MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL - REGULAR MEETING - SEPTEMBER 22, 2020
The regular meeting
of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 22nd
day of September, 2020, by Mayor Giese.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
ROLL CALL: Roll call was taken with
the following members present: Council members Wohlers, Solvie, Miller,
Gullickson and Mayor Giese were present via Zoom. Also present via Zoom was
Finance Director Raasch and Police Chief Welle. City Manager Hill was
present via Zoom from the Council Chambers.
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to add to the agenda an
Application for Exempt Permit from Assumption Church. Motion carried.
Elizabeth Bezanson was present at the Council Chambers to express her
dissatisfaction with the bathrooms being closed at East Side Park.
Bezanson stated she was informed it was because the bathrooms had been
vandalized too many times. Bezanson indicated the constituents are the ones
being punished and suggested an increase in police presence when there are
youths in the park to discourage vandalism. Hill noted the parks
department is getting ready to turn water off for the season anyway.
Council member Solvie
suggested citizens police the area and help out the Police Department.
discussed putting up cameras by the bathrooms. It was the consensus of
the council that the bathrooms should be open if possible.
PUBLIC HEARING: None
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
9/8/20 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Solvie moved,
seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 9/8/20 regular meeting minutes.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Wohlers, to approve the 9/8/20
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:
Audit of City
Planning Commission Minutes
7/8/20 Library Board Minutes
for Exempt Permit – Assumption Church
REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: Appoint Melanie Fohl to Planning Commission:
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Wohlers, to appoint Melanie Fohl
to the Planning Commission. Motion carried.
Detail of CARES
Act Funds Used:
This was informational for the council.
Resolution Approving the Preliminary 2020 Tax Levy for Collection in 2021:
City Manager Hill reviewed the 2020 preliminary budget. Hill stated the city
may not know until May or June of next year what will happen with LGA.
Hill indicated the preliminary budget shows a 3% increase, which is only for
planning purposes. Hill anticipated the final levy would be frozen by
Hill noted work comp
and liability insurance is going up. Health insurance costs are unknown
at this time but the budget includes a 10% increase. A pleasant surprise
is that the city has received some good bond interest rates and done some
refinancing which results in about $100,000 of flexibility in debt
service. There is a 0% increase in wages for next year, other than the normal
step increases. Hill stated the loader is paid off, but is recommending
replacement of the other loader because it is important to maintain equipment
for city operations.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Wohlers to adopt Resolution #3708-9-20, Resolution Approving
the Preliminary 2020 Tax Levy for Collection in 2021. Upon a roll call
vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
the Preliminary 2021 Budget for the City of Morris: Hill stated this budget
resolution sets the final budget hearing for December 8th at 6:00
p.m. Hill reviewed some highlights of the 2021 budget, which include:
The budget includes a major
increase in work comp insurance costs. There are two major work comp
claims right now.
This budget includes the same work
force numbers. There is another budget that looks at the what ifs but
most of the workforce is allocated to areas where they can't be cut and the
city doesn't have a large number of employees anyway.
There is no new bond levy for
2021, but probably will be for 2022.
Liquor store revenues are
projected to keep increasing.
The fire relief benefit is
increased from $2,200 to $2,250.
The budget includes $200,000
allocated for funding of private sidewalk improvements. The city would establish
an assessment program where residents could petition to have their sidewalks
Water rates may need to be
adjusted in 2021.
Hill noted Jordan
Staples from the Morris Hockey Association would be at the next meeting to
discuss a donation of $25,000 for the hockey arena.
Council member Wohlers
moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3709-9-20, Resolution Adopting
the Preliminary 2021 Budget for the City of Morris. Upon a roll call vote
taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Execute MN DOT Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land
Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3810-9-20,
Resolution to Execute MN DOT Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding
Land Acquisition. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in
favor, motion carried.
Appointing Judges for the State General Election, November 3, 2020: Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3811-9-20, Resolution
Appointing Judges for the State General Election, November 3, 2020. Upon
a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
REPORTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Newsletter: Hill informed the
council he has received complaints about the liquor store and customers not
wearing masks. Hill stated the question is what to do when people don't
wear a mask and will not wear a mask. Customers are coming into
businesses and addressing other customers because they're not wearing one and
then the poor clerks wind up dealing with the people that are upset.
Hill explained it is
a requirement to wear a mask but questioned if a person should be denied
service if they come in the liquor store without one. Hill noted the city
has to do everything it can to try to make people comply but when you get to a
point where there's going to be a confrontation that shouldn't happen. Hill
pointed out it was never the Governor's intention to site people for not
wearing masks. Hill indicated if someone comes into the library without
one they then encourage them to wear a mask the next time they come. Hill
stated his recommendation is to put some masks in the lobby of the liquor
store, encourage people to use them and have signage drawn up as to whom to
contact if people are unhappy with what is happening.
Solvie stated he is
not in favor of any kind of fine for anyone not wearing a mask. The
council agreed with Hill's recommendation of masks and education. Anyone
who has a problem can contact City Manager Hill.
OTHER BUSINESS: Council member Wohlers had
a landlord approach him and wondered if water bills had to stay in the landlord's
name. Finance Director Raasch explained that the bills must remain in the
landlord's name but can be sent to the tenant at their request. There is
no control to assess an unpaid bill if it is not in the owners name.
Raasch pointed out a landlord can call city hall at any time and find out the
amount of a bill.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further
business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:38p.m.