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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for April 05, 1999

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Brunfelt at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Carolyn Olsen, Stephen Skogman, Joe Matanich, Curt Piri, and Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; Greg French, City Engineer; Sgt. Joe Stewart, Sheriffs Department; and Judy Seurer, Bookkeeper.

It was moved by Olsen and supported by Piri that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Add to the agenda:

VI. New Business

H. Monthly Agenda Meetings

2. Approve the minutes of the March 15, 1999, regular meeting as submitted.

3. That the communications be accepted, placed on file, and those requiring further action by the council be acted upon during their proper sequence on the agenda.

4. Authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period March 16-31, 1999, totaling $169,259.66, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

5. Acknowledge the receipts for the period March 16-31, 1999, totaling $70,673.93, a (a list is

attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion to adopt the consent agenda carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor opened the public forum, stating any questions concerning the proposed retail development could wait until the purchase agreement was discussed according to the agenda.

The suggestion box item concerning sweeping the City streets was accepted for the record.

During the public forum, the following citizens spoke:

Peter Cerkvenik had questions on the Walmart project, questioned whether the City would issue building permits for the school district and questioned whether the Messiah Lutheran Church land was still an option for the Community Center building.

Barry Rosier questioned the Council on its plans for the ballfield by Merritt Elementary School.

Larry Johnson stated he had questions on the Walmart project.

Ozzie Rudlong questioned why the Walmart project was for land that had been designated as a housing project. The City Administrator explained that the realtor showed all potential sites to the developer and they chose that area.

Steve Giorgi, president of the Planning & Zoning Commission, had concerns on where a housing development project would be located. He felt it was very important that the City pursue a housing project.

Tom Cvar, business agent for local #1116 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, introduced the union president, Lane Harstad who presented concerns with Walmart locating in this area.

Dolores Majetich asked when the City Council meetings would be televised. The Administrator informed her that the project was on hold until the City Hall/Community Center was re-located. She also had concerns with the cable television rate increases and whether the City could offer another franchise to another company. Discussion took place with several members of the audience and the Council concerning the cable television rate increases and what the franchise fees received by the City were used for.

City staff was directed to look into a quad-city based cable television franchise. City staff was also directed to investigate why the franchise fees were put into the general fund and not designated for the recreation department.

Ed Roskoski questioned the Council on potential fencing around the shovel at the Downtown Park. He stated that the Civic Association would assist with the project.

The City Engineer had nothing to report.

Discussion took place concerning the Ann�s Acres water meter installation proposal. The Director of Public Works reported that the Utility Advisory Board recommended accepting Heisel Brothers, Inc.�s proposal.

It was moved by Matanich and supported by Olsen to approve the expenditure to install water meters in Ann�s Acres as proposed by Heisel Brothers, Inc. in their letter of March 22, 1999, with the funds coming out of the water department. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to approve the campground caretaker contract for the 1999 season (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve a wage adjustment for the Parks and Recreation Secretary in the amount of $.50 per hour as of March 1, 1999 and an additional $.50 per hour as of June 1, 1999. The motion carried on a roll call vote, with Olsen and Brunfelt voting no.

Dale Gilbertson presented information to the Council on the MIB-C Baseball Association�s request for the Recreation Department to take over the summer VFW and Legion baseball teams.

Mr. Gilbertson stated that it would take $13,000 to $13,500 to run the program. This would include labor costs, uniforms, equipment and insurance.

Discussion took place concerning the funding of the VFW and Legion baseball team program and what the actual costs would be. It was suggested that the American Legion could possibly donate $2,000. It was also suggested that 10% of the charitable gambling profits received by the Legion could be used towards this program. Mr. Gilbertson stated that he could purchase the jerseys, pants and equipment for $6,000. The school district offered summer storage space for the equipment. It was suggested that all expenditures be put through the recreation department. City staff was directed to look at possible ways of funding this program and present the information at the next meeting.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to schedule a joint meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the City Council to discuss comprehensive plan issues for April 28, 1999 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mountain Iron City Hall. The motion carried on a roll call vote, with Skogman voting no.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen to approve the building permit for Solid Properties. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve the zoning permit for Range Regional Health Services. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Olsen and supported by Matanich to approve the purchase of a 1999 Ford squad car at $20,660 for the Sheriffs Department. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Olsen and supported by Matanich to enter into a hold harmless agreement with the school district and have the Civic Association pursue fencing in the shovel in the Downtown playground. The motion carried with Piri and Brunfelt voting no.

After discussion concerning possible community center sites, it was the consensus of the Council to have the City staff look at the following options:

School district site obtaining 3 acres of property near the Merritt ballfield.

Talk to the Messiah Lutheran Church Council, the Church president and their building task force concerning their land.

Look at the feasibility of the site near the South Grove recreation complex.

The staff would report on these options at the next City Council meeting.

Ms. Darcy Winter, a commercial real estate development broker briefed the Council on the proposed purchase agreement. Councilor Olsen questioned Ms. Winter on the time line for commitment on this project. It would be approximately six months. Councilor Skogman asked what other sites had been looked at. A total of 15 sites were shown, this site meets the developer�s visibility, price and accessibility requirements. Councilor Olsen asked why only 25 acres were requested. That is all the land that is required. Councilor Matanich questioned if there would be any other large costs to the City. There would be access road costs and closing costs on the sale of property. Councilor Piri asked if the City Attorney had reviewed the purchase agreement. Mary Frances Skala of Fryberger and Associates has reviewed the agreement.

The Mayor asked for questions from the audience.

Peter Cerkvenik supported the project, but did not think that the entire TIF funding should be spent on this project. He questioned whether it was required to do so.

Ed Roskoski questioned the purchase price for the land. It would be 3% of the projected improved value.

Lee Anderson questioned how the purchase price is calculated.

Lane Harstad asked if the land was zoned residential and if the purchase agreement was public information.

Councilor Piri asked if there had been any Planning and Zoning or HRA input on this project.

Dolores Majetich questioned the amount of land needed.

Peter Cerkvenik asked if the Housing and Redevelopment Authority�s approval was needed for the sale of this land. The City Council would approve the sale.

Ozzie Rudlong stated that commercial development was good, but the priorities of the Council are bad.

Larry Johnson said to go for the Walmart project and delay the housing development for now. He advised the Council to proceed slowly and do the project right.

It was suggested to table the approval of the purchase agreement to the next regular City Council meeting and get more input from the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to schedule a special joint meeting with the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority on April 12, 1999 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the proposed purchase agreement with D. E. Winters Associates. The motion carried. Mary Francis Skala, of Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith and Frederick, will be asked to attend.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to approve the temporary liquor license for the American Legion for April 22, 1999. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen to pass Resolution #07-99, requesting enforcement of anti-dumping laws. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve the MMUA training agreement. The Public Works Director updated the Council on the agreement and stated that training was budgeted for in the utility funds. The Safety Committee had recommended approval for the agreement. Councilor Skogman rescinded his motion and Councilor Matanich rescinded his support. The issue was tabled until the City Attorney and the Personnel Committee reviewed the agreement.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to set a public hearing for the vacation of an alley for May 3, 1999, at 6:35 p.m. in the City Hall. The motion carried.

Discussion took place concerning the City�s IRRRB Grant Priorities for 2000. The discussion centered around the proposed 8th Street extension. The Mayor took input from Dolores Majetich, Ed Roskoski, Peter Cerkvenik and Steve Giorgi, Dale Gilbertson Barry Rosier, and Joe Prebeg, members of the audience, on this issue. It was decided that more input from the City�s boards and commissions was needed on this topic.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to add to the agenda of the special meeting set for April 12, 1999, “discuss IRRRB priorities” after the purchase agreement discussion and to make this meeting a part of the process of setting the IRRRB priorities yearly. Also, the Parks and Recreation Board members would be asked to attend. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to pass Resolution #08-99, designating Volunteer Recognition Week. The motion carried.

Discussion took place concerning the proposed monthly agenda meetings. It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to schedule a monthly Committee of the Whole agenda meeting for the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. starting in May, with the staff preparing an agenda for each meeting. After further discussion, the motion and support were rescinded.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to schedule Committee of the Whole agenda meetings for 5:45 p.m. on each regular City Council meeting day on a trial basis for two months, starting on April 19, 1999. The motion carried.

No action was taken on the communications received.

The Mayor reported that he had recently attended a Range Association of Municipalities and Schools meeting with the new IRRRB Commissioner Swift in attendance. He was impressed with the Commissioner and invited him to tour Mountain Iron and the Minntac plant.

During the open discussion, Councilor Olsen questioned how it was determined whom to invite to the Volunteer Recognition Dinner. The City Administrator stated that the boards and commissions were invited and the staff had to draw the line on invitations. The Recreation Director stated that the original plan was used as a guideline for invitations. It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to issue an invitation to all persons volunteering their services to the City. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Matanich stated that the Civic Association is interested in putting three to four sites on the National Register of Historic laces. This item is to be put on the next City Council agenda, with Mr. Lampa to speak on this issue.

At 9:52 p.m. it was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried.

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