The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for January 07, 2008

MINUTES
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
REORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
JANUARY 7, 2008

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:32 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 John Backman, Sergeant.

The Mayor advised the Council Members that he consulted with the City Attorney and discussed the “Open Discussion” portion of the Council meeting. The Mayor said that this portion of the meeting is strictly for discussion of City business and not for editorializing.

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

1. Approve the minutes of the December 17, 2007, City Council meeting as submitted.

2. 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.

3. To acknowledge the receipts for the period December 16-31, 2007, totaling $540,407.20, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

4. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period December 16-31, 2007, totaling $586,490.54, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes). 

Removing the bill from Colosimo, Patchin, Kearney and Brunfelt and submit it to the City Attorney for a written legal opinion whether the City is responsible for paying this bill and to have this opinion available for the next regular meeting.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Zupancich, yes; Stanaway, yes; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg to appoint Alan Stanaway as Deputy Mayor for 2008. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to appoint Sam Aluni, the Trenti Law Firm, as the City Attorney for 2008. The motion carried.
It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Roskoski to appoint Rod Flannigan, Benchmark Engineering, as the City Engineer for 2008. The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Stanaway to appoint the Mesabi Daily News as the official newspaper for the City of Mountain Iron for 2008. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Zupancich to set the regular meetings for the first and third Mondays at 6:30 p.m. for 2008. The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Prebeg 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 2008. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to re-appoint Jim Giorgi and Victoria Juntunen to serve on the Planning and Zoning Commission with their terms expiring on December 31, 2010. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg to re-appoint Reynold Renzaglia to the Utility Advisory Board with his term expiring on December 31, 2010. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to re-appoint Joe Prebeg and Gerry Golobich and appoint Brian Wilson to the Park and Recreation Board with their term expiring on December 31, 2010. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Stanaway to re-appoint Allen Nelson to the Economic Development Authority with his term expiring on December 31, 2012. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Skalko to appoint Mildred Babbini and re-appoint Jill Kinney to the Library Board with their terms expiring on December 31, 2010. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg to appoint Allen Nelson to the Public Safety and Health Board with his term expiring on December 31, 2010. The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Roskoski to appoint the following to the Mountain Iron Cable Commission with the terms expiring as listed:

Gary Skalko with his term expiring on December 31, 2008
Stephen Skogman with his term expiring on December 31, 2009
Tom Cvar with his term expiring on December 31, 2010

The motion carried with Mayor Skalko abstaining.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to direct the City Administrator to place two additional notices in the weekend edition of the Mesabi Daily News to advertise for the open Cable Commission positions. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator submit Raija Sarich’s name to the Tennis for All Board for consideration as a representative from Mountain Iron.

It was the consensus of the Council to direct the City Administrator to send a thank you letter from the City Council to Rhonda McConnell for her three years of service on the Library Board and Julie Dale for her year of service on the Parks and Recreation Board.

The Mayor requested that members of the Council attend the Board of Review training on January 23, 2008, at the Cotton Town Hall. He said that currently he is the only Council member that is certified in order to continue to maintain local control of the Board of Review meetings. Councilor Stanaway said that he would be willing to attend the training.

The Mayor updated the Council on the following:

– Snowplowing. He advised that the City is currently under Calendar Parking. He also said that the advertisement that went into the newspaper regarding snowplowing regulations was not adopted at the City level, but at the State level.

The Mayor made comments with regard to the state of the City:

– Financially. He said that the City is financially sound and the reserve funds are adequate.
– Mountain Manor. He said that as of February 1, 2008, the facility will reach 100% occupancy.
– Street Improvements. The City will continue street improvement projects in 2008 and hopefully have the 2007 proposed projects completed by May of 2008.
– Old Highway 169. The Old Highway 169 Improvement Project would begin in the Summer of 2008 and would be worked on over the next 3-4 years.
– Tennis Courts. The City will be reconstructing the South Grove Tennis Courts.
– Downtown Area. The City will be installing vintage lighting and upgrading Locomotive Park beginning this summer using a $135,000 State Grant along with $25,000 in matching grant funds from the City.
– Library. The library renovation project has been completed except for a few small projects. He said that the Librarian has been doing an excellent job at the Library throughout the renovation.
– Economic Development. He said that it is the goal of the majority of the Council to continue to work on economic development in the City. He said that it is a joint effort with all of the Board and Commission Members, City Staff, and the City Council.
– Walgreens. Opened in the Spring of 2007 and added several new jobs and increased the tax base in the City.
– L & M Expansion. The project should be completed by mid February. The expansion also added more jobs and increase the tax base in the City.
– Park Ridge Development Site. An agreement was executed in June of 2007 with a development group from Wisconsin. He said that a Holiday Inn Express should be started soon. In two to three years there will be a lot of development in this area.
– Fairview Clinic. They are scheduled to begin a major expansion of their clinic.
– Wind Energy Project. He said that this project will be located by the Laurentian Divide at the north end of the City and is currently under construction. He said that it is a 25 megawatt, 10 turbine structure. He said that the Economic Development Authority may maintain a portion of ownership in the project, this is still pending.
– Wood Pellet Plant. This project is still proceeding forward.
– Grants. He said that the City has $500,000 from the State Energy Renewable Grant.
– IRRRA Grant. The City was awarded $300,000 to develop infrastructure by Highway 53.
– Lake Country Power. The project will be coming to Mountain Iron and will add 43 jobs in Mountain Iron. Various towns have bid on the project, but they have informed the City they will locate in Mountain Iron.
– Residential Development. The City’s Unity Second Addition with 35 lots for sale. The City has sold eight lots to date.
– Private Residential Development. This project encompasses approximately 20 acres just south of South Grove. A $200,000 grant was awarded to this project to assist with the infrastructure.
– Thank you. He thanked the local volunteers, all the Boards and Commissions Members, City Staff, and a majority of the Council that believe in Economic development and growth for the Community.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to adopt the surface lease number with USS Real Estate for five years at a cost of $310, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to accept the resignation of Steve Giorgi from the Planning and Zoning Commission, direct City Staff to place a notice in the newspaper seeking applicants to fill the vacancy, and send a letter of thanks to Mr. Giorgi for his years of service on the Commission. The motion carried.

The City Administrator reported on the following:

– State Auditor’s Office. He advised the Council that the State Auditor’s Office was questioning some expenditures the City had made in the past years with regard to payments made to the Wacootah Wheelers Group and the Cemetery Associations. He said that a letter may be coming from the State Auditor’s Office with regard to the inquiry.
– Laurention Energy Authority. He advised the Council that he and the Fire Chief had met with the Authority regarding fire calls to their property.
– IRRRA Demolition Program. He advised the Council that the program is in effect and they can contact the City for information on how to get an application.

The Director of Public Works presented quotes to the Council regarding the purchase of four grader tires coming from questions raised by Councilor Roskoski. The Mayor advised Councilor Roskoski that he owed the Director of Public Works an apology for his comments made at a previous meeting regarding not obtaining quotes for the tires. Councilor Roskoski offered no apology. The Mayor offered an apology from the Council for embarrassing the Director of Public Works at a previous meeting. Councilor Stanaway stressed to Councilor Roskoski that he should apologize to the Director of Public Works. Councilor Roskoski again offered no apology.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Stanaway to direct Benchmark Engineering to prepare plans and specifications for the replacement of the South Grove Tennis Courts. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to allow the Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour 2008 to use the Locomotive Park on August 9, 2008. The motion carried.

At 7:25 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

The Council reviewed the December 2007 statistic report from the Sheriff’s Department.

At 7:27 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to authorize payment request number one to Lanyk Electric in the amount of $28,322.00 for the West Two Rivers Electrical Improvement Project. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Engineer thanked the City Council for re-appointing Benchmark Engineering as the City’s Engineer for 2008.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Skalko to direct City Staff to work with the Mountain Iron First Responders Group to obtain their own radio channel. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and authorize the Librarian to continue to work at a full-time status to complete the Special Events Coordinator Position due to the retirement of the Recreation Director. After further discussion, Prebeg amended his motion to remove the word “Special” from the title and Zupancich seconded the amendment. The amended motion carried.

There were no Liaison Reports.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to donate $1,000 to aide “needy” youths from Mountain Iron to participate in the Tennis Program offered through the Tennis for All Facility with the funds being expended from the Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved Skalko and seconded by Stanaway to adopt Resolution Number 01-08, amending the joint powers agreement for constructing and maintaining a Quad Cities Joint Recreational Center, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 02-08, calling for a public hearing by the City on the proposed adoption of the modification of the Redevelopment Plan for Redevelopment Project Number 1, and the proposed establishment of Tax Increment Financing District Number 14 therein and the adoption of the Tax Increment Financing Plan therefor, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Roskoski to change the next regular meeting to Tuesday, February 22, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. due to the Martin Luther King holiday. The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the list of communications.

During the open discussion, the following items were discussed:

– City Business. The Mayor advised the Council members that items talked about during the open discussion portion of the meeting must be City business and not editorials.
– Renewable Energy Grant. Councilor Prebeg asked what the deadline for the grant was. The City Administrator said that the grant would expire in 2011.
– Iron Range Getaway Guide for 2008. Councilor Roskoski said that the City of Mountain Iron was mentioned seven times in the guide, last year the City was mentioned ten times.
– Qwest Phone Book. Councilor Roskoski said that in the 2007 phone book the City’s Locomotive was featured on the cover. He also pointed out that on the cover of the 2008 phone book the picture was also taken in Mountain Iron by the east pit.
– Snow Removal. Councilor Roskoski asked where snow can legally be placed. The Mayor said that you need to use common sense with snow removal and to follow the State Statute.

At 7:55 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Jill M. Forseen, CMC/MMCA
Municipal Services Secretary

www.mtniron.com

COMMUNICATIONS

1. Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, forwarding the notice for the Annual Membership Meeting on January 31, 2008, in Virginia.

2. Range Association of Municipalities and Schools, forwarding a notice requesting applications for the Board of Directors positions.

3. Mountain Iron-Buhl High School, Laurentian Yearbook Staff, forwarding a thank you for purchasing an ad in the 2008 yearbook.

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