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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for April 22, 2003

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

LOCAL BOARD OF APPEAL AND EQUALIZATION

APRIL 22, 2003

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 Skalko. Also present were: Judy Seurer, Accounting Technician, Mel Hintz, Residential Real Estate Appraiser for Saint Louis County; Cindy Okstad, Commercial Real Estate Appraiser for Saint Louis County and John Jokinen, Appraiser for Saint Louis County.

The Mayor outlined the format that would be followed for the meeting. He also stated that the meeting would be recessed tonight and reconvened on Monday, May 5, 2003.

The following people spoke before the board:

Peter Cerkvenik, 5476 Mineral Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0070-1645, thinks his valuation was raised with no justification because no improvements have been done. He feels the value should be reduced to below $100,000. Mr. Cerkvenik questioned the selling price of Ann Barone�s house on Mineral Avenue as a comparison. The assessor informed him it was sold for $110,000.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Prebeg to direct the County Assessor to re-evaluate parcel 175-0070-1645 and bring a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Jason Goehring, 5472 Park Drive, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0055-02682, stated that the value of his property was raised from $149,100 to $167,000. The appraisal he had done two years ago set the value at $150,500. Don�t understand reason for increase. He doesn�t think the increase is appropriate. He wants it lowered to the level of last year. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to have parcel 175-0055-02682 re-evaluated by the County Assessor, with a recommendation brought to the Board. The motion carried.

Robert Eilola, 5350 Sainio Road, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0070-01472, stated that his property is taxed as commercial property because of the kennels on the property. He doesn�t do any training anymore. The total revenues from the kennels is $4-$5000 per year. He doesn�t want to be taxed as a commercial property anymore, as the kennels are just a hobby not a business. He has no employees and no sign advertising a business. Assessor Jokinen stated that he must check with the commercial appraiser for classification. Mr. Eilola stated that his phone number is in the yellow pages. Assessor Hintz stated that a metal building tends to have multiple uses and that the County has a policy on what is considered commercial policy. The policy would ask such questions as did you need conditional use permit to operate the business, is there a sign, do you have regular customers, do you have employees? If the answer to any of these were yes, then the property would be considered commercial. The property will revert to homestead if the business is closed. Mr. Eilola questioned the tax rates for residential versus commercial. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to have Commercial Real Estate Appraiser, Cindy Okstad meet with Mr. Eilola concerning his issues. The motion carried.

Gerald Claesson, 5416 Garden Drive South, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0055-01275, questioned that if the Barone house sold for $110,000, why is his house, which is smaller, valued at $105,000? He feels that his property value should be lowered. The second point he wanted to make, was why don�t they drop everybody in town 10% instead of anyone that shows up at this meeting? Mayor Skalko stated that he was not ready to drop the overall percentage. Assessor Hintz stated that there is a limit to a reduction in value of 1% of the total market value of the City. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to have the County Assessor re-evaluate parcel 175-0055-01275 and bring a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Joyce Hanson, 5661 Eagle Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0051-00015, stated that her value was $68,000 in 2002-2003 and now is $75,400. She has a 100 year old home and thinks the value is too high. The value was dropped a couple years ago by $5,000. No improvements have been made since then. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to have the County Assessor re-evaluate parcel 175-0051-00015 and bring a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Alan Stanaway, 5152 Spirit Lake Road, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0071-02550, stated the value of his property has increased $36,000 since he purchased it. No improvements have been made. He feels the increase is too high. Last year the value was $145,000, now it is $152,300. Assessor Hintz stated that a 5% increase was State mandated because 88.2% of marketable value was the median level in city and by State law it has to be 90%. The State would automatically implement an increase in June if the County had not applied the 5% increase now. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to have the County Assessor re-evaluate parcel 175-0071-02550 and bring a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Glen Avikainen, 8750 Fairview Lane, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0055-00300, stated that every year the value of his property increases, even though the house needs new windows and roof, the garage floor is cracked and no improvements have been made. It is not worth the valuation. The value increased $3,100 this year to $65,300. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to have the County Assessor re-evaluate parcel 175-0055-00300 and bring a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Judith Niska, 4945 Voss Road, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0071-04034, stated that the last 4 years the valuation of their property has gone up $28,000. It needs a new roof, shingles and basement. The property is next to a flood plain. The valuation increased $4800 from last year to $101,800 this year. If they were to sell, she doesn�t know if they could because of the flood plain issue. Councilor Irish asked if the Board should have the building inspector evaluate the property concerning flood plain problem. Assessor Hintz stated that there could be a classification change due to the flood plain issue. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to have the County Assessors look at the classification due to the flood plain issue on parcel 175-0071-04034 and re-evaluate it accordingly and make a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Robert Strukel, 5490 Marion Lane, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0017-00100, stated the value of his property has gone up from $81,000 to $128,000. He wants an explanation of why the value went up in six years. He asked if there a limit on how much the value can be raised. Assessor Jokinen stated there is no limit. Mr. Strukel asked if it is because of the number of sales in neighborhood. His house is 22 years old, a new roof was put on as well as fascia and soffits. He stated he is just maintaining the house, no improvements have been made. Mr. Strukel stated this is a 52% increase in valuation. Councilor Prebeg asked if there is a formula based on sales to determine valuation. Assessor Hintz stated that every four years a complete appraisal of the City is done. Also, an indexed schedule of valuation is made based on sales in the City. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to have the County Assessor re-evaluate parcel 175-0017-00100 and make a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried. 

Rose Rynes, 5413 Daffodil Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0069-00480, complained about the increase in the valuation of her property. She stated she couldn�t afford to pay more property taxes. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to have parcel 175-0069-00480 re-evaluated by the County Assessor and have him make a recommendation to the Board. Assessor Hintz stated the valuation increase is only the 5%. The motion carried.

Arnold Suihkonen, 9287 Old Highway 169, Mountain Iron, Parcel 175-0071-01990, stated that from 2000 to 2004 the valuation of his property has gone up $17,000, with only $1500 of improvements put in. $86,300 is its present valuation. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to have parcel 175-0071-01990 re-evaluated by the County Assessor and a recommendation made to the Board. The motion carried.

Tom Seitz, 5435 Heather Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0071-01310, stated that his home is three years old. His assessment keeps going up, up $16,000 for next year. He is not on a paved road. He asked how many homes in Mountain Iron not on a paved road had their valuation go up? $176,000 is his value now. He stated that he is worried about the future. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to have the County Assessor look at location of property for parcel 175-0071-01310 in regards to valuation and make a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Tim Anderson, 5475 Heather Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0071-01305, stated he had the same complaint as Tom Seitz. The value of his property is too high in relation to the condition of road. The road creates a mess, he has made no improvements to his house and it was give a $165,000 value. The Council suggested meeting with Streets Committee to consider having the road paved. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to have the County Assessor re-evaluate parcel 175-0071-01305 and make a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Mel Anderson, 4971 Highway 7, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0071�03798, wants the value of his property held at $149,100. He stated that he has no city services. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to have the County Assessor re-evaluate parcel 175-0071-03798and make a recommendation to the Board. The motion carried.

Arnold Suihkonen questioned if valuations are based on city services. The County Assessor stated that is taken into consideration.

Matt Kishel, 5483 Bluebell Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0013-00170, stated that his neighbor sold his property for $58,000. He asked why his valuation at $60,000. The only improvement done is new roof. The value was $38,000 when he moved in and now is up to $63,400. He wants the valuation checked.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to have parcel 175-0013-00170 re-evaluated by the County Assessor and a recommendation made to the Board. The motion carried.

The following appealed in writing:

William Dundas, 5468 Garden Drive North, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0055-02510, protested the total real estate taxes he is required to pay.

William Riccio, 8791 Mud Lake Road, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0055-00515, stated that the property was valued too high.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to have the following re-evaluated by the County Assessor and a recommendation made to the Board: William Dundas, 5468 Garden Drive North, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0055-02510 and William Riccio, 8791 Mud Lake Road, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0055-00515. The motion carried.

At 7:34 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 5, 2003. The motion carried.

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