The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for April 02, 2007

MINUTES
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
APRIL 2, 2007

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; Tom Cvar, Fire Chief; and Greg Chad, Mountain Iron Relief Association.

The Mayor welcomed the audience and the television viewing audience to the meeting.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Make the following change to the agenda:
IV. H. 1. Public Hearing on the April 16, 2007 for Service Territory Acquisition 
Remove the following item from the agenda: 
VI. G. IRRR Housing Participation
Move the following item on the agenda:
VI. D. One Day Liquor License to III. Public Forum

2. Approve the minutes of the March 19, 2007, City Council meeting with the following correction: 
Page 2, paragraph 6, “It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to authorize………..Mayor Skalko withdrew his motion and Councilor Roskoski withdrew his support.”

2. That the communications be accepted, 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 16-31, 2007, totaling $165,020.34, (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 16-31, 2007, totaling $251,647.22, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Pat Meinzer, owner of the Magic Bar in Virginia, requested the Council to authorize a one day liquor license for the Mountain Iron Community Center.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to grant a one day liquor license to the Magic Bar for May 2, 2007, for use at the Mountain Iron Community Center, under Minnesota Statute 340A.404, Subdivision 4. The motion carried unanimously.

At 6:37 p.m., it was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on the 2007 Street Improvement Projects. The motion carried.

The Mayor said he would conduct the public hearing one street at a time.
LOCOMOTIVE STREET:
No one spoke during the public hearing and no communications were received regarding Locomotive Street.

TAMARACK DRIVE:
Jerry Postudensek, Lots 25, 26, & 27, Block 3, Ann’s Acres Addition, all located on Tamarack Drive and has owned the lots for one year. He said that he would be paying about 13% of the total costs of the project. Mr. Postudensek opposed the street improvement project. 

Donna Draze, 8396 Tamarack Drive, has lived there for 18 years. She felt that the overlay project would be just a quick fix when the road needs some major repairs. She said there are timbers coming up in the middle of the street. Ms. Draze was opposed to the street improvement project.

Bob Voss, 8397 Tamarack Drive, said that he submitted some pictures of Tamarack Drive to the City Administrator. He said that there are portions of the gutter missing from Tamarack Drive. Mr. Voss said that he just spent approximately $700 on the overlay of Aspen Lane and the street was already starting to break up. He asked if the curbs could be repaired, have the street milled off, and overlay with bituminous. Mr. Voss would like the project completed correctly and he is opposed to the overlay being completed. 

No communications were received regarding Tamarack Drive.

CORAL STREET:
No one spoke during the public hearing and no communications were received regarding Coral Street.

UNITY DRIVE FROM COUNTY ROAD 7 TO THE RAILROAD:
A letter was received from Harold and Doris Moe, 5499 Daffodil Avenue, opposing the Unity Drive street improvements.

No one spoke during the public hearing regarding Unity Drive.

CENTENNIAL DRIVE:
A letter was received from Larry Lindholm, 8430 Centennial Drive, opposing the Centennial Drive street improvements.

No one spoke during the public hearing regarding Centennial Drive.

ENTERPRISE DRIVE NORTH:
No one spoke during the public hearing and no communications were received on Enterprise Drive North.

GRANITE STREET:
No one spoke during the public hearing and no communications were received regarding Granite Street.

HEATHER AVENUE NORTH (from Centennial Drive):
Tammy Petersen, 5482 Heather Avenue, stated that she was opposed to the project.

Petronilo Landicho, 5481 Heather Avenue, stated that he and his wife were opposed to the project.

Councilor Roskoski stated that Dean Niska, 5485 Heather Avenue, had contacted him and stated that he was opposed to the project.

HEATHER AVENUE SOUTH (from Centennial Drive):
Donna Luzovich, 5456 Heather Avenue, stated that she would like to see the project completed.

A letter was received from RGGS Land and Minerals, Ltd., L.P. Parcel Code 175-0071-01350, opposing the project.

The Mayor read the following motion that was passed by the City Council on June 5, 2006:
“It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution #17-06, ordering improvements and preparation of plans, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes) to include the following projects: Unity Drive from Mud Lake Road to Diamond Lane, Option Number 2; and to have a waterline installed across Heather Avenue near 5439 Heather Avenue and overlay Heather Avenue as one of the next projects in the future. After further discussion, the Mayor amended the motion to have Heather Avenue blacktopped, following a public hearing, when the City has completed the waterline extension. Councilor Prebeg supported the amendment. The amended motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.”

The Mayor commented that Heather Avenue has had a lot of work completed on the road. He said that Heather Avenue is in the center of City and is surrounded entirely by blacktopped streets and should be blacktopped.

Councilor Prebeg said previously during public hearings regarding street improvements there was discussion regarding a drainage improvement project for the Heather Avenue area that would add approximately $100,000 to the assessments for the project. The City Engineer said that the drainage project would be the ultimate improvement to the area, but because of the additional costs, it probably would not be completed. 

Councilor Prebeg said that Heather Avenue South should not be assessed as a cul-de-sac; it is a dead end street and should be assessed 75%. He requested that the Street and Alley Committee review the Heather Avenue assessment classification and make a recommendation to the City Council.

UNITY DRIVE (west from Emerald Avenue):
No one spoke during the public hearing and no communications were received regarding Unity Drive.

At 7:16 p.m., it was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to adjourn the public hearing on the 2007 Street Improvement Projects and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

At 7:16, p.m., it was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on Unity Second Addition. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator what the total investment for the development of Unity Second Addition would be including engineering, bonding, and development. The City Administrator said that he did not have a firm cost for the development of Unity Second Addition. The Administrator said that the project costs depend on if the City is awarded any grants. 

At 7:20 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 7:21 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and supported by Stanaway to adjourn the public hearing on Unity Second Addition and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski absent.

At 7:22 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

The Mayor said that he met with Saint Louis County Commissioner Nelson regarding County Road 7 and he informed the Council that County Road 7 would have significant improvements made to the road in 2007 and 2008.

The Mayor said that he had attended a meeting with the Mountain Iron Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) and he felt that the technicians were making progress in the right direction.

The Mayor also said that he met with Yvonne Dall, her and her husband Russell are caretakers for the Mountain Manor. He said that there are currently 29 apartments rented at the Mountain Manor. The Caretakers said that there are also five apartments that can not be used because of damages in the apartments. By May, the Caretakers felt that there would be over 30 apartments rented.

The Mayor also informed the Council that he had contacted Mr. Sauter, Superintendent of Mountain Iron-Buhl School District, to get an accurate count of students in Unity Addition attending the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District. Mr. Sauter stated there are currently 26 children living in Unity Addition; 16 are attending Merritt Elementary, 8 are in Elementary School and 8 are enrolled in Early Family Childhood, 3 are attending school in Virginia, 6 are to young to go to school, and 1 is home schooled. The Mayor advised people interested in the lots at Unity Second Addition to contact the City Administrator for information on the proposed project.

The Mayor discussed redirecting the Saint Louis County Recreation Grant to be used for the Mountain Iron ATV/OHM Trail to the South Grove Playground Project. The Mayor asked Dale Irish why a letter was sent to him regarding the Saint Louis County Recreation Grant and nothing was sent to the City. Mr. Irish stated that he was appointed the ATV Trail Coordinator by the City Council and he had sent a letter to the Saint Louis County Land Department requesting an extension on the grant. The Mayor advised Mr. Irish to have any further information regarding the grant to go through City Staff because this is City business. 

Councilor Roskoski asked the Administrator if there were any more applications for the Emergency Medical Technicians. The City Administrator said that he had received a total of three applications.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Administrator what the status of the Mineland Reclamation Grant to repair the fence by Locomotive Park was. The Administrator said that he did not know what the status of the fence was, that he would have to speak to the Recreation Director.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works about a power outage Sunday, March 25, 2007, regarding the cause of the power outage. The Director of Public Works stated that there were some fuses blown and he did not know the specific cause of the outage. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to accept the recommendation of the Mountain Iron Volunteer Fire Department and hire Joe Golden as a paid on call fire fighter for the City of Mountain Iron. The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the Mountain Iron Fire Department Relief Association and amend the By-Laws as follows:

Each member of the Mountain Iron Fire Department shall have no less than 24 hours of in-house training per year. Exception will be new firefighters hired after the first of the year. The required in-house training for new firefighters will be prorated to the number of full quarters for the year in which they start. The training period is from January 1 to December 31. Each member will have mandatory blood-borne pathogens and hazmat training yearly. No member shall miss more than three (3) consecutive in-house training sessions. Make-up of training is the responsibility of the firefighter. Failure to have the above training requirements will result in the loss of the firefighter’s pension for that year.

The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski to direct Benchmark Engineering to draw up conceptual plans showing how Unity Second Addition could potentially be developed in two or three phases and what the projected cost of each phase could potentially be. The motion died for lack of support. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Zupancich that, because of citizen complaints and safety concerns, that Benchmark Engineering study the Aspen Lane/Spruce Drive/County Road 7 Intersection area for proper water flow from the street center crown area outwards towards the gutter/catch basin areas during all seasons. And further, cost estimates be provided for taking care of this water flowage/drainage problem once and for all. The motion failed with Prebeg, Zupancich, Stanaway and Skalko voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to set a public hearing for April 16, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. regarding the Lake Country Power acquisition notifying the affected customers and include a copy of the City’s electrical rates. After further discussion, Mayor Skalko amended the motion to include the information on pages 28-38 in the packet be sent to the affected customers. Councilor Roskoski supported the amendment. The amended motion carried with Councilors Prebeg and Stanaway voting no.
During the Liaison Reports, Councilor Roskoski advised the Council that the Utility Advisory Board discussed the implementation of smaller garbage canisters. He said that it is not possible for our City garbage truck to pick up a can smaller than the 30 gallon canister. He also said that there was no insert available to install in the present cans to make them smaller than 30 gallons. He also said that it is not possible to cut the garbage bill in half due to the rate structure because of the Saint Louis County fees incorporated into the charges.

At 8:04 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

At 8:05 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

Reynold Renzaglia, Chairman of the Utility Advisory Board, advised the Council that when the meeting occurred with Lake Country Power Representatives, they expressed interest in being part of the notification process to the affected customers.

At 8:07 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting. 

At 8:08 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 8:09 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

At 8:11 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to adopt Resolution Number 14-07, Non-binding Resolution of Commitment for the Iron Range Community FiberNet, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Mayor Skalko and Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Zupancich to table Resolution Number 17-07, Ordering Improvements and Preparation of Plans for various street improvements until the Street and Alley Committee have an opportunity to meet and put it back on the April 16, 2007, City Council agenda. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Skalko to adopt Resolution Number 18-07, Ordering Improvement and Preparation of Plans for Unity Second Addition and Unity Drive Extension, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Zupancich to adopt Ordinance 02-07, Amending Chapter 154 of the Mountain Iron City Code regarding Prefabricated Utility Structures, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

Councilor Prebeg informed the Council that the Personnel Committee was still negotiating with some of the Management Personnel and there was no Council action required at this time.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Stanaway that the Mountain Iron City Council, via a resolution, on behalf of all those from Mountain Iron who have served in the Armed Forces, contributes $1,000 to the Iron Range Veterans Memorial Project to be located in Virginia. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski that being Mountain Iron has had to abandon miles of public streets, sewer, water, and electrical lines in Parkville because of mining expansion and more is anticipated; that Staff explore any and all opportunities for Mineland Reclamation, Department of Natural Resources, or IRRR grants that could apply towards our City because of how we are impacted by mining. The motion died for lack of support.

It was moved by Roskoski to direct Staff to seek quotes from at least two firms as to the cost of doing an appraisal as to the value of the lots in the Unity Second Addition expansion area and an opinion as to the market place sale ability of the lots and at what price. The motion died for lack of support.

It was moved by Roskoski that because the proposed Unity Second Addition expansion appears to pose a large financial risk to the City, that Staff contact some one/some firm and get a quote as to the cost of doing a financial analysis/feasibility study on how the project will cash flow out. The motion died for lack of support. 

The Council reviewed the list of communications.

The Mayor requested that Staff set up a Street and Alley Committee meeting.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski asked if there was going to be a closed session to update the Council on the Management negotiations. Councilor Prebeg said that if there is new information to provide the Council then a closed meeting would be scheduled. 

At 8:53 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Zupancich that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Respectfully submitted:

Jill M. Forseen, CMC/MMCA
Municipal Services Secretary

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COMMUNICATIONS

1. Virginia Regional Medical Center Foundation, a thank you for the support of the 5th Annual Mark “Bush” Prebeg Memorial Snowmobile Ride.

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