The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



March 15, 2021 City Council Minutes

MINUTES

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

March 15, 2021

Mayor Anderson called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30p.m. with the following members present: Councilor Julie Buria, Steve Skogman, Joe Prebeg Jr., Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Peggy Anderson. Also present were: Craig Wainio, City Administrator; Tim Satrang, Director of Public Works; Amanda Inmon, Municipal Services Secretary; Anna Amundson, Library Director/Special Events Coordinator; Al Johnson, City Engineer; Kevin Friebe, Sheriff’s Department; and Bryan Lindsay, City Attorney.

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

  1. Add the following items to the agenda:
    1. A. Opening of Buildings
  2. Approve the minutes of the March 1, 2021, regular meeting as submitted.
  3. 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.
  4. To acknowledge the receipts for the period March 1-15, totaling $377,475.70 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes),
  5. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period March 1-15, totaling $479,651.77 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried.

Public Forum:

  • Carolyn Olsen spoke regarding the use of the public buildings, is there a plan in place, especially the designated Senior Citizens Building. Carolyn stated that many of the senior citizens have already partaken in receiving their COVID Vaccine shots, and they would like to start socializing once more. Senior meetings were held twice a month, along with a business meeting and bingo following the regular meetings. Carolyn stated that the building was plenty big enough to maintain the required seating capacity, very seldom have more than 25-30 people, and with the new guidelines, there would be plenty of room. The Senior Club also sponsors the TOPS club, which meets every Wednesday morning for about an hour for a weigh in, very seldom no more than 20 people at a time. The Senior Club would follow and encourage all CDC, COVID, State and local guidelines and requirements Socialization for Seniors if vital, it is needed for their mental health, as it has been a long, hard winter for a lot of individuals. Senior rules would be posted at the door, with the understanding that they have to right to refuse admission to those that do not want to follow all the rules and guidelines given. Carolyn also spoke regarding Old Highway 169, stated that MNTAC is usually good about posting signs, except for a week or so during the winter, which a plow knocked the sign over.
  • Councilor Roskoski spoke regarding the usage of the building, asking what the latest rules and guidelines from the State level down the City in regards to building usage, do they have to ask the City for permission to utilize the building.
  • City Administrator Wainio stated the City does have to give the Seniors permission, an anyone else that wants o utilize the building permission to utilize the building

The Mayor reported on the following:

  • No formal report

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skogman to accept the resignation of Stephen Erickson, from the Planning and Zoning Commission, effective immediately. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Roskoski to advertise in the newspaper for the vacant position on the Planning and Zoning Commission. The motion carried.

City Administrator:

  • Opening of West II Rivers Campground, with a tentative scheduled date of May 14th
  • Caretakers from the previous year have not given a definite answer regarding return, would like the authorization to advertise if they decline
  • Solar panel farm updated requested from Councilor Roskoski
  • Solar panel farm is in conjunction with Virginia is still a work in progress, and is taking time to complete
  • The final determination of interconnect has not been determined at this time
  • Grants and the sale of Tax credits will help pay for the project
  • In regards to the question posed by Councilor Roskoski asking if there was any potential to for the City of Mountain Iron’s Economic Development Authority to get involved with the new project at the former MIB High School, anything is possible

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skogman to authorize Staff to advertise for a caretaker for the West II Rivers Campground, contingent upon the 2020 caretaker’s declining the position for 2021. The motion carried.

  • Councilor Roskoski stated that the West II Rivers campground, based on the 2019 Audit, it was running in the red, thus he commented that the Parks & Recreation Board should review the fees for campground uses, to get the operation closer to the break-even point.
  • Councilor Prebeg stated that the fees are discussed every year, however in order to stay competitive with the other Campgrounds in the area, the costs are kept at a relatively good rate.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Roskoski to approve Mr. Jeff Marks job class change from Job Class 12 Operator to Job Class 22 Journeyman Lineman, effective immediately. The motion carried.

Director of Public Works:

  • The Change order for the Filter replacement, is a more efficient system, and thus would give the City the ability to adapt a new type of procedure into the backwash of the filters, if required in the future by the MPCA or the Health Department. Ultimately this change has the potential to save a considerable amount of water, roughly up to a million and half in a year

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skogman to approve the purchase of a 2021 Ford F-450 Regular Cab and Chassis 4×4 DRW, for the state bid price of $36,867.20 from Lundgren Ford. After which the truck would be drop shipped to Unity Truck Body of Duluth for installation of a service body for the state bid price of $20,837.40. The total price for the vehicle is $57,704.60. The motion carried on roll call vote.

Library Director/Special Events Coordinator:

  • Winter Reading program ended on February 26th, total of 89,828 minutes read
  • Congratulations to the winners of the Winter Reading program
  • 36th Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 3rd at noon
  • 50 eggs will be hidden throughout the City
  • Eggs will be 8×10 cutouts, brightly colored, numbered and weighted down
  • Find the eggs and collect the prizes ranging between $5-50 dollars

Sheriff’s Department:

  • No formal report

City Engineer:

  • No formal report

It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Buria to approve Change Order #2, provide labor and materials necessary to install air-wash header pipe within each of the three cast-in-place filter cell underdrains during construction, for Filter Replacement construction in the amount of $18,555.97, to Magney Construction. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

City Attorney:

  • No formal report
  • Councilor Roskoski spoke regarding Roberts Rules of Order Format. Looking at previous minutes, Mr. Roskoski stated that he put an item onto the agenda, with a round and around conversation although the item was already on the agenda. The majority of the other Council members did not want him to speak on the topic, which was regarding a joint meeting with the Mountain Iron-Buhl School Board to discuss usage of the old High School. However, Mr. Roskoski stated that he was able to get in only roughly 1/3 of his presentation, not the whole thing, but about 1/3, before he was asked to make a motion. Mr. Roskoski made a motion, however another Council member did not second it, thus he was not allowed to continue with his presentation, and therefore no one understood. Luckily, Mr. Alwar, filled Mr. Roskoski as well as the rest of the Council in, regarding the recent sale of the old High School building.
  • For everyone who has watched area City Council, School Board, and other public meetings, anywhere from Hoyt Lakes to Chisholm; it was routine, similar to what occurs in Mountain Iron, meeting agenda items, there will be moved, then a support, maybe some discussion and then finally a vote. But with new agenda items, the Mayor or Chair, will bring forward the new item’ typically with much discussion will follow, especially if it is a complicated thing. After much discussion, there will be a potential moved and then a support to adopt the new item, and then voting upon it.
  • For years, the Mountain Iron City Council has operated in this manner, however at the last meeting along comes a new format, there has to be a moved and support to bring the new item on the table for discussion. For an example, a motion that was made at the previous meeting which was not even on the agenda. Therefore, in Mr. Roskoski’s opinion, the issue appears to be when he wants items put on the agenda he must do it differently, instead of adding them on the night of, like Councilor Skogman previously did. Mr. Roskoski questioned the City Attorney if he had to have a motion and support, before he could speak regarding the item.
  • City Attorney Lindsay stated that best way to address an agenda item is to communicate with the City Administrator ahead of time, and ultimately the Mayor and City Administrator will decided what is added on to the agenda. With the best practice being, that anything you want on the agenda brought to their attention prior to the creation of the agenda, as it get tricky to add items onto the agenda during the course of the meeting. Alternatively, bring the items to the attention of the floor or Council members before the beginning of the meeting, prior to the commencement of the meeting and before the approval of, or adoption of the agenda. Typically, at this setting or type of a meeting, it is not the time or place for presentations and an initial motion should address the business items, if there is support for that motion and then discussion and then ultimately a vote on the item. The intent of Robert’s Rules of Order very often is if there is going to be a larger presentation, so to speak, those things to be a working session or committee, where more time can be devoted to the item. Typically, the best practice is to present information on desired items, some background information, ahead of the meeting, if it is available, so everyone has the greatest opportunity to review it beforehand.
  • Councilor Prebeg spoke, stating that if someone puts something on the agenda with the following background information, is that when the information should be there, so the Council can view the information prior to the meeting. Thus, when the meeting occurs, instead of having a long discussion or presentation, the information is already there. Then if the motion is made, and there is no support, then there is no additional information or presentation.

Liaison:

  • No formal report

It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Buria to open up the City Buildings, with the amended motion to have groups, such as the Senior Citizens work with the City Administrator and the City Attorney to come up with a designated a plan to open the buildings based on usage. The motion carried unanimously on roll call vote.

  • Councilor Skogman spoke in regards to receiving guidance to re-opening of buildings, stated that recently State guidelines have changed, thus allowing gyms, theatres, restaurants and bars with certain capacity restrictions.
  • City Attorney Lindsay stated that a plan in place which is flexible enough, but adequate enough to maintain all guidelines, requirements and restrictions will be needed, in addition to a COVID preparedness plans for each building. It can be quite difficult to develop these plans, as restriction, guidelines and mandates are ever changing, however the City can assist in developing a plan, which should have input from those individuals/groups, which will be utilizing the buildings.
  • Carolyn Olsen stated that although they could come up with a plan, things could be different the next day. The Seniors would post plan/rules on the door of the Senior Center for them to utilize the facility, why would they not be able to use it, as it is a Senior Citizens designated place. If the rules/guidelines are posted, and someone does not want to follow them, they can refuse admittance, and they will change the rules/guidelines as needed or changes come.
  • City Administrator Wainio stated that it is not as simple, as posting rules on the door, as the State requires a plan to be developed for buildings. As a City owned building, and regardless if it used by the Seniors or for other events, there has to be a plan, there needs to be a plan adopted before it can be opened.

 

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Buria to approve Resolution #04-21; Ordering Improvement and Preparation of Plans (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Buria to approve the recommendation from Northward Properties the reconfiguration of several taxable parcels in the Plat of Rock Ridge Development, which had previously been bifurcated by the relocation of County Road 102. The motion carried.

  • Councilor Roskoski spoke regarding a Community Wide Survey. Depending on how the City is divided, there are some 24-neighborhood areas, with some being rural and other being suburban. Ideas have been discussed, in regards to find out what Citizens like or don’t like, want or need changed in their areas, with neighborhood meetings being held at the Community Center, however with COVID, this has not been available. An alternative concept would be mailing out questionnaires to everyone in town with instructions, then compile the returns according to neighborhood areas. Maybe someone has ideas that City Staff or Council members have not thought of before. Bring up the possibly at the next City Council meeting, on April 5th for further discussion.
  • Councilor Prebeg that the City already has something in place, for those that want to make suggestions or comments, citizens can put their comments/suggestions in the bill/drop off boxes located in/throughout town.
  • Councilor Roskoski stated that the only problem with the drop-off boxes is that they are not property labeled; only one that is completely labeled properly is the one located at the American Bank off County Road 7. Either the other boxes, do not say suggestion box or they labeling is peeling off and is unreadable.
  • Public Works Director Satrang stated that he did receive the suggestion from Councilor Roskoski in regards to the boxes not being labeled properly or the labeling coming off; new decals have been order, just waiting on warmer weather so it would adhere better to the boxes.

At 7:55p.m., it was moved by Buria and seconded by Roskoski that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Amanda Inmon

Municipal Services Secretary

www.mtniron.com

Communications:

  1. Local Board of Appeals and Equalization (LBAE) scheduled for Wednesday, April 21, 2021 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm at the Mountain Iron City Hall, Iroquois Room.

Recent News

Campground Reservations

Contact Us