The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



City Council Minutes 021798

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt 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; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; Joe Stewart, Sergeant; Nick Dragisich, City Engineer; and Karen Luoma, Librarian (entering at 6:32 p.m.).

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

1. Add the following items to the agenda:

V. C. Discussion on Postal Boundary Issue

2. Approve the minutes of the February 2, 1998, regular meeting as submitted.

3. Approve the minutes of the February 11, 1998, special 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 February 1-15, 1998, totaling $323,755.78, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

6. Acknowledge the receipts for the period February 1-15, 1998, totaling $80,834.85, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

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

No one spoke during the public forum.

The City Attorney updated the Council on the status of the Cable TV Franchise issue. He said that he has employed a Minneapolis Law Firm that has been representing the City of Virginia on the Cable TV matter. He said that they are waiting to receive the reimbursement for the retainer from Range Cable. The Attorney said that the notice of intent to franchise will be completed when the retainer is obtained. The Attorney estimated that in March the application process could be completed and the hearing process could be completed in April.

The City Engineer informed the Council that he delivered a preliminary set of plans for the 16th Avenue project to the Director of Public Works. 

The City Engineer informed the Council that the preliminary layout has been completed for the Parkville Housing Project. The Engineer said that they are currently working on a plan for the utilities and more information will be forwarded in the next few weeks.

The City Administrator updated the Council regarding the acquisition of the land in the Parkville area. He said that the land is currently owned by Mrs. Lambert and the City has not actively pursued obtaining the land yet. He also informed the Council that a bill was introduced in the Senate for the acquisition of the 40 acres owned by the State of Minnesota. The Mayor advised the City Administrator to give a reminder call to Representative Rukavina and Senator Janezich to make sure the land acquisition is acted on during this legislative session. 

The Mayor said that he would like to see an Ad Hoc Committee formed to work on the Parkville Housing Project consisting of the Mayor, the City Administrator, the Director of Public Works, the City Engineer, and the Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The Mayor said that this committee would oversee the project and the plans. It was the consensus of the Council to form such a committee.

The Recreation Director advised the Council that the rinks are closed for the season and the West II Rivers Campground Caretaker position applications are due by February 21, 1998.

The Director of Public Works recommended purchase and installation of five garage doors for the old city garage at the quoted price of $9,350.00.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize staff to purchase five garage doors and installation services from Overhead Door Company at a cost of $9,350.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Sergeant requested authorization to purchase a 1998 Ford Expedition for the Mountain Iron Sheriff’s Department instead of purchasing another squad car. He said that the versatility of the Ford Expedition would assure the department of being able to respond to calls of service no matter the weather or road conditions. 

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize the Sergeant to purchase a 1998 Ford Expedition at a cost of $26,997 with $22,500 coming from the 1998 budget and the remaining portion coming from the 1997 budget surplus. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to set a public meeting to review the Tobacco Ordinance and invite the business owners licensed to sell cigarettes in the City of Mountain Iron to the public meeting set for Monday, March 2, 1998, at 7:00 p.m. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to authorize payment request number six to Hardrives, Inc. for the 18th Avenue Improvements for $12,058.48. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize the City Administrator to proceed with the bonding for the community center in the amount of $1,015,000 with a March 16, 1998 bond sale date. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize the architect, Roger Saccoman, to proceed with the plans and specifications for the community building. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was the consensus of the Council to invite the Community Center Building Committee to the next City Council meeting to discuss the further role of the Committee in the development of the community building.

The Mayor discussed the postal boundary issue with the City Council. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator write a letter to Senator Paul Wellstone and Congressman Jim Oberstar inquiring whether there is any special federal funding available to help subsidize a change in the postal boundary.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to set the Board of Review meeting for Tuesday, May 12, 1998, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Brunfelt to adopt Resolution #06-98, renewing a charitable gambling permit for the Crane Lake Voyageur Snowmobile Club, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to adopt the assessment roll for Enterprise Drive North and Northeast, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to adopt Resolution #07-98, calling for a hearing on the proposed assessment on Enterprise Drive North and Northeast, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to approve the employment contract for Karen Luoma. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize staff to seek proposals for development of a comprehensive plan. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve Resolution #08-98, receiving the report and calling for a hearing on improvements to 16th Avenue, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Piri and approved by Brunfelt to approve the payment of 25% of the utilities charged for the Food Shelf Building to the City of Gilbert. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Council reviewed the request from Tara Scinto and Jeremy LaMourea regarding a request to purchase some land from the City. The Council requested the Director of Public Works to check to see that there are no utility lines on the property that they are requesting to purchase and to have him check with the City Administrator and the City Attorney with regard to the legal procedures for the sale of City property. The Mayor requested that when the Director of Public Works had a recommendation, to bring it back to the City Council for further consideration.

The Council reviewed Sergeant Stewart’s report for the month of January. The City Council advised him that they liked to receive the reports.

During the Open Discussion, Councilor Skogman stated that someone placed a City memorandum in the mail boxes in the Ann’s Acres area. He stated that the memorandum looked like fact because the memorandum was placed in the mail boxes and appeared to be from the City. The City Attorney stated that it is a criminal offense to place letters in mail boxes. Councilor Skogman stated that the Post Office is looking into the violation. The City Attorney advised the City Council to make a formal request for action to review the postal service.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to direct the City Attorney to make a formal request to the Postal Inspection and the Mountain Iron Postmaster, United States Postal Service, to begin an investigation to discover the individual(s) placing flyers in mail boxes illegally. The motion carried.

The Council thanked Joe Prebeg and the members of the Community Building Committee for all the work that they completed to get the bonding for the Community Building approved.

The City Administrator advised the Council that Craig Merten had purchased the lot in South Grove. He further stated that staff is helping Mr. Doolittle to find land to construct a home in Mountain Iron. 

Councilor Olsen said that she was concerned about the number of vacancies at Mountain Manor. She said that the vacancies have increased to ten and there is no building manager again. It was the consensus of the Council to request the Executive Director to stress to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) the concerns raised regarding the Mountain Manor.

Mayor Brunfelt advised the Council that he will not be able to attend the Board of Review meeting because he will be out of town on business.

Councilor Skogman asked the City Administrator what development is currently proposed for the Enterprise Zone. The City Administrator said that there are a couple of developers interested in one of the lots that the HRA filled a few years ago. Councilor Skogman asked if the HRA had looked into filling the lot west of Cinema 6. The City Administrator stated that it has not been looked into because the City is working on getting into compliance with the State for the replacement of wetlands.

At 7:30 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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