- MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING -
APRIL 26, 2016
The regular meeting of the
Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 26th day
of April, 2016, 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, Storck and Mayor
Giese. Also present was City Manager Hill, Finance Director Raasch,
Police Chief Tiegs, Public Works Director Dittbenner and City Attorney
Accepting and Approving the 2015 Annual Financial Statements for the City of
Faye, Audit Manager from the city's auditing firm of Eide Bailey, was present
at the meeting and reviewed the city's executive summary for 2015. The
city received a clean unmodified audit opinion, which is what the city wants
and has received in the past. Total expenditures for the city were
$4,396,326 and revenues of $4,338,242. At the end of the year the city
had a fund balance of $3.6 million. Faye stated the city has been consistent from year to year
in revenues and expenditures. The city tends to budget conservatively
which is consistent with other cities.
City Manager Hill added
debt load is going down because the city hasn't done a big project for two
years. The Oregon Avenue project for this year has state and federal
funds and the city will be borrowing a small amount for the remainder.
Hill indicated with regard to fund balances and reserves, those may be drawn
out a little for a one time use but not for ongoing costs because it will bleed
it down. Hill stated the city has been able to keep taxes down because of
LGA but it is getting to the point where if the legislature doesn't make an
adjustment in this session, the city will have to figure out how to deal with
that in next year's budget. Hill noted the liquor store numbers went from
$1.6 million to over $2 million. Hill stated they are good at identifying
things that sell and it's a very nice business for the city to have as a
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Storck, to adopt Resolution #3384-16, Resolution Accepting
and Approving the 2015 Annual Financial Statements for the City of
Morris. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor,
Eutectics Presentation -
Solar Energy Projects: The
City of Morris received a CERTS grant to look at using solar energy. The
grant authorized $5,000 to hire a consultant, Eutectics, to assist the city in
developing solar projects. Jeremy Kalin, the CEO of Eutectics was present at
the meeting to discuss the Morris Model Clean Energy Financing Hub. Kalin
stated in 2015 the City, UMM and Eutectics partnered to create the Morris Model
Clean Energy Hub Blueprint. Kalin reviewed the long and short term goals
and opportunities of the blueprint.
Kalin recognized that the
city has already completed an LED lighting project by upgrading the lighting in
12 municipal buildings, parking lots and city owned street lights. The
project was financed using a municipal lease so it doesn't show up as
debt. The project will see an annual energy and operational savings of
$31,042 in first full year of operation.
Kalin and Hill both noted
that these partnerships with Saerbeck, Germany, UMM and the City of Morris are
getting national and international attention. Kalin added that Morris has
a very good reputation at the legislature. Kalin indicated they would
bring a solar feasibility analysis back to the council on June 28th.
PUBLIC HEARINGS: Public Hearing and 2nd
Reading of Ordinance No. 105, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code -
Various Chapters and Sections 2016A: Hill pointed out the council
would be seeing more of these ordinances as he continues to try and fix some
issues in the code. Council member Storck asked about the fire department
charge for carbon monoxide and whether or not insurance would cover that.
Hill noted that those calls wouldn't be the full $500 like a fire call, it may
be something like the first false alarm is free and then a $100 charge for
subsequent calls. Hill stated he is working directly with the Fire Chief
to figure out the best way to handle those.
Council member Wohlers left
the meeting at this point.
Mayor Giese opened the
public hearing at 6:02. There being no comments from the public, Mayor
Giese closed the public hearing at 6:02 and brought the matter back to the
council for action.
Council member Storck
moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Ordinance No. 105, An Ordinance Amending
the Morris City Code - Various Chapters and Sections 2016A. Upon a roll
call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
READING AND APPROVAL OF
MINUTES: 4/12/16 Regular
Meeting Minutes: Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Council
member Miller, to approve the 4/12/16 regular meeting minutes. Motion
Minutes: Council member
Solvie moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 4/12/16 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
License Report - Morris Area Post Prom
Planning Commission Minutes
& 2/11/16 SCEIC Minutes
Tourism Board Minutes
PETITIONS, REQUESTS AND
Report - American Legion: Council member Storck moved, seconded by
Miller, to accept the gambling report from the American Legion. Upon a
roll call vote taken and Mayor Giese abstaining as an officer of the
Legion. Motion carried.
Appointment to Library
Board: Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Solvie, to appoint Richard Richards to the Library
Board to fill the term of Becky Hennen. Motion carried.
Motion to Approve $2,000
for PPD Fireworks: Council
member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to approve a contribution of $2,000 to
the Eagles for the PPD fireworks celebration. Motion carried.
Motion to Approve PPD
Budget: Mayor Giese moved,
seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the proposed Prairie Pioneer Days
budget. Motion carried. Hill noted the city will pick up the
balance out of the tourism funds.
Reading of Ordinance No. 106, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code -
Chapter 11: Hill explained that a request was made by a property
owner in the Industrial Park to add Commercial and Private Storage Buildings to
a Light Industrial District. The Planning Commission took action to set a
public hearing but because it is part of Chapter 11 one of the additional requirements
is that the council also hold a public hearing. Hill recommended the
council set their public hearing for May 24th, which would be after
the PC's public hearing. It was the consensus of the council
that this change made sense and it would add some tax base to the city.
Council member Miller
moved, seconded by Storck, to accept this as the first reading of Ordinance No.
106, An Ordinance Amending the Morris City Code - Chapter 11 and set a public
hearing and second reading for 5:20 on May 24th. Upon a roll
call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS
& RECOMMENDATIONS: Water
Plant Bids: Hill stated bids were opened for the water plant project
and came in very high with a bid of $17,215,300. Hill noted the
legislature is scheduled to be done on May 23rd so Kris from Bolton
& Menk will come to the May 24th meeting to give the city an
update. Hill recommended the extra garage that was a bid as an alternate
be removed from the project for a reduction of $356,700.
Hill noted staff looked at
finding a number of items that could be taken out to make it cheaper, but it is
a legal issue and the city can't pick and choose what to pull out of the
bid. Staff also talked about rebidding the project but because the city
is in the process of obtaining public facilities funding a bid needs to be in
place for the June deadline. Hill recommended the council sit on this
bid, which the city is allowed to do for up to 75 days. Hill stated the
legislature has taken this information and had some high level discussions with
the governor, PFA and the MPCA. Hill indicated the last word he received
is that there is legislation that, if passed the way it's written right now,
will raise the cap on the point source grant from $3 to $7 million and raise
the drinking water cap to $5 million. This increases the city's
eligibility for funding to $12 million, but the project has to be ready to
go. Hill noted one thing that's consistent is that everybody likes Morris'
project and it's at a point where it's ready to build.
Council member Storck asked
if the city was building a Cadillac when it could get by with a
Chevrolet. Hill indicated staff and the engineers are looking at what the
city needs right now and what it needs for the future. Hill stated if the
most money the city gets is $3 million it may have to reject all the bids and
go back to the legislature next year.
It was the consensus of the
council to wait and see what happens with the legislature.
Problem - PDT Water
Service Line: Hill explained
that the company boring the water service line to PDT Park hit a solid blockage
and were unable to get through. Hill stated they are looking for
solutions and once he hears from the company he will bring it back to the
City Manager Newsletter: This was informational for the council.
Mayor Giese moved, seconded
by Council member Storck, to accept the resignation of Dale Livingston from the
Planning Commission. Motion carried.
OTHER BUSINESS: None
INFORMATIONAL ITEMS: None
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor
Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:40 p.m.