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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for December 01, 2003

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

DECEMBER 1, 2003

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; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.

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

Add the following item to the agenda:

IV. A. Christmas Tree for the Downtown Area

Approve the minutes of the November 17, 2003, City Council meeting as submitted

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 November 1-15 2003, totaling $63,568.66, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period November 1-15, 2003, totaling $198,154.31, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

During the public forum, Tami Petersen, 5482 Heather Avenue, asked what the status was on the businesses that are being run on the property of Tim Anderson. The City Administrator said that the situation was turned over to the Zoning Administrator. Mrs. Petersen said it has now been a month since her initial request was made on the situation. She said there is excessive traffic, speed, and loud exhaust from vehicles coming and going from the Anderson property. She said that the Heather Avenue area is not a neighborhood, it is an industrial zone. She also said that Mr. Anderson is conducting an excavating business and pulp business out of his residential property.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to decorate one of the pine trees for a Christmas tree in the Library yard or by the Rock in the High School yard, purchase some lighting, and have the lights up from December 10, 2003 until January 15, 2003. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

The Mayor requested that the City Administrator to check with the Personnel Committee regarding the union proposal for an early retirement discussions.

During the City Administrator�s report, the Administrator said that he reviews health insurance rates annually and this is the first year that the Northeast Service Cooperative rates came in less expensive than our current rates through Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Mick Giblin, the City�s insurance representative from the Greater Minnesota Agency, was present and introduced Paul Brinkman and Mike Grahek, representatives from the Northeast Service Cooperative, to discuss their joint powers agreement. Mr. Giblin stated that the City would save a minimum of $17,000 in 2004 for Health Insurance benefits through the Northeast Service Cooperative. Mr. Giblin said that there would be no change in the current benefit structure for the City Employees. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to adopt the joint powers agreement for group employee benefits and other financial and risk management services with the Northeast Service Cooperative contingent on the City Attorney�s approval and authorize the payment of the $75.00 membership fee. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve the amendment to the service agreement for the collection of residential and commercial recyclable materials with Saint Louis County, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The City Administrator questioned Councilor Roskoski�s motion regarding the special assessment letter. He advised Councilor Roskoski that the dates refer to in the letter were for the life of the special assessment, not just this year. The Administrator said that the letter has not gone out because he wanted clarification from Councilor Roskoski. Councilor Roskoski stated that the City Administrator could modify the letter so it would be easier to understand. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the Director of Public Works and reimburse Larry Nelson, Ziebart, for $849.76, fix the light on the light poles by Ziebart and check with legal services with regard to collecting the funds from Direct Plumbing and Heating. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; and Skalko, yes. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to contact Mr. John Thomas, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and invite him to attend a regular city council meeting or to set a special council meeting to fit Mr. Thomas�s schedule, to discuss the notice of violation. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the Director of Public Works and direct the City Engineer to prepare plans and specifications on Plan A for the Eagle Avenue sanitary sewer with the funding coming from sewer maintenance fund. The motion carried.

The Council discussed the Heather Avenue drainage project. Councilor Prebeg questioned who would be assessed if this work would be completed. The City Administrator stated that the area that would benefit from the project would be assessed. Mrs. Petersen stated that she would like the City to complete work by her home on 5482 Heather Avenue because of the water standing there. The Director of Public Works said that the City probably wouldn�t be able to get to Heather Avenue to complete ditching work until June of 2004.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding the minutes from the August 6, 2003, Utility Advisory Board regarding the need for an additional lineman. The Director of Public Works advised him that the Electric Fund does not have funds right now to consider hiring another lineman.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding the policy for completing work within the city easement. 

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Work regarding the disposal of used equipment. The Director of Public Works stated that several years ago the City Council voted to donate a lawnmower to the Cemetery Association. 

The Council discussed the information received from Range Cable TV.

The Recreation Director advised the Council that the Building for the Downtown Skating rink would be delivered on December 2, 2003.

Councilor Irish asked the Recreation Director if a snow pile for sliding was going to be built in the Downtown Area. The Recreation Director said that the snow pile would be put in.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to authorize the payment request from the City of Virginia for the Joint DNR/Virginia/Mountain Iron Drainage Project in the amount of $13,264.04. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve change order number 2-R for the Water Tank Rehabilitation-Maintenance Project/MI02-4 in the amount of $4,400.00. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to approve change order number 3 for the Water Tank Rehabiliation-Maintenance/MI02-4 in the amount of $920.00. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Prebeg to approve the specifications for the fire apparatus and authorize City Staff to advertise for bids with proposals due on January 16, 2004. The motion carried.

The Fire Chief also advised the City Council that the City had also been awarded a $1,000 matching grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He said that the City Council would need to budget funds in the capital improvement fund for the two grants that the Fire Department has been awarded. 

At 8:22 p.m. Councilor Prebeg left the meeting. 

The Fire Chief said that the City would have to coordinate the sale of the two fire rigs when the new fire truck arrives. 

At 8:24 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

The Mayor said that the City does not technically qualify for the United States Department of Agriculture grants.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to approve the Request for Proposals for Auditing Services, Legal Services, and Engineering Services as submitted, but omitting the section titled Clients/Conflict of Interest. The motion carried with Councilor Irish voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to order two dozen banners, with brackets, from Bark Design from Chisholm at a cost not to exceed $2,200.00, with the banners to be placed in the Downtown area. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to not pay the 2003 allotment to the Quad Cities Economic Development Authority (QCEDA) and dissolve the QCEDA by the end of the 2003 contingent on the City of Virginia doing the same. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution 39-03, Accepting Work on the Mountain Iron Drive drainage improvement project, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to set a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting for Tuesday, December 9, 2003 at 6:00 p.m. to review the 2004 budget and invite all City Staff and Union Employees to attend the meeting. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution 41-03, approving the proposed 2004 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 on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish the following information be included in the “Twice Monthly Work Schedule Reports” and that the procedure be implemented by January 1, 2004 and stay in place until rescinded by specific City Council action. All Administrative Employees, i.e., City Administrator, Director of Public Works, Director of Parks and Recreation, and the Library Director, will submit twice monthly reports due on the Friday before City Council meetings. Said reports will include the following: 1) specific routines/projects/jobs to be implements/assigned; 2) Employee(s), by name, will be assigned to the project/job; 3) dates of the project/ job assignment will be part of this report; 4) the Administrative Employees can use any size paper format, not a computer format; 5) the layout shall be legible and easy to understand; 6) work days will be divided into morning, afternoon, evening; 7) emergency situations, i.e. snow storms, flooding, water line breaks, obviously can not be planned for and hence would not have to scheduled, the emergency situations will take priority over the routine planned jobs/projects; 8) reports can be submitted in the City Council packets, can be mailed to the Councilors homes, or can be handed out at the City Council meetings; 9) a yearly master file of all these schedules will be kept by the City Administrator. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, no; and Skalko, no.

At 9:36 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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