– MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING–JANUARY 14, 2014
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 14th day
of January, 2014, 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, Miller,
Storck and Mayor Giese. Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Public
Works Director Dittbenner, Police Chief Tiegs, Fleet Manager Searle and City
OFFICIAL ACTS: Election
of Mayor Pro Tem: Council
member Storck moved, seconded by Solvie, to continue with the same person as
last year and elect Miller as the Mayor Pro Tem. Motion carried.
Appointments to Boards
and Commissions: Mayor Giese will fill the vacancy on the
library board. Council member
Storck moved, seconded by Miller, to approve the appointments to Boards and
Commissions as presented. Motion
Appointment of Ex-Officios: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Storck, to continue with the same ex-officios
as last year as follows: Miller
– Park Board, Planning Commission and WCI-EDD, Solvie – RFC and
Community Ed, Giese – SCEIC and Human Rights Commission, Storck –
Airport Advisory Board and Rental Housing Commission, Wohlers – Tourism
Board and Chamber Board. Motion
Designation of Official
Newspaper: Council member Storck moved,
seconded by Wohlers, to designate the Morris Sun Tribune as the official
newspaper of the City of Morris.
CITIZEN'S COMMENTS: None
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 12/23/13 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by
Solvie, to approve the 12/23/13 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Version Minutes: Council member Solvie moved, seconded by
Storck, to approve the 12/23/13 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:
A. Audit of City
B. December Transit
C. Gambling Reports
D. Temporary On Sale
Liquor License – American Legion
The bill from Engebretson's for the Superior lift station was
discussed. Hill noted the city is
responsible for the maintenance since it owns the line. It was the consensus that getting a
proper sized sewer line and lift station set up for that business is something
that needs to be looked at for the future.
Application: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3204-1-14, Resolution Approving Premises
Permit Application for the Morris Hockey Association to conduct gambling at the
Old #1 Bar & Grill. Motion
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor
Giese added to the agenda a request to sell the 1994 Chevrolet pickup.
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
COMMUNICATIONS: Gambling Report from American Legion: Council member Miller moved, seconded by
Solvie, to accept the gambling report from the American Legion. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the Legion,
Approval of Sale of 94
Chevy Pickup: Council member Storck moved,
seconded by Miller, to approve the sale of the 1994 Chevrolet ½ ton
pickup. Motion carried.
RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Setting a Public Hearing
to Consider a Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan: Hill informed the council that the MPCA
has established new standards for wastewater discharge from the City of Morris
to the PDT river system and is requiring the city submit a report as to how it
will deal with the new standards.
Bolton & Menk has prepared this report for the city.
Kris Swanson from Bolton
& Menk was present at the meeting.
Swanson stated this process was started a little over a year ago when
they were hired to evaluate the aging infrastructure of two significant
facilities for the city. The big
issue that the MPCA and the nation is dealing with is
being in compliance for chloride for the wastewater permit.
The city currently
discharges about 700 mg/L of chloride (salt) and that needs to be decreased to
406 mg/L by 2020. The main
significant source of the salt is water softeners and all of that goes down the
Swanson explained that
salts accumulate and there is nothing to break them down. It is very expensive
to remove chlorides. Solvie asked
if the plant could take the salt down enough so that people wouldn't have to
have water softeners. Swanson
stated it will take it down enough but it's all personal preference. Hill stated when this process first started
he reached out to the water softener companies and told them about the MPCA
requirements. Hill indicated they
were not concerned because they still felt that they would sell softeners. Hill suggested possibly mandating water
softeners in the future to those that do it automatically instead of recharging
3x a week.
Miller asked about the
option of a lime system versus reverse osmosis. Swanson explained that the RO has a
reject screen. The lime actually
removes the solids rather than a solid bypass. Swanson stated he cannot
recommend the RO plant given what the MPCA is looking at for the future.
Storck asked what it would
cost to run the new plant. Swanson
stated it is marginally more than what the city has now. More chemicals will need to be added
with the new system. Swanson stated
there are currently 90% or higher of residents in town that use softeners. The current billing for 700 cubic feet
is $24.35 a month. This is proposed to be increased to $42 to $52/month. This would be offset by salt savings of
$10-$35/month. It is very close to
a wash depending on how much salt you use and your softener.
Swanson pointed out they
have done two new plants in St. Peter and Redwood Falls. There would need to be public education
on the changes and upgrading of water softeners. Swanson stated the city has an aging
water plant that is in need of an upgrade anyways. This will also provide better water
quality and meet the chloride compliance needs of the MPCA. With regard to education Swanson stated
the University could be a great asset to utilize.
Wohlers asked if the city
would gain any efficiencies. Swanson noted they show just
marginal growth. DENCO discharges
chlorides and they're not on city water and that will need to be looked at. Hill indicated DENCO spends a lot of
money dealing with the hardness.
Swanson stated there are certainly other benefits that are hard to
quantify such as not having a film on coffee and not having to replace water
heaters as often.
Swanson explained the
project cost is approximately $9.4 million. Low interest loans are available through
CWRF and DWRF. There is also a
point source implementation grant up to $3 million available which would be the
first time the state would fund a water plant under this program.
Swanson indicated while
the city doesn't need to comply with the new regulations until 2020, it will
take up to 3 years to get online.
Also, it will be easier to act on specialized funding opportunities if
things are ready to go. Swanson's
recommendation is to get in line for the funding.
Wohlers asked when they
would have to commit if some of the other surrounding towns wanted to get
involved in this. Swanson indicated
that would be during the design process.
Swanson stated if the city feels they're going to be able to garner
interest you can build more facility then you need, but cautioned that it has
to be paid back.
Miller asked if the city
has the capacity to let DENCO use its water, instead of their own well, if they
wanted to. Swanson noted buy ins are something that would need to be looked at. Solvie asked if the city could meet the 406 mg/L requirement if DENCO does not change what they're
doing. Swanson believes the city
Hill stated the majority
of DENCO's discharge is done under their own permit and MPCA is watching them
Swanson suggested holding
a public hearing on January 28th. At that time the city would adopt a
resolution adopting the facility plan and then it can be submitted to the
Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3205-1-14,
Resolution Setting a Public Hearing to Consider a Wastewater Treatment Facility
Plan and setting the hearing for January 28th at 5:20 p.m. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
the Submission of the 2014 Pay Equity Report: Hill explained the City
is required to submit a Pay Equity report for wages as of December 31,
2013. This report makes sure there
is not a trend of female dominated positions being underpaid when compared to
male dominated positions. There are
10 male dominated positions and 10 female dominated and 3 balanced positions. The system is fair and in
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3206-1-14,
Resolution Authorizing the Submission of the 2014 Pay Equity Report. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Adopting the
2014 Morris City Council Standing Rules:
Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Miller, to adopt Resolution #3207-1-14, Resolution
Adopting the 2014 Morris City Council Standing Rules. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present
voting in favor, motion carried.
Finance Director to Designate Depositories: Council member Wohlers
moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3208-1-14, Resolution
Authorizing Finance Director to Designate Depositories. Upon a roll call vote taken and all
present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Approving a
Memorandum of Understanding with the AFSCME Local 2022 Public Works Union: Hill
stated he was asked to consider a pay step increase for Russ Breeggemann from the public works department. Hill noted originally the union asked
that the two new employees hired in 2013 both get a step increase but the other
employee did not have enough experience in city government. Hill is recommending this bump be made
through a memorandum of understanding.
This is not typically something the city does but will probably look at
putting something like that in the contract during upcoming negotiations.
With regard to wages,
Storck expressed concern that Fleet Manager Searle is not getting paid enough
for what he does. City Manager Hill
indicated a person cannot just make a judgment call as to what someone gets paid, it is based on education, how many people they
supervise and several other categories.
Considerable discussion was held on personnel and wages.
Council member Wohlers
moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to adopt Resolution #3209-1-14, Resolution
Approving a Memorandum of Understanding with the AFSCME Local 2022 Public Works
Union. Upon a roll call vote taken
and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Report: This was informational for the council.
NEW BUSINESS: Set
Board of Review for 4/1/14:
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Solvie, to set the board of review for
April 1st, 2014, at 5:15 p.m.
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:39 p.m.