fair Board because as you go out past Pacific Avenue there are no street
lights along County Road 22. The
Fair Board has been renting lights to put up during the fair to
insure that people were safe as they were crossing the road. Hill noted it makes sense and the Fair
Board obtained some prices from Otter Tail Power. Hill asked the council to approve
putting up the lights and Otter Tail would calculate how many they think should
be put up. Hill noted the lights would
be helpful during the fair but also for all the businesses along the road.
Council member Miller, seconded by Wohlers, to negotiate an agreement
with Otter Tail Power for lighting along County Road 22. Motion carried.
City Manager Newsletter : Hill stated the Governor has indicated
that restaurants can be open for outdoor seating. The Governor also recommended that cities
get involved and try to help businesses be creative on what to do. City Attorney Jordan noted he has
checked with a lot of other cities and gotten a wide variety of responses. Jordan indicated the biggest concern is
making sure that the restaurant knows that they need to have the insurance for
an expanded space. Jordan
recommended a permit process for those that want to participate in the outdoor
seating. The one thing that has
been consistent is that the space has to be contiguous with the building where they
Wohlers stated limiting it to the areas that the business owns would be
best so it's not spilling out into the city streets. Jordan added that the
outdoor seating wouldn't help all of the businesses as some don't have the
space. Giese agreed with keeping it
on the business property but that does limit some of the businesses. Giese indicated he is a bit concerned
with the order and wondered if it was for restaurants that serve a little bit
of alcohol or bars that serve a little bit of food.
Considerable discussion was held on how to proceed with businesses that
want to participate in the outdoor seating. Jordan noted whatever mechanism the city
uses there should be a date set for a deadline. It could always be extended if need
Hill added that he was contacted by a local restaurant owner that had
an issue with food trucks in town, specifically Wurstmachers and an occasional
taco stand. Hill pointed out they
only need the permission of the property owner where they set up and the city
does not regulate food trucks.
Wohlers stated his personal feeling is that the city needs to be
respectful of the brick and mortar businesses that pay taxes all year
long. Wohlers suggested there be
some kind of control from a safety standpoint and a mechanism in place to allow
who is coming in and out of town.
Miller indicated if somebody wants to bring in a truck in on private
property there isn't anything the city can do about it. Wohlers recommended a permit and some
type of fee for an allotted time. Solvie
agreed with Wohlers on having a permit and paying a fee. Solvie stated Morris businesses are
paying taxes and the others should not be allowed to come in freely. Miller asked City Attorney Jordan to check
with some other communities to see what they do with regard to food
Discussion was held on creating an ordinance to permit food
trucks. Hill reviewed the ordinance
process, which would involve a public hearing and probably a lot of public
input. Giese suggested Hill and
Jordan do their due diligence and come up with a resolution to permit these
food trucks. Giese stated he would
have a hard time with totally saying no to the food trucks, but limitations
could be in place.
Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Solvie, to direct City
Manager Hill and City Attorney Jordan to draft a letter of instruction to
restaurant owners with regard to outdoor seating as the Covid crisis
continues. Motion carried.
Hill noted he is trying to wade through all the information about the
campground and there are very specific rules about the things you have to do to
Hill encouraged everybody in the city to go online and apply for an
absentee ballot for the upcoming elections because the city will not be able to
do mail in ballots. Hill stated that
way the election judges can limit the amount of people
they interact with and avoid having long lines at the polls.
OTHER BUSINESS : None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS :
New Release – Mitigation Plan: This was informational for the council.
There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:27