MINUTES – MORRIS CITY
COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING – MARCH 10, 2015
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 10th day
of March, 2015, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior
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 and Mayor
Giese. Council member Storck was absent. Also present was City
Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch, Police Chief Tiegs and Public Works
ADDITION TO AGENDA: Mayor Giese added a quote from Titan
Machinery to City Managers Reports and Recommendations.
CITIZEN’S COMMENTS: Donation from BPA: Hill stated
the high school chapter of Business Professionals of America donated $5,000 to
the city from the State Farm Celebrate my Drive program.
Cemetery Chimes: Judi Carr and approximately 30 other people
were present at the meeting to show their support for the chimes. Carr
stated there have recently been several editorials in the newspaper regarding the
chimes in the cemetery and that they are a violation to a proclaimed atheist’s
rights and a noise factor to some on East 7th Street. Carr refers
to a quote from Ted Storck’s letter to the editor saying the chimes were turned
off and would soon be moved by a decree from City Manager Blaine Hill. The
chimes will remain off until there is some type of arrangement that can be made
to confine the music to the cemetery. Storck’s resolution would be to
move the speakers to Calvary to be heard only by them and not by East 7th
Street or at Summit Cemetery.
Carr stated they are
looking for a peaceful negotiation for the future of the chimes. They appreciate
the chimes and thank Storck for them. Carr noted that in a letter from Storck
he indicated he did not have to get approval from anyone before installing the
chimes so Carr wondered why the council is now having a say in the matter.
Carr stated the donation of the chimes was to the Vets and asked why one person,
or a few, have the right to decide the future of the chimes.
The citizens would like
the chimes to remain where they were first installed. They are agreeable
to having them turned down, to remain where they're at and have them play 2-3
times per day and for funerals as requested. Carr thanked the council for
their consideration and hoped there was a peaceful resolution for all.
Sid Wilcox, 210 Montana
Avenue, stated he spent a lot of time with the council when they were trying to
steal his property on East 7th Street. Wilcox noted at that
time he told the council there would be a revolution coming and the council laughed
at him. Wilcox indicated the people here don't think the council is listening
to its constituents and suggested they start listening to what these people
have to say. Wilcox stated the council bowed down to about six people and
took the chimes out. Wilcox stated it is his understand the same person wanted
the lights off at the Christus House and the council bowed down and turned them
off and now they want the lights off at St. Mary's.
Several people spoke to
this issue in favor of the chimes including Skip Hesse, Erv Krosch, Bill
Rickmeyer, Irwin Anderson and Darla Loher.
Council member Solvie stated
the chimes are off right now because when the council talked about the volume
and frequency it seemed to be a problem finding someone to run them because
only Ted Storck knows how to do it. Solvie noted he agrees that the
chimes are a great thing but added that you have to be respectful to
Hill stated no one has
talked about moving the chimes except for Ted Storck. Hill noted he started
dealing with this issue in 2008. The original agreement suggested that
the chimes should be turned down so they're heard in the cemetery and to play a
song on the hour or half hour. What ended up happening is that the songs
were being played every 15 minutes and the volume was turned up.
Miller noted the only
reason the chimes aren’t playing right now is because the city was told that supposedly
no one had the ability to turn the chimes down until Ted Storck came back.
Hill noted with regard to
Wilcox’s comment, no one has talked to St. Mary’s about their sign. The
Christus house sign was addressed and it will be talked about at the next
planning commission meeting to see what is right for that neighborhood.
Hill indicated that
everything people are fighting for can be done. Hill noted people have a
right to enjoy their property just as much as the next person. Hill
stated the one individual that can make this work has to be open to making it
Bob Stevenson stated he agrees
with Hill's thinking and can't believe that someone besides Mr. Storck can't learn
to adjust and handle that speaker. Stevenson confirmed that the veterans
own the chimes, not Ted Storck. Hill added that he believes Ted Storck
thinks he owns them. Stevenson stated he is President of Summit Cemetery
and their board has talked about it and they have no plans to move anything;
that is all Ted Storck talking. Stevenson believes with a little common
sense this thing can be worked out.
Krosch suggested a meeting
be held with the council, the veterans groups and the cemetery boards. Krosch
reiterated that Ted Storck does not own the chimes; they were donated. Krosch
noted it puts the council in a bad spot when there are complaints and Ted Storck
does what he wants. Krosch stated he is positive a satisfactory solution
can be worked out.
Giese noted the council is
not against turning the chimes back on. Giese stated the council heard it
well from the people in attendance that everyone enjoys them, including the
council, they just need to be moderated. The council thanked everyone for
coming and making their voices heard.
Council member Solvie
moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to have City Manager Hill meet with the Veterans
organizations and the cemetery boards to figure out an agreement for the
chimes. Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: None
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 2/24/15 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Council
member Solvie, to approve the 2/24/15 regular meeting minutes. Motion
Version Minutes: Council
member Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 2/24/15 condensed version
minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council
member Miller, to approve the consent agenda which included the following
of City Bills
for Exempt Permit – Ducks Unlimited
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
On Sale Liquor License - Legion: Council member Miller moved,
seconded by Council member Solvie, to approve the temporary on sale liquor
license application for the American Legion, for an event to be held at the
Morris Armory on March 21st. Upon a roll call vote taken and
all present voting in favor, and Mayor Giese abstaining, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Oregon
Avenue Project Update: Hill stated this project has some state and
federal money and some borrowing requirements with the federal money. Hill
stated some issues came up with regard to the red tape and they are really
cracking down at the federal level when it comes to funding. The final
plans were sent in for approval so the city could authorize advertising for
Jeff Kuhn of WSN was
present at the meeting. Kuhn stated as a result of submitting the plans for
this project to the state aid review office in district 4, it was discovered
that Oregon Avenue wasn’t on the federal aid system. California Avenue is
currently designated on the federal system. Kuhn suggested that
California Avenue be removed and replaced with Oregon Avenue. Kuhn
explained without doing that the city would not be eligible for federal funds.
Kuhn indicated the council
probably wonders why this wasn’t caught earlier. Kuhn explained that they
start programming for the district several years in advance. Several years
ago it was looked at possibly designating Oregon Avenue in 2017 and it should
have been caught but it slipped through the cracks. The City is not out
these dollars, but the project may just have to be moved back. Kuhn
stated if the council is able to make these designation changes the district
state aid engineer would be in agreement to move the project forward. Kuhn
stated it would be more like June or July depending on the other steps to go
through including meeting with the ATP (Area Transportation Partnership).
Kuhn stated there is a minute difference between California and Oregon, from 5th
Street back over to Elm. Kuhn stated the changes to the maps would also
involve removing the designation on 3rd Street and College Avenue
and shifting that to a different route.
Kuhn noted there wasn’t a designation
for Green River Road but he had requested that the last go around. Kuhn
explained there is potentially some sort of limitation that the ATP might have
to consider as far as mileage. On the state aid system you are only allowed
a certain percentage of your total overall mileage of streets. On the
federal it is a little bit different but he will find that out once the ATP
meets. Kuhn stated the federal funding for this project would amount to $1.2
million, which is a good chunk of the project.
Discussion was held on
street width and parking on both sides of the road for this project and other
streets. Hill stated in the future anytime a state aid road is done it should
be 38’ wide.
Kuhn noted another thing
about Oregon Avenue is that it is a closer match to Green River and it lines up
with the back of the business district more so than California.
Wohlers asked what moving
the project back would due to competitive bidding. Kuhn noted that it
doesn’t improve by moving it back because contractors start filling up.
The length of the project is really set up such so that it needs the whole
construction season. Kuhn stated it could be set up to phase part of the
work, but that doesn’t need to be decided right now.
It was the consensus of
the council to go ahead with the designation of federal funding from California
Avenue to Oregon Avenue. Kuhn will bring resolutions back to the council at
their next meeting.
City Manager Newsletter: This was informational for the council.
Hill explained that city staff thinks towing cars may not the best idea for
snow removal. The light snow alert that was called this past week seemed
to work well. Miller suggested making sure it is not confusing to people
and to have something that is uniform.
Titan Machinery Quote: Hill recommended the city proceed with a lease
purchase agreement for a Case loader from Titan Machinery. Council member
Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to enter an agreement with Titan Machinery
for a five year lease for a Case loader for $142,832. Motion carried.
NEW BUSINESS: None
OLD BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: 2015 Board of Appeals and
Equalization: The Board of Appeals will be held on April 1,
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:35 p.m.