Morrison City Council Holds First Meeting of the New Year
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
MORRISON – The first council meeting of 2014 for the City of Morrison was held on January 13th in the Whiteside County Board Room. The board packet included reports of the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting from January 8th, as well as the Historic Preservation meeting minutes from December 5th, 2013.
Aldermen learned from Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Kevin Kuehl that the commission approved moving the Sign Ordinance from the Municipal Code to his Commission. Doing so, would allow for signage variances. Also, a change in the annexation of the Wilkens Property into the City, and rezoning it for light industrial work was approved by the commission.
City Administrator Barry Dykhuizen reported that he and the Mayor had attended a meeting with the Odell Public Library Friends for the discussion of the Community Room. Dykhyizen stated that topics of the meeting included: a cleaning schedule, rental fees, as well as ways to make the room appear more attractive.
Approval of the consent agenda included December 9th, 2013 Regular Session Council Meeting Minutes; Bills Payable ($553,136.06); December 2013 Treasurers Report; Amend Miscellaneous Expense Line Item (01-62-9280); add $325,000 for Housing Assistance Grant; Request for Partial Payment-Maxcor, Inc.-Water Tower Rehab ($379,937.20).
Items for Consideration and Possible Action Included:
Ordinance #14-01-Move Sign Ordinance to the Zoning Code (approved)
Ordinance #14-02-Repealing Morrison Business Advisory Group Ordinance (approved) Attorney Zollinger informed the council that they need to give 30-90 days notice in order for the appeal to become active. Mayor Pannier advised the council to amend the motion to allow for its activation to be effective in 30 days.
Ordinance #14-03-Annexation of Property Commonly knows as the “Wilkens Property”
Terminate Utility Bill Contracted Mailing Service-Administrator Dykhuizen suggested returning to the old method of sending out postcards instead of full page letters. The current cost to mail statements out is $17,496, versus the $7,795 cost of sending letters.
Other Items for Consideration, Discussion, and Information included:
Fee Schedule Review-Administrator Dykhuizen feels that some fees are currently too high, too low, or may need to be eliminated altogether. Administrator Dykhuizen will continue to review, and will present further information at a later date.
Discuss Purchase of Police Vehicle-Chief Melton advised council members that the purchase of a new vehicle is critical, with most of the officers’ work being done there. Alderman Sullivan stated that the Department should be able to replace a vehicle each year. Council members will consider the purchase, and prepare for possible action at the next council meeting.
Goal Setting Meeting-Aldermen asked to by Dykhuizen to review a questionnaire by the end of the month to identify priorities for the City using categories. The Goal Setting meeting will begin at 6:00 pm, with a facilitator guiding the council members.
Mayor Pannier commented that the City Administrator’s contract will be up for review in January and April during the first year.
An Executive Session was held for:
Pursuant to 5 ILCS 120/2(c) and 120/2(c)(6) closed session for the purpose of discussing purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body and consideration of the setting of a price for sale or lease of property owned by the public body.
Possible Action From Executive Session:
Council members granted authorization to the Mayor and/or City Administrator Dykhuizen to enter into negotiations for the eventual sale of public land. Mayor Pannier stated that the land was bought for a waste water plant originally. The City will need to make sure the land is salable, and will then need to make an annexation decision and possible sale of the 9-10 acres of wet land.
The next meeting of the Morrison City Council is scheduled for January 27th, 2014 in the Whiteside County Board Room. The public is encouraged to attend.