The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for August 07, 2006

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

AUGUST 7, 2006

Mayor Skalko called the City Council 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; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; and Wade Rasch, Sergeant.

The Mayor welcomed the audience and the television viewing audience to the meeting.

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

Approve the minutes of the July 17, 2006, City Council meeting with the following correction:

Page 2, paragraph 9, “The Mayor said that on July 12, 2006, Councilor Prebeg, Council Roskoski��”

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 July 16-31, 2006, totaling $413,987.17, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period July 16-31, 2006, totaling $385,545.46, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Jerry Postudensek asked the City Council if the City would be willing to extend the sewer lines to his property on Lots 25, 26, & 27, Block 3, Ann�s Acres Addition (8387 Tamarack Drive). He said that he is planning on constructing a home on the property. The Director of Public Works stated that the City policy is that the property owner is responsible to connect from the sewer main line to the property. Mr. Postudensek asked that he be notified if the City had plans to upgrade Tamarack Drive, so he would not have to repair the street if he had the sewer line extended at the same time.

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor advised the Council that he had received a letter from Commissioner Nelson regarding Saint Louis County bringing the History Train into Mountain Iron for the Merritt Days Celebration. The Mayor thanked the Recreation Director for all of his work on the Celebration. 

The Mayor said that had been contacted regarding concerns with the red iron ore on Mineral Avenue by the wood yard and biomass projects. He said that he met with Terry Leoni regarding the ore on Mineral Avenue. Mr. Leoni advised him that the orange iron ore would be covered with a fiber lining and a minimum of eight inches of Class 5 gravel. The Mayor also updated the Council regarding the Renewable Energy Grant. 

The Mayor also said that the City Council should discuss the street assessment classifications. He said that he would like to propose that the Special Assessment Policy be reviewed in January of 2007 with the newly elected Council members through a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting.

The Mayor said that the house located next to Wayne Motors on Main Street needs to be reviewed for safety and health hazards. He said that this would be on the next City Council meeting agenda. 

The Mayor stated the Council had received letters from the City Administrator and the Director of Public Works to open their employment contract to negotiate with the City Council. Councilor Roskoski questioned why the Director of Parks and Recreation and the Librarian did not submit letters to open their contracts. The Mayor stated that the Personnel Committee should contact the Librarian regarding her contract.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Administrator regarding Minntac hauling on Mineral Avenue regarding a rumor that they would be hauling through the end of the year. The City Administrator said that was just a rumor.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding sewer and water tap-ins completed in the City with regard to who pays for what. The Director of Public Works said that the tap-in fees covers the inspection and supplies used.

Councilor Roskoski questioned whether the sidewalk by Benchmark Engineering was completed. The Director of Public Works said that the project was not completed because some emergencies occurred and the City Crew had to work on them first.

The Mayor asked the Director of Public Works when the Library elevator was going to be inspected. The Director of Public Works said that the elevator was set to be inspected on August 11, 2006.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Sergeant regarding the 9-1-1 Emergency in the Stoney Brook and Lambert Addition. The Sergeant stated that the problem was due to human error and there was no problem with the addressing or signs. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to hire Dave Taus as the Head Girls Softball Coach at a salary of $1,000 for the season and to hire Chelsea Taus as the Assistant Girls Softball Coach for $6.15 per hour. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, did not vote; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the Park and Recreation Board and install a light to be located in the Downtown Park pending approval of the Mountain Iron-Buhl School Board. The motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to approve the barricading of the streets for the Merritt Days Celebration and also approve the list of events for August 11th and 12th, 2006. The motion carried.

Sergeant Rasch advised the Council that he coordinates the “Safe and Sober Program” for Northern Saint Louis County and he informed the Council and Residents that now through the Labor Day holiday there would be increased enforcement and emphasis on DUI�s to keep drunk drivers off the road.

Councilor Roskoski said that residents that live on Mineral Avenue have said that the truck drivers hauling to Minntac are driving too fast through the Downtown area. The Sergeant stated that the contractors that work with Ulland Brothers have been advised of the safety issues, particularly on Mineral Avenue. He said that the Sheriff�s Department have been monitoring the speed issues on Mineral Avenue. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct the City Engineer to call for bids on Alternate A, add sidewalk on the south side of Unity Drive to Cameo Lane, at a cost of $61,554.93 and Alternate B, to add curb and gutter, at a cost of $18,000.00. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to add a sidewalk on the south side of Unity Drive to Mud Lake Road at a cost of $117,989.21 and add curb and gutter at a cost of $40,875.00. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct the City Engineer to complete the plans and specifications on the south end of Unity Drive, including the sidewalk, and the parking lot paving at the City Garage. The motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct the City Administrator to forward the conceptional plan of Unity Second Addition to the Planning and Zoning Commission for their ideas and suggestions. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the Conditional Use Permit for Perry Fiorini, 5386 South Court, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0012-00690, to construct a 32 foot by 36 foot accessory building. The motion carried.

At 7:47 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

At 7:50 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution #20-06 grant application, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to appoint the following to serve as Election Judges for the September 12, 2006, Primary Election and the November 7, 2006, General Election and complete the necessary training to serve as an election judge:

Precinct #1-City Hall, Wacootah Room Precinct #2�City Hall, Iroquois Room

Caroline Kujala, Head Judge Marilyn Perpich, Head Judge

Gertrude Buria Margaret Florip

Sheri Johnson Linda Strukel

June Ross Barb Fivecoate

And further, authorize them to be paid $8.00 per hour for training and election hours and provide a hot meal to the election judges on the election days. The motion carried.

The following quotes were received on Friday, August 4, 2006 for the installation of air conditioning at the Library:

Heisel Brothers $18,723.00

A & A Plumbing $17,752.00

North Country Heating $18,500.00

A-1 Refrigeration $13,342.34

Climate Makers $38,500.00

Shannons $18,745.00

Duffney & Sons (2 quotes) $13,920.00 & $13,755.00

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to accept the low quote of A-1 in the amount of $13,342.34 for the air conditioning project for the library upstairs area. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor thanked the Director of Public Works for all of his work on the Library Project. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to approve of the temporary on-sale liquor license for the American Legion Post 220 for August 11th and 12th, 2006 pending approval from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division. The motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to approve the following signs for the Mesabi Trail as follows:

Mountain Iron�s Granite Quarry

In 1934, the Mesaba Granite Company opened a quarry 2 � miles north of Mountain Iron in T59 R8 Sec 28 and is the site of Minntac today. The Quarry was located near the west end of the Taconite Concentrator. By 1941, it had produced more than 50,000 linear feet of pink monument stone, much of it sent to St. Cloud. It became inactive in the 1950s.

Otto Johnson Property

Trolley passengers enjoyed traveling through Parkville and viewing Otto Johnson�s “Hansel & Gretel” house with its heavily molded roof, statuary, landscaped lawns and stone walls. It earned a spot on the National Register of Historic places, but lost its designation when the home was demolished in the 1990s and replaced with a new structure. The stone fence still remains.

The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff and any Council member that wishes to help, draft a policy/procedure so that Mountain Iron citizens can procure useable firewood from the brush pile site at the City recycling area and have said policy/procedure placed on the August 21st City Council agenda for review and possible implementation. The motion failed with Prebeg, Nelson, Irish, and Skalko voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to authorize a donation to the Mountain Iron/Buhl Quarterback Club in the amount of $100 from the Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish requested that City Staff forward a copy of the policy for the charges for water and sewer connections. Councilor Roskoski also requested a copy.

At 8:15 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Mountain Iron/Buhl Quarterback Club, a request for a donation.

Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, forwarding the 2007 proposed budget, tax levy, and notice for a public hearing on August 21, 2006 in Duluth.

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