The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for April 18, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

APRIL 18, 2005

Mayor Skalko called the 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; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.

Mayor Skalko explained that the meetings were now being taped for television viewing and that the expense for this was being paid for by an anonymous donor and this was not an authorized expenditure by the City Council. He requested that if there were residents that did view the City Council meeting on the television to contact members of the Council to express their interest in having this consider for the 2006 budget.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. A. 3. 16th Avenue Project

4. Mountain Iron-Buhl School District

5. EDA Director and Marketer

Approve the minutes of the April 4, 2005, City Council meeting as submitted.

Approve the minutes of the March 31, 2005, Committee-of-the-Whole meeting as submitted.

Approve the minutes of the March 31, 2005, Committee-of-the-Whole meeting as submitted.

Approve the minutes of the April 12, 2005, Board of Review meeting as submitted.

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 April 1-15, 2005, totaling $105,614.83, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period April 1-15, 2005, totaling $215,009.34, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Wilbert Johnson, 5621 Nichols Avenue, thanked the Mayor and the Recreation Director for working on his problem with his neighbor. He asked the Mayor and the Recreation Director to come back to his house and review the situation at his neighbor�s property again. Mr. Johnson also requested the City Council to have a public hearing on the proposed trail in the Parkville area rather than have the City Council take formal action on the trail.

Also during the public forum, Eugene Specht, 8395 Spruce Drive, was present and ask the Council what the plan was to take care of the abandoned pump house building next to his property. The Director of Public Works said that the Utility Advisory Board would be making a recommendation to the City Council to have the building removed, the wells sealed, and the property improved.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and reconvene the Board of Review meeting. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and make no change to the valuation on Glen Avikainen�s property on Parcel Code 175-0055-00300. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and reduce the improvement value on Dan and Mary Jo Miettunen�s property on Parcel Code 175-0055-01450 by $500. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and reduce the improvement value on James and Carol Techar�s property on Parcel Code 175-0063-00160 by $1,000. The motion carried. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and make no change to the valuation on Matthew Kishel�s property on Parcel Code 175-0013-00170. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and reduce the improvement value on Bradley Hamilton�s property on Parcel Code 175-0071-01530 by $21,700. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and make no change to the valuation on Robert Kohler�s property on Parcel Code 175-0055-01830. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and reduce the improvement value on William Buria�s property on Parcel Code 175-0055-02400 by $10,100. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and make no change to the valuation on Steven Papin�s property on Parcel Code 175-0055-00060. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and make no change to the valuation on Gale Claesson�s property on Parcel Code 175-0071-05035. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and reduce the improvement value by $6,000 and the land value by $12,400 on Susan Berglund�s property on Parcel Code 175-0070-01510 for a total of $18,400. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and make no change to the valuation on Peter Cerkvenik�s property on Parcel Code 175-0070-01645. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and reduce the improvement value on Ronald and Shirley Klabunde�s property on Parcel Code 175-0065-01050 by $3,700. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor and reduce the improvement value on Thomas Nikolanci�s property on Parcel Code 175-0070-01325 by $25,000. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adjourn the Board of Review meeting and reconvene the City Council meeting. The motion carried.

The Mayor advised the Council that he was contacted by Mr. Sauter, Superintendent at the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District, regarding the land exchange with the City of Mountain Iron. Mr. Sauter said that there is some legislation at the state level regarding additional funding for schools and the School Board is waiting to see if this legislation is approved.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg that if there is a death of a city employee, employee�s parents, employee�s spouse or the employee�s child that the City will contribute up to $50 for gift for the employee or if there is a serious illness of a city employee that the city will do the same. Mayor Skalko amended his motion to include getting an opinion from the League of Minnesota Cities regarding the legality of the contributions. Councilor Prebeg supported the amendment. The amended motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to erect the banners in the Downtown Mountain Iron area by Monday, May 9, 2005. And further, direct City Staff to purchase wax begonias and petunias and have them planted in the planters and flower box in front of the Senior Citizens� Center by Monday, June 6, 2005. And further, it will be the responsibility of the temporary summer labor positions to water the flowers during the months of June, July and August, every Monday and Thursday of those months. The Mayor amended his motion to include the flower bed by Nichols Town Hall. Councilor Roskoski supported the amendment. The amended motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct City Staff, preferably the City Administrator and the Director of Public Works, to meet with the Virginia City Officials to discuss the 16th Avenue Project. The motion carried with Councilor Irish and Roskoski voting no.

The Mayor stated that he was contacted by Carol Kostich, Mountain Iron-Buhl School, requesting the City to contribute aluminum from the recycling program to the school for a fundraiser. The Director of Public Works stated that the City has an agreement with St. Louis County to transfer all of the recyclables collected in Mountain Iron over to the County for processing. The Director of Public Works also stated that the school could set up a collection site in town for aluminum, but this can not be located by the City recycling center.

The Mayor said that Mrs. Kostich also asked about the City contributing to a scholarship in conjunction with the Presidential Freedom Scholarship through the federal government. The Mayor said that there would be a vote taken at the May 2, 2005, City Council meeting regarding the scholarship.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg that, we as a City Council, strongly encourage the Economic Development Authority (EDA) to name our City Administrator to be the EDA Director and appoint an individual, who is interested to work on a retainer basis, as a marketer. The motion carried with Councilor Irish voting no. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the City Administrator to attend the 2005 Minnesota City/County Management Association Annual Conference, May 11-13, 2005, at East Gull Lake with the City paying for the registration fee of $99 and two night�s accommodation at the most reasonable available occupancy. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Roskoski asked if City Staff had received the paint from the Valspar Paint Grant. The City Administrator said that he attended a meeting in Duluth to order the paint and the City will have to pick up 58 gallons of paint in St. Paul. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to authorize the purchase a KSB submersible sewage pump from Quality Flow Systems at their low quoted price of $15,617.00 to be installed at the Mud Lake Lift Station. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the following advertisement to be published in the Mesabi Daily News: 

The City of Mountain Iron will be accepting applications for summer labor positions 

in the Public Works Department and Public Utilities Department.

Applications will be available at the Mountain Iron City Hall, 8586 Enterprise Drive 

South, Mountain Iron MN 55768, during the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Specify 

which department you are applying for. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older 

as of employment date. Deadline for applications will be 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, 

May 10, 2005. M/H/F Equal Opportunity Employer Web Site: www.mtniron.com

The motion carried.

The Recreation Director said that the Blight Committee met and would be preparing a new ordinance to present to the City Council on May 2, 2005.

Councilor Irish questioned the Recreation Director regarding the “Movies in the Park”. The Recreation Director said that he is working with the school to use their licensing fee to bring the expense down to about 50% of what the costs were last year. He further stated that all of the movies would be shown on school property.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to authorize the City Engineer to prepare specifications with two options for material to be used on Heather Avenue. The first specification being from Class 3-7 and the second option being Class 3, for the quantity necessary and installed on Heather Avenue. The motion carried.

The City Engineer reviewed the curb location drawing by the Voyageur Motel with the City Council. He said that the estimate for flaring the intersection and tying the curb line into the intersection into the catch basin would be $6,500.00. The Director of Public Works said that he would like to review this project further with the City Engineer and come back with a recommendation to the City Council.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of Benchmark Engineering and hire KLM Engineering Incorporated to conduct a warranty inspection for the elevated water tank and ground storage tank at a cost of $6,800. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to purchase the materials for a foam enclosure system for the Wastewater Treatment Plan for noise reduction at a cost of approximately $200 to $600 with City Staff constructing the enclosures. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Roskoski said that he was out reviewing the Mashkenode Lake Roads on April 14, 2005, checking the cul de sac on the east side of the lake and he said that the road surface seemed kind of rubbery. He said that he checked the road surface on the west side and he stated that it was pretty solid until he got to the Springer Drive (access road to Perch Lake). He said that from Springer Drive to the end of Shorthair Lane the road was really rubbery. The City Engineer said that Taylor Investments is obligated to make the road acceptable to the City. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adopt the Street Lighting Policy as presented and add if there is an individual that wants a security light and makes the request with the Director of Public Works and is denied, that an appeal can be made to the Utility Advisory Board and then to the City Council. After further discussion, Mayor Skalko amended his motion to allow for the residential areas local and cul-de-sac street classification light mounting height to be between 13-20 feet at the discretion of the Director of Public Works. Councilor Prebeg supported the amendment. The amended motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Irish questioned whether the Economic Development Authority was going to be having a meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2005. The City Administrator said that he is not in charge of scheduling the meetings and he would have to contact the Chairman of the EDA to see if there would be a meeting.

Councilor Roskoski said that the Library Board met last week and they discussed the Assistant Librarian position qualifications. The Library Board would be forwarding a letter to the City Council with the qualifications for the position that they would like to have.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson that the City of Mountain Iron honors the agreement with Calvary Cemetery Association to budget $12,500 in 2006 for the building expansion project. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to authorize Benchmark Engineering to proceed with the necessary engineering and put together all specifications needed for quotes for bidding associated with the installation of three aluminum/stainless steel street lights, similar to the lights installed in Unity Addition, at the following intersections: Spruce Drive/Aspen Lane, Balsam Drive/Aspen Lane, and Aspen Lane/Tamarack Drive. And further, have the following additional options:

Option One: Spruce Drive between Aspen Lane and North Court

Option Two: Balsam Drive between Aspen Lane and South Court

With the locations of options one and two being determined by Benchmark Engineering. After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski amended his motion to have this as a recommendation to the Utility Advisory Board for further consideration by the Council on May 2, 2005. Councilor Irish supported the amendment. The amended motion carried with Councilor Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to keep the South Grove Playground in its present location and inform the South Grove residents, by mail, of the City Council�s decisions and plans to upgrade the park. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson and Prebeg voting no.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to end all assistance to the Excelsior Energy Project until future Council action is requested. The motion failed with Mayor Skalko, Councilor Prebeg, and Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Skalko to inform the residents of Spring Park Road that no new major infrastructure improvements would be made and that City Staff would address their concerns with only minor road upgrades and maintenance. The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to direct City Staff to advertise for the sale of Lots 1 & 2 except the westerly 60 feet, Block 18, Town of Grant (previously the Bon Air property). The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to authorize a raffle to be conducted by The Arrowhead Chapter of Muskies Incorporated on May 11, 2005. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski questioned whether the community center microphone system needed to be updated or repaired. City Staff said that they would check on the system.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to authorize an additional $1,000 for the Merritt Days celebration activities for 2005. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to allow the City Engineer to survey the Old Parkville Road (Monkey Road) from County Road 109 west for approximately one mile. The motion carried with Councilors Nelson and Prebeg voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to go into closed session pursuant to Minnesota Statute Section 13D.05 Subdivision 2 (b), to consider charges and allegations concerning an employee of the City. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to open the closed session. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to close the closed session. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to go back into an open meeting of the city council. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the disciplinary summary for the employee involved as action of the City Council. The motion carried.

At 10:16 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Minnesota Department of Health, information regarding the annual Drinking Water Report.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, forwarding a draft environmental impact statement for U. S. Steel � Minntac Project.

Minnesota Association of Small Cities, forwarding the April 8, 2005 Small Cities Update.

The Salvation Army, a letter introducing the Supper Club Coordinator for the Salvation Army.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the April 8, 2005, Friday Fax.

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, forwarding the April 8, 2005 Brief.

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