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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for February 18, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

FEBRUARY 18, 2004

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Allen Nelson, Dale Irish, 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; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; Paul Cerkvenik, City Attorney; and Joe Stewart, Sergeant.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. A. 2. Street Light Request

V. E. Pay Request for training for an EMT First Responder

Approve the minutes of the February 2, 2004, City Council meeting as submitted.

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.

To acknowledge the receipts for the period February 1-15, 2004, totaling $131,265.05, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period February 1-15, 2004, totaling $239,204.28, (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 Manzoline, Director of the St. Louis & Lake Counties Regional Rail Authority, and Keith Nelson, St. Louis County Commissioner, spoke to the City Council regarding the sale of property to the City of Mountain Iron in Section 12, Towhship 58, Range 18 West. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to approve the purchase of the abandoned railroad corridor within Section 12 of the City of Mountain Iron from the St. Louis & Lake Counties Regional Rail Authority for the amount of $5,000 with the City paying for associated legal and recording fees. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Prebeg asked Mr. Manzoline what the City would have to do to have the snowmobile trail come through the City. Mr. Manzoline said that the City would have to get the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Commissioner of Transportation to allow duel use of the trail with snowmobiles within one side of the highway right-of-way.

Commissioner Nelson thanked the City Council for allowing the Saint Louis County Board to meet at the Mountain Iron Community Center in July. He also advised the Council that ATV usage in Saint Louis County is number in the State of Minnesota. 

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor advised the City Council that he received a thank you letter from Miranda Burris regarding the proclamation passed by the City Council. 

Also during the Mayor�s report, the Deputy Mayor informed the City Council that he had attended the last Mayor�s meeting. He said that at the meeting, the City of Virginia was planning to constrict their ambulance service to the corporate city limits of the City of Virginia due to the budget constraints. He said that a letter would be coming advising the City of the discontinuation of the ambulance services and the possibility of establishing a fee to the City of Mountain Iron for the services to continue. 

The Council discussed the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) and Economic Development Authority (EDA) proposal with Attorney Cerkvenik. After a lengthy discussion, it was the consensus of the Council to have the City Attorney outline what action is mandatory according to the State Statute and what items are optional changes by the City Council for the changing of the HRA to an EDA. 

At 7:41 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 7:43 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor stated that he had received a letter from Melba Niska, Briarwood Estates, requesting a street light to be installed at the corner of Highway 7 and Southern Drive. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct the City Administrator and the Director of Public Works to seek information regarding the installation of a street light at the corner of Highway 7 and Southern Drive working with the City of Virginia, Lake Country Power, and Saint Louis County. The motion carried.

During the City Administrator�s report, the Administrator advised the Council that the City of Mountain Iron had received a letter of commendation from the State Auditor for having fund balances that met the Auditor�s standard.

The Mayor said that he would like to have D. W. Jones, the Managers for Mountain Manor, to attend a City Council meeting in March. The City Administrator said that he would extend the invitation.

Councilor Nelson asked the Director of Public Works if there was any action by the Utility Advisory Board regarding the recycling bin by Nichols Hall. The Director of Public Works stated that the Utility Advisory Board would be meeting on February 24, 2004, and would possibly have a recommendation to the City Council regarding the recycling bin at Nichols Town Hall and the yard waste site by the City Garage for the March 1, 2004, City Council meeting.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to authorize City Staff to assist the Prebeg Memorial Snowmobile Ride by leveling the snow banks by Mud Lake Road and Highway 169 to make it more passable for the snowmobiles to cross the roads. The motion carried.

The Director of Parks and Recreation forwarded a request from the Parks and Recreation Board. He said that the Board would like to know the intent of the City Council concerning current and future actions regarding the parks and recreation areas. 

The Recreation Director said that there was a meeting with the Downtown Group and they are currently doing fund raising, looking for in-kind services, and developing a plan for Dowtown Park area. The Downtown Committee will be meeting with the Parks and Recreation Board in March to discuss the park plan further.

The Recreation Director informed the Council that U. S. Steel would be contacted regarding the possibility of installing fencing at the Wacootah Overlook. Councilor Roskoski stated that he spoke with U. S. Steel officials and they stated that there was no mining or long range plans for the Wacootah Overlook area. 

Councilor Irish said that he had obtained a brochure with a water slide for approximately $9,000 from the Recreation Director to consider for the West II Rivers Campground. He said that he would make copies of the brochure for the Council to review.

The City Attorney advised the Council that the decision regarding the fire apparatus prepayment is strictly a business decision and not a legal issue.

At 8:20 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

At 8:22 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

The City Attorney stated that an ordinance has been drafted regarding administrative fines with regard to blight and zoning issues. He said that this would not include traffic fines. He said that the next step would be to adopt a fee schedule and then adopt the ordinance. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to direct the City Engineer to advertise for bids for the Eagle Avenue sanitary sewer replacement project. The motion carried.

The City Engineer advised the Council that the plans and specifications for the 2004 street improvement projects should be ready by the first week in March.

The City Engineer reported that there are no available funding sources in 2004 for the Heather Avenue Drainage Project. 

The City Engineer reported that they reviewed the Ann�s Acres street lights as requested. He informed the Council that all intersections have street lights except for one intersection on Aspen Lane and the South Court cul-de-sac. He also said that the majority of Ann�s Acres residents have a yard light, as per the development scheme, centered in their yard.

The City Engineer said that their firm has begun the preliminary work on the Inflow and Infiltration Reduction Plan. He said that they have prepared the basic maps and the drainage districts have been laid out. 

Councilor Irish asked if the City Engineer was looking into the noise and odor problems at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Engineer stated that they are currently collecting information on the plant to analyze it.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to approve the Minnesota Power Training Contract for one year commencing on January 30, 2004 in the amount of $2,488.50. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to approve the revised Mesabi Trail Plan as submitted. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Administrator to submit the following list of Mineland Reclamation Projects to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Authority before the February 27, 2004 deadline:

ATV Trail

Dump Site Investigation and Clean-up

Locomotive Park Improvements

Sliding Hill

Campground Improvements

The motion carried.

The Recreation Director stated that he had obtained pricing on fencing and signage for the Wacootah Overlook and he would be meeting with the Downtown Committee in March to review the information. Councilor Prebeg ask if U. S. Steel could possibly pay for some fencing or provide U. S. Steel Laborers to install the fencing. Councilor Roskoski suggested having the Recreation Director contact U. S. Steel to donate a drill bit or a smaller bucket to display at the Wacootah Overlook.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to compose a reminder letter, in a draft form, similar to the letter previously sent concerning the sump pump installations, and to also submit the grant application information in the mailing and to have this draft letter prepared for the March 15, 2004 meeting for the City Council to review. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the payment of $184.00 to Alan Mattila for reimbursement for the Emergency Medical Technician�s conference held in January, 2004. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 03-04, Establishing Election Precincts, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski that if any of the following public officials are going to be absent from scheduled City Council meetings, they will notify the City Administrator and the Council will be informed in the City Council Agenda Packet prior to that meeting unless it is an emergency:

City Administrator

Director of Public Works

Director of Parks & Recreation

City Engineer

St. Louis County Sheriff � Sergeant

City Attorney

Further, at the request of any Council member to the City Administrator, a suitable substitute will be available and attend the meeting in their place when participation is needed for related items that are on the agenda. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski that, when requested and available, the Mountain Iron Sheriff�s Department will assist in traffic control during funeral processions and to have City Staff notify the area funeral homes that this service is available in the city limits of Mountain Iron. After further discussion, Councilor Irish withdrew his motion and Councilor Roskoski withdrew his support.

The City Attorney suggested that if the Council wants the funeral homes to be notified that a letter should come from the Sheriff�s office to the funeral home. The Sergeant said that he would meet with his supervisor regarding the preparation of a letter and bring the information to the second Council meeting in March. 

At 9:25 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Minnesota Association of Small Cities, forwarding a copy of a letter that was sent to the Senators and Representatives.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the Friday Fax.

Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Agency, forwarding the updated Financial Resources Guide book to the City.

James McConnell, General Manager of U. S. Steel Corporation, a copy of a letter sent to Commissioner Nelson regarding future mining in the Parkville area.

Bruce Pomerantz, an e-mail forwarding information on agencies that could act as hones brokers on the library issues.

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