MORRIS – The Morris City Council met Monday night and approved several business licenses, most of them on Liberty Street in downtown Morris.
The Judiciary and License Committee approved business licenses for Miriam Ortega, doing business as Energy Spot, 809 Liberty St., to operate a smoothie and energy drink business; Samantha Kee, doing business as Black Label Esthetics, 811 Liberty St., to operate a lash, skin services, lash extensions, full body waxing and facial business; Caroline Cummings, doing business as Floral Design Morris, 408 Liberty St., to operate a floral business; Dhristin Shenberg, doing business as In 2 It Detailing, 914 Douglas St., to operate an auto detailing business; Deanne Ebelherr, doing business as Lilacs & Laughter, 401 Liberty St., to operate a decorative craft and home good retail store business; and Lori Grazulis, 1229-A Lakewood Drive, to operate a nail/manicure service business.
The Judiciary and License Committee also asked in the form of a motion that the council approve a Class L liquor license application by the Morris American Legion Post #294 for Sept. 26. This will allow the American Legion to open one hour earlier than normal on a Sunday. The committee also offered their recommendation that the council adopt an ordinance amending city ordinances 4430, 4352 and 4273, allowing for the extension of outdoor dining upon city sidewalks, limited on-street parking stalls and alleys within the city of Morris.
“We asked for this last year on Sept. 14, and that year is almost up,” committee chairman Jake Duvick said. “This will take us up to Corn Festival, we will have the outdoor dining taken down during Corn Fest, and then it can start back up again.”
Both motions passed by a 7-0 vote.
The City Council also granted several requests Monday night. It approved a request by the Kiwanis Club of Morris to block off Liberty Street between Washington and Main streets on Sept. 26. Mayor Chris Brown said that this was for the annual Big Wheel races.
The Morris Retail Association requested to close the alleys on Liberty Street from the north side of Washington to Jackson streets, and special event permits for food trucks on Sept. 18 for Magic in Morris. Frank Varner, doing business as Ebbey George’s, requested to use the city parking lot at Waubonsee and Jefferson Street from Sept. 24 to 26. The Morris Downtown Development Partnership requested special event permits for food trucks on Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Nov. 26 and 27. True North requested special event permits for food trucks on Oct. 9. The Morris BBQ Association requested to use lower Goold Park and the Goold Park Bandshell for its inaugural Morris Rhythm and BBQ Festival from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 18.
Brown also proclaimed the week of Sept. 17 through 23 as Constitution Week.
All requests were unanimously approved.
The Finance and Administration Committee recommended in the form of a motion that the council authorize the purchase of a time clock system for the Morris Police Department from Aladtec for $3,600.
“Deputy Chief [Chad] Skelton spends about eight to 10 hours a week just collecting timecards and making sure they are right, as well as scheduling. This will streamline that process and free up more of Deputy Chief Skelton’s time. It will send a text to the next person in line if someone calls in sick. For the cost, this is a very interesting tool.”
The motion passed, 7-0.
The committee also recommended in the form of a motion that the council authorize the purchase of a camera for the lithium battery fire site from Wireless CCTV for a cost of about $24,500.
“This is so we can watch what is happening over there,” Brown said. “We’ve had some incidents where the police were called with kids going in there, and there were some fireworks thrown in there. With this, we can monitor what is going on. It’s on a trailer, and four cameras come up and you can direct them over the property. It’s something we can use when we are done over there as well.”
The motion passed, 7-0.
The Planning Commission recommended in the forms of motions that the council adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 17.10 of the Morris Municipal Code granting zoning text amendment regarding signage regulations; that the council adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 17.09.310 of the Morris Municipal Code granting zoning text amemdment regarding roof-mounted solar energy systems; and that the council adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 17.68 of the Morris Municipal Code granting zoning text amendment regarding the site plan review.
All motions passed, 7-0.
“The signage will allow the downtown stores to request a variance like Weitz’s has and have their signs hang over the street instead of being flat against the store,” Brown said. “And with more and more people wanting solar panels on their roofs, this will streamline that process.”
The Parks and Annexation Committee recommended that the council adopt a resolution authorizing public fireworks display for the 2021 Grundy County Corn Festival, which takes place at Stratton Park. The motion passed, 7-0.
“This resolution is the first step for the fireworks,” Brown said. “Now, they take it to the DNR [Illinois Department of Natural Resources] and get their permission.”