The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for December 21, 2009

MINUTES
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
DECEMBER 21, 2009

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:36 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; and John Backman, Sergeant.

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

1. Approve the minutes of the December 7, 2009, regular meeting as submitted.

2. 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.

3. To acknowledge the receipts for the period December 1-15, 2009, totaling $627,403.49, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

4. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period December 1-15, 2009, totaling $232,334.50, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Keith Altobelli, 8366 Marigold Street, addressed some information that the Council discussed regarding the Truth in Taxation hearing held at the previous meeting. He felt that the tax rates and comparisons were not properly stated.

The Mayor updated the Council on the following:

– Truth in Taxation Hearing. The Mayor also made a correction with regard to the examples given at the Truth in Taxation meeting. He encouraged residents to go on the League of Minnesota Cities web site and check their estimated tax amount for the assessed value of their homes and they would find that the tax rates in Mountain Iron are one of the lowest in the State.
– Mesabi Daily News Editorial. He commented on the editorial written by Keith Altobelli. He thanked him for writing the article, but said some of the information was incorrect. He said that the reference to spending City funds on the wind mill and housing projects were inaccurate. He said that no tax dollars were spent on these projects, but that they were funded by grants and other expenses paid for by the Economic Development Authority. He also said that the City would be experiencing significant revenue loss with local government aid and taconite municipal aid reductions.
– Laurentian Clinic. He said that he was given a tour of the facility and was very impressed. He said that the project is not completely done; some outside work still needs to be completed. He noted that no City tax dollars were spent on the project.
– Skating Rinks. The skating rinks have been opened and the attendants have been hired.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Stanaway that beginning January 1, 2010, that a Budget Finance Committee be created consisting of the following:

– Mayor, Deputy Mayor, City Administrator, Director of Public Works/Parks & Recreation, and Library Director
– Other members would include the Fire Chief, First Responders Director, and Sergeant of our Sheriff’s Department
– The Chairperson of each of City’s various advisory Boards/Commission would also be invited to attend.

The function of the Committee would be to give input and make recommendations on budget needs and concerns, preliminary levy limits, etc. The City Administrator then would utilize these recommendations in bringing forth a preliminary levy and budget to the Council. Adopting the final levy of the City and budget would be the sole power and right of the entire City Council. This Finance/Budget Committee would meet on an on-need basis, with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and City Administrator having the authority to schedule meetings. The motion carried with Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Prebeg to authorize the execution and payment of $165.00 for the amendment to Lease 13304, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Administrator updated the Council on the following:

– South Forest Grove Addition. The Economic Development Authority had set the lot price schedule for South Forest Grove, the lots are now available for sale and would soon be listed on the City’s website.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and authorize change order number one for the 2009 Street Improvement Projects decreasing the project by $8,837.47 for a new contract price of $280,719.03. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to authorize final payment request number three for the 2009 Street Improvement Project in the amount of $14,035.95 to Mesabi Bituminous. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and authorize change order number two for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project increasing the project by $6,262.04, for a new contract price of $584,862.04. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and authorize change order number three for the Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement Project increasing the project by $922.38, for a new contract price of $585,784.42. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Stanaway to authorize the quote for $11,322.15 for the rehabilitation of the clarifier domes. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the Library Board and hire Tracy Kenyon for the Library Substitute position, contingent on passing a background check, a physical examination, and a pre-employment drug and alcohol screening. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and authorize the amendment to Policy Number 2008-02, Policy for Appointment of Fire Department Officers, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Roskoski voting no.

Liaison Reports:

– Planning and Zoning Commission. Councilor Zupancich informed the Council that the Commission was considering holding a public hearing in January 2010 addressing the zoning of an area of the Enterprise Zone. Also, they were considering a rental property license that would require inspections of rental properties in Mountain Iron. Also, they would like to have a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting, possibly in February 2010, with the Council and Economic Development Authority to discuss the rental property licensing issue.
– Library Board. Councilor Stanaway advised the Council that the Board had reviewed the applications for the position at the Library. During that meeting, there were discussions on the maintenance of the washrooms at the Library. He requested that the Director of Public Works look into the maintenance issue at the Library.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to adopt the 2010 City budgets as submitted, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Stanaway to adopt Resolution Number 53-09, approving the 2009 tax levy, collectable in 2010, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). It was moved by Roskoski to amend the motion to lessen the impact of city operations on the Mountain Iron Taxpayers, that the tax levy be set at a minus five percent increase. The amendment to the motion failed for lack of support. The motion carried with Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to adopt Resolution Number 54-09, approving proposed 2010 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.

The Council did not go into a closed meeting.

At 7:36 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried. 

Submitted by:

Jill M. Anderson, CMC/MMCA
Municipal Services Secretary

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