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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for August 21, 2006

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

AUGUST 21, 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; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; Paul Cerkvenik, City Attorney; 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:

Add the following item to the agenda:

IV. A. 3. Labor/Management Meeting

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 August 1-15, 2006, totaling $161,534.17, (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 $172,719.48, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor thanked the Park and Recreation Director and City Staff that worked during the Merritt Days Celebration.

The Mayor advised the Council that he was scheduled to meet with the Mountain Iron Fire Department on August 28, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.

The Mayor updated the Council on the Walgreen Project. He said that the bank has now been moved out of the area and the Voyageur North Motel was set to be demolished on September 28, 2006. He said that the Walgreen store should be opening in late Spring.

The Mayor advised the Council that the Fire Department was awarded a $36,000 grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Mayor thanked Joe Buria for working on the grants. He said that the City would have to contribute 5% matching funds towards the grant.

The Mayor advised the Council that the Librarian was interested in working with the Council regarding her employment contract.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to appoint Jill Kinney to complete the unexpired term of Debbie Lewis on the Library Board with the term expiring on December 31, 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct the Zoning Administrator and the Fire Chief to investigate the property located at 5741 Mesabi Avenue and make a recommendation to the City Council with regard to safety hazards. After further discussion, Skalko amended the motion to seek legal advise from the City Attorney, the Sheriffs Department, and the Blight Officer. Prebeg supported the amendments. The amended motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to schedule a Labor/Management Meeting for Tuesday, September 12, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the City Hall. The motion carried.

The City Administrator advised the Council that a Representative from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities would be at the City Hall on Wednesday, August 23, 2006, at 3:00 p.m.

The Mayor asked the Administrator if he had contacted Qwest regarding the DSL service in the City of Mountain Iron. He said that he had spoke with the Government Representative at Qwest and she was inquiring within the organization to see if anything could be done. The Mayor requested that he contact them again to follow up on the request.

Councilor Roskoski inquired about the truck hauling for the Biomass Project. He requested that the Administrator contact the Representatives with the Laurentian Biomass Project and remind them of the verbal agreement regarding hauling on the City roads, restricting to south on County Road 102 and then onto Highway 169, avoiding the residential areas. The Mayor said that he would contact Terry Leoni regarding the truck hauling for the project.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that concerns about all utility connections, disconnects, inspections, backfilling, street patching, sidewalk and culvert repairs, be forwarded to the Utility Advisory Board for review, policy clarification, and any additional cleanup of necessary policy language. And further, to have this information forwarded to the City Council for review and possible implementation. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the Utility Advisory Board to draft a policy regarding the short term use of the 300 gallon garbage containers for possible implementation. After further discussion, Roskoski withdrew his motion and Irish withdrew his support. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to call for bids on an aerial bucket truck for use in the Electric Department. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no and Councilor Irish not voting.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works if the Contractors completing the crack filling project this year would be coming into town to complete the job. The Director of Public Works said that the Contractor had originally scheduled the project for the first week in August and they were unable to make the original appointment and the project had not been rescheduled yet.

The Council reviewed the Sheriff�s Department monthly activity report for July.

Councilor Roskoski stated that his questions regarding the Administrator Hearing for P & H MinePro were answered by City Staff in the agenda packet.

The Council discussed the Truck Hauling Policy. No further action was taken.

It was moved by Roskoski to have the City Attorney, the City Engineer, the Director of Public Works and the City Administrator meet and draft a Truck Hauling Policy that is simple to understand, but in enforceable language for the City Council to review for possible implementation. The motion failed for lack of support.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Attorney what the status of the blight property in the Kinross area at 9356 Old Highway 169 was. The City Attorney would check on the matter and report back to the Council. 

Councilor Prebeg asked the City Attorney whether a mobile home that is placed on top of a basement could be replaced on the property in Downtown Mountain Iron, using a grandfather clause in the ordinance. The City Attorney would check further into the matter and report back to the Council.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Council regarding authorizing calling for bids for more projects than the City has funds for. The Mayor advised Councilor Roskoski that the City was awarded a $150,000 IRRRA Grant and there is a chance to get an additional $100,000 for the Unity Drive Improvement Project.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 21-06, adopting an all hazard mitigation plan, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 22-06, opposing the motor vehicle sales tax constitutional amendment, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). After further discussion, Skalko withdrew his motion and Prebeg withdrew his support.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 23-06, approving the proposed 2007 market rate based referendum levy for the general obligation community center bonds and interest, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 24-06, approving the proposed 2006 tax levy, collectable 2007, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski and Irish voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to authorize City Staff to post the part time Assistant Librarian position internally for ten days as required. After further discussion, Nelson amended his motion to allow the Assistant Librarian the seniority as long as it does not allow her or make her part of the old contract. Skalko supported the amendment. After further discussion, Nelson rescinded the amendment and Skalko supported rescinding the amendment. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson the authorize the purchase of part of the Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Section 10, Township 58, Range 18 West, from U. S. S. Real Estate for a purchase price of $18,000.00. It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to table the U. S. S. land purchase until the City Attorney can clarify the language in the Development Agreement, specify if is beyond our control, maybe the City does not have to be under the guarantee that there would be a road easement. The motion carried to table the matter. It was the consensus of the Council to have this item on next meeting agenda. 

It was moved by Roskoski that regarding the original garbage dump site that is buried under the tailing pond, that the City Administrator resubmit the grant application with new facts and statistics to see if they would increase the amount of the grant. After further discussion, Roskoski withdrew his motion.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to accept the bid from KGM for the clean-up of the former dump located on the property at a price not to exceed $506,172 using the $239,100 grant funds from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Also, instruct the City Administrator to apply for additional grant funds explaining that in the three year period since the original grant was approved, the costs have increased. The motion carried with Roskoski voting no and Irish not voting.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to reschedule the next regular City Council meeting to Tuesday, September 5, 2006, at 6:30 p.m. at the Mountain Iron Community Center due to the Labor Day Holiday. The motion carried.

During the open discussion, Councilor Prebeg questioned if the Street and Alley Committee had met and discussed the “Reduced Speed” or “Children at Play” sign request made approximately two years ago for Ostman Road in Kinross. Councilor Roskoski said that the Committee had acted on this request and he thought the discussion was that there was not enough traffic on the road to authorize the additional signage. Councilor Prebeg requested that this item be followed up on.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Prebeg said that at the Mud Lake Road/Unity Drive corner there is a three way stop and the north traffic does not have to stop and he felt that this should be a four-way stop. Sergeant Rasch said that he felt that a four-way stop at this intersection would be a good idea. 

Councilor Roskoski made a statement regarding economic development and the dump site cleanup. He said that the only things that are going to be put on the dump site would be trees from the logging firm and he wondered why the site would need to be cleaned up in the first place. 

Councilor Nelson said that it kind of bothers him that some of the Council members are not voting on all issues. He said that the Council Members are elected to make decisions and vote on issues and not sit at the meeting and not vote on all issues.

Councilor Irish stated the City needs to look at what the economic development is actually doing for Mountain Iron with regard to paying taxes and employing people. He said that he is not against economic development, but he wants to look at the benefits for the City.

Councilor Roskoski commented on his not voting on some of the issues. He said that he is not voting on issues that should not even be brought to the Council for a vote.

At 8:38 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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