The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for February 22, 2006


FEBRUARY 22, 2006

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, Recreation Director; Wade Rasch, Sergeant; Paul Cerkvenik, City Attorney; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer (entering at 6:43 p.m.).

The Mayor welcomed the audience and television viewing audience to the meeting.

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

Add the following item to the agenda:

IV. A. 4. IRRR Infrastructure Grants

Approve the minutes of the February 6, 2006, City Council meeting with the following corrections:

Page 4, Paragraph 3, “�the last Parks and Recreation Board meeting they there was discussion�”

Page 5, paragraph 5, “�to contact the IRRRA to seed seek information�”

Approve the minutes of the February 8, 2006, Special 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, 2006, totaling $169,358.97, (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, 2006, totaling $203,560.25, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Larry Brunfelt, 5720 Mineral Avenue, questioned the Council with regard to building structures on the property purchased from the City across the alley. He further stated that a new garage was constructed at 5698 Mineral Avenue when their garage burnt down. The City Administrator said that structures can not be constructed in an easement. The Administrator said that he would follow up on the matter with the Zoning Administrator. 

During the public forum, Ed Roskoski, 5409 North Court, stated that the snowplowing on North Court has not been completed according to the motion made by the City Council three years ago. He said that the snow plow has torn up the sod in his yard and with the placement of street snow in his yard the salt goes in his yard. He said that he does not want to see this happen again because it is a direct violation of the Council motion.

The Mayor informed the Council that there was a meeting held on February 22, 2006, regarding the Railroad Quiet Zone. The Mayor said he attended along with Councilor Prebeg, Councilor Irish, the Director of Public Works, the City Engineer, the Sergeant, the Virginia Mayor, the County Commissioner, Representative Rukavina, Representative Tommasoni, MN/DoT Representatives, and representatives from the railroad. The Mayor said that the discussion centered on the “Quiet Zone” designation and the blockage of the roads. The Mayor said that the “Quiet Zone” designation issue would come down to funding. 

The Council discussed the IRRRA grant program for infrastructure grants. The City Administrator said that the funding guidelines state that there must be some type of job creation for the grants. 

The Mayor read a letter dated February 16, 2006, from Sergeant Joe Stewart stating that he would be retiring from the Sheriff�s Department effective March 1, 2006.

The Mayor said that he and Councilor Prebeg would be traveling with Gary Cerkvenik to the State Capitol to attend a public hearing regarding the bonding request.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to apply for a IRRRA Mineland Reclamation Grant in the amount of $30,000 for use at Locomotive Park. The motion carried.

It was the consensus of the Council to have Council members submit proposed uses for the $30,000 IRRRA Mineland Reclamation Funding to City Staff by March 1, 2006.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to establish a Negotiation Committee comprising of the two Council members from the Personnel Committee and the Director of Public Works working with the Consultant, Louie Russo, to negotiate with Local Union #453. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to authorize an advertisement with H.R. Graphics, Incorporated at a cost of $759 with the funds being expended from the General Fund. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski made a statement regarding the grinder demonstration in Meadowlands that the Mayor commented on at the previous meeting. Councilor Roskoski stated that in regard to the Mayor�s statements regarding electric powered grinders instead of engine powered chippers being used by the Laurentian Biomass Authority and other related business that may be located on the tailing pond between Downtown Mountain Iron and South Grove, he would like to have the required use of these processes put down in writing in the development agreement for these projects. He also said that there should be some type of dialog going with regard to the type of fill and top layers being used for storage and processing areas to prevent dust in dry weather and mud in wet weather from being tracked all over town.

The City Administrator advised the Council that the Street and Alley Committee met at 5:00 p.m. on February 22, 2006. Councilor Roskoski commented on the meeting and stated that they are currently seeking additional information regarding most of the items on their agenda. 

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator whether he had information regarding changing the fee schedule for the rent of the city buildings. The City Administrator said that he is collecting information on what other communities are doing and what they charge.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize City Staff to seek prices on a new single axle sanding truck. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of City Staff and purchase 15,000 feet of I/O aluminum underground wire from Wesco at their low quoted price of $22,350.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Sergeant Rasch requested that area residents contact his office if they are stopped for more than 10 minutes at the railroad crossings in Mountain Iron.

The Council reviewed the January 2006 Sheriff�s Department Activity Report.

During the liaison reports, Councilor Roskoski reported on the Library Board. He said that they are prioritizing future work to be completed at the library with the list as follows: 1) electrical lighting upgrades, 2) air conditioning, and 3) new carpeting or the restoration of the original floor. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to apply for IRRR grant for $70,000 for repairs and engineering fees for the wastewater treatment plant. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to direct the City Attorney to prepare a listing of legal donations that the City Council can contribute to. After further discussion, Councilor Nelson withdrew his motion and Mayor Skalko withdrew his support.

The City Attorney said that he would forward to the City Administrator a summary from the League of Minnesota Cities regarding lawful contributions that the City can contribute to.

The City Council discussed the contribution request for the Sand Lake Shuffle. The City Attorney said that this donation request would not fall under the legal guidelines for City contributions. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to set the Board of Review meeting for April 11, 2006, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The motion carried.

During the open discussion, Councilor Prebeg thanked the City Staff and the Sheriff�s Department for their assistance with snow removal and traffic control during the annual Bush Memorial Snowmobile Ride.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Irish said that he was approached by a citizen regarding a meeting held a few months ago in the Community Center stating that the sound system was not working very well. The Director of Public Works said that the sound system had been looked at and taken care of recently and when the City has used the system they have not had any problems with it. 

At 7:32 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried. 


Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, a letter acknowledging receipt of the Biosolids Land Spreading Annual Report for cropping year September 1, 2004 through August 31, 2005.

Jim Makowsky, AmericInn Lodge and Suites, an invitation to a meeting on February 22, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. regarding the QZ (Quiet Zone).

Vydetta Newberg, Spring Creek Outfitters, a letter regarding Locomotive Park.

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