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Morris City Council reconsiders parallel taxiway project

A change in the way the Federal Aviation Administration funds airport projects could mean abandoning or delaying a planned project to add a parallel taxiway to the Morris Municipal Airport, City Manager Blaine Hill told the Morris City Council on Tuesday.

Instead of funding 95 percent of a project, the FAA is now only funding projects at 90 percent. This means the City of Morris would need to provide an additional $65,000 in the local share of the project, bringing the total cost up to about $130,000.

"I'm not sure I'm ready to do that because that's quite a bit of money," said Hill. "It could be that we may want to move on to the next project."

Hill said he was planning to get a recommendation from the Airport Advisory Board at their meeting Friday morning to bring to the city council. At that point, the council will need to notify the FAA and Minnesota Department of Transportation if the city plans to continue with the project.

City may increase parking ticket rates

Those who park illegally in Morris may face increased parking ticket fees.

During the city manager's report, Hill said he had been talking with both UMM Campus Police and Morris Police Chief Jim Beauregard about raising fines for parking tickets because the existing fines are not a deterrent.

Currently, a parking ticket is $10. During a snow emergency, a parking ticket is $15. Displaying a forged or altered parking permit is $20, and parking in a handicapped parking spot is $200.

As part of a budget amendment resolution set to come before the council at their next meeting on March 27, Hill said he would propose increasing the fine to $20 for a regular parking ticket, $30 for a ticket during a snow emergency and $40 for forged or altered parking permits.

"Tickets should cover the cost of writing them, especially in the case of regular parking tickets," said Hill. "They should be a deterrent."