The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for December 06, 1999

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Mayor Brunfelt called the meeting to order at 6:30 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, Deputy Clerk; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; Tom Cvar, Fire Chief; Jerry Kujala, Zoning Administrator; and Greg French, City Engineer.

Audience members present: William Buria, Larry Johnson, Pentti Mahonen, Edith Roskoski, Bob Manzoline, Delyle Pankratz, Ted Newberg (6:35 p.m.), Tom Jacobsen and Frank Falkowski (6:37 p.m.) and Antti Otava (6:38 p.m.).

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

1. Add the following item to the agenda:

VII. E. Marketing of the new lots in the housing development.

2. Approve the minutes of the November 15, 1999, regular meeting as submitted.

3. Approve the minutes of the November 23, 1999, Committee-of-the-Whole 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 November 16-30, 1999, totaling $457,707.44.

6. Acknowledge the receipts for the period November 15-30, 1999, totaling $68,315.79.

The motion to adopt the consent agenda carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

At 6:31, it was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to recess the regular meeting and convene the truth in taxation hearing. The motion carried.

The Mayor said that the hearing was to discuss the 2000 budget and 2000 levy. He opened the floor up for comments from the public.

No comments were made from the public.

The Mayor reviewed the 2000 budget.

Mayor said that to fund all the requests the City Council would have to increase the levy by 11.1%. The Mayor said that at the December 20th City Council meeting they would vote on the adoption of the 2000 levy and budget.

The City Administrator said that the property tax effects on a home valued at $75,000 would be approximately $34.00 per year in city taxes without taking the credits.

The Mayor opened the floor for comments on the budget and levy.

The City Administrator said that there was no written correspondence received regarding the truth in taxation hearing.

The Mayor advised the audience that the levy adoption hearing would be held on December 20th at 6:30 p.m.

At 6:37 p.m., it was moved by Matanich and supported by Skogman to adjourn the truth in taxation hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, Pentti Mahonen addressed the City Council regarding the Spirit Lake sewage system. The City Administrator said that Staff has continued to look for funding sources for the project but the income guidelines for the residents in the area eliminate some of the funding sources.

The Mayor explained to Mr. Mahonen that the City is not able to obtain outside funding for the Spirit Lake Sewer System Project. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) may have grant funds available and there are no IRRRB funds available. The Mayor said that the Spirit Lake residents are seven miles from the nearest sewage pipe. The Mayor said that the City would continue to look for funding sources.

The Fire Chief addressed the Council regarding purchasing an air pack with breathing apparatus. He said that during the regional fire meeting there was an opportunity to purchase a demo model for $1650, regularly priced at $2200. The Fire Chief said that he has no funds in his budget currently for equipment, but there is funds available in the operations budget. The Mayor said that this was considered a discretionary purchase for the Fire Chief and if he had the funds and felt he needed it, that it did not require Council action.

During the public forum, Larry Johnson questioned how the frame was coming for the coverlet that the Civic Association donated to the City for display in the Council Chambers. The Recreation Director said that the project is on hold until the new City Hall is completed and will be placed in the new Council Chambers.

Also during the public forum, Frank Falkowski spoke and expressed concerns with all of the development on Eighth Street overloading the present sewer system because he lives at the corner of Mud Lake Road and Eighth Street. He was advised by the Director of Public Works that the sewer utility flows through to South Grove not to Mud Lake Road.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve payment request number one for Charles Jacobsen Construction for the South Grove Recreation Area Ball field Project in the amount of $10,000. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve payment request number one for Hammerlund Construction, Incorporated for the Residential Housing Development Street and Utility Project in the amount of $211,019.70. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Matanich, yes; Piri, yes; Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve the payment request number three to Louis Leustek and Sons, Incorporated in the amount of $12,953.25. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Piri, yes; Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; Matanich, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

Tom Jacobsen addressed the Council regarding a need of an additional 165 yards of select material to haul to the South Grove site. He said that he would like to haul the additional dirt in at this time. The Mayor advised Mr. Jacobsen to speak with the City Engineer and Director of Public Works.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the building permit for an addition to the Mountain Iron First State Bank on parcel 175-0032-0050. The motion carried.

The Mayor went to unfinished business to discuss the Mesabi Trail. Mr. Bob Manzoline was present to discuss the trail with the City Council. Mr. Manzoline said that the trail was discussed at the public meeting and that all of the residents present from the Kinross area felt that the location of the trail was acceptable. The Mayor questioned whether the trail is motorized or non-motorized. Mr. Delyle Pankratz and Mr. Jerry Kujala were present with regard to the use of the trail for snowmobilers. Mr. Kujala said that the trail is all right for use in the Minnesota Department of Transportation right-of-way with the need for some screening to make the trail not hazardous to car traffic. The Mayor said that the City Council has formed an ad-hoc committee to review alternative snowmobile routes through the City. Mr. Manzoline said that the surveyors would begin working on the trail by the end of the week.

Mr. Kujala informed the Council that updated signage had been placed north of Mountain Iron and the Mountain Iron Drive signs had been ordered.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to adopt Resolution #57-99, authorizing the sale of the Fuel and Lumber Building property. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Council rejected the bids for the city hall and garage.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to request proposals for marketing with local realtors for the sale of the city hall and garage buildings to be sold together. The motion carried.

The Mayor requested that the city hall and garage property sale proposals be reviewed at the first meeting in January.

The Council discussed the marketing of the housing lots off of Eighth Street. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City pursue the sale of the housing lots and if interest declines in the sale of the lots to consider listing them with a realtor. The Council took no formal action. It was the consensus of the Council to have a sign put up by the development to inquire at the City Hall.

The Council reviewed the list of street name changes. It was the consensus of the Council to replace the flower names with tree names like Ann’s Acres Addition. It was the consensus of the Council to have streets and avenue replace the drive and road names. Councilor Skogman recommended leaving Highway 7 as is. Councilor Skogman questioned if overtime should be authorized for staff to add the four digit numbers to the list of changes. The City Administrator said he would review the situation. The Mayor recommended updating the address list, sending the address list to St. Louis County Communications Department for review and submit the address list to the City Council for final approval.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Skogman to approve the purchase of thirty (30) 200 amp meter pedestals from Resco at their low quoted price of $198.00 each for a total of $5,940.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor updated the Council on the Land Utilization Committee´┐Żs discussions. The Committee has reviewed the area between Parkville and Mountain Iron to turn it into green space. The Mayor said that he would like to see a feasibility study completed to add a golf course or a centralized park.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to authorize Staff to request proposals to have consultants complete a feasibility study for the need of a golf course in the area. The motion carried.

Larry P. Johnson addressed the Council and requested that the City Council hold a town meeting to let the residents know what the City Council is proposing.

The Council tabled the cigarette license fees. It was the consensus of the Council to have Sergeant Stewart prepare a breakdown of the cost of enforcement for the cigarette licenses.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to adopt Resolution #56-99. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve the lease with U. S. Steel Group, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the communication received from the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS). The Mayor said that he is presently on the Board of Directors.

The Mayor’s reported that he had been approached by the Iron Range Legislative Delegation and Commissioner Swift regarding the Quad Cities Economic Development Director position. They strongly encouraged the City of Mountain Iron to take a leadership role and push for this position to be filled. The Mayor said that the mining effects tax could be used to support the Quad City position. The Mayor said that he spoke with the Mayors of Gilbert, Eveleth, and Virginia regarding this position. He said that a meeting had been coordinated with Commissioner Swift to discuss this position. The Council took no formal action, but the Mayor will come back to the City Council with a recommendation regarding the position.

During the open discussion, Councilor Matanich asked if the City Administrator could facilitate a meeting with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and the residents of Spirit Lake to discuss the sewer issue with them. It was the consensus of the City Council to have this done.

At 7:55 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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