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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

092519 PHSB Minutes

Mountain Iron

Public Safety and Health Board Meeting Minutes

Mountain Iron Community Center

September 25, 2019


Meeting called to order by Chairperson Al Stanaway at 6:33 P.M.


  1. Members present: Steve Hunter, Margaret Ratai, Steve Skogman, Margaret             Soyring, Al Stanaway, Mark Madden, MIFD Liaison Alternate.


  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Consent Agenda approval: Request by M. Ratai to change the Minutes                                     date to June 26, 2019.  Request by S. Skogman to have e-cigarettes added                                  to New Business agenda.
  3. Motion by S. Skogman and second by M. Soyring to approve the June 26,                               2019 minutes. Motion carried.
  4. Communications:      
  • Mountain Iron Fire Department Call and Mutual Aid Report and Call Response Report for September, 2019 to date and quotes for extrication tool package from Emergency Management Company and Grand Forks Fire Equipment sent via email from Mark Madden, MIFD Liaison Alternate.
  • August 30, 2019 Proposed 2020 MIFD Budget.
  • Mesabi Humane Society 3rd quarter report.


III.          Public Forum: None


  1. Committee Staff Reports
  2. First Responders Report: None
  3. Fire Department Report:
  • MIFD Call and Mutual Aid Report to date based on pay cycle: September Total Calls 1, Mutual Aid Calls 1, Fire Hours 2, Mutual Aid Hours 5, Total Man Hours 5, Mutual Aid Hours 100%, Total Mutual Aid Calls to Date 29, Total Mutual Aid Man Hours to Date 167, Mutual Aid Hours to Date 54%, Total MI Call and Response 1, Working Calls 1, Total Responders 3, Firefighter per Call 3, FF per Working Call 3, % Member Response 19% Year to Date % Member Response 24%.  Daytime mutual aid calls have fewer firefighters responding and they are often released after arrival on the scene.
  • Hiring 3 new firefighters and 1 firefighter resignation.
  1. Sheriff’s Office Report: None
  2. Other – Mesabi Humane Society Report: 2 dogs intakes in June. 2019                                     intakes thru 3rd quarter: 2 cats, 4 dogs.


  1. Unfinished Business
  2.       No information about MIFD Truck #34 storage from Park and Recreation                               Board.
  3. No response from the City Administrator about Board members use of                                     personal email accounts to communicate Board business.
  4. Discussion about Resolution 19-07 rules and election of officers.  Past                                     practice has been to hold elections annually in January.  Currently the City                   Council and Administrator and other Boards/Committees follow Robert’s                                   Rules of Order per Chairperson A. Stanaway.  
  5. Consensus of Board to have the January 2020 Board meeting on                                         Wednesday, January 22, 2020 with election of officers and adoption of                              Board rules.
  6. Discussion about information to provide new Board members with                                     recommendations to include meeting dates and times, role and function of                              board members, past minutes, ordinances that pertain to the Board’s                             function, Board members to meet new members and orientate to the Board             prior to attending the first meeting.  Discussion about new member                                   recruitment.   
  7. Recommendation by M. Soyring to table discussion about MIFD.  No                                     discussion held.


  1. New Business
  2. 2020 MIFD Budget:
  • 2019 budget figures were not available from the City’s Accountant until June, as the city’s 2019 budget had adjusted enteries after the annual audit. Presentation by M. Madden, MIFD Liaison and Assistant Fire Chief of the proposed MIFD 2020 budget of $131,000.00 for the firefighters and First Responders. This proposal is 9% over 2019 budget. A 2% increase for general supplies and annual reoccurring costs was added for inflation.  Note 2019 First Responder supply budget was reduced last year. Turn out gear replacement per inventory and new hires.  20% of hoses have a failure rate and the new truck arriving in December 2019 will require hoses. Budget request for 30 pieces of hose. Bail Out Kits were deferred from 2019 to 2020, as specialty training is required. Update and replace outdated radios due to technology changes.  Capital improvement request for a V plow to be installed on the Truck 16 (3/4 T pick-up) to facilitate faster response during winter and more access to fire fighting site and hydrants. Note that inventories taken in 2018 and 2019 and recorded electronically with the new software have been beneficial to the budget process.
  • Discussion held about increasing fire fighter wages to $15.00/hour. S. Skogman recommended adjusting the proposed budget to reflect this salary increase.
  • Madden recommends keeping the fire fighter and First Responder payrolls separate and keep the fire fighter and First Responder operating expenses combined. City Council approval is needed. Will need to address this when presenting the budget to the City Council.
  • Recommendation to have MIFD representative present for the Committee of the Whole Budget meeting on November 4th at 5:00 PM.
  1. Presentation by M. Madden, MIFD Liaison and Assistant Fire Chief about               need to replace current hydraulic extrication equipment that was donated                                     by the Virginia Fire Department when they purchased new equipment                               several years ago.  The current equipment is a three-man operation and                          will not cut the new vehicles.  New extrication models are battery operated                      and require one man to operate plus reduce the extrication time                                         significantly.  The new equipment is designed to cut new and old model                         vehicles. Money is in the budget to purchase the equipment this year. The                                most favorable equipment package is from Grand Forks Fire Equipment                          for a demonstration model with full warranty.
  • Motion by M. Ratai and second by M. Soyring to have the Extrication Tool equipment and demo suit purchased from Grand Forks Fire Equipment for $19,503.00 per quote and put on the next City Council agenda for purchase. Motion carried. The MIFD will have a representative at the October 7th City Council meeting to present the purchase request and answer questions.
  1. Presentation by S. Skogman about e-cigarettes/vaping and “ T 21 or                                     Tobaco21”. “T 21 promotes raising the minimum age for tobacco and                              nicotine sales to 21 years of age.    Hermantown and Duluth have passed                         ordinances to   reflect the age.   Motion by S. Skogman and second by M.                          Ratai to move item to City Council agenda and have the City Council ask                                 the Administrator and City Attorney to add e-cigarettes and tobacco                                    products to a revised ordinance.  Yes – 4, No – 1. Motion carried.


VII.         Open Discussion

  • MIFD sponsored National Night Out at the Fire Hall was a huge success.           An estimated 500 were in attendance with over 300 root beer floats served            along with hot dogs and cookies. Thank you to Fire Chief Gerry Knapper         and First Responder Director James Hipple for organizing the event and the volunteers and firefighters who participated.  The Clinton Fire Department   joined this celebration.  Donations were from two local banks, Wal-Mart,      Village Inn, a local beverage distribution company and other local vendors plus private citizens.  A bouncy house, pony rides by Deputy Sheriff John   Backman and family, and singing by Steve S. were included in the event        along with fire department equipment displays.  Anna Amundson, Library   Director/Special Events Coordinator assisted with advertising and the event      coordination with the City. Additional volunteers will be sought for next          year’s event.
  • National Fire Prevention Week is October 6-12. MIFD has scheduled events at the MIB schools.
  • New fire truck delivery is scheduled for December.


VIII.        Announcement:

  • Ordinance review will be held at the October 30th at 6:00 P.M. with the Public Safety and Health Board meeting to follow at 6:30 P.M.
  • Shared Services Committee Meeting 9/30/19 at 2:00 P.M., Mountain Iron Community Center.


Motion by S. Skogman and second by S. Hunter to adjourn. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:17 P.M.


Respectfully submitted by:


Margaret A. Ratai









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