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City plans to re-pave public works parking lot

MORRIS – On Tuesday, the Morris City Council approved a plan to repave the parking lot near the city’s public works building.

“Our city public works lot was basically destroyed over the years – anybody that tried to haul stuff knew it was pretty bad,” said City Manager Blaine Hill.

Hill said the original plan for the lot was to mill off the blacktop and regrade the lot, leaving it as gravel. But as crews started the work, it became clear the lot should be paved over again.

“It’s our main work area and a lot of people use it for coming in and out with grass clippings and stuff like that,” said Hill.

Repaving the lot with four inches of blacktop will cost about $89,000, an amount Hill said the city can find in the capital improvement and capital outlay funds.

City Inspecting Engineer Jay Fier said the design will also include a concrete section to create a gutter to drain water away from the public water spout.

City sees slight decrease in insurance premium

Despite a change in the way liability insurance is calculated, the city of Morris will see a slight decrease in their insurance premium for this year.

Tom Quam with Bremer Insurance Agency, presented an insurance proposal with an offer from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (MCIT) to the council.

The city’s property insurance is up slightly because the city added some buildings and equipment to their plan.

The city’s liability insurance cost increased about 16 percent because MCIT changed the way they rate liability, Quam said.

On the other hand, the city’s workers’ compensation cost decreased from about $91,000 to $73,400 because the city’s “experience modifier,” the city’s previous losses in this area, decreased for this year.

When those changes were combined, it resulted in a small decrease in the city’s premium, from about $239,000 to about $237,700. The city also received a dividend of $16,326 from MCIT.

Rural businesses request city water

As the city of Morris continues with discussions about a new water treatment plant, some rural businesses have asked whether the city would be interested in selling water to them, City Manager Blaine Hill told the council.

One potential customer is DENCO II. Another is Riverview Dairy, which is in the process of getting permits for a new feedlot southeast of Chokio.

Hill said one of the first issues would be to determine whether the city has the capacity within existing wells and aquifer to provide water outside the city.

The council did not take a formal vote on the issue, but indicated they were interested in exploring the idea further – provided the business of providing water did not impact city residents.

Engineers study drainage along Oregon Avenue

The city’s engineering firm, Widseth, Smith and Nolting, has been working on a plan for a project to redo the storm sewers along Oregon Avenue from Fourth Street to Elm Street.

City Manager Blaine Hill said they would be bringing a plan to the city council to review after a feasibility study is completed.

The project was originally planned for this summer, but was delayed so engineers could more extensively study drainage issues in the area.

Other business

  • The council moved their first meeting in August from Tuesday, Aug. 12 to Monday, Aug. 11 at 5:15 p.m. so it does not conflict with Minnesota’s primary election.
  • The council approved a partial payment to F and S Concrete of Garfield, Minn. for a concrete sidewalk replacement project that includes three utility trench repairs and Pacific Avenue between West Ninth and 10th Streets.
  • The council approved a partial payment to Mudpumpers Mudjacking of Moorhead, Minn. for concrete mudjacking on Pacific Avenue from West Eighth Street to Park Avenue.
  • The council approved a partial payment of $89,849 to Ebert Construction for a new hangar at the Morris Municipal Airport. The total project cost is about $700,000, split between the federal government, state of Minnesota, and city of Morris. The city’s share of the project is about $77,000.