Below you will find a web version of the City Charter. The only official edition of the City Charter is the printed version maintained by the City Clerk. Hard copies of the City Charter are available for review or purchase on the 3rd Floor of City Hall, 500 Center Avenue, Moorhead, MN 56560. For more information, please contact the City Clerk's Office at 218.299.5304 or email the City Clerk.
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Table of Contents
We the people of the city of Moorhead, under the constitution and laws of Minnesota, in order to secure the benefits of local self-government and promote honest, accountable governance, provide for appropriate municipal services, encourage citizen participation, and foster a sense of community, do hereby adopt this charter and establish the following procedures and governmental structure. (Ord. 2006-19, 1-2-2007)
CHAPTER 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 1.01. Name And Boundaries. The city of Moorhead, Clay County, Minnesota, is and will continue to be a municipal corporation with the boundaries existing on July 16, 1995 or as later modified in accordance with law. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 1.02. Powers Of The City.The city has all powers that it is now or hereafter possible for a municipal corporation in the state of Minnesota to exercise in harmony with the constitutions of the state of Minnesota and of the United States. It is the intention of this charter to confer upon the city every lawful power that the city would have if the power were specifically mentioned. This charter is to be construed liberally in favor of the city. The specific mention of particular powers in this charter does not limit the powers of the city to those mentioned or limit the generality of the powers conferred by this section. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 1.03. Other Laws. The city may not exercise a power conferred by law on statutory cities only unless that power is specifically granted by this charter. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
CHAPTER 2: FORM OF GOVERNMENT
Section 2.01. Form Of Government. The form of government established by this charter is the council manager plan. Except as otherwise provided by law or this charter, all powers of the city are vested in the city council. The city manager is responsible to the council for the proper administration of city affairs. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.02. Boards And Commissions. Except as otherwise provided by law or this charter, there are no separate administrative boards or commissions except boards and commissions established for the administration of a municipal function jointly with another political subdivision. The council performs the duties and exercises the powers of administrative boards or commissions. The council may establish boards or commissions to advise the council with respect to a municipal function or activity, to investigate a subject of interest to the city, or to perform quasi-judicial functions. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.03. Council Composition. The council is composed of the mayor exercising the powers specified in section 2.07 and two council members from each of the four wards of the city. The terms of the office of mayor and council members are four years and until their respective successors are elected and qualify for office. One council member must be elected from each ward every two years. The mayor must be an eligible voter of the city, and a council member must be an eligible voter of the ward from which elected. The terms of office of the mayor and council members in office on July 16, 1995, continue in accordance with the schedule of elections in effect on July 16, 1995. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.04. Ward Boundaries.
Subd. 1. General. The four wards must be as equal in population as practicable. The population of a ward may not exceed the population of any other ward by more than ten percent. A ward must be composed of compact, contiguous territory.
Subd. 2. Wards Continue. The wards of the city are those fixed by ordinance as of July 16, 1995.
Subd. 3. Reapportionment. The council may by ordinance redefine ward boundaries after any municipal election. Within three months after the official certification of a federal decennial census, the council must by ordinance either confirm the existing boundaries or redefine those boundaries to comply with this section. If the council fails to take either action, further compensation may not be paid to the mayor or council members until the wards are redefined. An ordinance establishing new ward boundaries applies to the first regular election held at least six months after the adoption of the ordinance. An ordinance redefining or confirming ward boundaries may not be adopted until after a public hearing before the council on the proposed ordinance after seven days' published notice.
Subd. 4. Effect On Terms. A change in ward boundaries does not disqualify a council member from serving for the remainder of that member's term. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.05. Incompatible Offices. The mayor or a member of the council may not be appointed to a paid municipal office in the city nor be employed by the city. The mayor and council members may hold another compatible public office. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.06. Vacancies.
Subd. 1. A vacancy in the office of mayor or council member exists for the following reasons:
(a) Failure of a person elected to the office to qualify for that office;
(b) The death of the mayor or council member;
(c) The resignation of the mayor or a council member;
(d) The mayor ceasing to be a resident of the city or a council member ceasing to be a resident of the ward from which elected;
(e) Conviction of the mayor or a council member of a felony either before or after qualification for office;
(f) Removal of the mayor or a council member from office;
(g) The mayor or a council member is found to be an incapacitated person pursuant to law;
(h) The appointment of a council member as mayor pursuant to subdivision 3 of this section;
(i) Any reason specified by law.
Subd. 2. When a vacancy occurs in a city council member's office, the council must by resolution declare the vacancy to exist. The council shall give public notice of the vacancy, and anyone who is qualified may apply for the position. The council shall fill the vacancy by council appointment from the qualified applicants until a special election is held as provided in subdivision 4.
Subd. 3. When a vacancy occurs in the office of mayor, the council must by resolution declare the vacancy to exist. The council shall then by majority vote of its members appoint one of its members to serve as mayor. The member so appointed shall possess all the rights and powers of the mayor until a special election is held as provided in subdivision 4. Appointment of a council member as mayor shall result in said council member's office being deemed vacant.
Subd. 4. If the vacancy occurs and exists before the first day to file affidavits of candidacy for the next regular city election, a special election must be held at the next regular city election or on the date of the next ensuing state general election as the case may be, and the appointed person serves until the qualification of a successor elected at the special election to fill the unexpired portion of the term. If a vacancy occurs and exists on or after the last day for filing affidavits of candidacy for the regular city election or for a special election to be held on the date of the next ensuing state general election, the appointed person serves until the qualification of a successor elected at the next regular city election. (Ord. 2011-07, 6-13-2011)
Section 2.07. The Mayor. The mayor is a member of the council for purposes of presiding at its meetings. The mayor may not vote on matters before the council unless there is a tie vote of the council members, in which case the mayor may vote. The mayor may appoint council committees. The mayor may not serve on a council committee unless such service is approved by a unanimous vote of all council members. The mayor is the head of the city government for ceremonial purposes, for the purpose of service of civil process, and for purposes of martial law. The mayor has no administrative duties. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.08. Mayor Pro Tem. A mayor pro tem must be appointed by the mayor at the annual meeting of the council. The mayor pro tem may vote on all matters before the council but may not cast an additional vote in case of a tie vote of the council. The mayor pro tem serves at the pleasure of the mayor. The mayor pro tem serves as mayor in the mayor's disability or absence from the city or when a vacancy in the office of mayor exists. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.09. Salaries. The salaries of the mayor and council members are fixed by ordinance in the manner provided by law. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.10. Investigation Of City Affairs. The council may investigate the affairs of the city and the conduct of city departments, officers and agencies and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence. The council may audit the accounts of any city officer or department. The council may conduct a survey or research study of subjects of municipal concern. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 2.11. Interferences With Administration. The mayor, the council or a council member may not dictate the appointment or removal of an administrative officer or employee except the city manager. The mayor, the council or a council member may express views and discuss with the manager matters pertaining to the appointment and removal of officers and employees. Except for the purpose of investigation, the mayor, the council or a council member must deal with and control city administrative officers and employees under the jurisdiction of the city manager solely through the manager. The mayor, the council or a council member may not give orders to a subordinate of the manager either publicly or privately. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.01. Council Meetings.
Subd. 1. The council meets at least once each month at the times and places as set by rule in compliance with law. The mayor or three council members may call a special meeting of the council after notice to each council member and the mayor, if applicable, and such reasonable public notice as set by council rule in accordance with law. Actions and discussion at special and emergency meetings must be confined to the specific purposes set forth in the notice of the meeting, and no other action may be taken at a special or emergency meeting. Meetings of the council and its committees are public meetings. A citizen may have access to the minutes and records of the council at reasonable times and in accordance with law.
Subd. 2. At the first meeting of each year new council members and a new mayor, if any, are seated and assume their duties; and the council is organized. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.02. Secretary Of Council. The city clerk or some other person designated by the council is secretary of the council. The secretary must keep a record of council proceedings and perform other duties required by this charter, the council, ordinance or law. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.03. Rules Of Procedure. The council determines its own rules and order of business. A majority of the council members constitutes a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time. The council may by rule provide a means by which a minority may compel the attendance of absent members. For voting purposes, the council is composed of the two council members for each of the four wards of the city, and the mayor may vote only as provided in section 2.07. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.04. Ordinances And Resolutions. Except as otherwise provided in this charter, all legislation shall be by ordinance. The votes of council members on any action taken shall be recorded in accordance with law. Except as otherwise provided in this charter, an affirmative vote of a majority of all the members of the council shall be required for the adoption of ordinances and for the payment of preauthorized expenditures. Resolutions may be adopted by an affirmative vote of the majority of a quorum, except that every ordinance or resolution involving the appropriation or disposition of public property, the expenditure of public money, levying any tax or assessment, creating any liability, awarding or approving any contract for the payment of money, or ordering any condemnation of private property shall require a three-fourths vote of all members of the council; provided, however, that the adoption and approval of the regular payroll of city employees shall only require majority vote of the members of the council present. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.05. Procedure On Ordinances. An ordinance must be introduced in writing. A proposed ordinance may be introduced only at a regular council meeting when it must be considered by the council. The ordinance must be considered for a second time at a regular meeting at least twelve (12) days after first reading. An ordinance may be adopted only after having been considered by the council two times as provided in this section. (Ord. 2004-20, 8-2-2004)
Section 3.06. Emergency Ordinances. An emergency ordinance is an ordinance adopted for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety. The emergency must be defined and declared in a preamble to the ordinance. The preamble must be voted on separately. An emergency ordinance may be introduced and adopted at a regular, special or adjourned meeting of the council. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.07. Ordinance And Resolutions: Approval By Mayor. An ordinance or a resolution adopted by the council must be promptly presented to the mayor for approval. The mayor approves the ordinance or the resolution by signing it and filing it with the clerk. If the mayor does not file the signed ordinance or resolution with the clerk within seven days of adoption, the ordinance or resolution is deemed approved. If the mayor does not approve the ordinance or resolution, the mayor must return it to the clerk, who must present it, together with the mayor's written objections, to the council at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting called for the purpose of reconsidering the ordinance or resolution. At that meeting the vote by which the ordinance or resolution was adopted is deemed to be reconsidered. If, upon reconsideration, six of the council members approve the ordinance or resolution; it is adopted notwithstanding the mayor's disapproval. The vote of each council member on the reconsideration of an ordinance or resolution must be recorded by the clerk. If an ordinance or resolution is adopted in the absence of the mayor, the mayor pro tem must approve the ordinance or resolution and the official minutes of the council's action, but the mayor must approve or disapprove the ordinance in accordance with this section. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.08. Publication Of Ordinances And Resolutions. An ordinance or a resolution must be published in full if required by law or this charter or ordered to be published in full by the council. Ordinances and resolutions, together with related affidavits of publication, if applicable, must be preserved by the clerk. An ordinance not required by statute or council order to be published in full may be published in a summary form approved by the council members. The summary form must include the title of the ordinance and a summary of the ordinance conforming to law and informing the public of the intent and effect of the ordinance. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.09. When Ordinances And Resolutions Take Effect. A resolution or an emergency ordinance is effective on adoption or at a later date stated in the ordinance or resolution. Other ordinances are effective after publication of the ordinance or at a later date stated in the ordinance. An ordinance adopted by the voters of the city under chapter 5 is effective on its adoption or at a later date stated in the ordinance. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 3.10. Amendment And Repeal Of Ordinances And Resolutions. An ordinance or resolution repealing all, or a part of, or amending a previous ordinance or resolution must state the number, if any, and title of the ordinance or resolution or part thereof to be repealed or amended. An ordinance or resolution may not be repealed or amended by reference to the title only except when the ordinance or resolution is to be repealed in full. The repealing or amending ordinance or resolution must set forth in full each section, subdivision or separately identified clause to be amended or repealed and indicate by appropriate type or symbols the matter to be amended, repealed or added. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 4.01. Regular Elections. The regular city election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even numbered year at the place or places designated by council resolution. The city clerk must publish a notice of the election at least 14 days prior to the election. Failure to publish the notice does not invalidate the election. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 4.02. Special Elections. The council may by resolution order a special election as provided by law and establish the procedures for holding the election. The clerk must publish a notice of the special election at least 14 days prior to the election. Failure to publish the notice does not invalidate the election. The procedure at a special election must conform as nearly as possible to the procedure applying to other city elections. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 4.03. Procedure At Elections. Subject to this charter and law the council may by ordinance further regulate the conduct of city elections. Except as otherwise provided by this charter and ordinance, state law applies to city elections. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.01. General Authority. The voters of the city may, in accordance with this charter, propose ordinances not contrary to law or the provisions of the charter and may require ordinances to be submitted to a vote by processes known respectively as (a) the initiative and (b) the referendum. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.02. Petitions. An initiative or a referendum is initiated by a petition signed by registered voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the votes cast for the office of President of the United States at the last preceding presidential election. A petition is sponsored by a committee of five voters whose names and addresses must appear on the petition. A petition may consist of one or more papers, but each paper circulated separately must contain at its head or attached to the paper the statement required by either section 5.05 or 5.07, as the case may be. A person signing a petition must list that person's name and street address. Each page of the petition must have attached a certificate, verified by oath, that each signature is the genuine signature of the person whose name it purports to be. The person making the certificate must be a registered voter of the city. A person whose name appears on a petition may withdraw the name by a written statement filed with the city clerk prior to the time the clerk advises the council as to the sufficiency of the petition. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.03. Determination Of Sufficiency. The clerk must examine the petition as to its compliance with this chapter and deliver the petition with the clerk's findings to the council within 30 days of its receipt by the clerk. After receiving the report, the council must promptly determine by resolution if the petition complies with this chapter. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.04. Disposition Of Insufficient Petition. If the council determines by resolution that the petition does not comply with this chapter, the clerk must deliver a copy of the petition, together with a copy of the council's resolution, to the sponsoring committee. Within 30 days after receiving the petition and resolution from the clerk, the committee may file additional corrected signature papers with the council and otherwise correct the petition. If the council determines by resolution that the corrected petition does not comply with this chapter, the clerk must file the corrected petition and the council's resolution in the clerk's office and notify the sponsoring committee in writing of the council's determination. The final determination of the council that the petition does not comply with this chapter does not prevent the filing of a new petition for the same purpose or prevent the council from submitting the ordinance that was the subject of the petition to the voters. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.05. Initiative. An ordinance, except an ordinance
(a) Relating to the budget or a capital program,
(b) The appropriation of money,
(c) The levy of taxes,
(d) The compensation of city officers or employees, or
(e) The zoning or rezoning of land
may be proposed by petition pursuant to this chapter. The petition must state at the head of each page or have attached to each page the text of the proposed ordinance. If the council adopts the proposed ordinance or adopts the ordinance with amendments and a majority of the members of the sponsoring committee do not disapprove the amended ordinance by a written statement filed no later than 15 days after adoption of the ordinance, the ordinance need not be submitted to the voters. If the council does not adopt the ordinance in a form acceptable to a majority of the sponsoring committee within 60 days after the adoption of the council resolution determining that the petition complies with this chapter, the ordinance must be submitted to the voters at the next regular city election, or at a special election to be held on the state wide election date in May or during the state-wide primary election held in September. If a regular city election or a special election to be held on the state wide election date in May or the state primary election would occur within 120 days of the receipt of the petition by the clerk, the ordinance must be submitted to the voters at the next regular city election or special election to be held on the state wide election date in May or state-wide primary election held in September for which there is sufficient time to properly hold this special election. The statement of the ballot question on the initiated ordinance must be approved by the city attorney as to form and content. The statement of the question on the ballot must be sufficient to clearly identify the ordinance and to distinguish the question from all other questions on the ballot. The text of the ordinance must be included in full in the notice of election and posted at polling places on the day of election. The ordinance, if approved by the voters, is effective on the day following certification of the election results on the initiated ordinance or at a later date specified in the ordinance. (Ord. 2006-21, 1-2-2007)
Section 5.06. Initiated Ordinances: Special Provisions. An ordinance initiated under section 5.05 must be promptly referred by the council to the city attorney or other qualified attorney selected by the council for a written opinion as to the ordinance's compliance with section 5.01, with a direction to the attorney to report to the council within the 30 day period specified in section 5.03. If the attorney advises the council that the initiated ordinance is contrary to the provisions of law or this charter, neither the council nor any city officer may take any further action under section 5.05 with respect to the ordinance. Upon receipt of the attorney's opinion that the initiated ordinance complies with section 5.01 or if the attorney does not report to the council within the 30-day period, the council and city officers must proceed as directed by section 5.05. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.07. Referendum. An ordinance subject to the initiative may be subjected to the referendum by a petition received by the clerk within 30 days after the publication of the ordinance. The petition must state at the head of each page or have attached to each page a description of the ordinance in adequate detail to clearly identify the ordinance. If the council determines that the petition complies with this chapter, the ordinance is effective as otherwise provided in this chapter. Unless the council repeals the ordinance in its entirety, the ordinance must be submitted to the voters at the next regular city election or at a special election called for that purpose, as the council determines. The statement of the ballot question on the initiated ordinance must be approved by the city attorney as to form and content. The statement of the question on the ballot must be sufficient to clearly identify the ordinance and to distinguish the question from all other questions on the ballot. The text of the ordinance must be included in full in the notice of election and posted at polling places on the day of election. The ordinance, if approved by the voters, continues in effect or is effective as otherwise provided in this charter, as the case may be. The ordinance, if not approved by the voters, is deemed repealed on the day following certification of the election results on the referendum. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.08. Forms And Procedures. The council by resolution may prescribe further regulations, not inconsistent with this chapter, relating to the form and content of petitions and the processing of petitions. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 5.09. Initiated Ordinance. An initiated ordinance approved by the voters may not be subject to a referendum, for a period of 2 years from the date of the election at which it was adopted. An initiated ordinance may be amended or repealed by the city council by a two-thirds' vote of the council within 2 years of the date of the election at which the ordinance was initiated. Thereafter, it may be amended or repealed in the same manner as other ordinances of the city. (Ord. 2006-22, 1-2-2007)
Section 5.10. Referred Ordinances. An ordinance which has been successfully referred by the voters may not be enacted by an initiated ordinance by the voters, for a period of 2 years from the date of election at which it was referred. An ordinance which has been referred may be reenacted by the city council by a two-thirds' vote of the council within 2 years of the date of the election at which the ordinance was referred. Thereafter, it may be enacted in the same manner as other ordinances of the city. (Ord. 2006-23, 1-2-2007)
Section 6.01. The City Manager. The city manager is the chief administrative officer of the city. The manager is chosen by the council solely on the basis of training, experience, executive and administrative qualifications. The manager is appointed by the council for an indefinite term and may be removed at any time by the council; however, after serving as city manager for one year the manager may demand written charges and a public hearing on the charges before the council prior to the date when the final removal takes place. Pending the hearing and removal, the council may suspend the manager from office. After the hearing the council may reinstate the manager or make the removal final. The council must designate some properly qualified person to perform the duties of the manager during the manager's absence or disability or while the office of manager is vacant. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 6.02. Powers And Duties Of The Manager.
Subd. 1. The city manager is the head of the administrative branch of city government and is responsible to the council for the administration of the city's affairs.
Subd. 2. The manager must ensure that this charter and the laws, ordinances of the city and the resolutions of the city council are enforced.
Subd. 3. The manager appoints on the basis of merit and fitness and subject to applicable personnel rules, appointed officers and employees of the city, except the city attorney, who is appointed by and may be removed by the council. The manager's appointment and removal of department heads is final on approval of the council. The manager may remove or suspend appointed officers and employees subject to applicable personnel rules and this charter.
Subd. 4. The manager directs and supervises departments, officers and agencies of the city except as otherwise provided by law or this charter.
Subd. 5. The manager must attend meetings of the council. The manager may take part in discussion at council meetings but may not vote. The council may exclude the manager from a meeting at which the removal of the manager is considered.
Subd. 6. The manager may recommend to the council for adoption measures necessary for the welfare of the people and the efficient administration of the city's affairs.
Subd. 7. The manager must keep the council fully advised of the financial condition of the city. The manager must prepare and submit the annual budget.
Subd. 8. The manager performs other duties prescribed by this charter or the council. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 6.03. Administrative organization. The council may by ordinance establish city departments, offices and agencies and prescribe their functions. A power or duty conferred by this charter on an office or agency may not be transferred by the council to a different office or agency. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 6.04. Subordinate officers. The officers of the city are the city clerk and other officers subordinate to the city manager as determined by the council by ordinance or resolution. The city clerk is responsible for keeping public records and performing other duties under the direction of the city manager. The council may by ordinance abolish offices created by ordinance and combine the duties of various offices. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 6.05. Purchases and contracts. The city manager is the chief purchasing agent of the city. Purchases and contracts are made by the manager in accordance with procedures specified by council resolution. Other contracts and bonds, instruments and documents to which the city is a party must be signed by the mayor and the city manager on behalf of the city. The council may by resolution adopt additional regulations for making city contracts. City contracts must be made in accordance with law. (Ord. 2004-21, 8-2-2004)
Section 7.01. Council to control finances. The council is responsible for the financial affairs of the city. The council must provide for the collection of revenues, the safekeeping of assets, the auditing and settlement of accounts, and the safekeeping and disbursements of public monies. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.02. Fiscal year. The fiscal year of the city is the calendar year. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.03. System of taxation. Subject to the state constitution, and except as forbidden by it or by law, the council may provide by ordinance for a system of local taxation. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.04.Submission of the budget. The city manager must prepare an annual budget and submit it to the council by September 1 or some other date fixed by law. The budget must provide a complete financial plan for city funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year. The budget is in a form recommended by the city manager or specified by the council with necessary modifications required by law. The budget must show in summary and in detail estimated income and proposed expenditures, including debt service and comparative figures for the current fiscal year, actual and estimated, and for the preceding fiscal year. The budget must show proposed expenditures for current operations. The budget must show proposed capital expenditures for the ensuing year and the proposed method of financing those capital expenditures.The budget must show anticipated net surplus or deficit and the proposed method of disposing of the surplus or deficit for each utility operated by the city not under the jurisdiction of the public service commission. Subsidiary budgets for each such utility, showing income and expenditure information must be included in the budget or attached as appendices. The budget may contain the preliminary and tentative budget of the public service commission. The proposed budget to be funded by property tax levies may not exceed the amounts authorized by law and this charter. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.05. Annual audit. The manager must provide for an annual audit and financial statement of the city's finances by either the state auditor or a firm of certified public accountants. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.06. Council action on the budget. The budget must be considered by the council no later than the first regular meeting of the council in October or as otherwise required by law. The council must consider the budget at subsequent meetings until a budget is adopted. The council must give interested citizens a reasonable opportunity to be heard at the budget meetings. The sums appropriated by the budget may not exceed the estimated revenues and reserves available to fund the expenditures in the budget. The council must adopt the budget by resolution not later than the date provided by law. The budget resolution must state the total amount of each budgeted fund and of each department, with segregation of objects and purposes of expenditures as deemed necessary by the council. The budget resolution or a separate, related resolution of the council must levy sufficient taxes to provide adequate revenues for the budgeted expenditures. The clerk must certify the budget resolution or tax resolution, as the case may be, to the county auditor in accordance with law. The sums fixed in the budget resolution are appropriated for the purposes identified in the budget resolution. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.07. Enforcement of the budget. The city manager must enforce the budget. The manager may not approve a payment or the incurring of an obligation by the city unless funds for the payment or obligation are appropriated by the budget and there is a sufficient unexpended balance in the appropriation after deducting prior expenditures and encumbrances against the appropriation. An officer or employee of the city may not place an order or make a purchase for the city unless the order or purchase is authorized in the budget. An obligation incurred by an officer or employee of the city for a purpose not authorized in the budget or for an amount in excess of the amount is the personal obligation of the person incurring the obligation. A city check drawn on the treasury or other transfer of funds to a person or entity other than the city may not be issued or paid until the claim to which the payment relates has been documented by an itemized bill, payroll time sheet or other document approved and signed by a responsible city officer who vouches for its correctness and reasonableness. The city manager must report to the council from time to time on the status of the budget and the expenditures from and balances in the budget accounts and funds. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.08. Alterations in the budget. The council may not increase the amounts appropriated in the budget resolution beyond the estimated revenues except to the extent that actual receipts exceed the estimated revenues. The council may by resolution reduce an appropriation for any purpose in the budget or authorize the transfer of sums from unencumbered appropriations in the budget to other purposes. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.09. Funds to be kept. There must be maintained in the city treasury a general fund and the other funds required by law, this charter, ordinance, the budget resolution or other resolution. The council may by resolution make interfund loans except from trust or agency funds. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.10. City indebtedness. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter and law, obligations of the city may not be issued to pay current expenses, but the council may issue and sell its obligations for any other municipal purpose in accordance with law and within the limits prescribed by law. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 7.11. Anticipation certificates. At any time after January 1 the council may issue certificates of indebtedness in anticipation of state and federal aid and the collection of taxes levied in the previous year for any fund but not yet collected. The total amount of certificates issued against a fund for a fiscal year together with interest thereon until maturity may not exceed the total of state or federal aid and current taxes due to the fund and uncollected at the time of issuance. The certificates may be issued on terms and conditions determined by the council. The certificates must mature not later than April 1 of the year following their issuance. The proceeds of the tax levied for the fund and the state or federal aids allocated to the fund against which the certificates are issued, together with the full faith and credit of the city, must be irrevocably pledged for the payment of the certificates at maturity or earlier redemption. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 8.01. Improvements: assessments. The city may make any type of public improvement not forbidden by law and may levy special assessments against benefited property for all or a portion of the cost of a local improvement in accordance with law. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 8.02. Assessment for services. The council may provide by ordinance and in the manner provided by law that the cost of city services to public or private property may be assessed against benefited property and collected in the same manner as special assessments. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 9.01. Acquisition of property. The city may acquire by purchase, gift, eminent domain or otherwise property within or outside its boundaries needed by the city for a public purpose. In acquiring property by exercising the power of eminent domain, the city must proceed in accordance with law. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 10.01. Franchises required. Except as otherwise provided by law a person, firm or corporation may not place or maintain a permanent or semi-permanent fixture in, over, upon or under a street or other public place in the city for the purpose of operating a public utility or for any other purpose without a franchise from the city. A franchise is granted by ordinance that may not be an emergency ordinance. An ordinance granting a franchise must contain all the terms and conditions of the franchise. The grantee must pay the cost of publication of the franchise ordinance. A franchise is not effective unless it has been unconditionally accepted by the grantee and filed with the clerk.
Section 10.02. Term. A perpetual franchise may not be granted. A franchise for a term exceeding 25 years is not effective until approved by a majority of the voters at a regular or special election.
Section 10.03. Public hearing. Before a franchise ordinance is adopted or the rates, fares, or prices to be charged by a public utility are fixed by the council, the council must hold a public hearing on the matter. Notice of the hearing must be published at least once in the official newspaper not less than ten days prior to the date of the hearing.
Section 10.04. Regulation. Subject to applicable law, the council may by ordinance reasonably regulate the exercise of a franchise, including the rates to be charged by the grantee. Unless prohibited by law, the ordinance may impose a franchise fee on a public utility grantee. The city may inspect the books and records of the grantee at reasonable times. The council may require the grantee to provide the city with written reports on the grantee's operation in the city. The grantee must notify the city in writing of a proposed rate increase at least 60 days prior to the proposed effective date of the increase. The city council may appoint a commission or referee to investigate the grantee and report to the council on matters regulated by a franchise. The value of a franchise may not be included in either the valuation of the grantee's property in regulating rates under an applicable law, ordinance or regulation or in proceedings for city acquisition of the grantee's property by purchase or eminent domain.
Section 10.05. Renewals and modifications. The renewal or modification of a franchise is subject to the limitations of this chapter and is granted in the same manner as a new franchise.
Section 11.01. Authority to own and operate. The city may own and operate a water, gas, electric, district heating, telephone, transportation or other public utility authorized by law or this charter for supplying its own needs for utility service and products to others within or without the corporate limits of the city. The city may construct all facilities reasonably needed; maintain, enlarge, extend, repair and operate any such public utility; and may acquire any existing utility properties needed for that purpose. The city may, in lieu of or in addition to providing for the local production of gas, electricity or any other utility product, purchase such a product wholesale and resell it to others. The city may not acquire or construct a public utility unless the proposition to acquire or construct the public utility has been embodied in an ordinance, which may not be an emergency ordinance, adopted by the council.
Section 11.02. Regulations and rates. Except as otherwise provided in chapter 12 of this charter as it relates to utilities under the jurisdiction of the public service commission, the council may by ordinance fix rates and charges for municipal utility services, prescribe the time and manner of payment for the services; and make such other regulations; including penalties for their violation as may be necessary for the protection, maintenance, operation, extension and improvement of the utilities and for the sale of the city's utility products and services.
Section 11.03. Lease of utility. With the prior approval of the public service commission concerning utilities under the jurisdiction of the commission, the council may by ordinance, which may not be an emergency ordinance, adopted by six members of the council, contract for a term not to exceed ten years with any person, firm or corporation for the operation of any utility owned by the city upon such terms and conditions as the council deems necessary.
Section 11.04. Sale of public utility. A public utility or any specific part thereof owned by the city may not be sold or otherwise disposed of by the city unless the full terms of the proposition of sale or other disposition are embodied in an ordinance approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon at a general or special election and approved by the public service commission concerning utilities under the jurisdiction of the commission. The sale, lease or abandonment of a water utility or an electric utility is subject to the requirements of applicable law.
Section 11.05. Other services. The city may construct, operate, maintain and dispose of sanitation facilities and other public service enterprises from which a revenue sufficient to maintain the service is or may be derived within or without the corporate limits of the city.
Section 11.06. Additional powers. The powers granted to the city by this chapter are in addition to and not in substitution for any other power granted to the city by law or this charter.
Section 12.01. Commission. There is created and continued a public service commission of the city with the powers and duties set forth in this chapter. The public service commission is referred to in this chapter as "the commission".
Section 12.02. Commission: jurisdiction. The commission is responsible for the control, management and operation of the water utility plant and distribution system, the electric utility plant and distribution system, and the district heating system. The council may by ordinance delegate to the commission the control, management and operation of any city owned public utility, sewage disposal and sewerage system, sanitation facility or public service enterprise of the city.
Section 12.03. Commission: membership. Subdivision 1. The commission consists of five commissioners, each appointed for a term of three years. Commissioners serve until their successors are appointed and qualify. A commissioner must be a resident of the city. Each of four of the commissioners must be a resident of each of the four wards in the city; the fifth commissioner is appointed at large. A change of residence of a commissioner from the ward from which the commissioner is appointed creates a vacancy in the office. A vacancy in office of commissioner is filled by appointment for the unexpired term. The council may by ordinance provide for the compensation of the commissioners.
Subd. 2. The commissioners from wards one and four are appointed for terms beginning February 1, 1991. The commissioners from wards two and three are appointed for terms beginning February 1, 1993. The commissioner at large is appointed for a term beginning February 1, 1992. Commissioners in office on March 9, 1990, remain in office until the respective dates set forth in this subdivision. The commissioners from wards are appointed by the council. The commissioner at large is appointed by the mayor with the approval of the council.
Section 12.04. Organization: officers. The commission must adopt bylaws governing its operations and proceedings. The commission must annually elect a chairperson and such other officers as prescribed by its bylaws.
Section 12.05. Powers. Subdivision 1. The commission has the powers and duties given in this section.
Subd. 2. The commission must appoint a chief administrative officer.
Subd. 3. The commission may employ persons necessary for its management and operation, prescribe the duties of its officers and employees, and fix their compensation.
Subd. 4. The commission may exercise any power necessary and convenient for the efficient and economical operation of the utilities and services under its control and may enter into contracts for these purposes. The provisions of state law relating to competitive bidding apply to contracts of the commission. A contract for an amount for which competitive bidding is required by law must be approved by the council and executed in the same manner as other city contracts. The commission bylaws must provide procedures for the execution and delivery of contracts and other documents by the commission.
Subd. 5. The commission may purchase fuel, equipment and supplies necessary for its operation. The commission may purchase wholesale utility products for retail distribution.
Subd. 6. The commission may adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the efficient and economical operation of utility services and public services under its control.
Subd. 7. Subject to the provisions of section 12.10, the commission may impose just and equitable rates and charges for the use and availability of the utility services and public services under its control. In determining the reasonableness of the charges to be imposed, the commission may consider all costs of the establishment, operation, maintenance, depreciation and necessary replacements of the utilities, improvements, enlargements and extensions necessary to the utilities, and the principal and interest on obligations issued or to be issued by the city for capital improvements to the utilities.
Subd. 8. Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the council and the commission may enter into agreements for
(a) payment by the city for utility service,
(b) compensation for the use by either the city or the commission of buildings, equipment and personnel under the control of the other,
(c) payments by the commission to the city in lieu of taxes, transfers of surplus utility funds to the general fund or capital improvements fund of the city, and
(d) any other matter deemed necessary by the commission and the council.
Subd. 9. Locations; extensions. The commission must locate fire hydrants and public lights as the council directs. The extension of water and district heating mains by the commission must be approved by the council.
Section 12.06. Rules and regulations: operation. The rules and regulations of the commission may provide for but are not limited to the following matters:
(a) the entry upon land and property by commission employees at reasonable times for examination and service in connection with utility properties,
(b) the procedures for prosecution by the city for violation of rules regulating the unauthorized use of utility services or for damage of utility properties,
(c) the extension of water mains, district heating mains and electrical transmission lines, as approved by the city council,
(d) the prevention of waste of utility products and services, and
(e) the procedures for the termination of utility services for non-payment of rates and charges.
The rules and regulations of the commission relating to rates and charges and the use of the utilities by the public must be published in such manner as the commission deems necessary to reasonably inform the public of their content and may be embodied by the council in ordinances of the city.
Section 12.07. Payment: rates and charges: remedies. The commission may provide by rule that charges for the use and availability of water, electricity and district heating are a charge against the owner, lessee or occupant of the property served, or all of them, and may provide for certifying unpaid charges with interest thereon to the county auditor with taxes against the property deemed for collection as other taxes are collected. Charges for utility services may be recovered in a civil action against the owner, lessee or occupant, or all of them, on the property served.
Section 12.08. Financial matters. Subdivision 1. The commission must annually, prior to the date fixed by law or this charter for the approval of the city budget, submit to the council a preliminary and tentative budget for the ensuing fiscal year and must supply to the council the commission's final budget and such other financial data and reports as the council may request from time to time. The commission must annually prepare and file a financial report with the city manager. The financial report must be included in the annual financial statement of the city.
Subd. 2. All monies paid to the commission from whatever source derived must be paid into the appropriate city fund established pursuant to section 7.09 of this charter. All disbursements of the city or the commission attributable to a utility or service under the control of the commission must be paid from the appropriate fund subject to the procedures set forth in section 7.07 of this charter.
Subd. 3. The city council may, on its own initiative or at the request of the commission, issue and sell obligations as provided by law and this charter to provide monies for the acquisition and betterment of utility facilities under the control of the commission. The council may not issue and sell the obligations without the consent of the commission embodied in a resolution of the commission.
Section 12.09. Capital improvements fund: bonds. Subdivision 1. There is created and continued a capital improvements fund as a fund of the city. Monies in the capital improvements fund may be used by the city for the acquisition and betterment of capital improvements of the city.
Subd. 2. The city council may from time to time in any fiscal year and by a vote of six members of the council transfer from net revenues in its utility funds to the capital improvements fund an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the gross revenues derived by the commission in that fiscal year from utilities or services under the control of the commission except the district heating system.
Subd. 3. In this section the terms "gross revenues" and "net revenues" have the meanings given them by section 12.11, subdivision 5.
Subd. 4. The council may by a vote of six members of the council issue and sell obligations of the city to provide monies for the construction of capital improvements and may pledge to the payment of the obligations all or a defined portion of the estimated receipts of the capital improvements fund. Obligations so issued are payable solely from the receipts pledged for their payment, but if the question of the issuance of the obligations is approved by the voters of the city at a regular or special election, the obligations may be issued as general obligations of the city. The obligations must be issued in accordance with law and section 7.10 of this charter but are not a debt of the city within any statutory limitation of debt.
Subd. 5. The capital improvements fund may be terminated at any time by the council by the same vote required for its establishment. A pledge of utility receipts of the capital improvements fund made for the benefit of the holders of obligations issued under subdivision 2 will not be affected by the termination of the capital improvements fund.
Section 12.10. Rates. Changes in rates and charges for services under the jurisdiction of the commission may be initiated by resolution of either the commission or the council. Following such a resolution, the commission must hold a public hearing at which anyone may present oral or written testimony. A meeting notice must be published ten days before the hearing. During the 30 day period following the public hearing, the commission may receive written testimony and must consider such testimony at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose. The changes in rates and charges as proposed or modified by the commission are effective on the expiration of the 30 day period following the public hearing or at a later date fixed by the commission. The commission must adopt rules governing the conduct of hearings on changes in rates and charges and must publish the rules in such manner as it deems necessary to fully inform the public of their content.
Section 12.11. City use of utilities: transfer of funds. Subdivision 1. The council and the commission may agree on reasonable rates and charges to the city for utility products and services, but the rates and charges may not be higher than those imposed upon similar classes of customers.
Subd. 2. The commission's charge to the city for the use and availability of fire hydrants for municipal fire protection may not exceed $40.00 for each hydrant in the city unless otherwise provided by written agreement between the city and the commission.
Subd. 3. The city may not levy taxes of any nature on utilities under the control of the commission or on the revenues of the commission.
Subd. 4. The council may by a vote of six members transfer in any fiscal year to the general revenue fund of the city from the net revenues of a utility or service under the control of the commission and from the net revenues of any city owned utility the following amounts:
(a) from the electric utility, an amount not to exceed 20 percent of gross revenues,
(b) from the district heating utility, an amount not to exceed 10 percent of gross revenues,
(c) from any other city owned utility, an amount not to exceed 5 percent of gross revenues, and
(d) any amount authorized by law to be so transferred.
Subd. 5. In this chapter the term "gross revenues" means all operating and non-operating revenues of a utility from whatever source derived; the term "net revenues" means gross revenues less current expenses of the operation of the utilities. The amounts of gross revenues and net revenues must be determined by the commission in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Transfers made pursuant to this section must be consistent with covenants with bondholders in city resolutions authorizing the issuance of obligations payable from revenues of the utilities.
Section 13.01. Official publication. At its first meeting in each year, the council must designate one or more legal newspapers of general circulation in the city as its official newspaper, ordinances and other matters required by law or this charter to be published and other matters that the council deems necessary are published in the official newspaper.
Section 13.02. Oath of office. Elected officers of the city and a city officer so required by law or pursuant to this charter must before taking office, take and subscribe to an oath of office in the form required by law.
Section 13.03. Official bonds. Before assuming office or employment, the city manager, the city clerk and other officers of the city required by law or ordinance must give a corporate surety bond to the city as security for the faithful performance of duties and the safekeeping of public funds. The bond must be in the form and amount fixed by the council and may be either an individual or blanket bond. The bond must be approved by the council, approved as to form by the city attorney and filed with the clerk. The premium on the bond is paid by the city. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 13.04. Official Interest In Contracts. Except as otherwise permitted by law, an officer of the city who is authorized to take part in any matter in a contract with the city may not voluntarily have a personal financial interest in or personally benefit from the contract. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 13.05. Sale Of Real Property. The city shall advertise all real property available for disposal at least once per year. If a property has not been advertised for sale within the prior twelve months, the city may not dispose of the property without first publishing an advertisement for sale of that property once in the official newspaper of the city at least 14 days prior to its disposal. If real property has been used for municipal purposes, the city may not dispose of that property without first holding a public hearing on the disposal following one published notice of the hearing at least ten days prior to the disposal. In all cases, the disposal of real property must be approved by a resolution passed by the city council. (Ord. 2004-22, 9-20-2004)
Section 13.06. Vacation Of Streets. The council may by resolution and in accordance with law vacate a street, alley, public grounds, public way, or part thereof, in the city. The vacation may be made after 14 days' published notice and 10 days' mailed notice to affected property owners of a public hearing before the council or planning commission on the matter. Failure to give mailed notice or any defect in the notices does not invalidate the proceedings. The clerk must give a notice of completion of the vacation proceedings with the appropriate county officer. Failure to file the notice does not invalidate the proceeding. (Ord. 2004-23, 8-2-2004)
Section 13.07. Effect Of Charter Revision. This charter is effective on July 17, 1995, and is a revision and comprehensive amendment to the charter of the city as it existed on July 16, 1995. Nothing in this charter is to be construed to modify, abrogate or abridge (a) the rights, duties, liabilities, privileges or immunities of the city, (b) the ordinances and resolutions of the city, (c) pending or completed condemnation, improvement or assessment proceedings, or (d) the qualifications or terms of office of city officers as they existed on July 16, 1995, except as otherwise specifically provided in this charter. This charter is not to be construed to affect, modify or repeal any special law of the state applicable to the city. (Ord. 95-1, 4-17-1995, eff. 7-17-1995)
Section 13.08. Charter Commission Membership. Current members of the Moorhead city council cannot serve as members of the Moorhead charter commission. (Ord. 2006-24, 1-2-2007)