The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for April 03, 2006

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

APRIL 3, 2006

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Allen Nelson, Dale Irish, 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; Wade Rasch, Sergeant, Saint Louis County; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer (entering at 7:10 p.m.)

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

The Mayor made a presentation regarding the Council and appropriate behavior at City Council meetings. The Mayor said that this is regarding open, healthy, and civil discussion, debate, and disagreement both with the Council members and the audience members. The Mayor said that at the last few meetings the discussion has not been appropriate. The Mayor said that the recent inappropriate behavior will come to a halt. The Mayor said that he met with City Attorney and the Sergeant of the Sheriff�s Department regarding the matter. The Mayor said that beginning tonight he would be implementing a new procedure. The Mayor said that if the inappropriate behavior by the Council Member(s) continues, he will seek a recess, if he has the Council�s support, the meeting will be recessed until the next day at 4 p.m. The Mayor said that if the first step does not work, he will reconvene the meeting and have a representative from the Sheriff�s Department remove the individual(s) causing disruptive behavior and then continue with the meeting. The Mayor said that there would be a Sheriff at every regular Council meeting from now on.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

I. Liaison Report A. Library Elevator

VI. New Business F. 13th Street Traffic Control

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.

To acknowledge the receipts for the period March 16-31, 2006, totaling $165,453.98, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period March 16-31, 2006, totaling $228,667.77, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

At 6:36 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing regarding the street vacation with the West Virginia Plat in the City of Mountain Iron. The motion carried.

The City Administrator advised the Council that the public hearing was being conducted because of a petition submitted by the residents along part of 3rd Street (known as 10th Street). 

The Council questioned Mr. Tammaro and Mr. Pettinelli regarding access to the parcels. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Attorney review the vacation request.

At 6:48 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

The Mayor presented a retirement plaque to Karen Luoma, Librarian, for the 32 years of service to the City of Mountain Iron. 

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor commented on references made at the last meeting regarding city spending practices and our taxes being higher than the neighboring communities. The Mayor presented comparisons in taxes for like properties with the neighboring community, in all comparisons; the taxes in Mountain Iron were less than the neighboring community. The Mayor reference the per capita spending per individual; in Virginia in 2004 it was $1,050/per person and Mountain Iron was $612/per person.

Councilor Roskoski made some comments regarding building expenses and economic development in Mountain Iron.

During the City Administrator�s report, Councilor Roskoski questioned the Administrator regarding non-mandatory training. Councilor Prebeg said that the motions are clear for non-mandatory training that the Department Head makes a recommendation to the City Council for final approval. Councilor Irish felt that the City Administrator should notify the Fire Chief that all non-mandatory training must come before the City Council for final approval. 

The Council reviewed the list of tentative projects for 2006 as prepared by the Director of Public Works. 

The Mayor thanked the Sergeant for meeting with him and assisting with having a Deputy attend every regular City Council meeting. Councilor Irish felt that this item should be on the next agenda due to the additional expenses of having a Deputy at the Council meetings. The Mayor felt that the additional security at the City Council meetings was much needed.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the City Engineer regarding the 16th Avenue Improvement Project. He said that two of the property owners on 16th Avenue felt that the road was originally dug down approximately eight feet to good soil and back filled with good soil. Councilor Roskoski asked if the City Engineer had researched how the road was originally reconstructed. The City Engineer said that the road was sub cut, but he could not verify to what depth. The City Engineer said that drain tiles would be added under the street.

Councilor Roskoski asked City Staff regarding the logging in the tailing pond area (the “Desert” site). The Mayor said that he would call Paul Cerkvenik regarding the logging in the area. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the variance from the setback requirements on the north and west sides of their property to construct a commercial building closer to the lot line than allowed by the ordinance. The property is legally described as follows:

Easterly 100 feet of the Westerly 125 feet of all that part of the Northerly 315.83 feet of the Southeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter, Section 13, Township 58 North, Range 18 West of the Fourth Principal Meridian lying Easterly of the right-of-way of the Duluth, Winnipeg, and Pacific Railroad Company and Westerly of the right-of-way of State Highway No. 53, according to the United States Government Survey thereof.

And;

A parcel of land in FIRST ADDITION TO WEST VIRGINIA, which is a parcel of land lying in the Southeast Quarter of the Northeast Quarter, Section 13, Township 58 North, Range 18 West of the Fourth Principal Meridian, according to the U. S. Government Survey thereof, in the County of St. Louis, State of Minnesota, more particularly described as follows: the southerly 200 feet of the north 315.85 feet lying east of the west 125 feet and west of the right-of-way of State Highway No. 53.

The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Library Board and hire Sally Peterangelo for the Library Director Position beginning April 3, 2006. The motion carried with Councilor Irish and Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and hire Tim Satrang for the full-time position of Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

The Council discussed the Library Project with regard to the elevator cupola. No further action was taken on the matter. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to contact the library contractor immediately to have the library elevator shaft secured on the basement floor. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 09-06, setting a hearing on vacation, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to authorize payment of the 2006 appropriation of $2,500 to Calvary Cemetery Association. After further discussion, Councilor Nelson amended his motion to appropriate the amount that had been budgeted in 2006. Mayor Skalko supported the amendment. The amended motion carried.

The Council requested that the City Administrator report the amount contributed to Calvary Cemetery Association at the next regular meeting.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the Cities of Mountain Iron and Virginia draft and submit a joint economic agreement grant for $250,000 to the IRRR for the 16th Avenue South/Highway 53 Corridor upgrading. Administrative Staff from both communities will work together on the application. Virginia would be the lead community and would submit the grant application on behalf of both cities. The motion failed with Councilor Prebeg, Councilor Nelson and Mayor Skalko voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to look into possible options for a land exchange with the City of Virginia with regard to 16th Avenue and/or any other properties with the City of Mountain Iron or Virginia, and come up with a list of possible suggestions for debate on a land exchange. After further discussion, Councilor Prebeg withdrew his motion and asked City Staff to put this item on the next agenda. Mayor Skalko withdrew his support.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to authorize payment request number eight to Lenci Enterprises in the amount of $19,085.95 for the Library Renovation Project. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Council reviewed the list of communications.

The Council discussed the traffic counts completed recently by Saint Louis County. The City Engineer said that he would be compiling the information to submit to the Council for further discussion. Councilor Roskoski also asked that this information regarding the crossings and quiet zones, be put on the next Street and Alley Committee agenda. Councilor Roskoski felt that the anonymous letter submitted regarding the Unity Drive assisted living facility driveway be put on the next Street and Alley Committee meeting agenda. The majority of the Council felt that an anonymous letter should not be addressed.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to contact Rob Ege, Senior Traffic Planner for MN/DoT, 1123 Mesabi Avenue, Duluth, Minnesota 55811, phone number 218-723-4960 extension 3550, this person would be contacted to work with the Street and Alley Committee along with our City Engineer and Staff and representatives from Walgreen Development, the Sawmill, the AmericInn, and the Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss the 13th Avenue/Mountain Iron Drive area and plan the work in that area. The motion failed with Councilor Nelson, Councilor Prebeg and Mayor Skalko voting no.

Councilor Prebeg asked for information regarding Mountain Manor, with 42 apartments available for rent, and 18 being vacant. Councilor Irish said that with 10 vacancies, that is the break even point, beyond that the HRA begins to lose money. Councilor Nelson felt that the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) should meet and discuss this. It was the consensus of the Council to schedule a HRA meeting on April 17, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. and ask for the Mountain Manor management company to attend the meeting.

At 8:56 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

St. Louis County Community Development Division, a notice announcing its CDBG Celebration and 2007 Program Kick Off.

VRMC Foundation, a thank you letter from the Prebeg family for supporting the 4th Annual Mark “Bush” Prebeg Memorial Snowmobile Ride.

Sam Aluni, Trenti Law Firm, a fax concerning the DARE fundraiser.

League of Minnesota Cities, the FridayFax from March 24, 2006.

RAMS, a memo from Ron Dicklich with the legislative session report.

Brian D. Boder, St. Louis County Traffic Engineer, a letter concerning the traffic count taken on CSAH 102 and CR 657, including the reports for each road.

Anonymous note received in the suggestion box concerning the driveway for the new assisted living project.

Recent News

Campground Reservations

Contact Us

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]