MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL
REGULAR MEETING - JUNE 25, 2019
The regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m. this 25th day of June, 2019, by Mayor Giese in the Council Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens/Community Center.
ROLL CALL: Roll call was taken with the following members present: Council member Wohlers, Solvie, Gullickson, Miller and Mayor Giese. Also present was City Manager Hill and Police Chief Welle.
CITIZEN'S COMMENTS: Melanie Fohl - MN Housing Partnership: Melanie Fohl of Stevens County HRA was present at the meeting to talk about some statistics the MN Housing Partnership put together. Fohl stated the study shows the areas that are cost burdened, which means people are paying more than 30% of their income for housing. In Stevens County about 1/3 of the population is renters and not home owners. Fohl confirmed that Stevens County has the highest % of cost burdened renters across the state at 52%, and 34% of all renters are actually paying more than half of their income for housing. Fohl noted another concern is the statistics about seniors who are cost burdened, renters and homeowners. 56% of senior renters and 15% of homeowners are cost burdened and that number is expected to grow because of a decrease in social security and an increase in housing/utility costs.
Fohl explained that among renter households the gap is widening between the median income and the median rent. Fohl pointed out that the median income has declined by 10% since 2000 and the median rent has increased by 26% so there is a definite gap between what people can afford and what they're earning. Fohl indicated Morris seems like it's going through an adjustment as the student population declines. Fohl suggested putting together some type of plan for how to maintain the housing in the community and keep the neighborhoods in good shape.
READING AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 6/11/19 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 6/11/19 regular meeting minutes. Motion carried.
CONSENT AGENDA: Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Solvie, to approve the consent agenda which included the following items: Audit of City Bills, Application for Exempt Permit - MN Deer Hunter Assn, Community Ed Information and Revenue & Expenditure Report
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS: Resolution Scheduling a Public Hearing on a Project by Farmington Health Services and St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc.: Carol Raw of St. Francis Health Services and Aaron Youngdahl of Northland Public Finance was present at the meeting to discuss refinancing of some health care bonds for St. Francis. Youngdahl stated this would be for an expansion project at their Farmington location. Youngdahl indicated this resolution would request a public hearing to discuss the city acting as a conduit bond issuer of up to $22 million in tax exempt bonds. Youngdahl noted there is no responsibility on the part of the city for repayment of the bonds.
Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3632-6-19, Resolution Scheduling a Public Hearing on a Project by Farmington Health Services and St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Approving the Sale of Industrial Park Land to Jerry's U-Save Inc.: Hill explained that if this sale is approved Jerry's plans to purchase 12.38 acres of land in the Industrial Park for the purpose of building a propane and petroleum products distribution center. Hill noted there is a 60 foot easement on the property so the property was discounted to reflect that. This project will create 9 new jobs and also requires a conditional use permit.
Council member Miller moved, seconded by Solvie, to adopt Resolution #3633-6-19, Resolution Approving the Sale of Industrial Park Land to Jerry's U-Save Inc. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2019 Airport Pavement Rehabilitation Project: Hill stated the city advertised for bids for the airport pavement project and received two bids. The low bid was from Fahrner Asphalt Sealers for $55,983 and the other was from Asphalt Surface Technologies for a bid of $134,540. The engineer's estimate for the project was $95,900. Hill added that TKDA is familiar with work done by Fahrner and don't have a problem awarding them the bid.
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Miller, to adopt Resolution #3634-6-19, Resolution Accepting a Bid and Authorizing a Contract for the 2019 Airport Pavement Rehabilitation Project. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution Selecting a Tourism Marketing Firm and Authorizing a Website Rebuild: Hill indicated the Tourism Board met with two companies, Spark27 Creative out of Alexandria and Click Content Studios of Fargo, ND. Hill pointed out that Click Content had many more resources and seemed to be the best fit. Hill stated the tourism website is terrible and it needs to be redone but it will be expensive. Hill recommended Click Content be hired as the tourism marketing firm and to redo the Morris Tourism website in the amount of $12,000-$15,000. Hill noted there is $121,000 in the lodging tax fund with annual revenues of $65,000.
Council member Solvie moved, seconded by Wohlers, to adopt Resolution #3635-6-19, Resolution Selecting a Tourism Marketing Firm and Authorizing a Website Rebuild. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for a 2020-2021 (2 Year) Operating Grant: Council member Miller moved, seconded by, Gullickson, to adopt Resolution #3636-6-19, Resolution to Enter Into an Agreement for a 2020-2021 (2 Year) Operating Grant for Morris Transit. Upon a roll call vote taken and all present voting in favor, motion carried.
CITY MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: 2020 Budget Guidance Recommendation:
Hill explained that a lot of the budget guidance is the same as last year. Hill stated the legislature is done and they approved additional LGA of $55,000. Hill noted he is looking at up to a 3% increase in taxes. Wage increases for 2020 will be 2.5% and this is the final year of a 3-year contract. Liability insurance has increased, in part due to the new water treatment plant. This coming year will be the last levy for the 2015 loader lease.
Council member Gullickson moved, seconded by Miller, to accept the 2020 budget guidance. Motion carried.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 6:21 p.m.