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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

103019 PHSM Minutes

Mountain Iron

Public Safety and Health Board Meeting Minutes

Mountain Iron Community Center

October 30, 2019


The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Al Stanaway at 6:45 P.M.


  1. Members present: Steve Hunter, Margaret Ratai,  Steve Skogman, Margaret Soyring, Al Stanaway, Mark Madden, MIFD Liaison Alternate.  Also, present: St. Louis County Sheriff Sgt. John Backman, MIFD Fire Chief Gerry Knapper.


  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Consent Agenda approval: Request by Chairperson A. Stanaway to add the following items to the agenda under Old Business: iPad, email use, email notification if Board Minutes and Agenda, T 21 ordinance.
  3. Motion by M. Ratai and second by S. Skogman to approve the September 25, 2019 minutes. Motion Carried.
  4. Communications:
  • Mountain Iron Fire Department (MIFD) 2020 proposed budget revisions

from September 25th meeting sent via email by M. Madden, Assistant Fire Chief and Liaison Alternate sent via email on October 15, 2019 to Board Members and City Administrator.


III.       Public Forum: None


  1. Committee Staff Reports
  2. First Responders:
    • MI First Responders currently operating with seven (7) personnel – two are out due to injury for the past three months with one now cleared to restart, one works out of town, two are also firefighters and discussing discipline with City Administrator due to inactivity.
    • One new responder will start on November 3rd.
    • As of October 25th, there were 20 requests for service. Two responders met 3 of the 20 requests.  Most of the calls were during the daytime when responders were not available.
    • There is an ongoing ad on the City website for responders.  New firefighter recruits are offered a First Responder position also.
  1. Fire Department Report:
  • MIFD Call and Mutual Aid Report and Call and Response Report based on pay cycle. October Total Calls: 8 (5 calls were cancelled or called off enroute), Mutual Aid Calls, 2, Fire Hours: 16, MI Call Man Hours: 24, Mutual Aid Man Hours: 10, Total Call Man Hours: 34, Mutual Aid Hours Percent: 29%, Mutual Aid Hours Year to Date Percent: 52%, False/Cancelled Alarms: 5, Working Calls: 3 (1 gas leak call required a 5 hour response time), FF/Working Calls: 8, FF/False Canceled Alarms:12, Total Responders: 20, FF per Call: 2.50, FF per Working Call: 2.67, % Member Response 17%, % Member Response to Date: 23%.
  • Staffing: Two firefighters are employed out of the area reducing the Department to 15. One of the three new hires have completed the preemployment requirements and will be starting on November 3. One firefighter has announced his retirement.
  • A text and voice message will be sent to firefighters who have not met their participation requirements for Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). Wainio, City Administrator, will be sending a written letter notifying the firefighters that PERA will be withheld unless they meet the participation requirements by the last payroll in December.

Chief Knapper discussed the options available to meet the requirements in the next 60 days such as attending trainings, inventory, other assigned work at the Fire Hall and response to and participation at fire calls.

  • Chief Knapper and Asst. Chief Madden conducted programs at the Merritt Elementary during Fire Prevention Week. Feedback was positive.
  1. Sheriff’s Office Report: None
  2. Other – Mesabi Human Society: Verbal report from Sgt. Backman that the Animal Control Officer assisted the Sheriff’s Department with a dog issue.


  1. Unfinished Business


  1. Al Stanaway spoke with C. Wainio, City Administrator, about iPads for the

                        Board.  The Board does not meet the criteria for use and data privacy.

  1. No update on City email address use by Board members.  A. Stanaway will check with City Administrator about status for the next meeting.
  2. Status of sending an email or hard copy of the minutes and notices of other Board/Commissions has not been determined.  All Board and Commission meetings are posted on the City website.  Discussion about having access to the minutes due to issues that cross over between Boards/Commissions.  Minutes are not posted until approved at the next meeting which can be one or more months between meetings. A. Stanaway will report on status at next meeting.
  3. Discussion about the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC) October 23rd webinar “The Full Picture: T21 Considerations for Cities”.  M. Ratai will send Board members a copy of the webinar handouts. Discussion about T21 Ordinance for City of Mountain Iron, obtaining recommendations from American Lung Association in addition to LMC and Public Health Law Center.  Minnesota legislator is looking at state law due to the increased youth and young adult vaping issues plus Center for Disease Control (CDC) warnings.  Motion by S. Skogman with second by M. Soyring to support a local T21 ordinance.  Yes – 4, No – 1. Motion carried.  S. Skogman will address the T21 ordinance issue with the City Council.  


  1. New Business
  2. Presentation of proposed MIFD budget by M. Madden, Asst. Fire Chief.
  • Adjusted proposed salary increased based on discussion at the September 25th Bureau of Labor statistics has the national firefighter wage as $14.85/hour. $15.15 is the Minnesota average.  Currently firefighters are paid $12/hour and First Responders $10/call.  Propose $15.00/hour for firefighter and $15/call for First Responder.  This would increase the salary budget by $7500. 
  • Madden has had discussion with T. Satrang, Public Works Director, about the securing a used plow from Public Works pending functionable and repairable condition. Then would only need to purchase plow frame and controls. 
  • There will be no capital outlay due to paying the lease for the new fire truck for the next five year. Lease $75,544.00/year. City proposed 2020 budget to pay toward the new fire truck lease. Previously it had been $100,000.00/year for funds toward a new fire truck and repairs to Truck #188.
  • Truck #01 is 18 years old. Will need to look at replacing after 20 years old based on truck condition. 
  • Motion by M. Ratai and second by M. Soyring that the Board reviewed the proposed 2020 MIFD budget and recommend that it be sent to the Committee of the Whole Meeting on November 4, 2019 for review. Madden, Asst. Fire Chief to be present at the meeting to address the budget.  Motion carried.


VII.          Open Discussion

  1. Final inspection of the new Pierce fire truck with be conducted the week of December 8th in Appleton, WI. Chief Knapper and three firefighters will participate in the final inspection.  After the inspection, MacQueen Emergency Group will make the required additions per  order specifications and the truck will be delivered to the MIFD Fire Hall. Date of delivery to be determined.
  2. Discussion about storage and status of truck #188 to make room for the new fire truck. To date there has been no response from Parks and Recreation about the moving Truck #34 to another secure and climate controlled location. Truck #34 will remain in the Fire Hall.
  3. Chief Knapper has requested a trade-in quote from MacQueen with no response to date. Discussion held directing Chief Knapper  to look at other options such as selling the truck to another fire department.  Chief Knapper will contact area rural volunteer fire departments about interest to purchase #188.
  4. Ordinance meeting held prior to this meeting.  Present: M. Ratai, S. Skogman, M. Soyring, A. Stanaway.
  • Discussion held on Traffic Regulations §70.13 Calendar Parking regarding the intent to have calendar parking from 12:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. and change over from 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. (The changeover is 4 hours per C. Wainio, Administrator).  If the current ordinance remains intact the Board recommends a revision of change over time from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for clarity.  Discussion held about proposed revisions to  change the  ordinance: “The calendar system of parking … all parking from 12:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m(or  12:00 midnight). … The allowed changeover period each day shall be from 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.  
  1. Stanaway will obtain input about the calendar parking times from discussion with T. Satrang, Director of Public Works, Streets and Alleys Committe and St. Louis County Sheriff Sgt. J. Backman and report back to the Board. Input also requested on any parking restrictions around the new HS as No Parking signs have been placed on Emerald Avenue and Unity Avenue. Input requested on continued § 70.14 Parking Restrictions on Marble Avenue and Main Street now that the MIB HS is vacated.
  • MIFD Officers will review: Chapter 90 Fire Prevention Code, Chapter 96 Nuisances: Open Burning§ 96.60 to 96.99, Chapter 97 Knox Box and provide the Board with recommendations by the next Board meeting.
  • Louis County Sheriff Sgt. J. Backman volunteered to discuss the Knock Box Ordinance with MIB Principal J. Jotter. The new MIB high school and Merritt Elementary do not have a key lock box installed.  He will also discuss the need to number the all doors at the school.  The old MIB HS doors are numbered.
  • Board has reviewed the following Ordinances: Chapter 10 General Provisions, Chapter 31: Fire Department §31.001-31.014, Chapter 33: Emergency Preparedness, Title VII: Traffic Code, Chapters 70-73, Chapter 92: Swimming Pools, Chapter 93: Animals, Chapter 95: Trees, Chapter 96: Nuisances, Weeds, Trees. Recommendations/revisions are forthcoming.  Chapter 114 Alcoholic Beverages and Chapter 115 Tobacco Regulations were not reviewed as these pertain to City Council licensing.
  • Board has requested Planning and Zoning Commission  review Chapter 92: Swimming Pools,  92.01, 92.02-07, 92.09-10, 92.13-14.  S. Skogman had volunteered to bring this forth to the Planning and Zoning Commission with no action to date. 
  • Motion by M. Ratai and second by S. Skogman to send the Public Safety and Health Board proposed Ordinance revisions for Chapter 31 Departments, Boards, Commissions and Authorities: Fire Department
  • 31.001 to 30.014, Chapter 93: Animals § 93.01-93.99 and Chapter 96 Nuisances §96.15 to 94.24 to the City Council for review. Motion Carried. A. Stanaway will ask to have these added to the second City Council meeting in November agenda.


VIII.           Announcements

  1. Next Public Safety and Health Board meeting will be held on December 4, 2019 at 6:30 P. the City Hall for the months of November and December.


  1.       January Public Safety and Health Board meeting will be held on January 22,2020 at 6:30 P.M. at the City Hall.


Motion by M. Ratai and second by M. Soyring to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried. Meeting

adjourned at 8:08 P.M.


Respectfully submitted by:


Margaret Ratai






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