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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

091019 UAB Minutes

Mountain Iron Utility Advisory Board


10 September 2019

Meeting was called to order 4:00 p.m. by Chairperson Renzaglia

Members present:  Reynold Renzaglia, Sue Tuomela, Harvey Hellyer, Bret Renzaglia and Jacob Osell (4:17p.m.).  Others present: Tim Satrang, Public Works Director, Lisa Stevens, Accounting Technician

Members absent:  Joe Prebeg, Council Liaison

Waited an additional ten minutes, during this time Satrang updated the Board on future projects;

CIPP sewer lining project is currently out for bids.  A project completion date of the fall 2020 was included to allow more companies an opportunity to bid.  Satrang indicated companies that do this type of work tend to fill schedules quickly.

MNDOT intersection near HWY 53 and Mountain Iron Drive (Walgreens) will be reconstructed this summer as well as the intersection of 169 and 12th Ave S (near KFC).  During construction traffic will be detoured onto city roads.   

Moved by Sue Tuomela and supported by Harvey Hellyer to approve the Consent Agenda including the 25 June 2019 Minutes.  Motion carried unanimously with Jacob Osell absent.


Satrang asked if all members are receiving the MMUA Resources publication.  Everyone seems to be. 

Public Forum: 

Edward Roskoski was present and asked:

Why the board wasn’t meeting monthly.

If the Board was aware of the deficit funds in the utilities accounts. 

Asked if the Board was aware of funds used from the electrical department to build Woodland Estates, a “speculative” project, electrical system. 

Correspondence:    None



12 August 2019 8384 Marigold Street.  Replaced a hydrant and valve on the corner of this address. 

16 August 2019 8384 Marigold Street.  Coupling before the hydrant started leaking.  There was enough room to cut the coupling off, attach hydrant using a Hymax adapter.

16 August 2019 just west of 8505 Mud Lake Road.  Water line break on a ten inch ductile line.  A large hole was found on the bottom of the pipe.  Cut out about a ten-foot section of pipe and replaced it with C-900. 

22 August 2019 5614 Nichols Ave.  Replace a hydrant with a 6-inch ductile feed. 

Electrical:  None Reported

Old Business:

Jacob Osell entered the meeting at 4:17 p.m.

  • Water Treatment Facility:  Satrang reported concrete filter were being designed to replace the original steel ones.  A three-cell cement filter design will replace the existing four-cell steel design. The new design would require less fittings, piping, and valves while still providing redundancy in operation. Controls will be limited.  Backwashing filters would be by operating valves manually.   The possibility of renovating two-chemical addition rooms is being looked into.
  • Discussed water tower project. Satrang reported bid packages are being prepared for the project.  Chairman Renzaglia asked about mixers for the tank.  Mixers would be installed upon completion of the tower project.  There has been evidence of long streaking of the paint on the interior walls.  That usually indicates sliding of ice.  Also, keeping water from thermally stratifying would help keep a more consistent chlorine residual and help prevent the presence of chloramines.
  • Garbage Truck: Satrang reported the new garbage truck has arrived.  Decals are being applied along with modifying the pick up arms.  Mountain Iron needs to modify the pick-up arms to enable 30 gallon, 60 gallon, 90 gallon, and 300 gallon cans to be picked up.  Mountain Iron is one of the few that offers all four sizes.  Our drivers will be trained on using a truck with “normal” left hand steering.  This will be our first Left hand, side dumping garbage truck we’ve operated. 
  • Large Trash Pickup: Satrang reported a lot of good feedback from citizens.  He reported more scrappers out this year than the previous few years.  He also explained the need to sticking to scheduled pick up dates.  Some days the crews are done picking everything up, within a scheduled route, in a couple hours.  Workers are assigned other duties when this occurs. The report also indicates four TV’s were picked up.  These were TV’s picked up in ditches.
  • Transformer Storage Area: Satrang indicated nothing has been worked on this year.  Also, there hasn’t been any reported vandalism.
  • Voltage Upgrade Satrang reported the engineer he had been working with on this project took another job. Satrang also made arrangements with MMUA to assist with this project.  Mike Downs agreed to meet with Satrang and one of the original MP engineers to assist with some of the Virginia feed take over.  Most of the hardware has been purchased

New Business:

  • Utility Rates Renzaglia introduced the topic by explaining Auditors have stated a loss in all utility funds. By law we are required to balance these funds. To accomplish this, we need to decrease expenditures, increase rates, or a combination of both. 

Satrang presented a packet of information of our current rate structure along with a few comparisons to local utilities.  He expressed staff would like more time to get further examples from other utilities along with creating a spreadsheet to calculate and compare how adjustments would affect our customers and the enterprise funds.

Discussion about how some expenses were from past projects like voltage upgrades that result in a more efficient system going forward.

Staff will work on creating a report on how adjustments will effect customers and have some comparisons to other communities

Other Items of Concerns:

  • Corner of HWY 7 and Unity Drive Water Leak: Satrang reported construction is about to start on replacing the water line underneath County Road 7.  Additional vales would allow for more options operating in the event of a water line break. 

Meeting Adjourned at 5:06pm

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Stevens

Accounting Technician

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