The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for August 07, 2000

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m. 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, Municipal Service Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; Greg French, City Engineer; and George Eilertson, Juran and Moody.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Add the following items to the agenda:

III. C. Discussion of the Group Home in Ann�s Acres

IV. A. 3. Pay Request � Jola & Sopp � Kinross Culvert Project

VI. I. Resolution #39-00, Authorizing the Sale of Property

2. Approve the minutes of the July 5, 2000, regular meeting as submitted.

3. Approve the minutes of the July 17, 2000, regular 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 July 16-31, 2000, totaling $422,796.01, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

6. Acknowledge the receipts for the period July 16-31, 2000, totaling $341,939.72, (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 6:37 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing for the street improvement program. The motion carried.

The Mayor reviewed the proposed street projects. The Mayor advised the public that North Court was added later in the process at the request of Ed Roskoski. He said the cost of the North Court project would be approximately $26,910 with an assessment rate for the residents at 90% and the city paying 10% of the project costs. The Mayor said that the estimated cost per foot for the project would be $41.00 per foot. The Mayor said that George Eilertson, Representative from Juran and Moody, was present and would answer any questions regarding the financing of the project. Ed Roskoski asked the Council if the proper procedure was followed for the street assessments. He said that he had received no estimated cost of assessments for the property owners for the project.

At 6:40 p.m., Sheriff Deputy Kevin Friebe entered the room.

Brian Hill, 19 North Court, spoke to the Council regarding the North Court assessments. He said that the street needs repairs because the original street improvement project was not completed properly.

The Engineer said that approximately100 feet of curbing needs to be removed, re-poured, and have the gutter made to specifications.

Terry Malmstrom, 7 North Court, said that he has no gutter in front of his house. He said that the gutter was removed to put the second patch on the street. He said that the residents got together with Mr. Roskoski and asked him to represent them at the City Council meeting. 

Councilor Skogman said that the cul-de-sac was put in 18 years ago over a peat base. He said the street has held up well and now needs to be reconstructed.

Anthony Perpich, 123 Spruce Drive, asked the Council where the project was going. He said his property is adjacent to North Court, but he does not use the cul-de-sac.

The Mayor said that the Council added the North Court project as a favor to the residents on North Court. He said that the North Court project should not be done.

George Eilertson said that the special assessment would be spread over 15 years with 8% interest with the ability to pre-pay the assessment in full with no interest added.

Councilor Olsen said that the North Court project would probably be cheaper because of the size of the entire project.

Ed Roskoski questioned whether the assessment rate is less on corner property. The Director of Public Works said that the special assessment rate for corner lots is 50% less on adjacent property that isn’t the primary access to the property.

At 7:07 p.m., it was moved by Matanich and supported by Skogman to close the public hearing and re-open the regular meeting. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to adopt Resolution 35-00, Ordering Improvement and Preparation of Plans, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

Also during the public forum, the Council discussed the Group Home in Ann’s Acres with residents. The Mayor said that the City Administrator sent a letter to Clyde Johnson, Empowerment Services, 102 Spruce Drive, requesting them to apply for a conditional use permit to run the group home.

The Mayor took comments from the audience regarding the Ann�s Acres Group Home. The following people spoke during the public hearing:

John Kingston, 108 Balsam Drive, Mountain Iron, asked what type of group home this would be?

Elizabeth Ramsay, 1610 9th Street South, Mountain Iron, said that her son, who is handicapped with autism, would be living at the 102 Spruce Drive address along with two other adolescent boys. She further stated that the three boys have had no mishaps with the legal system. Mr. Clyde Johnson would be the provider for the children.

The Mayor said that this is not a normal use of a home whether it is for profit or not for profit. The Council at this time will not be taking any position on the matter, until it goes through the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Jean Specht, 103 Spruce Drive, said she had concerns with the operation of a business across the street from their home. She said that there are cars parked on the lawn and the street, traffic congestion at the intersection of Spruce Drive and County Road 7, and there are single family dwellings in the area. The people applying for the Conditional Use Permit will not be residing in the home. She also stated concerns with the focus of the residents being autistic children changing to other conduct disorder children.

Mrs. Ramsey said that there is enough available parking in the area considering the property is a corner lot.

Eugene Specht, 103 Spruce Drive, said that the Group Home is a business owned by a corporation operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week with various employees parking their cars on the lawn and the street. He said that the owners have opened the business without a permit and have not stopped operation after receiving the letter from the City Administrator.

The Mayor said that if they were not complying with the letter received from the City, the matter would be turned over to the City Attorney.

Anthony Perpich, 123 Spruce Drive, asked if the residents of Ann�s Acres would be notified if a public hearing were set. The Municipal Service Secretary said that there would be a legal ad in the newspaper and the residents residing with 350 feet of the property would be notified by mail if the conditional use permit were applied for.

Mrs. Ramsey said that the children in the home were minors and were in foster care under the provisions of St. Louis County.

Sandy Pulis, 104 Spruce Drive, said that there are cars parked on the grass and in front of her house across the street. She said that if the parking were to continue into the winter, there would be a lot of accidents on the intersection of Spruce Drive and County Road 7.

The Mayor said that the City Attorney should be authorized to take action to look into the matter.

Clyde Johnson was present and said he would answer questions regarding the Group Home outside.

The Mayor advised the residents to not take this as a personal issue. He said that this is a legal issue that the City Council needs to deal with.

Also during the public forum, Dan Christenson, County Assessor�s office, spoke to the Council regarding the re-appraisals in the City of Mountain Iron. He said that, by law, the County Assessor�s office must re-appraise every property in Mountain Iron every four years. He said that the last time the re-appraisal was completed was in 1997. The property must be appraised at 100% of market value.

Also during the public forum, Frank Falkowski, 8427 Mud Lake Road, was present and questioned the Council regarding the proposed assessments on Unity Drive. He said that the deterioration of Unity Drive from Mud Lake Road to Emerald Drive was not done by the property owners, but by all of the truck traffic on the road during construction in the area.

Tom Nikolanci, 80 Park Drive, spoke to the Council regarding the proposed assessment on Unity Drive. He asked what the assessment rate would be on Unity Drive. The Mayor said that the street is not there now so there is no assessment classification for that street, but it would probably be either a collector with a 50% assessment or arterial street with a 10% assessment. Mr. Nikolanci said that four people would be paying the assessment for what will be the new main street in Mountain Iron.

The Mayor advised the residents that the Council could not change the assessment policy and they need to treat everyone in town fairly.

Councilor Skogman said that the City Council should review the assessment policy regarding the construction of a new road in the City.

Darlene Poppenhagen, 409 2nd Street, Parkville, said that her husband has been under a doctor�s care for the last 2 � years. She was seeking permission from the Council to put a trailer on her property for her son to live on the property and help take care of her husband. The Mayor advised her to come to the City Hall and get an application for permits to place the trailer on her property.

George Eilertson, Juran and Moody, said that for the street improvements referenced earlier, the City must follow several statutory steps for bonding. The bond counsel has said that the City has completed the appropriate steps for the assessments.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to adopt Resolution 36-00, awarding the bid, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to approve payment request number five to Hammerlund Construction, Inc. in the amount of $104,964.93 for work completed on the Residential Housing Development Street and Utility Construction Project. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to approve payment request number one to Jola and Sopp Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $27,923.35 for the Kinross Ditch Culvert Replacement. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Engineer advised the Council that Jacobsen Construction has completed the South Grove Ball field. He said that additional material was added to build up pads to create future dugouts.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve the following payments for the Community Center/City Hall project:

H. G. Harvey $ 5,595.00

Anderson Glass $ 4,007.00

Hecimovich Mechanical $ 5,059.00

After some discussion, Skogman amended his motion to exclude the payment to Hecimovich Mechanical in the amount of $5,059.00, Matanich supported the amendment and the Council approved the amendment to the motion unanimously. The vote on the motion as amended was approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Matanich and supported by Skogman to authorize payment to Kraus-Anderson in the amount of $32,268.30. After some discussion, Matanich amended his motion to withhold the 3.5% of the Hecimovich payment of $5,059.00 in the amount of $177.07, Skogman supported the amendment and the Council voted unanimously to approve. The vote on the motion as amended was approved on the following roll call vote: Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; Matanich, yes; Piri, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to accept the recommendation of the Personal Committee and hire Lenny Albrecht and Mike Dundas for the labor positions. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Skogman to approve the continued employment of Jeff Marks. The motion carried.

The Council discussed the Hughes Conditional Use Permit application. The Mayor advised Mr. Hughes that he needs to apply for a variance for the signs.

It was moved by Piri to deny the Conditional Use Permit for Frank Hughes. The motion died for lack of support.

The Council discussed the 60-day time limit for the approval of the permit.

The Mayor said that no action had been taken on the Hughes Conditional Use Permit.

The Director of Public Works said that there was no new information on the Virginia Public Utilities acquisition.

The Council reviewed the Historic Preservation information. Councilor Olsen requested that copies of the historic designation information be sent to the downtown property owners, (Benchmark Engineering, the Bank Building owners, and Ted Newberg).

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to proceed with the market feasibility study for a golf course in the amount of $7,880.00 plus expenses and apply the $3,500.00 IRRRB grant to the cost of report. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Skogman, yes, Matanich, yes, Piri, no; Olsen, yes and Brunfelt, yes.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to designate Unity Drive as an Arterial Road with a 90-10-assessment ratio and overturn the past City Council�s motion not to allow commercial access onto Unity Drive. After further discussion, Councilor Piri withdrew his motion and Councilor Matanich withdrew his support.

The Mayor said that the Unity Drive designation was tabled to allow City Staff to contact affected property owners regarding the change in the policy. The Director of Public works said that there would be another public hearing before assessments are ordered to further discuss.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to table the designation of the Unity Drive until the final assessment hearing. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to adopt Resolution 37-00, Authorizing Issuance and Sale of Street Improvement Bonds, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to adopt Resolution 38-00, Building Quality Communities, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to approve designating Juran and Moody as an official depository. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen that the Council appoint the following to serve as election judges for the September 12, 2000, Primary Election and the November 7, 2000, General Election:

Precinct #1 – City Hall Precinct#2 � City Hall

Caroline Kujala Dorothy Anderson

Gertrude Buria Gladys Bergquist

Sheri Johnson Phyllis Yelenich

Lorraine Buffetta Ellen Nelson

The motion carried with Councilor Skogman voting no.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to adopt Resolution 39-00, authorizing the Sale of Certain Property, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

During the Mayor�s report, he commended all of the people that worked on the Merritt Days Celebration and the All-Class Reunion stating that it was a big success.

During the open discussion, Councilor Olsen, commented on the poor job that the County did on overlaying a portion of Mineral Avenue. The Mayor directed City Staff to write a letter to St. Louis County regarding the Council�s concerns regarding the Mineral Avenue overlay.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Matanich said that blinds are needed in the Council Chambers, the podium needs to be brought back in, and a clock needs to be put up.

At 9:10 p.m., it was moved by Matanich and supported by Piri that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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