The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for January 02, 2007

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, 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 Rick Feiro, Sergeant.

The City Administrator administered the Oath of Office to Tony Zupancich and Alan Stanaway.

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

Add the following item to the agenda:

VI. C. Library Pay Request Number 11 ? Lenci Enterprises, Inc.

Approve the minutes of the December 18, 2006, 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 December 16-31, 2006, totaling $513,869.50, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period December 16-31, 2006, totaling $486,804.77, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Zupancich to appoint Joe Prebeg as Deputy Mayor for 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Stanaway to appoint Sam Aluni, The Trenti Law Firm, as the City Attorney for 2007 at the same rate as 2006 for 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to appoint Rod Flannigan, Benchmark Engineering, as the City Engineer for 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and supported by Skalko to appoint the Mesabi Daily News as the official newspaper for the City of Mountain Iron for 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Prebeg to set the regular meetings for the first and third Mondays at 6:30 p.m. for 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to designate the City?s official depositories as the American Bank, Queen City Federal, Wells Fargo Bank, US Bank, Twin City Federal, League of Minnesota Cities 4M Fund, Miller Johnson Steichen Kinnard, Inc., Smith Barney, Inc., Northland Securities, First National Bank of Buhl, and Federal Home Loan Bank, for 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to re-appoint Barb Fivecoate and Stephen Skogman to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission with their term expiring on December 31, 2009, and appoint Tony Zupancich as the Council Liaison for the Planning and Zoning Commission. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Skalko to re-appoint Bruce Peterson and Scott Williams to the Utility Advisory Board with their term expiring on December 31, 2009, and appoint Joe Prebeg as the Council Liaison for the Utility Advisory Board. The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and supported by Skalko to re-appoint Scott McDermid and Natalie Pankratz-Leff to the Park and Recreation Board with their term expiring on December 31, 2009, and appoint Joe Prebeg as the Council Liaison for the Park and Recreation Board. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to re-appoint Barb Fivecoate with her term expiring on December 31, 2012 and re-appoint Allen Nelson with his term expiring on December 31, 2007, and appoint Alan Stanaway with his term expiring on December 31, 2008, and have Tony Zupancich and Alan Stanaway serve as the Council Liaisons to the Economic Development Authority. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to appoint Gail Kleinschmidt and re-appoint Jackie Jenko with their terms expiring on December 31, 2009, and to appoint Alan Stanaway as the Council Liaison for the Library Board. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was the consensus of the Council to direct the City Administrator to send a thank you letter from the City Council to Lisa Casillo for her three years of service on the Library Board.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Stanaway to appoint Joe Prebeg and Tony Zupancich to serve on the Personnel Committee. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to appoint Gary Skalko and Ed Roskoski to the Street Committee. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski abstaining.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Prebeg to appoint Gary Skalko to serve on the Iron Range Youth in Action Board. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Prebeg to appoint Gary Skalko to the RRCC Board. The motion carried.

The Mayor gave a brief update on the status of the City. He stated that the City is in sound financial condition. He updated the residents and Council on the following projects. He said that the South Grove Playground was upgraded with an award of a $20,000 grant from Saint Louis County and the City spending approximately $25,000, he said that the City has applied for another grant from Saint Louis to complete the South Grove Park Project. In the Downtown area, the renovation of the Public Library was almost complete, it is now ADA compliant, has air conditioning on the main level, and the Project should be completed by this summer. He said that the City was awarded a TEA 21 federal enhancement grant for streetscape and lighting projects in the amount of $140,000 with City matching funds of $35,000. This grant will be used this summer and must be completed by 2008. He said that there has been a number of Economic Development Projects completed in the City and whether the city gives incentive or not, it is always a team approach beginning with the Planning and Zoning Commission, then to the Economic Development Authority, with the City Administrator/Executive Director and volunteers working on the Projects by serving on the Boards and Commissions, and then to the City Council for final approval. In 2006 the City saw the development of the following: the Mountain Timbers Project, the Diamond Willow Assisted Living Project, Walgreens, P & H MinePro, an expansion of the L & M Supply Store, an expansion of Fairview Clinic, the Park Ridge Development Project with a signed development agreement, Unity 2nd Addition with 33 lots to the west of the original Unity Addition for the construction of Single Family Dwellings, a Renewable Energy Grant awarded from the State of Minnesota working with a wood pellet plant that would be located by the Biomass Project, and a Wind Energy Project. The Mayor said that the City was awarded a $150,000 for the Park Ridge Development for a secondary road. The Mayor credited the City Administrator for obtaining the majority of the grants for the City with the Recreation Director also working on some grant applications. The Mayor said that the City received the first big snowfall for the season and he thanked the Director of Public Works and the City Crew for the excellent work completed on removal of the snow. The Mayor also mention that his Dad had passed away a few weeks ago and he was both proud and humble to live in Mountain Iron for all of the people in the area for all of their thoughtfulness in remembering his family. The Mayor also thanked Joe Buria for the work he had completed writing FEMA grants for the Fire Department.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to renew the amendment to surface lease number 13304 for one year at a cost of $150, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to oversee, monitor, accept responsibility and evaluate the “nonaudit services” completed by Walker, Giroux and Hahne, Ltd. for the 2006 audit. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if the City had received funding regarding a grant application submitted to IRRRA for the ceiling problem at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The City Administrator said that he has not received any information regarding the grant application.

Councilor Roskoski also asked if the City Administrator had completed the additional information regarding the fees schedule for residential building permits and obtaining the Council motion from IronWorld. The City Administrator said that he was still working on the request.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Prebeg to authorize the training agreement with Minnesota Power for two years a price of $2,850.00 per year with the expenses being paid from the electrical fund. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works whether the concerns raised about the grout cracking in the new bathrooms at the Library had been taken care of. The Director of Public Works said that he spoke with the contactor and the project had been finalized out and the contractor said that he would have his crew come back and remove the grout and replace it with a flexible grout and he was not aware if the repairs had been completed yet or not.

Councilor Roskoski said that the Mayor?s comment regarding the snow plowing was well taken with no complaints heard. He asked the Director of Public Works what projects the City Crews have been working on when they have not been plowing, due to the lack of snow. The Director of Public Works said that they have been working on a number of other projects including the addition of more Christmas decoration, street maintenance, and sanding icy areas.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to authorize the contract to book “Game Show Mania” for the 2007 Merritt Days Celebration for a total cost of $3,000. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Sergeant whether their Department has noticed any unique happenings or trouble areas in Mountain Iron. The Sergeant stated that nothing came to mind regarding any trouble areas. He said that they got through the snow storm with only some minor accidents. The Mayor questioned the Sergeant about vandalism at Locomotive Park with regard to the breaking of the globes for the lights. The Director of Public Works said that they are looking into finding a replacement globes that are stronger. The Sergeant said that the vandalism had not been reported to the Sheriff?s Department, as far as he is aware. The Director of Public Works said that he would forward the information to the Sheriff?s Department for their review. The Mayor requested the residents of Mountain Iron to watch for any vandalism in Locomotive Park and report it to the Sheriff?s Department.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Fire Department and authorize the change in the vendors to purchase jackets (approximately $776/each), pants (approximately $541/each), and boots (approximately $180/each) from Midwest Emergency Equipment, helmets from The Fire Store, lockers at an expense of $4,800, and a 2001 Tahoe from the Oakdale Fire Department for a purchase price of $18,500. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski requested the City Engineer update the City Council on the Unity Drive Sidewalk and Street Reconstruction Project. The City Engineer explained the project to the Council. 

The City Engineered thanked the City Council for the past years of work and being selected as City Engineer for 2007.

At 7:32 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

Councilor Prebeg questioned the City Engineer or the Director of Public Works regarding who would be responsible for the repair of the potholes by the L & M Supply?s driveway. The Director of Public Works said that the repairs would be the responsibility of L & M Supply, as all driveways are considered private property.

At 7:33 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and offer the Lineman Position to Gary Savela. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to approve the Employment Agreement for the Library Director. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski, with regard to the administration negotiations, to have the Trenti Law Firm office look into the legality of management and the City Council correctly following proper procedure in opening contract negotiations in a timely manner and check if the City Council has violated any open meeting laws by going into a closed session to discuss pending negotiations with City management personnel. And, whatever conclusion he finds be provided to the Council in writing. The motion died for lack of support.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Zupancich to authorize payment request number 11 to Lenci Enterprise Incorporated in the amount of $17,917.05 for the Library Renovation Project. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Stanaway to adopt Resolution Number 01-07, approving an amendment to the Development Agreement with Mountain Timber Company, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Zupancich to adopt Resolution Number 02-07, guaranteeing the local share of construction costs and ongoing maintenance for a grant application for a trail from the Mountain Iron-Buhl High School to South Grove to the Merritt Elementary School, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Stanaway to authorize a donation of $100 for the 2007 Mountain Iron-Buhl All Night Graduation Party with the funds being expended from the Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Prebeg to waive the building rental fee for the Mountain Iron-Buhl High School Prom on Saturday, April 21, 2007. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Stanaway to reschedule the next regular meeting for Wednesday, January 17, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to schedule a public hearing for January 17, 2007, for the tax abatement for the L & M Supply expansion. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Stanaway to schedule a public hearing for January 17, 2007, to consider granting Mountain Timber Wood Products for JOBZ status. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Zupancich to authorize City Staff to seek quotes for the City Hall central office carpeting or floor covering and window enclosure. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski to have the City Administrator and the Mayor put together a list of specific procedures that the former City Council put into practice on how to put items on meeting agendas, how to authorize money expenditures especially the ones that come before the Council right at the beginning of the meeting, how we honor various requests, and how we make and support motion with said list being in the packet for the second meeting in January. The motion died for lack of support.

The Council reviewed the list of communications. The Mayor said that he would attend the Saint Louis County Board of Review training session on January 17, 2007, in Cotton. 

Councilor Roskoski questioned what the amount of the Saint Louis Community Development Block Grant for Mountain Manor was. The City Administrator said that the grant was for $15,000 for playground improvements. Councilor Roskoski asked who was going to decide what type of equipment would be placed there. Councilor Prebeg suggested that this be turned over to the Recreation Director for a recommendation.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the grant that the City failed to receive because of a requirement not met by the City from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The City Administrator said that DEED said that the grant was not applied for within six months of the remedial action plan being completed, but he said that this was completed within the time frame and the City is still seeking the funding. 

Councilor Prebeg asked if any of the Council members would be attending the Leadership Conference on January 12-13, 2007 in Grand Rapids. Councilor Zupancich and Stanaway said that they would be attending the training.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski commented regarding the Mayor?s right to make appointments to board and commissions. He said that it is not his right, but his obligation to bring names to the City Council. The Mayor explained that it is the Mayor?s appointment and the Council votes on the appointment and the Council can vote against the appointment if they so chose. 

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski said that the new Council Members should somehow be made aware of the procedures set forth by the previous City Council. The Mayor said that the new Council Members would meet with City Staff if they have any questions. 

At 8:19 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Saint Louis County, a letter advising the City of the CDBG award for the Mountain Manor Playground Improvements.

Department of Employment and Economic Development, a letter advising the City that the Contamination Cleanup/Investigation Grant Program application did not meet the eligibility requirements of the program.

AFSCME Local 453, a letter advising of the newly elected officers for the Union and approval of an error found in the labor agreement.

Saint Louis County, a letter informing the City of a training opportunity for the Local Board of Appeal & Equalization on January 17, 2007, in Cotton

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