The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for April 28, 2009

APRIL 28, 2009

Mayor Skalko called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Anderson, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; and Eric Fallstrom, Benchmark Engineering.

There were 17 residents present at the meeting.

The Mayor informed the public present that this was a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting to get input from the residents from the Westgate neighborhood regarding the drainage in the area. The City assessment policy on drainage improvements is 90% to the property owner and 10% to the City. 

Eric Fallstrom explained the scope of the proposed project to the public and referenced a map of the area. He said that an estimate was prepared by the engineers in 2007. He said that the project would involve placing pipe in the deep ditches and backfilling the ditch. He said that this would be minimal work with an estimated cost of $220,000. He said that additional excavation and surveying would need to be completed to determine how much storm sewer work would need to be done. He said that the Council was seeking public input following direction of the Street and Alley Committee.

Councilor Prebeg asked the residents to state what problems that they are currently having in the area. 

Dave Paakkonen, 8365 Marigold Street, said that he has lived in the area for 22 years. He said that following heavy rainfalls there is water that comes to ten feet from his door. He said that most of the water stays in the storm ditch.

The Mayor said that when Westgate Addition was originally developed, the area was swampy.

Ann Williams, 8380 Marigold Street, said that she has a lot of standing water in her yard, difficult to mow because of the water, the ditches are deep, and they have three small children and the standing water is dangerous. She also felt that the corner lots were the worst. 

The residents questioned why the ditch was worked on by the Meadowbrook Apartment Comlex.

The Director of Public Works said that the Meadowbrook Project was completed because of direction made by the City Council. He said that the biggest ditches were located there and they felt that if these ditches were taken care of that this would help the drainage in the entire area. He also said that when the roads were initially put in that the residents did not want curb and gutter installed because of the additional costs. The project was completed in the most economical way. He said that to correct the problem from previous years that the streets would need to be removed, lowered, add curb and gutter, and storm sewers and this would be extremely expensive. He also said that in the early 1980’s that a storm sewer was installed on Jasmine Street from County Road 7 to the Nelson-Williams property in the industrial park. 

Keith Altobelli, 8366 Marigold Street, questioned the amounts assessed to Meadowbrook Apartments, Valvoline/Plaza 53 and Westgate residents. 

Councilor Prebeg explained to the public that the assessment policy in place and the Council is required to follow the policy.

Bill Bond, 5429 Daisy Avenue, said that his ditching was completed and he was never assessed for it. 

Dan Prebeg, 5418 Bluebell Avenue, he said that on his property, his front yard is depressed because the back slope on the ditch is slumped. His sidewalk is cracking and a 30 year old tree in his front yard is leaning. He is concerned that he will have structural damage.
Barb Fivecoate, 5422 Daisy Avenue, Meadowbrook shut down the curb/gutter project was shut down because of the costs of the project because they didn’t want to pay the assessments. 

Andrew Auto, 8384 Gardenia Street, The residents petition for the curb/gutter project to be completed, but Meadowbrook didn’t want it done.

The Mayor said that the City….62 letters were mailed out for the meeting. Too bad there wasn’t a better turnout for the meeting. Do the people present want to move forward with the project. 

Mike Morin, 5425 Daisy Avenue, called about the problem and no one called him back. His culvert is raising and is a problem. Water goes into Bill Bonds yard and sits. His whole yard gets wet. Putting pipe into the ditch and he would have to raise the level of his yard.

Ann Williams, policy was in the 90’s, Bond was done in the 2000 and they weren’t charged. Corner lots are the worst, deep ditches, hard to mow, dangerous. Skip Nelimark also has a real deep ditch.

Autio, the questions were raised about money initially. Seek grant funds. Ed Roskoski-IRRR grants program for public infrastructure-part city money, part grant….don’t know if anything would happen. Maybe a grant could buy down the costs. The mayor said that most of the funds are low interest loans. The City is currently focusing on the WWTP. The mayor said that the City is continually applying for grants. The Mayor said that Roskoski has three lots in this area and he has a conflict of interest. The Mayor said that he 

Gary Pagliacetti, 5418 Carnation, ditches are really deep in his back lots. Agrees that some of the ditching would help. Gets some standing water when it rains, but dries up in a couple of days. Good drainage along Gardenia. Plan showing drainage-assessment in the area-assessed to the adjacent property or all in the drainage area. CJW said that the assessment would be in the drainage area. The Engineer would have to complete the elevations and complete a drainage pattern to determine who would be assessed. 

Keith said that he sent a letter in a couple of years ago with a lot of signatures from the neighbors.

Joe Prebeg-looking for what the residents want to do, so the Council can plan for future projects. Beginning the process.

Barb-between Daffodil and Daisy-drainage is horrible. Lot is wet all year round. Needs to have something done to improve this. She is not on a corner.

Mayor-worst area seem to be the corners? IRRR funding will be affected because of the mining downturn. Look for grant funding next Spring.

Zupancich-if the residents want this done, the engineer should proceed with determining the needs, seek funding. 

Dan Prebeg-should have a hydrology study should be completed to see who should will be paying for the project.

Bonds-has preliminary engineering completed. Eric-very little field work has been completed. Eric-only a visual exam has been completed. Bond-water going from East to West? Eric-Carnation is the hinge point. Bond-doesn’t have any particular problem with water, it seems to flow out of there. 

Dan Prebeg-water drains out of ditch, but is concerned with structural damage to his house.

Mayor-asked how many would like to see the project progress. Approximately 14 raised hands saying they wanted the project to move forward. 

Joe Prebeg-asked if ditching work can be completed to improve the area. DVK said that he can continue to do ditching, but won’t solve the problem. By proceeding with the drainage study, the cost estimates can be developed to accomplish what the residents want and how to proceed. 

Dave Paakkonen, bought in 86 and spread 30 yards of fill in yard. 

Chris Luzovich, has a huge deep ditch in front of her house. Water was up to her front door.

Stanaway said he drove through the area and agreed that there was standing water in the area.

Mark Morin, daisy, water flows into his yard because he has no ditch in his yard. Has had 8-10 inches of water and then it takes a week to ten days to for the yard to dry up. 

Roskoski-Highway 7, need to work with the County to do ditching. 

Luzovich, has never asked for curb/gutter, just put in a culvert and cover it with dirt.

Dan Prebeg-the soil is the problem in the area. Culverts will eventually fill up again.

Keith-this is going to take time….is it possible to get the culverts flushed and cleaned out this summer? DVK will have to review the situation. 

Paakkoenen, living in a most helpful city. Good to live in Mountain Iron.

The Mayor said that the Council needs to budget for this, right now they will have to try some temporary fixes.

Dan Prebeg-have a tie into the sanitary sewer with the sump pump.

At 7:40 p.m. that the meeting be adjourned.

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