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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

February 19, 2019 City Council Minutes



February 19, 2019

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30p.m. with the following members present: Councilor Joe Prebeg Jr., Alan Stanaway, Steve Skogman, Julie Buria, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Tim Satrang, Director of Public Works; Amanda Inmon, Municipal Services Secretary; and Anna Amundson, Library Director/Special Events Coordinator.

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

  1. Approve the minutes of the February 4, 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 February 1-15, totaling $231,975.24 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).
  4. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period February 1-15, totaling $509,019.41 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously.

Public Forum:

  • Mark Madden, from the Fire Department spoke:
    • Changes have been occurring throughout the Fire Department, believes there is difficulties in regards to progress which is being made externally
    • Letter which was given to City Council was previously given to Public Health and Safety Board-City emails requested for Fire Department Officers
    • The demands which are placed on the Fire Department increase daily, more training is required, more call demands, no incentive to come to the Fire Department and remain in the department, request pay raises
    • Requested authorities which are over and within the Department, Public Health and Safety Board oversees legal, hiring and capital improvements, but day to day operations – Fire Department believes it is no one’s business but the Departments, as long it is within their minimal budgeting limit
    • Would like to discuss, the purchase of storage containers, as well as the no purchasing power, except to purchase at L&M and CARQUEST, requesting the Department get a credit card to make improvements as well as pay for training, believe some of these issues are petty road blocks
    • New software will be implemented on March 8th which would address roughly 70% of the issues which were found in the recently conducted Shared Services Study, which will record operation checks and record inventory
    • “Status quo” moving forward will not continue to work, wants to follow the proper procedures, however some need to be laid out clearer, meeting needs to be made with Public Health and Safety as well as City Council to address the issues not only laid out in the letter handed out, but others that have arisen
    • Believes there is holes in the processes, told many different paths for the hiring Fire Department Officers
  • Councilor Prebeg stated that the Public Health and Safety is the “buffer zone” between the City Council and Fire Department, meeting needs to be addressed and set between all committees/boards involved
  • Councilor Skogman, stated that Fire Department is a young Department, don’t know the processes of the City and how things work, believes however that the Department is a bit demanding, but things need to be discussed and ironed out, a meeting needs to be set
  • City Administrator Wainio stated that there are City Policies and Procedures for the hiring of Fire Department Officers already in place and that the Fire Chief is aware of them and has seen them
  • Councilor Prebeg stated that the Policies have been in place for quite a while, they have not changed, a lot of changes within the department in regards to Officers and new members, hiring is done through the Personnel Committee, applications are done internally for Officers

The Mayor reported on the following:

  • Residential area Fire-hydrants are asked to please clean around and in front, to make it easier if they are needed in an emergency

City Administrator:

  • West II Rivers Campground reservations opening March 1st online and at City Hall
  • Local Board of Appeals and Equalization will be on April 16, 2019 from 5:00pm – 6:00 pm at the Mountain Iron Community Center
    • Residents can come and appeal their evaluations on their property/value in feel unfair

Director of Public Works:

  • Crew is out hauling snow, please be aware and safe around the equipment
  • It is illegal and against the City Ordinances for residents to push snow into the street, sidewalks and alleyways, as well as please follow the Calendar parking
  • Residents who service lines coming from water-mains that are not property insulated/adequate amount of dirt/earth or are not properly covered, can take the precaution/have the decision to trickle water, will not receive credit from City
    • The City is not in jeopardy of freezing its water-lines
    • The City has not issued a trickle-order at this time

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to authorize the purchase of a new John Deere 1550 mower for the Parks and Recreation Department to replace the 2002 John Deere 1435 mower, after trade-in the state bid price for the new mower would be $18,615. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

Library Director/Special Events Coordinator:

  • Winter reading program started in January
  • Mountain Iron Library has one of the higher circulation numbers within the Arrowhead Library System
  • Reading goal met in January of over 20,000 minutes
  • Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 20th at noon
    • Details are being worked out

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Skogman to approve the recommendation of the Public Health and Safety Board and authorize an increase in the Firefighter’s pension, from $2,000 to $2,500. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Stanaway to approve the recommendation of the Public Health and Safety Board and authorize lease agreement of a Fire truck from Macqueen Equipment, based off study completed, information received and approved budget. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Skogman to approve the recommendation of the Public Health and Safety Board and approve the enclosed Fire Department Standard Operating Guidelines contingent upon approval from the City Attorney, amended to include loss of pension for a year if Firefighter does not meet 30% and Officer does not meet 50%. The motion carried.

Liaison report:

  • Councilor Stanaway spoke regarding the addition of casual employee (non-union member) at the Mountain Iron Library
    • Would like to get more information as well as the added cost on the addition of another employee before next Council meeting, additional employee would be to help out, Mrs. Amundson, Mrs. Hanson and Ms. Grierson when they were not available to work, as a back-up employee which would work less than the 15 hours a week

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Buria to approve Resolution #01-19; Bank Authorization, designating depositaries for the funds of the City, which may be withdrawn by checks, drafts, advices of debit, notes or other orders of payment of monies bearing two officers or employees of the City of Mountain Iron. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Prebeg to set up an open meeting with the Mountain Iron Fire Department, City Council and Public Health and Safety, for Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 6:30pm on at Mountain Iron City Hall. The motion carried.

At 7:34p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Buria that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Amanda Inmon

Municipal Services Secretary

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