The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for April 19, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

APRIL 19, 2004

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:31 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Allen Nelson, Dale Irish, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Absent member included: Ed Roskoski. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; and Joe Stewart, Sheriff�s Sergeant.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. A. 2. Preliminary Audit Report

3. Donation letter from the Downtown Committee

VI. H. Jasmine Street Concern

Heather Avenue Area-Public Hearing

V. D. ATV Trail System Update

Approve the minutes of the April 5, 2004, City Council 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, 2004, totaling $120,432.02, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period April 1-15, 2004, totaling $342,478.03, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski absent.

At 6:34 p.m., Councilor Roskoski entered the meeting.

At 6:34 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the City Council meeting and open the public hearing for the Economic Development Authority. The motion carried.

Steve Giorgi asked the Council if there was a final draft of the Economic Development Authority information. The Mayor advised him that the final resolution was on page 67 of the City Council packet.

The City Attorney stated that the resolution dissolving the existing Mountain Iron Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Section 3.02 should have the effective date of the resolution should be December 31, 2004. This would give the Housing and Redevelopment Authority sufficient time to close out business.

Steve Giorgi spoke as the Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and said that the consensus of the Commission was that the P & Z would like to see a representative from the Planning and Zoning Commission to serve on the Economic Development Authority. 

At 6:40 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to close the public hearing and reconvene the City Council meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, Deb Sherman, Representative from D. W. Jones Management Company, the management company has managed the Mountain Manor since January 1, 2004, updated the City Council on the Mountain Manor. The Mayor stated that the Council has had concerns regarding the vacancies, the age limit, and having more two bedroom units. Ms. Sherman stated that there are currently four apartments that have water damage. Ms. Sherman said that since January there have been three new residents that have moved into Mountain Manor and they are currently working with three more and they have only had one move out for assisted living. Ms. Sherman stated that Shirley and Don Nuutinen are the managers at the Manor.

At 6:43 p.m., Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation, entered the meeting.

Councilor Roskoski questioned whether the Mountain Manor would qualify for a Community Development Block Grant. The City Administrator said that the HRA or EDA would have to apply because they own the building.

The following spoke during the public forum:

Wilbert Johnson, 5621 Nichols Avenue, advised the City Council that his neighbor, David Nordlund, has three unlicensed vehicles on his property. Mr. Johnson also stated that Mr. Nordlund has four dogs on his property. The Blight Officer said that Mr. Nordlund�s deadline for cleaning up his property was 4:00 p.m. on April 20, 2004.

Dave Nordlund, 5619 Nichols Avenue, also spoke regarding the blight issues. He stated that the issues with Mr. Johnson have been going back and forth over the last three years. 

Mike Easty, 5460 Bluebell Avenue, expressed concern over the Jasmine Street overlay that was recently completed. He said that the street is beginning to break up. The Mayor stated that Jasmine Street is on the agenda and will be discussed later in the meeting.

Tom Schlotec stated that the property that he currently has his display model homes on, adjacent to the Sawmill, which is owned by Murphy Oil Company, is currently for sale and he is not interested in purchasing the property. He said that they are looking to relocate his business on the property at the southwest corner of Highway 169 and Mud Lake Road. Mr. Schlotec also stated that he has been approached to construct upper scale duplexes in Mountain Iron. He stated that he is looking for land to purchase to complete this development. The Council stated that these items would be placed on the next Planning and Zoning Commission agenda.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to send the Thomas Tammaro variance application for parcel 175-0065-00820 back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for a new recommendation due to the Pettinelli/Tammaro land exchange not taking place. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, no.

The Council discussed the Jasmine Street concerns. The Mayor stated that he had received several phone calls regarding safety concerns on Jasmine Street in front of the Meadowbrook Apartments with P & H MinePro traveling on the street with heavy equipment with a lot of children in the area. The Director of Public Works stated that the street was overlayed three years ago and is a nine ton road.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct Management Staff to contact P & H MinePro Management Staff regarding safety concerns with the children in the area and the damage to the road by hauling of heavy equipment on Jasmine Street. And further, if something can be worked out with the railroad to use the service road parallel to the railroad tracks for hauling heavy equipment off of Southern Drive. The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the preliminary 2003 audit figures. The Mayor stated that there was $874,997 in unreserved funds in the Capital Improvement Fund. The Mayor also stated that the City has approximately $1.3 million available in bonding funds for various projects that are not budgeted for such as the land exchange with the school, Heather Avenue project, street lighting in Ann�s Acres, Library improvements, and Mountain Manor. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to allow the letter to request a donation for park equipment for the Downtown Playground to be printed on city letterhead for the Downtown Committee to distribute. The motion carried.

Erik Wedge stated that the following bids were received for the Mountain Iron Library re-roofing project:

Bidder Base Bid Alt. Bid 1 Alt. Bid 2 Alt. Bid 3 Alt. Bid 4

Roof Tile Fiber Cmt Skylight Gyp.Bd.

Roofing Encl.__ 

E. H. Lawrence Company $63,986 $138,279 $136,068 $13,546 $8,135

Chisholm, Minnesota

Com-Con, Inc. $38,673 $ 14,622 $ 38,375 $18,488 $3,868

Hibbing, Minnesota

Oxford Construction $69,400 $ 23,800 no bid $ 5,300 $3,000

Aurora, Minnesota

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to accept the low bid of $57,163 from Com-Con, Inc. for the base bid plus alterative bid #1 for the old fashion tile, and alternate bid #4 for the artificial sky light. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to approve the following R. F. P.�s for the Mountain Iron Library ADA Renovations Phase II Project:

R. F. P. No. 9 Sub-bid from electrical $ 480.00

R. F. P. No. 10 Credit on Labor ($ 320.00)

R. F. P. No. 12 Kitchen modifications $19,188.00

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

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to set a hearing for June 7, 2004 for JOBZ tax free zones regarding the business subsidy criteria. The motion carried.

At 8:09 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

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

The Council discussed the Anderson Conditional Use Permit. Mrs. Peterson was present and questioned what the hours of business were. The Zoning Administrator stated that the hours of business are 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the Conditional Use Permit for Keith Ojanen to construct an off-site sign on parcel 175-0071-00965. The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the Community Development Block Grant pre-application. It was the consensus of the Council to have this item on the May 3rd City Council agenda.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 17-04, authorizing submission of an application to the Department of Employment and Economic Development�s contamination clean-up program, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). 

At 8:27 p.m., Mayor Skalko left the meeting. 

At 8:29 p.m., Mayor Skalko returned to the meeting.

The motion carried with Councilor Irish voting no.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if Minnesota Power had a street lighting program. The City Administrator said they do not have a street lighting program.

The Council discussed the negotiations regarding the land exchange with the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District. The City Administrator said that he contacted Mr. Techar to set up a meeting. Councilor Prebeg said that the Council needs to obtain cost estimates for the proposed improvements prior to the meeting being set.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to set a public hearing for the Heather Avenue drainage area for Wednesday, May 19th at 6:30 p.m., sending information and costs estimates to the residents in the affected area before the public hearing. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the purchase of 10 transformers from WESCO, Inc. at their low quoted price of $4,776.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski ask the Director of Public Works and the Parks and Recreation Director if there was a policy for hiring Summer Labor positions. Staff stated that there was no official policy, just a review of the applications and choosing the best applicants. The Recreation Director stated that his department conducts interviews also.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to authorize the purchase of the heavy weight fencing system for the Wacootah Overlook from Iron Oak Fencing at a cost of $4,697.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the West Two Rivers Caretaker agreement with Wilbur and Violette Ball, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to adopt the Plan of Action, Clean-up Schedule policy as drafted by City Staff regarding the parks, playgrounds, and public spaces as printed effective June 1st through Labor of each year and be in effect until rescinded by specific council motion, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the Street and Alley Committee to meet with the Administrative Staff to develop a City wide grass cutting policy and make a recommendation to the City Council. The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

At 9:07 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

Councilor Irish said that contacted Dave Owens regarding the bench to be installed by Nichols Town Hall. He also said that he contacted Sullivan Supply and the Card Club has 16 members and they need four tables and sixteen chairs to be purchased for the Nichols Town Hall from the Community Club remaining funds. Councilor Irish asked the City Council if the City would pay the balance if they go over the funds allotted on the Nichols Town Hall items. Councilor Irish said he would bring the request back to the Council if the items do go over the allotted amount.

At 9:09 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

The City Engineer reviewed the Spring Park Road Sanitary Sewer Extension Project with the City Council.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Engineer if they were reviewing the intersection of Spruce Drive and Aspen Lane. The City Engineer said they were working on it.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Engineer when the Summer Street Improvement Projects will be started. The City Engineer stated that the projects will begin approximately in mid June.

The City Council reviewed the March 2004 Sheriff�s Department activity report.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to adopt Resolution Number 18-04, creating an Economic Development Authority in the City of Mountain Iron along with all of the provisions stated on pages 67 through 71 of the April 19, 2004, City Council packet, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 19-04, dissolving the Mountain Iron Housing and Redevelopment Authority with an effective date of December 31, 2004, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Mayor said that he would have Economic Development Authority positions on the next regular City Council agenda. The Mayor requested that the City Administrator advise the current Housing and Redevelopment Authority to apply for the Economic Development Authority positions.

The Council discussed the proposed street vacations in the Costin area. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator prepare a draft resolution to vacate the two smaller roads in the Costin area.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Skalko to allow the City Engineer, at the next regular meeting, to present the costs and plans for the ATV trail before the pre-application of the grant is due. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution 15-04, accepting report and calling a hearing related to the petition the City received regarding the installation of water and sewer along Spring Park Road, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to adopt Resolution Number 16-04, to submit an updated application for the Mountain Iron Public Library accessibility grant, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to approve the additional 2003 actual expenditures for the Saint Louis County Sheriffs in the amount of $42,850.31 to be paid to the Saint Louis County Auditor. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to have the 20 banners that the City purchased, erected on the appropriate light poles in the Downtown area. Secondly, that the City purchase petunias and geraniums so that the City Crew can plant these flowers in the pots purchased last Summer and also in the flower box located in front of the Senior Center. These pots should then be distributed in the Downtown Area. The above work must be completed no later than June 7, 2004. Also, for the months of June, July and August, members of the Summer Work Crew will water these flowers every Monday and Thursday unless it is raining on these days. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; and Skalko, yes.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski questioned whether Law Enforcement, Administrative Staff, or City Employees could complete a follow-up check on the sump pump installation. The City Attorney stated that the City could complete an additional inspection by giving the homeowner reasonable notice by setting out a range of dates to inspect the sump pump in their house. 

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski questioned the liability for the City for City Employees traveling to workshops. The City Attorney said that if they are in the scope of their employment while at training, the City would be liable for the employee during regular working hours. 

At 9:43 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Minnesota Association of Small Cities, forwarding information and a sample resolution regarding local government aid issues.

League of Minnesota Cities, a memo seeking interested city officials to serve on the LMC policy committee.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the April 9, 2004 Friday Fax.

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, forwarding the CGMC Economic Development Committee Update.

Recent News

Campground Reservations

Contact Us