The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for December 07, 2009

MINUTES
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
DECEMBER 7, 2009

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Anderson, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer (entered at 6:45 p.m.); and John Backman, Sergeant (entered at 6:56 p.m.).

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

A. Approve the minutes of the November 16, 2009, Regular meeting as submitted.

B. Approve the minutes of the November 10, 2009, Committee-of-the-Whole meeting as submitted.

C. Approve the minutes of the November 16, 2009, Committee-of-the-Whole meeting as submitted.

D. To acknowledge the receipts for the period November 16-30, 2009, totaling $193,274.60, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

E. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period November 16-30, 2009, totaling $594,011.75, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes). Note: The bill from Zeigler Incorporated would be voted on separately.

F. 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.

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to authorize the payment of the Zeigler bill for the skid steer loader in the amount of $56,639.95. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Zupancich, yes; Stanaway, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, no.

At 6:33 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the truth in taxation hearing. The motion carried.

The Mayor asked the City Administrator to give a brief statement regarding the effects of the tax levy in the City over the past few years. 

The Mayor added that several of the City’s general fund revenue items have been drastically reduced with the cuts to taconite aid and local government aid. He also said that the Council had been making budget cuts and adjustments with the loss of these revenues. 
The following people spoke during the public hearing:

– Ted Erchul, 8762 Unity Drive, was questioning whether the amount on the truth in taxation notice were firm. The Council stated that the percent of levy proposed on the statement was at nine percent and it would probably be lowered to a five percent levy increase.
– Keith Altobelli, 8366 Marigold Street, said that he was looking at a 28% increase in his taxes. He said that the Council needs to look at further cuts in the city budget rather than increasing the levy on the property owners. 
– James Duffy, 5741 Eagle Avenue, said that the statement reflected an increase of 83%. He also questioned why the increase was so high.
– Rob Thompson, 9353 Old Highway 169, commented that his taxes also went up significantly.
– Tom Nikolanci, 8821 Unity Drive, stated that over the last five years his taxes have averaged an increase of 14.5% and averaged an increase of 8% in the last 11 years. He challenged the Council to adjust the budget to get by with less and keep the levy at zero.
– Tom Jacobsen, representing his father, Charlie Jacobsen, 9000 Highway 101, commented that all of his parcels were changed to vacant rural land from the previous classification of agricultural. The Council advised him to check with the County Assessor regarding his property classification. 
– Brad Hejda, 5623 Falcon Avenue, concurred with Mr. Nikolanci. He also said that his taxes have increased significantly over the past few years. 
– Rob Johnson, 9353 Old Highway 169, expressed concerned with the increase in real estate taxes. He suggested that the City send out a mailing to explain to the residents why there would be a significant increase in their taxes.
– Eugene Specht, 8395 Spruce Drive, also expressing concern with the increased taxes.
– Councilor Roskoski also mentioned that several residents had contacted him personally with concerns about the levy increase. 

At 7:38 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to adjourn the truth in taxation hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried. 

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to recognized Chris Schmidt for his brave and heroic efforts during the recent fire at the Raintree Apartments. The motion carried.

The Mayor updated the Council on the following:

– Raintree Apartment Fire. The Mayor expressed his gratitude and thanks to the Mountain Iron Volunteer Fire Department for the excellent work during the fire at the apartments.
– Downtown Street Lighting. The project is going well and looks very nice. He said that there is still one more light standard to install at the corner of Mesabi Avenue and Main Street.

– Perkins Family Restaurant. There was a ground breaking ceremony conducted on November 23, 2009. The business should create 20-25 new jobs. The tentative opening date will be in April of 2010.
– Laurentian Clinic. He said that they are opening on December 14, 2009. He also said that a formal grand opening would be held in February, 2010.
– Labor Management Meeting. The next meeting was set for Tuesday, December 15, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. with Mayor Skalko and Councilor Roskoski attending.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Stanaway to support an environmental impact study for Poly Met. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to authorize a contribution of $100 to the Senior Citizens Club annual holiday party. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to authorize Gregory Jarvela to continue permanent employment as a Journeyman Lineman with the City of Mountain Iron following his six month probationary period. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Zupancich to accept the recommendation of City Staff and authorize Jeffrey Marks to move from the Labor position, Job Class 6, to the Equipment Operator position, Job Class 12, effective immediately. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to accept the letter of retirement from Bob Brown with his last day being December 22, 2009, send him a letter of thanks for his years of service, and to direct City Staff to advertise for the Commercial Building Inspector position. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to refer the Commercial Building Inspector position to the Personal Committee for further review. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to authorize the purchase of one transformer from Resco for their low quote of $7,262.15, with the funds being expended from the Electric Fund. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to authorize the purchase of an infield groomer and accessories from MTI Distribution at the government contract price of $11,018.87, with the funds expended from the 2009 Recreation Department budget. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Zupancich, yes; Stanaway, yes; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

The Sergeant reported to the Council regarding two major cases in Mountain Iron: 1) A bomb threat at the high school, he said that there were no explosive devices placed or intended to be placed, and 2) the shooting in South Grove, he said that it was a random act with two parties that knew each other. In both cases, the responsible parties have been found and the investigation is complete.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to authorize change order number one to Magney Construction Incorporated to extend the completion date to January 1, 2010, for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project. The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Prebeg to authorize payment request number one to Walker Process Equipment for the Mountain Iron Wastewater Treatment Plant Equipment purchase in the amount of $136,835.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to authorize payment request number three to Magney Construction Incorporated for the Mountain Iron Wastewater Treatment Plant Project in the amount of $186,158.20. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Stanaway, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Zupancich, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Liaison Reports:

– Library Board. Councilor Stanaway reviewed the library report for the month of November, 2009.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skalko to waive the Community Center building rental fee for December 18, 2009, for a benefit for Charlene Frost. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to waive the Community Center building rental fee for January 30, 2010, for a benefit for Penny Syversrud. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Roskoski to authorize Jeff and Greg Peterson Incorporated, dba: B.G.’s Saloon to use their on-sale license to serve alcohol at the Piersig/Haley wedding at the Mountain Iron Community Center on December 12, 2009. The motion carried.

At 8:09 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried. 

Submitted by:

Jill M. Anderson, CMC/MMCA
Municipal Services Secretary

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