The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

August 19, 2019 City Council Minutes



August 19, 2019

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:31p.m. with the following members present: Councilor Joe Prebeg Jr., Alan Stanaway, Julie Buria, Steve Skogman, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig Wainio, City Administrator; Tim Satrang, Director of Public Works; Anna Amundson, Library Director/Special Events Coordinator; Lisa Stevens, Accounting Technician; Al Johnson, City Engineer; SGT John Backman, Sheriff’s Department; and Bryan Lindsay, City Attorney.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Buria that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

  1. Approve the minutes of the August 5, 2019, regular meeting as submitted.
  2. That the communications be accepted and placed on file and those requiring further action by the City Council be acted upon during their proper sequence on the agenda.
  3. To acknowledge the receipts for the period August 1-15, totaling $1,112,344.06 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).
  4. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period August 1-15, totaling $561,681.35 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried on roll call vote.  

Public Forum:

  • Dan Gunderson asked to have the City Attorney look at the issues with his home. Bryan Lindsey, City Attorney, had the issues dropped a while back against John Lemoyne and C&C Winger. However, Mr. Gunderson would like the case re-opened against Mr. Lemoyne and C&C Winger stating that the Building Code violations need to be enforced, asking for a motion to have Mr. Lindsey re-look at the case. Mr. Gunderson’s home was valued at roughly $68,000, in April during the Local Board of Appeal and Equalization Board, however it should be around $280,000-300,000 with the City losing roughly $2,500 in taxes based on the lower value of the home.
    • Prebeg asked where the City’s liability ends; what is the City’s obligations and responsibilities, or is it an Inspector problem or a Contractor issue?
    • Lindsey would like to review the case file, and provide a drafted memo to Craig with an answer/recommendation in regards to this issue to distribute to the Council at a later time

It was moved by Buria and seconded by Skogman that the City of Mountain Iron re-open the case against C&C Winger, General Contractor and employee, John Leymone regarding the building construction issues and defects of Mr. Gunderson’s house located in South Forest Grove. Motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

The Mayor reported on the following:

  • Condolences to the family and friends of Rick Dundas
  • Condolences to the family and friends of Brian Walker
  • Condolences to the family and friends of Herbert Schur
  • Condolences to the family and friends of Joe Begich
  • August 9-11, activities Downtown Mountain Iron:
  • Classic Car Show-Saturday August 10th, big thank you Glen Dall and Bob Brown
  • B&G’s Annual “Greg Peterson Memorial Wooden Bat Tournament” at the Mountain Iron (South Grove) Recreation Complex
  • Mac’s Bar had a couple bands playing at the establishment
  • American Legion sponsored a bean bag tournament

City Administrator:

  • Working with the IRRRB and Heliene for a warehouse project, adding roughly 30,000 sq. ft.
  • Another lot sold in the Unity II Addition

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skogman to approve the annual agreement with our energy provider and service provider, Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA), for the Energy Assistance Program (EAP) to help assist residents with utility payments for electricity, for the upcoming heating season starting October 1, 2019. The motion carried unanimously.

Director of Public Works:

  • Fire hydrant replaced in West Gate addition
  • Failure with a valve to isolate water; had to turn water off to a larger section of the town than originally anticipated, for a longer period of time
  • Coupler near fire hydrant failed the following week, re-digging had to be done
  • Water line break/repair on Mud Lake road shortly after
  • Sanitary Survey Report for Mountain Iron Public Water System (PSW), after routine inspection completed on tap water by the State of Minnesota, found no violations

Library Director/Special Events Director:

  • Sunday, October 27th Annual Halloween Carnival at Mountain Iron Community Center
  • Collaborating with the MIB Cross Country team  
  • Sponsor the “12th Annual Larry Nanti 3K run/walk”
  • Tentative date October 26th
  • National Night Out, wonderful turnout with positive feedback and some constructive criticism

Sheriff’s Department:

  • No formal report

City Attorney:

  • No formal report

City Engineer:

  • No formal report

Personnel Committee:

  • Discussed some issues regarding actions with the fire department personnel; recommendation to lift the suspension on Justin Blazewicz and return to his previous role
  • Skogman questioned since the Council never suspended him then why is it involved in reinstatement?
  • According to City policy, the Fire Chief was authorized to place Firefighters on suspension without City Council approval, however the City Council has the final authority on the review and removal of suspensions

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skalko to lift the suspension and reinstate Mr. Justin Blazewicz to the Mountain Iron Fire Department immediately allowing him to return to duty in his previous capacity. The motion carried on a roll call vote (No: Skogman Yes: Prebeg, Stanaway, Buria and Skalko).

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Skogman to approve Resolution #08-19: approving plans and specifications and ordering advertisement for bids (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.

Discussion ensued regarding the Charitable gambling fund, reports of the fund provided by the Municipal Services Secretary and Accounting Technician shows that the current balance is negative, and any amounts received are uncertain. Going forward any requested donations, will be tabled until the account starts to balance out. Mr. Lindsey’s opinion and recommendation would be to not continue running the fund into the red, but instead letting the fund recoup and build up for possible future donations.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to reschedule the September 2nd City Council meeting to Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at the Mountain Iron City Hall due to the Labor Day Holiday weekend. The motion carried unanimously.

At 7:25p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Buria that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Lisa Stevens

Accounting Technician

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