Appreciation Expressed for Flood Volunteers During Morrison Council
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
MORRISON – The City of Morrison held a council meeting on March 11th, with a line up of items for consideration.
City Clerk Melanie Schroeder thanked the people who helped sandbagging on Rock Creek after rain and snow melt raised the creek several feet Monday morning. “I was greatly impressed with the volunteers. It really touched me with the outpouring of support for our community.”
Mayor Roger Drey also commented on the recent flooding within the city, stating “Thank you to all those who helped sandbag. I had been out of town at the time, and everyone who worked together to accommodate those in need was much appreciated. It says a lot about our community as a whole.”
Alderman Leo Sullivan agreed, saying “I witnessed the Public Works employees out since 2:30 a.m. and they have done a great job.”
A Close Call
On Monday, March 11, the City of Morrison’s Public Works Department declared a flooding emergency when floodwaters from Rock Creek approached many homes and businesses. According to the National Weather Service, 1.3 inches of rain fell from Friday night to Sunday. With temperatures above freezing over the weekend, the combined rain and snow melt caused flooding in many area fields and creeks.
The flood waters nearly reached the ranch home (Left) and the Old Mill house (Right) located near Rt. 30 on Rock Creek. (PA photos/Lynnette Forth)
Ken Reinhart spoke in regards to the possibility of allowing residents to walk dogs in Grove Hill Cemetery. “I have lived in Morrison for 16 years, and have diabetes and heart problems. I have to exercise. The Cemetery is a nice place to walk with dogs.
“About 1-1 ½ years ago, a police officer followed me into the cemetery and was told that I was violating the law. I felt singled out. I have seen no one else leaving the trail with dogs in the cemetery. I would suggest placing bags for waste at the entrance and allow a time period of six to twelve months to see if there are more complaints.”
Sue Britt, who lives across from the cemetery, stated “I have lived at 205 East High Street since 1976. During my 37 years I have seen a lot going on there. The cemetery is a place of honor, respect, mourning, and reflection . . . dogs don’t belong there. I believe there are responsible owners, but opening the cemetery to dogs is wrong. That’s what dog parks are for. I am a dog lover; I used to raise miniature schnauzers.”
In response to the American Legion being allowed to opt-out of the Historic District, Mayor Drey read a letter from Nancy Riggen, who was not able to be present at the meeting. Riggen shared that review hearings and obtaining the required approval of 24% of property owners was never done. Riggen supports the American Legion, and feels that their request to opt-out should be honored. “I think the city should accept their testimony, and appreciate their years of service to our country.”
The consent agenda was approved which included:
- February 25th regular session minutes;
- Bills payable ($79,770.63). Alderman Marti Wood questioned why the light bill for the Sports Complex is sill high, and why the walking lights are being kept on. Administrator Jim Wise answered, “Last year we did plow the walking paths, and got comments. This year we did not plow, but left the lights on for safety and security. The bill should go down now with daylight savings time.”
- February 2013 Treasurer’s report.
Items for consideration and possible action included:
- Ordinance #13-07-Enterprise zone amendment and change to the Intergovernmental agreement-Whiteside Carroll County Enterprise Zone (approved);
- Pay off of Well #3 loan with U.S. Bank. Administrator Wise reported that City staff is requesting the approval of the council to pay off the loan early resulting in a savings of $5,300.000 in interest, and a 33 month early payment. The pay off amount is roughly $117,270.00. (approved);
- Ordinance #13-08-Authorize Mayor to enter into lease agreement for storage of city property. Lease agreement with G.E. for storage at 709 W. Wall Street. The cost would be $12.00 per year. (approved);
- Certified local Government acceptance of Historic Registry Grant. Wise asked the council to authorize the Mayor to accept a grant of $14,000.00 to complete the National Historic Registry nomination application. (approved);
- Authorize Mayor to enter into agreement for Historic Registry Application Consultation. Council decided to table the agreement.
- Allowing Dog Walking in Grove Hill Cemetery. Alderman Sarah Thorndike received a letter from a resident opposed to allowing dog walking. Marti Wood received feedback from 4 residents, two for walking, and two against. Council members DID NOT approve dog walking in Grove Hill Cemetery.
- American Legion request to opt-out of Historic District. Alderman Wood stated, “I know we have an issue with the letter they sent. I feel we should allow them to opt out.” Alderman Thorndike responded, “The IRS doesn’t care if your check gets lost in the mail; you still get penalized if it’s late.” Alderman Dave Rose stated, “Our question is did they (Legion) make an assertive effort to comply and the letter just go lost in the mail”? Mayor Drey replied, “I don’t think anyone doubts that they are being honorable. How much of a stickler do you want to be on the date”? Council members decided to refer the issue back to the Historic Preservation Commission to see if they want to reconsider allowing the Legion to opt-out.
Other items for consideration included: A public meeting to be held on March 28th at 5:00 p.m. at the Community Room for discussion on the water treatment plant.