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City council approves publishing EAW for old elementary school demolition

MORRIS - The City of Morris could have the option to demolish the old elementary school building by the beginning of October if the process to move forward with an Environmental Assessment Worksheet continues as planned.

On Tuesday, the Morris City Council voted 4 - 0 (council member Matt Carrington abstained from the vote) to authorize City Manager Blaine Hill to publish an EAW with the Environmental Quality Board for the demolition of the old elementary school building.

Next, the EAW will be published in the EQB Monitor and sent to more than 25 different organizations. After the EAW is published, there is a 30 day comment period. After the comment period is over, the city council will have the option to decide whether any further environmental actions need to take place.

If the council decides no further work needs to be done, they will pass a resolution to that effect, which opens another 30 day waiting period. When that period is over, the building can be torn down.

Hill emphasized that the EAW is only related to demolishing the building.

"There are no plans, there's not developer, there's nothing in place," said Hill. "One of the things that we could do is just sell the land. ... We can solicit development projects, do all that kind of stuff, but there's nothing in place right now. I tried to make that very clear in [the EAW]."

A copy of the EAW is attached to this article.

Other business

• The council approved two payments to Kuechle Underground for work on Pacific Avenue - one for $237,529 and one for $16,061. Hill told the council that the major underground work on the project is finished and things are progressing well.

• The council approved a payment of $8,872 to F&S Concrete for work at the fire all, tree root damage and alleys and driveways.

• Hill and incoming Finance Director Deb Raasch have been interviewing candidates for the open city accountant position. Hill said they received 31 applications, are interviewing six candidates and hope to have a selection by July 20.

• The council approved a slate of election judges for the state primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 14.

• The council moved their Aug. 14 meeting to Aug. 7.