The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for April 06, 1998

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt 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; Jill M. Forseen, Deputy Clerk; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; and Greg French, City Engineer.

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

1. Add the following item to the agenda:

VI. Unfinished Business

D. Minntac Liaison Committee

2. Approve the minutes of the March 16, 1998, regular meeting as submitted.

3. Approve the minutes of the March 23, 1998, Committee-of-the-Whole meeting as submitted.

4. 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.

5. Authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period March 16-31, 1998, totaling $206,355.83, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

6. Acknowledge the receipts for the period March 16-31, 1998, totaling $112,294.02, (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.

At 6:32 p.m., it was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to recess the regular meeting and convene the public hearing on the Special Assessments for Tamarack and Spruce Drive. The motion carried.

The Mayor noted that correspondence has been received from Reynold Renzaglia, Lyle and Nancy Reimers, and Perry LaSart regarding their objections to the proposed special assessments on their property. The Mayor said that he reviewed his notes from previous City Council meetings and the only portion of the assessment would be the street overlay project on Tamarack Drive. The Mayor said that the City Council had previously discussed that there would be no assessments to the property owners on Spruce Drive and Balsam Drive. 

Mr. Ed Roskoski spoke during the public hearing and said that he thought that the previous Council had said that only the property owners on Tamarack Drive were to be assessed. He further said that the assessments were only on the blacktop portion and no charges for curbing and storm sewer work. He said that the remaining charges were to be paid by an IRRRB grant. 

The City Administrator reviewed the assessments on Tamarack Drive. He said that the proposed assessments did not include the drainage portion of the project. He said that the overlay for the project was $41,405 with 50% of the project costs being assessed for a total assessment amount of $20,702.

Thomas Matkovich questioned the amount of the overlay being $40,000. He questioned what the $40,000 amount included. 

The City Engineer said that the wear course and base course amount were approximately $16,758.40.

William Storbeck questioned the assessment amount on his vacant lot. 

The Mayor requested that the City Administrator and the City Engineer work together to recalculate the special assessments on Tamarack Drive and recalculate the frontage of the Storbeck’s vacant lot to see if the assessment is appropriate. The Mayor said that the Council will discuss the special assessments on Tamarack Drive at the next regular meeting.

At 6:44 p.m., it was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, Mr. Ed Roskoski said that the power shovel on the corner of the school’s property has the bucket currently on the ground. He said that the agreement with the school is to have the bucket raised for the school maintenance department to do trimming.

The Mayor directed the Recreation Director to review the matter regarding the shovel bucket located on the school property being raised.

The Mayor reviewed the options prepared by the City Administrator concerning the Spirit Lake Community Sewage System Project, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The Mayor took ideas from the Spirit Lake Residents regarding the Spirit Lake Community Sewage System Project. Mr. Ron Wiire said that the options proposed sound very negative, with option number three looking the best. Mr. Wiire requested that the City take 20-30 copies of the proposal for the project and solicit other federal and county agencies for funding.

Mr. Rainer Makirinne asked why the Council requested $2.5 million dollars for the project? He said that only $1.5 million were available in the funding cycle. The Mayor advised him that Mountain Iron’s grant request was not $2.5 million, this figure shows the total funds requested from all grant requests. Mr. Makirinne asked if the City Council has asked for a state bonding bill for septic and sewer upgrades that would make more funding available throughout the state and upgrading wastewater treatment facilities. Mr. Makirinne also advised the Council that the IRRRB has an environmental fund. Mr. Makirinne said that he read that the IRRRB Environmental Fund only received a grant request for one project for a sewer project.

Mr. Pentti Mahonen asked if the community mound system project would still be possible. The Director of Public Works said that the community mound system was developed with property owners keeping their own septic tanks and allowing a flow into the community mound system. 

The Mayor advised the residents that the project is not dead and he would like to have City staff vigorously look for funding for the project. 

Councilor Skogman requested staff to prepare proposals for the next state bonding process. 

The Mayor directed the City Administrator to note the Spirit Lake Community Mound System Project when the State Bonding/IRRRB Committee meets next.

The City Engineer requested City Council approval to complete the topography for the Parkville Housing Project. He said this would cost approximately $2,500-$6,000 to complete.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to authorize Benchmark Engineering to complete the topography of the land for the Parkville Housing project site and allow soil borings to be completed in suitable areas. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Administrator said that the 40 acres of state land will not come out of the legislature. He said that he spoke with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and they said to go through friendly condemnation to obtain the land. The Director of Public Works said the land would cost approximately $8,000 plus timber costs. 

The City Engineer advised the Council that there were three plan holders for the 16th Avenue Project.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to authorize the Recreation Director to purchase a name plate for the Merritt Statue for a cost not to exceed $1,200 and to expend the funds from the balance remaining from the Mountain Iron Development Association account. The motion carried.

The Council discussed the request from the Downtown Revitalization Committee to become a formal organization similar to the Merritt Days Committee. The City Administrator said that this request could be done. The Mayor said that he has a problem with the Downtown Revitalization Committee completing projects on their own without City Council approval. He further said that the City Council is elected to oversee all projects in the city.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to allow the Recreation Director to work with the City Attorney to work on up to three (3) blight problems in the City. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to authorize the Director of Public Works to purchase one (1) walk-behind trencher from Ditch Witch of Minnesota for the price of $11,531.77 with the funds to be expended from the 1998 Electric Fund capital improvement account. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Brunfelt to approve Ordinance Number 01-98, an ordinance amending Chapter 22 of the Mountain Iron City Code, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; Matanich, yes; Piri, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to set a public meeting to discuss the City Hall issue for Tuesday, April 28, 1998, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers. The motion carried.

The Council discussed the postal boundaries in the City of Mountain Iron. The Mayor appointed Joe Stewart, Tom Cvar, Stephen Skogman, a Representative from St. Louis County 9-1-1, and Craig Wainio to a committee to work on re-addressing the City of Mountain Iron. He said that he would like a timeline to complete the project and to have the committee work with the post office personnel on the project. 

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Olsen to accept the recommendation of the Mountain Iron Volunteer Fire Department and appoint Matthew Skipper and Michael Grahek to the position of Volunteer Firefighter. The motion carried with Councilor Skogman voting no.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to make the Parkville Housing Project as the City of Mountain Iron’s number one priority and the Eighth Street Extension Project as the City’s number two priority for the 1998 IRRRB Grant cycle and authorize City staff to prepare the appropriate documents to apply for the grants. The motion carried.

At 7:56 p.m., Councilor Skogman left the meeting.

At 7:59 p.m., Councilor Skogman returned to the meeting.

Councilor Matanich said that he would like to see the Eighth Street Extension Project planned listing the positive and negative aspects of the project and the estimated costs for the various improvements. The Mayor directed the Administrator to look though old records and prepare a list of needs for the Eighth Street project, i.e., private property issues, right-of-way costs, infrastructure costs, road construction costs, etc. 

It was the consensus of the Council to approve the Capital Improvement Plan, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The Mayor asked if the list of needs from the Community Center Committee was received for a meeting to be scheduled with the Minntac Liaison Committee. The Administrator informed the Council that a list has not yet been received. The Mayor requested to have Joe Prebeg, Chairperson of the Community Center Committee attend the Minntac Liaison Committee meeting.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize $1,000 to be paid to the Virginia Chamber of Commerce for the Quad Cities Area brochure. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to approve the Drug Free Workplace statement, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Brunfelt to approve the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Contracts for the $10,000 Community Planning Grant. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Brunfelt to approve Resolution #18-98, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the list communications.

The Council discussed the letter received from Mr. Marshall Bieniasz regarding his request to receive the City’s expired dog and cat license tags. It was the consensus of the Council to have City staff work with Mr. Bieniasz and continue the policy of not giving out the expired tags. The Council suggested putting the tags in the next City auction and to advise Mr. Bieniasz.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize the payment of the 1998 appropriation to the Calvary Cemetery Association for $1,500.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor reported that sometime in April the Quad Cities Area Alliance will hold a round table discussion and he recommended some Council members attend the meeting. Also, the Mayor said that he would like to have the City of Mountain Iron actively pursue having the St. Louis County Fairgrounds locate in Mountain Iron. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator aggressively pursue having the St. Louis County Fairgrounds located in Mountain Iron by contacting the St. Louis County Fair Board Members, Commissioner Prebich, Representative Rukavina, Senator Janezich, and Commissioner Forsman.

The City Administrator informed the Council that he would be attending the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference in June.

At 8:25 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Brunfelt that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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