November 12, 2013





Tuesday, November 12, 2013

6:00 p.m.

(Approved 11/26/13)

All meetings were held at 6:00 p.m. at the Village Hall.

Meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by President Pro-Tem Robert Gentner.

The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Council Members Present: Phyllis Dickerson, Kim Kollek-Jewell, Robert Gentner, Christine Williams, and Tom Cameron.

Absent: Harold Dickerson.

Also Present: Interim Police Chief: Matt Balsley, Attorney: John Gormley, Treasurer: Brian Swett, and Clerk: Karen McGuire.

Additions / Deletions to Agenda: Add: 11.5  Chief Sheldon’s Plaque

Guest Comments on the Agenda:

Jim Carlson, part-time officer for Morrice Police Department, proudly recommended Matt Balsley for the Chief of Police position.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by Cameron to approve the agenda as amended. All ayes. Motion carried.

MOTION by Cameron, seconded by Kollek-Jewell to approve the October 22, 2013 minutes. All ayes. Motion carried.

Special Guests: None.


9.1          Personnel / Police / Transfer Station / Insurance / Retirement

Interim Chief Balsley presented the October Complaints Report.

9.2          DPW / Municipal Buildings / Park

No Report. The Park Committee had to cancel the last scheduled meeting and will meet again at the end of November.

9.3          Street / Sidewalks / Newsletter / Web Site

No Report.

9.4          Sewer / Codes

No Report.

9.5          Zoning / Ordinances / Annex / 425 / DDA

No Report.

9.6          SSESA

No Report.

9.7          Homecoming

No Report.

9.8          Budget

No Report.


10.1        Zoning Ordinance Recommendations

The Public Hearing is set for December 10th.

10.2        Emergency Protocol

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by Cameron to TABLE. All ayes. Motion carried.

10.3        Property Maintenance

Balsley would like to add to this item. There were pictures in the packets of an undeveloped property that has received complaints about the un-mown grass. The resident that complained would like to have this property kept up the same as a residential lawn. Balsley would like to separate the two types of properties so there would be a difference in maintenance requirements. Gormley explained that there are two choices: can force all properties to be mowed to a certain height or can change the Ordinance to set definitions. He suggested sending it to the Ordinance Committee to decide what the policy should include.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by Williams to amend the Ordinance so that no lawn shall exceed nine inches in height but property owners can apply for a variance so that natural areas can exceed that height.

There was discussion that nine inches may be too high and that problems may arise if a natural area does not have to be mowed.

Village Of Morrice

Regular Meeting Minutes

November 12, 2013

MOTION rescinded by Gentner and Williams.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by Williams to amend the Ordinance so that no lawn shall exceed seven inches in height but property owners can apply for a variance so that natural areas can exceed that height and Gormley is given permission to draw up a draft of an Amendment to the Ordinance. All ayes. Motion carried.

10.4        Morrice Road Railroad Crossing

Clerk has contacted Canadian National twice with this response, “your concerns have been forwarded to the appropriate parties for a second time asking for information on the repair of this crossing.” Not sure that we will get more of a response from them.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by P. Dickerson to TABLE. All ayes. Motion carried.


11.1        Police Chief Position and Wages – Personnel Committee Recommendation

P. Dickerson explained that there were three applicants and they interviewed two people. The third applicant withdrew his application as he was not qualified for the position. The Committee recommends appointing Matt Balsley as the new Police Chief at a wage of $18.00 per hour.

MOTION by P. Dickerson, seconded by Williams to appoint Matt Balsley the permanent Police Chief at $18.00 per hour.

There was discussion about how the Committee arrived at this wage rate.

Roll Call: Ayes: Cameron, Kollek-Jewell, Williams, P. Dickerson, Gentner. Nays: None. Absent: H. Dickerson.

Motion carried.

The Board congratulated Balsley and he will be sworn in right after this meeting adjourns.

11.2        Police Car Use

Balsley asked for Board approval to take the Police car home at night. He has talked to H. Dickerson about it and previously he had Chief Sheldon’s approval. He explained the reasons for the request. The humvee can’t be parked outside so it is taking up a bay at the lagoon building. If he takes the car home it will open up a bay there for the DPW plow truck. He has talked to MML and it will not affect policy coverage. The car will not be used for personal use. The car is his mobile command base. Everything needed to respond to an emergency is in the vehicle so it will cut down on response time and on the time it takes to get to the office for on-calls and weekend call-ins. It will also benefit him as far as the time it takes getting into service every day.

There was discussion about the need to spell out policy and set parameters. The Personnel Manual will need to be revised.

MOTION by Cameron, seconded by Gentner to allow the Police Chief to take home the cruiser and to further ask the Personnel Committee to review the existing Personnel Manual and make modifications where necessary to cover contingencies that might befall us.

Gormley asked if this will become effective immediately or after the manual changes are in place. Gentner favored waiting until the changes are in place. There was discussion regarding security for the car at Balsley’s home and opening up the same opportunity for the DPW employees. Board will move on to 11.3 while Gormley reviews the current manual.

11.3        Police Officers

Chief Balsley explained that the Department is short a couple of guys right now. When he was hired in they had two full-time and three part-time officers. Right now they have one full-time and two part-time officers. He would like permission to advertise for either one full-time and one part-time officer or two part-time officers and promote to full-time from within at a later date. He would prefer to do the latter.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by P. Dickerson to advertise for two part-time positions for the Police Department and to run the ad for two weeks. All ayes. Motion carried.

Cameron thanked Officer Hruska for representing the Village in the Veteran’s Day parade in Corunna.

11.4        Establish Street Committee

Clerk explained that this is on the agenda per H. Dickerson’s request. We get complaints nearly every day about the bad shape of the Village roads. Balsley also included pictures of Morrice Road, Britton Road, and Walker Drive in the packets for review. A Committee could give serious thought as to how we can go about fixing the roads. They can look for ways to fund the repairs and create a plan for how and when the repairs will take place. P.E.A. has already completed a plan for Walker Drive. Kollek-Jewell, Gentner, and P. Dickerson volunteered to sit on the Committee.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by Cameron to establish a Street Committee consisting of Kollek-Jewell, Gentner, and P. Dickerson. All ayes. Motion carried.

Village Of Morrice

Regular Meeting Minutes

November 12, 2013

11.2        Police Car Use (con’t)

Gormley found two places in the manual that may apply and need revising. 22.2 Vehicles and 33.1 – 33.2

Equipment. There was discussion about being on call 24/7.

MOTION by Cameron, seconded by Gentner to allow the Police Chief to take the police vehicle home following the approved changes to the Personnel Manual. All ayes. Motion carried.

Gormley will draw up a draft of the revisions and send it to the Committee for approval and then they can present it to the Board for further approval.

11.5        Chief Sheldon’s Plaque

Chief Balsley presented and read a plaque created in Chief Sheldon’s honor. He asked for approval to hang it in the Village Hall entry way for everyone to see so that we may always remember Chief Sheldon and what he meant to us.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by P. Dickerson to grant approval for the plaque to be hung in Village Hall. All ayes. Motion carried.

Review Financial Statements / Pay Bills

MOTION by Williams, seconded by Cameron to pay the bills. (List attached).

Roll Call: Ayes: P. Dickerson, Kollek-Jewell, Cameron, Williams, Gentner. Nays: None. Absent: H. Dickerson.

Motion carried.

Announcements / Correspondence

Gentner announced that mail and other correspondence is on the table for review. Clerk asked that the Board just touch on a couple of last minute additions to the packets.

Gale Street stops just before a land locked property near the railroad tracks. The owner of that property will like to be able to make a two track lane to the property.  AGS has advised to take no action tonight as there is much information yet to be learned. Gormley wondered if it may in fact be an unimproved road. Will need to research and look at the assessor’s plat before any decisions can be reached.

The land division application for 311 Third Street is presented along with a letter prepared by Bruce Dean as a result of his review. There are several items that appear not to be in compliance with our Zoning Ordinance and the application requirements. Dean has advised that approval not be given at this time. There is no need for action at this meeting he just wanted the Board to be aware of the proceedings.

Guest Comments: None.

MOTION by Gentner, seconded by Kollek-Jewell to adjourn the meeting. All ayes. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 7:04 p.m.

Robert Gentner, Village President Pro-Tem

Karen McGuire, Village Clerk

Post: 11/27/13

Author: Village of Morrice