The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for February 19, 2013



FEBRUARY 19, 2013


Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:31 p.m. with the following members present:  Joe Prebeg, Jr., Susan Tuomela, Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, and Mayor Gary Skalko.  Also present were:  Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Clark, Municipal Services Secretary; Michael Downs, Interim Director of Public Works; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; John Backman, Sergeant; and Brian Lindsay, City Attorney.


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


  1. Approve the minutes of the February 4, 2013, regular meeting as submitted.


  1. That the communications be accepted and placed on file and those requiring further action by the City Council be acted upon during their proper sequence on the agenda.


  1. To acknowledge the receipts for the period February 1-15, 2013 totaling $166,954.21, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).


  1. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period February 1-15, 2013, totaling $505,584.77, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).


The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.


No one spoke during the public forum.


The Mayor reported on the following:


  • Mesabi Daily News.  He pointed out that there was an article in the February 17, 2013, Mesabi Daily News by Bill Hanna regarding the bidding process for the City’s legal publication.  Councilor Tuomela addressed the article; she said that the City had never solicited bids.  She said that Mr. Hanna was present at the January 7, 2013, Council meeting and never spoke during the public forum regarding the City’s legal publication.  She further outlined her view on the Mesabi Daily News and the Hometown Focus.  She also addressed the onion in the February 9, 2013, Mesabi Daily News regarding the “puppet type Council”, and she said that she was not a puppet for anyone.  Councilor Zupancich also addressed the issue stating that he has some of the same sentiments that Councilor Tuomela had.  Councilor Zupancich stated that he supports the Hometown Focus because it truly is a locally owned newspaper and that anyone can get a copy of the newspaper at no cost to them.  Mayor Skalko also addressed the article regarding the legal publication, he said that no bids were solicited for the City’s legal publication, legal services, or engineering services.  The Mayor felt that the “unsigned” onions in the Mesabi Daily News have no merit and the writers are not accountable.  The Mayor said that he welcomes criticism, but wants to know the source of the criticism to address the issue.
  • Acknowledgements.  He acknowledged the passing of Calvin Johnson.  Condolences were expressed to the family.
  • Eldest Residents.  He said that he was seeking input on the eldest residents in Mountain Iron.  He received information on the following residents:  Illa Brunfelt, 101; Ione Marincel, 98; Katherine Holmes, 98; Gladys Johnson, 93; Bill Riccio, 93; and Paul Fisher, 93.  He requested that residents inform him if there is someone that should also be recognized.
  • Fire Hydrants.  He requested that the residents keep the hydrants located by their homes cleared of snow to be available, in case of emergency, by the Fire Department.


The City Administrator reported on the following:


  • Special Event.  He reminded the residents of the Mish Mash Mush Winter Carnival event scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2013, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at the South Grove Recreation Facility.
  • Public Access Television.  He said that Terry Hartikka, Director of the Public Access Television, is now being run by Mesabi Community Television, a sole proprietorship, housed in the Virginia City Hall.  He said that viewing of the City Council meetings and other area events can be found at


It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the final plat for the Energy Park of Mountain Iron.  The motion carried.


It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and authorize an hourly rate increase for training and fire calls for the Mountain Iron Fire Department from $10 to $12 per hour.  The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.


During the liaison reports, Councilor Stanaway reported that the Fire Department took delivery of the 1994 fire truck and the department was currently fitting the truck with the equipment removed from the 1988 fire truck and the department members were getting acquainted with the truck.  He said that the truck is very impressive and should serve the City well.


It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to adopt Resolution Number 05-13, receiving report and calling for a hearing on March 18, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. for the extension of Unity Drive (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes).  The motion carried.


It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Tuomela to adopt Resolution Number 06-13, ordering preparation of report on improvement for Silicon Way, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes).  The motion carried.


It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Tuomela to authorize City Staff to seek bids for the sale of the 1988 fire truck.  The motion carried.



During the announcements, Councilor Prebeg updated the Council on the 11th Annual Prebeg Memorial Snowmobile Run Fundraiser held on February 16, 2013.  He said that there were 180-190 riders and they raised approximately $50,000, which goes to the Virginia Regional Medical Center Diabetic Center.  He thanked the sponsors and riders for making the fundraiser possible.


Mayor Skalko announced that there would be no closed meeting held following the regular meeting. 


At 7:02 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion carried.  


Submitted by:



Jill M. Clark, MMC

Municipal Services Secretary








1.         Minnesota Department of Commerce forwarded a notice of public information and        environmental assessment scoping meetings.

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