Morris City Council donates nearly $175,000 to local groups

Money comes from Hotel/Motel tax fund

MORRIS – The Morris City Council met Monday night and approved several donation requests for fiscal 2021-22.

The Finance Committee recommended that the council approve the following donations:

• $5,000 to the Canal Corridor Association

• $19,000 to the Grundy County Corn Festival

• $15,000 to the Grundy Historical Society

• $7,500 to Home for the Holidays

• $2,500 to An Evening with Santa

• $5,000 to Morris Athletic Association

• $64,300 to Morris Downtown Development

• $12,500 to Morris Retail Association

• $7,500 to Morris Boys Shootout

• $7,500 to Morris Ladies Shootout

• $7,500 to Morris High School Athletic Department

• $5,000 to Morris Warriors Youth Football

• $5,000 to Morris Youth Tackle Football Association (Chiefs)

• $5,000 to T.E.A.C.H. Outdoors

• $5,000 to The EXibit Fine Arts Center and Gallery.

The donations add up to $173,300, and the money will come from the hotel/motel tax.

“It’s a new year, and people are looking to get out and do things, so why not help them out?” Mayor Chris Brown said. “It might be totally different next year, but we have the dollars that can be spent for that now and still have extra left.

“This is all an application process. These are all organizations that we have been supporting for many years. There aren’t any big surprises. There’s the MDDP, there’s youth sports where people come in from all over and visit downtown. We feel all of them are good use of those dollars. We did not turn any down this year because we had the dollars from last year that we didn’t spend.”

The Judiciary and License Committee granted a business license to Lynn Picardo, 2254 Parklake Drive, to operate an in-home licensed day care business, and also recommended in the form of a motion that the council adopt an ordinance approving and authorizing the execution of the service agreement between Stanard & Associates and the city of Morris for the Morris Police Department sergeant promotional testing.

Brown announced the citywide spring cleanup will be the week of June 7-11 (this week) on regular garbage pickup day. He emphasized that this excludes such items as hazardous waste, white goods and electronics. He also announced that the next Concert on the Courthouse Lawn will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 17 and will feature Jonathan Devin & New Country.

The council granted several requests:

• By the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce and Industry for three special event permits for Family Fest, an outdoor family event, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m June 26

• By the Morris Lions Club to host its annual Candy Day Fundraising event Oct. 22-25

• By Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers to use various city streets near Morris Elementary School to host its Corn Festival 5K Run and Wellness Walk on Sept. 25, stepping off at about 9 a.m.

• By Hammers and Noters Dulcimer Society (HANDS) to use lower Goold Park for its Gebhard Woods Dulcimer and Traditional Music Festival from June 8-14, 2022

• By Lois Darlington on behalf of Clayton’s Rail to hold three vendor events at her business on June 24, July 22 and Aug. 26

The Finance and Administration Committee recommended in the form of a motion that the council adopt an ordinance authorizing execution of an agreement between the city of Morris and Mad Bomber Fireworks Productions for the 2021 fireworks display. Brown said that this is for the July 3 display at the Grundy County Fairgrounds, scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m.

The committee also recommended in the forms of motions that the council

• Adopt an ordinance amending the Morris annual budget for the fiscal year that began May 1, 2020, and ended April 30, 3021, providing an increase of $12,716.06 to the garbage disposal expense

• Approve a resolution for the use of motor fuel tax funds for the Airport Road improvement project

• Authorize and approve an engagement agreement with Alarm Detection Systems Inc. for monitoring and annual fire inspection at the Morris Airport.

All motions passed unanimously.

The Water and Sewer Committee recommended that the council

• Accept the low bid of $224,589.50 from Conley Excavating for the Hatcher Woods lift station replacement project

• Adopt an ordinance approving change order No. 4 for the Central Waste Water Treatment Plant Raw Sewage Pump Replacement for an increase in cost of $56,183.30

• Approve a resolution authorizing and approving the execution of a highway permit request to the Illinois Department of Transportation for city sewer main extension.

All motions passed unanimously.

The Planning Commission recommended in the forms of motions that the council

• Adopt an ordinance approving the city of Morris Request for a zoning text amendment to Section 17.69.050 of the Morris Municipal Code allowing for a variance for lot width

• Adopt an ordinance approving the Fredin Construction Co.’s request for a zoning map amendment for the rezoning of lot 97 in Rockwell Estates from R3A (three- and four-unit buildings) to R1 (single-family dwelling)

• Adopt an ordinance approving the Fredin Construction Co. request for a minor subdivision plat for the subdivision of lot 97 in Rockwell Estates subdivision second addition

• Adopt an ordinance approving the request by Nicholas Creasy for a conditional permitted use pursuant to Section 17.09.310 of the Morris Municipal Code to install roof-mounted solar panels at 1887 Harbor Drive.

All motions passed unanimously.

The Zoning Board of Appeals recommended in the form of a motion that the council adopt an ordinance approving the variance request by Fredin Construction Co., from Section 17.18.040 of the Morris Municipal Code, requiring a minimum lot width of 80 feet within an R1 zoning district, to a lot width of 63 feet, resulting in a 17-foot variance, for lots 1-7 of the subdivision of lot 97 within Rockwell Estates subdivision second addition.

Alderman Julian Houston noted that the lots originally were designated for duplexes but were changed to single-family homes, meaning that the lots did not need to be as wide. The motion passed unanimously.

Rob Oesterle

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.