Morris City Council bans firework sales

No fireworks tents will be allowed in city

MORRIS – The Morris City Council banned the sale of fireworks in the city of Morris at its meeting Monday night.

The council voted, 8-0, to approve the Judiciary and Licensing Committee’s recommendation that the council adopt an ordinance amending Chapters 5.04 and 8.28 of the Morris Municipal Code regulating business licenses, permits and fireworks within the city of Morris.

“There were more than 90 complaints about fireworks last year,” Morris Mayor Chris Brown said. “We ran stings on tents that were selling fireworks and found a lot of illegal sales. Last year, our aldermen got a lot of calls complaining about fireworks. It was clear that we needed to make a change for the public’s safety.”

Brown said the only fireworks that will be sold in Morris will be the sparklers, poppers and snakes that are sold in stores such as Menards, Walmart and Jewel.

The Judiciary and Licensing Committee also approved the following business licenses:

• Tracy Stone, doing business as Therapy Studio Inc., 1013 Liberty St., to operate a mental health counseling business.

• James Groh, doing business as Banner Equipment Co., 922 Armstrong St., to operate a beverage dispensing equipment business.

The council also granted the following requests:

• A request by First Presbyterian Church to close the alley from Franklin to Division streets, between the church and the Franklin Building, and the city parking lot at Jackson and Division streets from 9 a.m. to noon June 14-17 to hold Vacation Bible School.

• A request by Rescued Rejects SC to close the city parking lot at Washington and Wauponsee streets (adjacent to the American Legion) from noon to 2 p.m. June 5 for parking for a motorcycle fundraising event to benefit retired military and law enforcement working dogs. If the parking lot is not available, Rescued Rejects SC may block parking stalls on both sides of the 200 block of Washington Street.

• A request by the Morris Downtown Development Partnership to install celebration lighting at the intersections of Liberty and Main, Liberty and Jefferson, Liberty and Jackson, and Liberty and North streets.

• A request by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 294 to hold its annual Poppy Day on May 29.

• A request by the Grundy County Health Department to use various city streets and to close School Street from Union Street to Park Boulevard from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 21 for its AnyBODY 5K.

Brown also announced that Citywide Spring Cleanup will be the week of June 7-11 on residents’ regular garbage pickup day. Collection will be one time each day. He also announced that the Concerts on the Courthouse Lawn will be back this year, beginning June 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., with the first concert featuring the Neverly Brothers.

The Finance and Administration Committee recommended the following motions to the council. All motions passed with an 8-0 vote.

• That the council authorize the execution of an engagement letter with Wheeler & Dearth for legal services.

• That the council authorize the execution of an engagement letter with Mahoney, Silverman & Cross LLC for legal services.

• That the council adopt an ordinance approving and authorizing the execution of an agreement between the city of Morris and Teska Associates Inc., as consultant to provide city planning and zoning support.

• That the council authorize the membership in the Will County Governmental League at a cost of $4,136.38.

• That the council authorize the purchase of four new squad cars budgeted for fiscal 2021-22 at a cost of $199,144.18.

• That the council authorize the purchase of five laptops, docking stations and monitors at a cost of $12,346.

• That the council authorize the execution of an agreement with Cloudnine Web Design for the creation and maintenance of the city website.

Brown said the squad cars were budgeted last year for $205,000, but the purchases were delayed because of COVID-19. He also said that Cloudnine Web Design is a local company that has worked with area businesses and organizations on their websites and that the new website should be up and running in about eight weeks.

The Water and Sewer Committee recommended that the council adopt the following ordinances:

• Approving Change Order No. 2 for the project to replace the raw sewage pump at the central wastewater treatment plant for a decrease of $20,102.65.

• Approving Change Order No. 3 for the project to replace the raw sewage pump at the central wastewater treatment plant for an increase of $10,762.50.

The Water and Sewer Committee also recommended that the council accept the low bid of $1,980,515.48 from D Construction for the Route 47 sanitary sewer extension project. All motions passed with an 8-0 vote.

Brown pointed out that the Route 47 sanitary sewer extension project originally was budgeted for about $3.13 million and that D Construction’s bid came in about $1.15 million below that number. That work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Rob Oesterle

Rob has been a sports writer for the Morris Herald-News and Joliet Herald-News for more than 20 years. He is currently also writing news for the Morris Herald-News.