The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

March 18, 2019 City Council Minutes



March 18, 2019

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30pm. 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; Anna Amundson, Library Director/Special Events Coordinator; Al Johnson, City Engineer; and Bryan Lindsay, City Attorney.

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

  1. Approve the minutes of the March 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 March 1-15, totaling $402,570.31 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).
  4. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period March 1-15, totaling $506,288.30 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously.

Public Forum:

  • No one spoke during forum

The Mayor reported on the following:

  • Congratulations to the Mountain Iron-Buhl Girls season, 9th trip to the Class A State Tournament, taking home 5th place overall
  • Congratulations and good luck to Northwoods Boys team
  • Congratulations to the Greenway Raiders Hockey team on a great season
  • Condolences to the family and friends of Robert Pecarina
  • Currently one vacant seat on the Library board, applications can be picked up at City Hall

City Administrator:

  • City is looking for new West II Rivers Campground Caretaker position for the summer
    • mid-May to mid-September
  • South Grove Skating Rink is closed for the season

Director of Public Works:

  • Water line repair completed in front of the Spring Creek Outfitters
  • Residents who historically have issues with 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-line mains
    • The City has not issued a trickle-order at this time

Library Director/Special Events Coordinator:

  • Winter reading program ends on March 31st
  • Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 20th at noon at Merritt Elementary

City Engineer:

  • No formal report

City Attorney:

  • No formal report

Jerry Kujala, Zoning Administrator spoke in regards to the Conditional Use Permit, upon further review, no CUP was needed, permit will be issued in the morning for AT&T Mobility, to install a cell pole and related equipment at 8325 Jasmine Street, Virginia.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to accept the recommendation of the Public Health and Safety Board and Fire Department and appoint the following as Fire Department Officers:

  • Assistant Fire Chief: Mark Madden Expiring term: December 31, 2021
  • Assistant EMS Director: James Hipple Expiring term: December 31, 2021

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to approve the Public Health and Safety Board’s request to appoint Rebecca Meyer to the First Responders. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Buria to table the motion to Cap Merritt Days spending on live music and audio as follows: of the $20,000 of public monies allotted for Merritt Days, would be $3,000 on music and $4,000 on an audio music stage. The motion carried.

  • Mayor Skalko spoke in regards to information, finances not available at joint meeting five weeks ago, taken a long time to receive information regarding bank information, balances, finances from the Merritt Days Committee members, no money is being taken away from Merritt Days, just redirecting where and what the money goes towards
    • “nonprofits have a legal and ethical obligation to their constituents and the public to conduct their activities with accountability and transparency, should produce an annual report” from Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
  • Councilor Buria stated that she received documents early in the day from the League of MN Cities regarding Cities using public money to fund community events, would like to go over it before making decision
    • Document contains guidelines and parameters when using public money is such ways
  • Bryan Lindsay, City Attorney spoke regarding liability, aware of how efforts are combined, gave example of recent case which occurred in the City of Ely
  • Jason Gellerdstedt, non-profit is liable, not individually, information within the packet was also new to the Merritt Days Committee, no annual report was ever requested by the Council
  • Ed Roskoski, spoke about other non-profits, handling larger amounts of money, rules are for both for big and small for non-profit, some rules are “musts” while others are “shoulds,” City liaison was gone previously, ask current liaison so they can relay information back and forth
  • Councilor Prebeg stated that rules are rules, regardless of the size of the non-profits and the amount of money generated, they must all must follow the rules

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to accept the letter of resignation of Rhonda McConnell from the position as a Secretary, with an effective date of Monday, April 22, 2019. The motion carried.

Big thank you from all the Council Members to Mrs. McConnell for her time and service at the City at both the Mountain Iron Library and the City Office.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skogman to post internally for all AFSCME Local 453 Members, for the Secretary (Secretary, Job Class 8) position for a minimum of seven days as presented, until March 29, 2019 at 4pm. If there are no applications received internally for the positions, that Staff be authorized to advertise externally with applications due to City Hall by Friday, April 12, 2019 by 4pm. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Buria to accept the request by the Mountain Iron Fire Department and appoint Fire Department member, Safety Officer Justin Blazewicz as primary and Mark Madden as the 1st alternate, as a liaison/non-voting member of the Public Health and Safety Board. The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Skogman to donate $1,000 to the Summer Work Outreach Program (SWOP) to their 2019 Summer Program, monies to come from Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and seconded by Prebeg to donate $6,000 each to the Calvary Cemetery Association and Greenwood Cemetery for the 2019 operating year. The motion carried on roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to donate $250, the Salvation Army “Chili Feed Fundraiser Event,” which was held on March 9, 2019, monies to come from the Charitable Gambling fund. The motion carried on a roll call vote.


  • 2019 Local Board of Appeal and Equalization is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 2019 from 5:00-6:00pm at the Mountain Iron Community Center
  • The Mountain Iron Parks and Recreation Department will be sponsoring the 34th Annual Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 20th at 12:00pm at the Merritt Elementary School

At 7:21pm., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Buria that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Amanda Inmon

Municipal Services Secretary


  1. Thank you to the City from the Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association of Minnesota (MCFOA) Region II for hosting Training on February 22, 2019
  2. “3rd Annual Broadband Day pm the Hill,” on Wednesday, April 3rd, $25 fee per person, meet with Representatives to promote Broadband in the area
  3. “Ranger Party,” by Local Representatives in honor of the late Tom Rukavina, Tuesday, April 9th at 6:30pm, at Mancini’s Char House, tickets available

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