The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

City Council Minutes 101617



October 16, 2017


Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:32p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Alan Stanaway, Steve Skogman, Susan Tuomela, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Tim Satrang, Director of Public Works; Bryan Lindsey, City Attorney; Rhonda McConnell, Secretary, Sally Yuccas, Librarian Director/Special Events Director; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; and SGT John Backman, Sheriff’s Department.


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


  1. Approve the minutes of the October 2, 2017, regular meeting as submitted.


  1. 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.


  1. To acknowledge the receipts for the period October 1-15, 2017, totaling $130,651.49 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).


  1. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period October 1-15, 2017, totaling $366,000.73 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).


The motion carried.


Public Forum:


At 6:34 p.m. it was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to recess the regular City Council meeting and convene the public forum hearing for Proposed Abatement. Motion carried unanimously.


  • Public Hearing on Proposed Abatement.

EDA is requesting a proposed property tax abatement on the properties identified as tax parcel numbers 175-0071-01215. The Mountain Iron EDA has partnered with the IRRRB and American Bank to provide financing for the purchase of Virginia plastics located in the Merritt Industrial Park. Mr. Jim Zerban is purchasing the business from the Callister estate and plans to keep the business operational and in Mountain Iron. As part of the package, the EDA provided a $50,000 loan to Virginia Plastics in order for the jobs to remain in Mountain Iron. In order to help secure a portion of the loan, the EDA is requesting a property tax abatement on the property.


At 6:39 p.m. it was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to close the public forum hearing and reconvene the regular City Council meeting. Motion carried unanimously.


The Mayor reported on the following:


  • Condolences to family of Bobby Kinter.
  • Congratulations to Lisa Stevens on the birth of her baby boy.
  • It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Tuomela to Proclaim October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Motion carried.


The City Administrator reported on the following:

  • It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Prebeg to approve the recommendation that Scott Novak remain on staff as a permanent full-time employee at the expiration of his probationary period. The motion carried.


  • It was moved by Prebeg  and seconded by   Skogman that the liquor and cigarette license applications for the period January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018, be approved and issued to the following individuals and business establishments pursuant to the approval, where necessary, of the Liquor Control Commission and pursuant to the payment of all outstanding taxes, license fees, and utility charges:


               Jeff & Greg Properties, Inc.                                                 On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               DBA:  B. G.’s Saloon                                                          Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               5494 Highway 7                                                                  Off-Sale 3.2 Malt Beverage

               Virginia (Mountain Iron), MN 55792                                    


               Silver Creek Liquor Company, Inc.                                       Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               DBA:  Silver Creek Liquor                                                   Cigarette

               5489 Highway 7

               Virginia (Mountain Iron), MN  55792


               Commander                                                                        Club On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               American Legion Post #220                                                 Off-Sale Non-Intoxicating Liquor

               5748 Mountain Avenue, PO Box 361

               Mountain Iron, MN  55768


               Mac’s Bar, Inc.                                                                   Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               DBA:  Mac’s Bar                                                               On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               8881 Main Street, PO Box 313                                             Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               Mountain Iron, MN  55768                                                  


  1. P. Troutwine, C & B Warehouse Distr. Cigarette

               Mountain Iron Short Stop                                                                   

               5537 Nichols Avenue

               Mountain Iron, MN  55768


               Sundberg Enterprises, LLC                                                  Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               DBA:  Sawmill Saloon & Restaurant                                    On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               5478 Mountain Iron Drive                                                    Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               Virginia (Mountain Iron), MN  55792                                    Cigarette


               Adventures, Virginia, Inc.                                                    Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               Greg Hartnett                                                                      On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               5475 Mountain Iron Drive                                                    Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               Virginia (Mountain Iron), MN  55792


               Walgreen Company                                              Cigarette

               5474 Mountain Iron Drive

               Virginia (Mountain Iron), MN  55792


               Home on the Range LLC                                                     On-Sale 3.2 Malt Beverage

               DBA:  Holiday Inn Express & Suites                                    Wine

               8570 Rock Ridge Drive

               Mountain Iron, MN    55768


               WJ Holdings, Inc.                                                                On-Sale 3.2 Malt Beverage

               DBA:  AmericInn Lodge & Suites                                       

               5480 Mountain Iron Drive

Virginia, MN    55792


               Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.                                                          Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

               DBA:  Walmart #4849                                                         Cigarette

               8580 Rock Ridge Drive

                        Mountain Iron, MN  55768


  • Opened quotes last Wednesday for a water line repair on Mud Lake Road. The quotes came in substantially higher than the budget was for the estimate. In discussion with Tim Satrang, and the City Engineer, it was decided to wait until spring and maybe get some better prices when we have a longer time frame. Tim Satrang stated that they would come up with a contingency plan in case something did happen before spring, and they’ll work around that.

Director of Public Works:

  • Electrical Conduit Installation Quote

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to approve hiring of the work to be done by Gulbronson Excavating of the Installation of a Three Phase Power Walmart Substation in the amount of $12,800.00. Motion carried on a roll call vote.


  • Hydrant flushing is finished up for the year but one of the consequences of hydrant flushing is the possibility of having a water line break, which happened on Friday night. It was repaired on Saturday on Mud Lake Road. One of the things about hydrant flushing is that sometimes the weak areas tend to break, and its better they break now than in the middle of winter. Tim thanked the crew for putting in a rough day on Saturday.

Library Director/Special Events Coordinator:

  • Total circulation of library materials for September, 2017 was 6,505 items.
  • Total patron usage of the library for September, 2017 was 1,884 (1,298 adults and 486 youth)
  • Last week the library had Teen Week. Donations were given by Perkins, Walmart, and the “Friends of the Library.
  • Lorna Landvik, published author, will be speaking at the library on November 6th at 1 pm.
  • Story time at the library continues every Tuesdays at 10 am. There is brand new furniture for the kids purchased by the Friends of the Library.
  • Didgeridoo, a musical group from Down Under, will be performing on October 23rd at 1 pm at the library. 5th grade class from Merritt Elementary will be attending.
  • Annual Halloween Carnival will be held on Sunday, October 29th at the Community Center.


Sheriff’s Department:

  • No formal or informal report
  • Calendar parking begins November 1st until April 1st.


City Attorney:

  • No formal report


City Engineer:


  • No formal report


It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to approve the Resolution Number 29-17, the property tax abatement on the property, Virginia Plastics, at tax parcel numbers 175-0071-01215 in the amount of $1,000 a year for a total of 10 years. The motion carried on a roll call vote.


The council reviewed the list of communications.


Liz Young, AEOA Homeless Program Supervisor, is requesting a donation for their program. They are holding a Pancake Feed event at the Community Center on November 24th and monies raised will be used directly towards funding their Homeless Shelters in Virginia and Hibbing. It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Tuomela to authorize a donation of $125.00 to the AEOA Homeless Shelter Program for the Pancake Feed from the Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried on a roll call vote.


The Jackie Plesha Medical Benefit Committee is requesting a donation for their fundraiser to be held at the Community Center on October 21st. Jackie, a long-time resident of the Iron Range, suffered from 2 ruptured brain aneurysms. It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skogman to authorize a donation of $125.00                from the Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried on a roll call vote.



Stanaway wished congratulations to MIB grades 5 and 6 football team for winning the championship on Saturday for the second year in a row. They played a very good game against Cherry and winning that tournament. Congratulations to the boys and the coaching staff.


At 7:00 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Skogman that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.


Submitted by:




Rhonda McConnell





Received a thank you note from the Cook Area Garden Club for the use of our Community Center.


The League of Minnesota Cities shared a reminder that on-line registration closes on October 23rd to attend the 2017 Regional Meeting in Virginia on October 26th.


ReGen Board sent information about their “Be the Change Series” happening in October, along with an invitation to attend their events.


Biosolids Disposal Site Authority (BDSA) and Tri-cities Biosolids Disposal Authority (TCBDA) submitted a notice regarding their budget for 2018.



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