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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

120419 PHSB Minutes

Mountain Iron

Public Safety and Health Board Meeting Minutes

Mountain Iron Community Center

December 4, 2019


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


  1. Members present: Margaret Ratai,  Steve Skogman, Margaret Soyring, Al Stanaway.  Also, present: MIFD Fire Chief Gerry Knapper.


  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Motion by M. Ratai and second by M. Soyring to approve October 30,2019 minutes. Motion Carried.
  3. Communications: December 3, 2019 email from M. Madden, MIFD Alternate Liaison that he would not be present at the meeting. Department updates and MIFD Call and Mutual Aid and Call and Response Reports sent. 



III.       Public Forum: None


  1. Committee Staff Reports
  2. First Responders:
  • Ongoing recruitment continues.
  • Hipple has returned to full duty.
  • New employee – Michael Gifford.
  • 18 calls and 12 responses for November and to date. Note increase in responses.
  1. Fire Department Report:
  • Note: 13th pay period for Dec. Call and Mutual Aid Report – Total Calls: Nov. 5, Dec.  9; Mutual Aid calls: Nov. 2, Dec. 1, Fire Hours: Nov. 5, Dec. 9, MI Call Man Hours: Nov. 10, Dec. 25; Mutual Aid Hours Nov.5, Dec. 4; Total Call Man Hours: Nov. 15, Dec. 29; Mutual Aid %: Nov. 33%, Dec. 14%, Year to Date: 48%.  Call Response Report  – Total Calls: Nov. 5, Dec. 9, False/Cancelled Alarms: Nov. 1, Dec. 1; Working Calls: Nov. 4, Dec. 8; FF/Working Calls: Nov. 13, Dec. 19;  FF/False /Cancel Alarms: Nov. 2, Dec. 1; Total Responders: Nov. 15, Dec. 20;  FF/Call: Nov. 3.0, Dec. 2.2; FF/Working Call: Nov. 3.25%, Dec. 2.38%, % Member Response: Nov. 20%, Dec. 15%, Year to date 22%.  Roster Total: 16
  • Justin Kochar retired after 19 years of service the end of November. Chief Knapper will forward his retirement letter to City Administrator and send him a formal thank you.
  • Chief Mark Madden presented the proposed 2020 budget at the November 4th Committee of the Whole Council Meeting.
  • The Department had proposed a purchase of a plow in the 2020 budget at an estimated cost of $8000. Per previous conversations with the City Public Works, MIFD has received 2 used plows from Public Works.  MIFD has ordered the needed brackets and wiring for an approximate cost of $1000 to install  the 8-foot plow on a smaller engine/truck.  The 9-foot plow has been put in storage behind the fire hall.
  • A Vent and Flow Path Training by Fire Ink will be held on the Monday, December 16th. Neighboring fire departments have been invited to attend.
  • Suggestion by S. Stanaway for a solar panel firefighting training noting a college in southern MN that has had a training. Chief Knapper will research available trainings. 
  • New fire truck will be ready for final MacQueen inspection prior on Dec. 9-10. Pierce will then finalize the remaining specifications for the fire truck.  Chief Knapper along with firefighters Dan Zupancich and Kyle Tomczak will travel to Green Bay, WI on Dec. 8th to participate in the inspection and return on Dec. 11th.  Chief Knapper posted pictures of the new Fire Truck to Board members on November 16th.  No final delivery date when the truck will be ready for delivery.  Discussion about showing the City Council and Board the truck and its features upon arrival.
  • Chief Knapper notes that Truck #188 has an $8000 value but the pumper no longer has parts available and there are documented issues with the functionality of the truck. He has not been able to find a local fire department to purchase the truck. Evergreen Fire Department would be interested in the truck but does not have the funds to purchase. Evergreen FD has a mutual aid agreement with MIFD.  Discussion held on donating the truck to Evergreen in its current condition with the City Attorney writing the donation paperwork. There is a past practice for donating a fire truck in the past. Motion by M. Ratai and second by M. Soyring to donate Truck #188 in its current condition with a liability clause to the Evergreen Township.  Motion carried.  Stanaway will put the fire truck donation on the December 16th City Council agenda.  Recommend that Chief Knapper contact Evergreen Chief Cory VandeVoort about the Board’s decision.
  • MIFD members were present at former firefighter Al Lind’s celebration of life at the Mountain Iron Senior Center on November 23rd along with fire trucks #188 and #34. The family and friends were very appreciative of this.


  1. Sheriff’s Office Report:  No report
  2. Other – Mesabi Human Society: No report


  1. Unfinished Business
  2. Email address for Board members.  A. Stanaway has spoken with C. Wainio, Administrator about email addresses for Board members.  The City pays for each email address used on the server.  At this time there is no money in the City budget to pay for Board members.  Currently the City pays for City Employees, City Council members and the Planning and Zoning Commission.  Planning and Zoning Commission is included due to data privacy compliance.
  3. Status of request to obtain minutes from other Boards and Commissions prior to approval and posting on the City’s website by A. Stanaway – no report.



  1. Photocopies of Ordinances with recommended revisions in “red ink” distributed to Board members.



  1. New Business
  2. During the Committee of the Whole Meeting on November 4th to discuss the City’s budget, Councilor Stanaway questioned the Anytime Fitness budget. The number presented was incorrect. The correct number for 2020 will not exceed $2400.  Due to a miscommunication between Anytime Fitness and the City Administration, dues were overpaid for multiple months following the MIFD’s renegotiation of the contract.  The City will be receiving credit for over-payments through February 2020.  The previous contract was $377/month and the renegotiated contract is $207/month.  The rate remains the same for two new members that will be using the facility.


  1. Fire Department and First Responders budget.  The City Council voted for a 0% tax levy increase.  The proposed budget for 2020 is the same as 2019.  Discussion about the salary increase that was proposed. Discussion about salary increase vs. PERA contribution increase.  Recommend Chief Knapper talk to members about their preference and bring the issue back to the Board.


VII.          Open Discussion

  1. Fire Truck #34 storage.  No report/recommendations from Parks and Recreation Board.
  2. Fire Prevention Code, Open Burning and Knox Box Ordinance review by Fire Department still pending.  No report of Status of Sheriff Deputy Backman’s discussion with MIB School Administration about Knox Box at HS. Request recommendations by January 22nd meeting.  
  3. Traffic Ordinance recommendations from Public Works and Sheriff Deputy not obtained to date by A. Stanaway.
  4. No action taken to date about S. Skogman addressing T 21 Ordinance with City Council.
  5.          Fire Department, Animal Control and Public Nuisance  proposed Ordinance revisions are being reviewed by B. Lindsey, City Attorney per discussion between A. Stanaway and C. Wainio, City Administrator.
  6. Discussion about deer stands on platted property.  Ordinance about hunting is under Planning and Zoning Commission.  Recommend that S. Skogman bring issue to Planning and Zoning for review.
  7. Discussion about Board reviewing ordinances in Title XIII General Offenses, Chapter 130 General Offenses 130.01-130.99.  with Appendix I and II.
  8. Ratai will obtain an electronic copy for Board to review. Discussion to have Sheriff Deputy Backman review for recommendations. Request A. Stanaway bring this request to Deputy Backman.
  9. Request to have the May, June, September, October minutes posted on the City’s website. These minutes have been sent to the City Administrator previously.
  10. Request to have the updated Emergency Management Ordinance posted on the website.
  11. Resolution 19-07 Public Safety Board #10.  “Annual Report. The Mountain Iron Public Safety and Health Board shall make a report to the City Council of its activities in December of each year.”  Discussion held about providing a report to the City Council this year as it has been past practice not to provide a report. After each meeting  a copy  of the minutes are electronically sent to all Board members, MIFD Liaison, Sheriff Deputy, the City Administrator, and designated City Office employee to review for the next meeting. Minutes are also mailed with the meeting notices and agenda.  Consensus of this Board that the Public Safety and Health Board minutes will reflect the activities of this Board.  The minutes are posted on the City of Mountain Iron website once they are approved by the Board and can be reviewed by the City Council.



VIII.           Announcements

  1. Next Public Safety and Health Board meeting will be held on January 22nd at 6:30 PM.  Agenda item will be election of officers and meeting dates.


  1. Motion by M. Ratai and second by S. Skogman  to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried.

               Meeting adjourned at 7:45 P.M.


Respectfully submitted by:


Margaret Ratai






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