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Local

Five properties get OK to opt out of historic district

MORRISON – The City Council voted 6-0 Monday to allow five properties to opt out of the historic district: 124 and 317 E. Main St.; 104 W. Main St., and 101 and 624 W. Lincolnway.

Guy Hayenga and Pat Zuidema were absent.

The council also discussed allowing city employees to buy insurance policies that would cover domestic partners.

One city employee lives with a partner but is not married, Mayor Roger Drey said.

If the council approves, couples will have to prove to the insurance company that they are in a relationship and not just trying to help a friend get coverage, Drey said.

The city pays half of its employees' insurance premiums, which comes to about $150,000 a year for health, dental, accidental death, disability and life insurance, City Administrator Jim Wise said.

Council member Scott Connelly said the council should consider how much more money the coverage, if approved, will cost the city.

"The insurance company likes big groups," he said.

Board member Leo Sullivan suggested City Attorney Tim Zollinger review the issue.

Also Monday, Police Chief Brian Melton said he plans to bring a request to the council to address unsafe conditions at Northside Elementary School when parents drop off and pick up children.

"Drive by there after school," he said. "It's a mess, especially on the last block of North Cherry Street."

Vehicles sometimes don't obey buses' stop arms on Genesee Street in front of the school, he said.

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