The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for February 20, 2001

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL MEETING,/c>

Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Stephen Skogman, Joe Matanich, Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt. Absent member included: Joe Prebeg, Jr. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Paul Cerkvenik, City Attorney; Greg French, City Engineer; and Joe Stewart, Sheriff Sergeant.

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

1. Add the following items to the agenda:

VII. Mayor�s Report – Taconite Tax Relief Area

V. B. Michael Lambert�s term on the Housing & Redevelopment Authority

VI. H. Financial Report Update

2. Approve the minutes of the February 5, 2001, regular meeting as submitted.

3. 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.

4. Authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period February 1-15, 2001, totaling $182,662.36, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

5. Acknowledge the receipts for the period February 1-15, 2001, totaling $99,721.87, (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.

At 6:34 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Roskoski to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on the Marble Avenue Street Improvements. The motion carried.

The City Administrator gave a brief review of the Marble Avenue Project between Locomotive Street and Main Street with an estimated cost of construction at $15,000. He said that there was no written correspondence regarding the public hearing.

At 6:35 p.m., it was moved by Matanich and supported by Skogman to adjourn the pubic hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, William Buria, Secretary for the Calvary Cemetery Association, was present and requested additional funds for the Association in the amount of $1,000 because of an increase in wages and updating of equipment.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skogman to authorize the payment of $2,500.00 for the Calvary Cemetery Association for the 2001 allocation. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Also during the public forum, Rhonda Lakosky and Steve Christofferson were present regarding the proposed assessments on Marble Avenue. They asked the Council if the assessment would go against the property owner or the homeowner. They said they both lease the land that they live on from USX Corporation. The Council advised them that the assessment would go to the property owner, but the property owner may pass it onto the leaseholder.

The City Engineer reviewed the Marble Avenue Improvement Project south of Main Street by the Mountain Iron-Buhl High School. He advised the Council that the Safety Committee met with two School Officials regarding the Marble Avenue Improvements Project.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Matanich to accept the Marble Avenue Improvement Project concept recommended by the City Engineer and proceed with the project. The motion carried.

At 6:52 p.m., the City Engineer left the meeting.

The City Attorney discussed the Mountain Iron History Book with the Council. He advised the Council that, regarding the History Book, a public purpose exists for the City to seek to recover the pictures. The Attorney said that the City should first obtain written approval from the owner of the pictures to authorize the City to act on their behalf to recover the pictures. It was the consensus of the Council to have City Staff contact the owners of the pictures, get permission from them for the City to represent them, and work with City Attorney to recover the pictures.

The Council discussed the American Made Equipment Rule with the City Attorney. The Attorney said that the City could add a statement stating the City preferred the use of American Made Products and that would be acceptable.

It was moved by Roskoski motion to have the City Attorney look into adding an addendum to the City contracts regarding the American Made Equipment Rule. The motion died for lack of support.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to hire Terrence Niska for the Building Maintenance Position. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, abstain; Skogman, yes; Matanich, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

It was moved by Matanich and supported by Skogman to approve the 2001 Squad Car purchase at a cost of $21,376.60. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Skogman, yes; Matanich, yes, Roskoski, no; and Brunfelt, yes.

The Council reviewed the Sheriff�s Department January Activity Report.

Michael Thomas, Architect from Damberg, Scott, Gerzina and Wagner, reviewed the Mountain Iron Library Accessibility Project with the City Council members. The Architectural Firm also prepared comparison plans for a new library building. The Council wanted it noted for the record that the City Council did not request the Architectural Firm to prepare the information on a constructing a new library building.

Jim Weikem, Arrowhead Library System, was present and review the possibility of locating the Arrowhead Library System building in the City of Mountain Iron. The City Administrator said that the land that they are looking at constructing on would cost approximately $340,000. The Administrator said that the funds for the land could be taken from the Capital Improvement Reserves. The Council discussed issues regarding the various options for obtaining the land. Mr. Weikem stated that the Arrowhead Library System would like to have their project completed by the end of the year.

It was moved by Matanich and supported by Skogman to direct City Staff to explore all building possibilities with the Arrowhead Library System. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Matanich and supported by Skogman to set a Committee of the Whole meeting for Tuesday, March 6, 2001 at 6:30 p.m. to be held with the Library Board, the Architect, and the Arrowhead Library System Staff Representative to discuss options to consider for the Mountain Iron Library. The motion carried.

It was the consensus of the Council to have the Arrowhead Library System Staff work with the City Administrator to obtain permission from the property owners to have soil borings completed on the Don Niska and Emil Johnson properties.

It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator contact Michael Lambert regarding his position on the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and reconsider the item at the next regular meeting.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to adopt Resolution Number 06-01, Ordering Improvements to Marble Avenue, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Council discussed the proposal from USX Corporation regarding the City purchasing land adjacent to General Electric at a cost of $80,000 for 133 acres. The Mayor said that the land would be good property for industrial use.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to authorize City Staff to negotiate with USX Corporation for the purchase of the 133 acres adjacent to General Electric. The motion carried.

The City Attorney recommended that the City have a Phase One Environmental Report completed on the 133 acres from USX Corporation prior to any purchase being made.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to authorize the Sign Lighting Maintenance Agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skogman to have the Director of Public Works and the City Engineer look at what options that the City could take, short of paving the streets, to take care of the dirt streets/roads in Mountain Iron and have the options reported to the Council by May 1st. The motion carried with Councilor Brunfelt voting no.

The Mayor advised the Council Members to review the memo from the City Attorney regarding the taconite tax distribution issues and the Council will discuss the memo at the next regular meeting. The City Attorney reminded the Council that this memo is considered a confidential item because of potential litigation on the matter.

During the open discussion, Councilor Skogman asked if the 2001 allocation to the Range Recreation and Civic Center had been paid yet. The City Administrator said that a request for payment was not received.

The Mayor reminded the Council Members to attend the Taconite Tax Hearings on March 3, 2001 in Aurora at 9:00 a.m. and in Grand Rapids at 2:00 p.m.

At 8:07 p.m., it was moved by Matanich and supported by Roskoski that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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