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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for December 17, 2007

MINUTES
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
DECEMBER 17, 2007

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. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works;; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; and John Backman, Sergeant; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.

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

1. Add the following items to the agenda:
II. D. Minutes of the November 27, 2007, Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting
IV. H. Planning and Zoning Commission
1. Conditional Use Permit at Michael Mitchell
VI. E. Payment Request Number 1, South Grove Warming House
F. Unoccupied Dwelling Solid Waste Fee

2. Approve the minutes of the December 3, 2007, City Council meeting as submitted.

3. 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.

4. To acknowledge the receipts for the period December 1-15, 2007, totaling $596,299.05, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

5. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period December 1-15,
2007, totaling $438,468.44, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Bob Prittinen, Virginia Tennis Coach, and Dave Gunderson, Tennis for All Facility, requested that the City Council contribute to a scholarship program for the Tennis for All Program. He advised the Council that the City of Virginia has a special fund set up with $15,000 in it. They stated that the funds that the Mountain Iron City Council would contribute would go to students from the City of Mountain Iron.

The Mayor advised Mr. Prittinen and Mr. Gunderson that the City Council would consider a contribution to the Tennis for All Scholarship Program at their next regular meeting.

Also during the public forum, Allen Nelson was present and requested that the Council reconsider the increase in the building rental fees for the Northern Spur Dancers and the Country Western Stompers. He said that currently one group is using the Nichols Town Hall building with no rental fee and the Community Center building for $25 per rental.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich that the City grandfather in any group or organization that has used our facilities on a continual regular basis for no fee or reduced rate; and further, that they would be allowed to continue to use our facilities indefinitely at the no fee or the reduced rate. The new rates that were adopted on November 5, 2007, would be in effect for all new applications for use and if requesting the fee to be reduced or waived, the group or organization would have to submit a formal request to the City Council. The motion carried.

The Mayor updated the Council on the following:

– Iron Range Youth for Action Board. The Group is checking to see if there would be an interested Mountain Iron Student to serve on the City Council in an advisory position.
– IRRRA Grants. He advised the Council that the City received the following two grants:
1. $300,000 for Enterprise Drive Northeast extension for water and sewer improvements.
2. $200,000 to assist with the infrastructure for a new housing development in the South Grove area.

The Council expressed gratitude to the City Administrator for writing the grants that were awarded to the City.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich that the liquor and cigarette license applications for the period January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008, be approved and issued to the following business establishment pursuant to the approval, where necessary, of the Liquor Control Commission and pursuant to the payment of all outstanding license fees and utility charges:

Sundberg Enterprises, LLC Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor
DBA: Sawmill Saloon & Restaurant On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor
5478 Mountain Iron Drive Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor
Virginia (Mountain Iron), MN 55792 Cigarette

The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Stanaway to approve the amendment to Surface Lease 13304 for the northwest corner of Highway 53 and Old Highway 169, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes) and authorize payment of the lease amount of $156.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Administrator reported on the following:

– U. S. Steel. He advised the Council that USS was pumping at the West II Reservoir, it was a 30-day test pump to test their ground pipe and they are done pumping for now. He also said that they may be pumping again in the future depending upon the amount of moisture to replenish their stock.
– Chain of Command. The City Administrator reminded the Council to work through the Chain of Command so they could continue to be effective Managers of the City with the present reduction in management staff.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Zupancich to direct City Staff to publish three more advertisements per week for the vacant Board and Commission positions, with the information for how people where to apply for applications with the deadline of December 28, 2007. After further discussion, Roskoski amended the motion to have two more advertisements published and Zupancich seconded the amendment. The motion carried. 

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to accept the recommendation of the Utility Advisory Board and adopt the 2008 Enterprise Fund budgets, (copies are attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Stanaway to direct City Staff to publish a display advertisement, one time, in the Mesabi Daily News advising the Mountain Iron residents about Minnesota Statute 160.27 prohibiting plowing, blowing, shoveling or otherwise placing of snow from sidewalks, driveways and parking lots onto public roadways. The motion carried with Roskoski voting no.

The Council reviewed the Sheriff’s Department report for November 2007.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Skalko to direct the Sergeant to place appropriate advertisements in the Mesabi Daily News to remind the residents of Mountain Iron about Calendar Parking and how it works. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Allen Nelson spoke to the Council and Sheriff Sergeant regarding the snowmobiles speeding down the roadways in the Parkville area. The Council requested the Sheriff’s Department to review the situation. The Sergeant said that they would increase the patrol in the area and he would advise the Conservation Officers of the situation. He also said that they would be having a snowmobile patrolling in town soon.

The following items were discussed during the Liaison Reports:

– Library. The City Attorney advised the Council that the “Friends of the Library” had been set up and was just waiting for signatures.
– Personnel Committee. Councilor Prebeg advised the Council that Foreman position would remain a salary position. He said that the Personnel Committee was presently reviewing the applications and revising the required training for the position and the compensation package. He said that the interview process would begin soon.
– Personnel Committee. Councilor Prebeg said that the Committee had discussed the salary increase for the Zoning Administrator and made a recommendation on that.
– Personnel Committee. Councilor Prebeg said that there was an inquiry by Councilor Roskoski as to whether management staff had been staffing the facility appropriately. Councilor Prebeg said that the Committee discussed the situation and being that the management staff had gone from five to three employees, this has become increasingly difficult. He advised the Council that there really was no problem because all of the management personnel have City cellular phones and could be reached on the cellular phone if an emergency situation arises.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and authorize the Conditional Use Permit for Michael Mitchell at 5712 Mineral Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0020-00410, to construct a landing and steps on a single family dwelling that would not meet the setback requirements of the Zoning Ordinance. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Zupancich to adopt Resolution Number 55-07, guaranteeing the local share of construction costs and on going maintenance, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Stanaway to adopt Resolution Number 56-07, establishing a Mountain Iron Cable Commission, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and authorize a pay increase for the Zoning Administrator to $400 per month contingent on the Zoning Administrator receiving his certification; and further, that the effective date of the increase would be the month following his certification. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Zupancich, yes; Stanaway, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg to direct City Staff to review and research to see if our current residential and commercial building permit fees are in line with other cities with the region and state and make a recommendation back to the City Council. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and Prebeg to authorize payment request number one to H. G. Harvey Constructors Incorporated for the South Grove Warming House project in the amount of $23,513.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski to direct City Staff to prepare a necessary policy, if necessary, with the correct language to reflect that the Saint Louis County solid waste fee would not be collected from owners of unoccupied dwellings and this policy would be presented to the Council at the January 7, 2008, meeting. The motion died for lack of second.

The Mayor requested that the Council Member provide additional information on any agenda items then they are added to the agenda at beginning of the meeting.

During the open discussion, the following items were discussed:

– City purchases. Councilor Roskoski questioned whether the City obtained quotes for the purchase of tires. The Director of Public Works advised Councilor Roskoski that the City Mechanic did obtain quotes for the tires that were purchased.
– Sale of City Equipment. Councilor Roskoski said that he noticed an advertisement in the newspaper for the City of Babbitt regarding the sale of equipment with the mileage on it at 168,000. He said that our City disposes of equipment too soon, that there are many useful years remaining on some of the equipment that we have sold.

At 7:55 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Jill M. Forseen, CMC/MMCA
Municipal Services Secretary

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