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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for February 22, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

FEBRUARY 22, 2005

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; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; and Paul Cerkvenik, City Attorney.

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. 1. Qwest Phone Book Listings for West Virginia area 

V. D. ATV Trail Designation

Approve the minutes of the February 7, 2005, 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, 2005, totaling $139,841.94, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period February 1-15, 2005, totaling $159,789.26, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, 5480 Carnation Avenue, West Virginia area, spoke regarding the sump pump penalty on her utility bill. She said that she was never informed that there was a problem with compliance to the sump pump ordinance as a new resident in Mountain Iron. She further stated that the inspector had come to her house and certified that she was in compliance and she requested that the $50 in penalty charges be reversed off of her bill. 

The Mayor addressed the audience regarding the procedures followed for the sump pump fines.

Also during the public forum, Peanut Saari, 5746 Mineral Avenue, said that she reviewed the ordinance and it does not say that it is mandatory for her to make an appointment for an inspection.

The Mayor requested that City Staff supply all of the communications that were sent to the residents over the past 20 months regarding the sump pump ordinance.

Also during the public forum, Richard and Margaret Matyska, 5495 Coral Lane, stated that they built a new home in Unity Addition and they had inspections completed during construction.

The Director of Public Works explained to the Council that the Unity Addition customers were certified by the Building Inspector and those notes did not get into the City system and all of the fines would be removed for the residents in Unity Addition. 

Also during the public forum, Stephen Skogman, said that he had a proposal for the City Council. He said that he had a resident contact him regarding the televising of the City Council meetings. He said that this resident would be willing to donate $1,000 towards the broadcast of the City Council meetings. Councilor Roskoski requested that this item be placed on the March 7, 2005, City Council agenda. 

Also during the public forum, Mary Karakash, 5639 Eagle Avenue, Parkville, requested an update from the City Council regarding the Excelsior Energy proposal. The Mayor and City Administrator said there has been no meeting scheduled. Councilor Prebeg said that there has not been anymore information received from Excelsior Energy. Ray Saari advised the Council to check the background of the company for the plants that they have in Indiana and Florida. Elmer Johnson requested that the Council look on the internet regarding the coal gasification process because it is a new environmentally clean form of generating electricity and natural gas. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to contact Qwest regarding the phone book publication using the correct mailing addresses for the Mountain Iron areas with postal addresses in Iron and Virginia. The motion carried.

At 7:29 p.m., Councilor Nelson left the meeting.

Councilor Irish questioned the City Engineer regarding the railroad quiet zone designations. The City Engineer said that the internet site was down through November, 2004 and he had not look into it further. Councilor Irish said that the deadline for the application is April 1, 2005 for requesting the quiet zone designation. The City Engineer said that the crossing improvements would be approximately $150,000 per crossing with no grant funding available. The Council took no further action on the issue.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding the Call Out List provided to the City Council. He said that the first week in July was missing off of the list. Councilor Roskoski expressed concern with the Call Out List being planned for a year in advance and if there were some changes, who would be responsible to notify Minnesota Power. The Director of Public Works said that the person on call always has the call out phone and Minnesota Power calls this number first.

Councilor Roskoski questioned how many inspections for the sanitary sewers and sump pumps have been completed. The Director of Public Works said that he had been completing quarterly reports to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and he was guessing that 450 of the property owners were in compliance out of 950 property owners. 

The Mayor asked that the Council review the property owners that have no basements at the next City Council meeting.

The Director of Public Works stated that the Carriage Homes properties all share a community sump pump system with drain tile. 

Councilor Irish said that the City Council needs to look at the cost effectiveness for the use of the Mountain Iron Library at a cost per visit comparison before hiring replacement personnel. Mayor Skalko said that he always has wanted to keep the current employees, but with a retirement, the City Council needs to look further into the matter.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to refer the situation with the Assistant Librarian retiring from the Library to the Personnel Committee and have a recommendation back to the City Council by mid April. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson absent.

The City Engineer reported that he had submitted the information on the South Grove Park to the City Administrator. The Mayor requested that the South Grove Park options be on the next City Council agenda.

Councilor Irish questioned the City Engineer if their firm had determined the right-of-way issues on Monkey Road in Parkville. He stated that he wanted a letter from the City Engineer stating his findings on the right-of-way issues on Monkey Road. Councilor Irish also questioned the City Engineer regarding another possible grant source for the ATV Trail. The City Engineer said that he had not received any additional grant information.

The City Attorney reviewed the Community Foundation information. Councilor Roskoski said that the Civic Association wants to control the release of foundation funds and the City of Mountain Iron would hold the foundation funds. The City Attorney stated that the City Council would have to accept any donation to the Community Foundation by a two thirds vote and this would become public money and would be subject to all the limitations and restrictions of any other public funds that the city raises through general revenues, grants, and fees. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to approve the safety training contract with Minnesota Power for 2005. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson absent.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to accept the resignation/retirement of Darlene Anderson, Assistant Librarian, with regrets, effective July 1, 2005. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson absent.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the City Engineer to research the 16th Avenue street improvement records to find out what standards and quantities were used in the original construction of 16th Avenue during the period 1978 through 1980. And further, the City Engineer�s opinion on pitching/tilting 16th Avenue to an angle to allow drainage on the road and eliminate the catch basins on the Mountain Iron side of 16th Avenue. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson absent.

The Council reviewed the Spring Park Road information. It was the consensus of the Council to review the information during the next regular Council meeting with the South Grove proposal.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to have the City Engineer develop specifications and a cost estimate to build an outside air chamber/muffler for the intake on the air handler for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg voting no and Councilor Nelson absent.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski that a resolution be drafted and implemented immediately that would give the proposed ATV Trail System within the City of Mountain Iron and the parties involved a first option agreement to secure the City land required and set forth in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources grant application. And further, this resolution will forever secure the ATV Trail System unless a mutual agreement is made between the Wacootah Wheelers ATV Club and the City of Mountain Iron. If it becomes necessary to close any portion of the trail system, for any reason, a reroute, alternative route, or relocation, that meets or exceeds the original specifications of the trail, must be approved by the Wacootah Wheelers ATV Club and the City of Mountain Iron. All costs associated with any such trail modifications, as stated, will be made by the parties requesting such action and/or the City of Mountain Iron. After further discussion, Councilor Irish withdrew his motion and Councilor Roskoski withdrew his support.

It was moved by Roskoski to allow Councilor Irish to meet with the City Attorney regarding the motion regarding the ATV trail. After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski withdrew his motion.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to adopt Ordinance 03-05, enacting a code of ordinance for the City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota, amending, restating, revising, updating, codifying and compiling certain ordinances of the City dealing with the subjects embraced in the code of ordinances, and providing penalties for the violation of the code of ordinances, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Nelson absent.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to approve the 2005 appropriation to the Quad City Joint Recreation Authority in the amount of $6,720.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote with Nelson absent.

The Council reviewed the list of communications. 

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski questioned a motion that was voted on at the November 22, 2004, City Council meeting regarding allowing City Staff to work with a developer on a project in Mountain Iron. Councilor Roskoski questioned why the location that was discussed changed and why there was no estimate of costs prepared. Councilor Irish asked the City Staff when the location was changed in the discussions with the developer. The City Administrator said that he did not have a specific date.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to send a plant and a get well card to Sergeant Joe Stewart at a cost of up to $50. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote with Councilor Nelson absent.

At 8:59 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson absent.

COMMUNICATIONS

U. S. Steel Corporation, a letter opposing the request for the City to purchase properties from the State for the construction of the Excelsior Energy Project.

Minnesota Department of Transportation, a letter advising the City that they are denying the request to have a “Historic Original Town Site” placed at the junction of Highway 169 and County Road 102.

DNR Cyber News, information regarding locating a site for a new 70-mile all-terrain vehicle/off-highway motorcycle trail in Minnesota.

Saint Louis County, advising the City of a workshop for FY 2005 CDBG award recipients on Thursday, March 3, 2005 at the Mountain Iron Community Center.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the February 11, 2005, Friday Fax.

University of Minnesota, forwarding information on the 2005 Minnesota Municipal Clerks Institute. 

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