Kim Ukura is the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune.
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MORRIS - Money - how governments get it and how they choose to use it - was the topic of a community forum on Tuesday designed to help citizens better understand the government budget process.
STEVENS COUNTY - During a recess in their regular meeting on Tuesday, the Stevens County Board of Commissioners convened as the County Ditch Authority to hear updates on ditch maintenance and participate in a discussion with Kurt Deter, county ditch attorney, on "hot topics in the county ditch world," said County Coordinator Brian Giese. "Ditches will be on your agenda more," Deter warned. People on ditch systems want to improve them, and many system are going through a redesign, he said.
STEVENS COUNTY - The Stevens County Board of Commissioners wants more information about the snow removal situation in Framnes Township before they will decide whether to contract with the township to provide blading and snow removal services. Highway Engineer Brian Giese estimated that providing these services to Framnes Township would generate $22,000 in additional revenue for the Highway Department, but that $13,000 of equipment-related expenses will be incurred. That leaves $9,000 to pay for the additional part-time staff Giese said he would need. "It's doable.
STEVENS COUNTY - Although the Stevens County Board of Commissioners agenda appears short, County Coordinator Brian Giese said he expects some "lengthy conversations" about Highway Department services and county ditch issues at their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1. As County Engineer, Giese will present the board with two service agreements with the City of Donnelly and Framnes Township. The first agreement with Donnelly is to either trade equipment for services or pay for snow removal services on MCSAH 35.
MORRIS, Minn. At a budget work session on Thursday, Morris City Manager Blaine Hill presented the City Council with a revised city budget that would not increase the city's tax levy for 2012. The decision was made, Hill said, because of the Market Value Homestead Credit issue. Because of a state change in the way property taxes are reimbursed and calculated, many believe that local taxes will be increasing this year, regardless of what decisions local taxing authorities make.
John Davis, a self-employed home builder from Grand Junction, Co., plans to visit all 3,143 counties in the United States by June 2012 in his campaign for President of the United States. At his stop in Morris on Thursday - which amassed four journalist and one community member - Davis emphasized his outsider status, support for de-regulation and small businesses and feeling that we've "only got one more chance" to fix America. "We're earning the right to be a candidate," Davis said.
The Morris City Council gave a first reading to a city ordinance that would update the city zoning map and make two small changes to the city zoning code at their meeting on Tuesday. "This has been a long time in coming," said City Manager Blaine Hill. The list of 20 changes to the zoning map came to the council from the Planning Commission. On the whole, Hill told the council that he didn't think most of the changes were particularly controversial.
There are no major issues that would prohibit the volunteer fire departments in Morris, Hancock, Chokio and Donnelly from combining into a single, unified department - if that's what those involved decided to do. That was the takeaway message from consulting firm Emergency Services Consulting International on Monday night after a presentation to almost 80 elected officials, community members and volunteer firefighters about the feasibility of combining fire services in Stevens County.
A Morris man and Alexandria woman have been arrested and charged after a search warrant executed at a rural Alberta residence uncovered methamphetamine, marijuana and other drug paraphernalia. Daniel Jeffrey Zahl, 34, of Morris and Leah Jean Morhman, 25, of Alexandria have both been charged with 5th degree possession of a scheduled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
MORRIS, Minn. - Morris is a funky college town surrounded by the prairie's natural beauty. Morris is where rural meets innovation. There is plenty to do in Morris. These were just three of the possible ways to market Morris as a tourist destination in the region, a consulting firm working with the City of Morris and the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce suggested this week.