The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for January 20, 1998

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Brunfelt with the following members present: Carolyn Olsen, Stephen Skogman, Joe Matanich, Curt Piri, and Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Deputy Clerk; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; Joe Stewart, Sheriff Sergeant: and Greg French, City Engineer.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Add the following items to the agenda:

III. or V.G. Report from Minntac Liaison Committee

VII. G. Authorize a grant application to the IRRRB, Mineland Reclamation Division, for Wetlands Mitigation.

2. Approve the minutes of the December 30, 1997, sine die meeting.

3. Approve the minutes of the January 5, 1998, regular meeting as submitted.

4. 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.

5. Authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period January 1-15, 1998, totaling $92,990.93, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

6. Acknowledge the receipts for the period January 1-15, 1998, totaling $79,163.15, (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.

During the Public Forum, Tom Oberstar requested an update on meetings with Minntac. The Mayor said that he was not able to attend the meeting because he was called out of town on business, but Councilor Olsen and City Administrator Wainio attended the meeting. Councilor Olsen said that the Committee reviewed the options for the Costin location. Councilor Olsen said the Committee reviewed all options. She said that the consensus of the Committee was that there would always be a west entrance to Downtown Mountain Iron. She said that there were five basic options discussed: 1) do nothing; 2) build up Mining Avenue the way it now exists; 3) a slight difference in the Mining Avenue Improvement plan with the beginning portion of the road changed and this would affect the Oberstar home; 4) this was a good plan for the City, but would affect all of the families in Costin; and 5) this plan was too elaborate and expensive, so it was taken off the table for consideration. Councilor Olsen said that all of the options were suggestions and nothing was decided at the meeting. Mr. Oberstar’s main concern was whether a road through Costin would always be there. Councilor Olsen said that the consensus of the Committee was that there would always be a road through Costin. The Committee is going to try to have a meeting with State Representatives to possibly obtain funding to make changes to the Costin area.

Councilor Olsen said the Committee will come to a conclusion on the situation in Costin this year, whether there is nothing done or planning new improvements.

Mr. Oberstar asked to be notified when there are meetings, i.e. Planning and Zoning, City Council, Minntac Committee, etc., regarding discussion of the Costin area. The Mayor advised Mr. Oberstar that he would keep him advised on information regarding meetings to discuss the Costin area. 

Also during the Public Forum, Mr. Ed Roskoski spoke and presented the Council with information and notes on the Community Development Block Grant application for the Downtown Revitalization. He said that Joe Giru continues to ask Mr. Roskoski where the City is on the grant application for the Downtown Revitalization. He said that Mr. Giru has a deadline of December 22, 1998, from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to upgrade his gas station in the Downtown area.

The Mayor advised Mr. Roskoski that the City has a tentative grant of $10,000 to prepare a comprehensive plan for the entire City and once the comprehensive plan is completed, then the City could apply for additional funding.

Also during the Public Forum, the Mayor accepted participation from the audience regarding the application of Theodore Tammaro’s Conditional Use Permit application. The Mayor said that a letter was received from, Ronald and Shirley Klabunde, objecting to the granting of the conditional use permit. The City Administrator informed the Council that the application meets the criteria for the granting of the Conditional Use Permit and the adjacent City of Virginia property owners were notified and no objections were received. The City Attorney advised the Council that the City Council has significant discretion in the granting or denial of the Conditional Use Permit and can override the Planning and Zoning Commission if the feelings of the residents can be interpreted in different ways, the Council has to decide ultimately to issue the permit or not. The City Attorney said that the Planning and Zoning Commission did not give a good reason to deny the permit. The Attorney said that a denial of the permit may be arbitrary and capricious.

Mr. Tammaro spoke and said that he has owned the property and paid the taxes for 28 years. He asked the Council that if his Conditional Use Permit is refused, what could he use his property for?

Mr. Ed Roskoski addressed the Council regarding the Tammaro Conditional Use Permit application. He said that he had the Colosimo Firm make a recommendation regarding the Tammaro Conditional Use Permit by reviewing the City of Mountain Iron’s rules and regulations. Mr. Roskoski handed out the information received from the Colosimo Firm to the City Council. 

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Olsen to grant the Conditional Use Permit to Mr. Theodore Tammaro to place a billboard on his property legally described as the west one/half of Lot 14 and all of Lot 15 including part of vacant 3rd Street, Adjacent, Block 4, West Virginia Addition to Mountain Iron. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Skogman, no; Matanich, no; Piri, yes; Olsen, yes; and Brunfelt, yes. Later in the meeting it was learned that the motion required a four/fifths vote to pass, the motion failed.

Mr. Ed Roskoski pointed out that the Council needs a four/fifths vote to pass the Conditional Use Permit because the Planning and Zoning Commission did not approve the permit.

The Mayor requested the City Attorney to review the Ordinance to see if the Council does need to have a four/fifths vote to pass the Conditional Use Permit.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to appoint Val Carpenter to the Parks and Recreation Board to fill the position previously held by Bernard St. George with the term expiring on December 31, 2000. The motion carried.

The City Attorney reported on the following:

1) McGregor House Movers-a pending zoning violation before the court. The case has been set for review the first week in May before road restrictions go on. Mr. McGregor will hopefully execute a few options regarding the houses located on the lot in South Grove. Mr. McGregor has provided proof of liability insurance coverage covering the houses in South Grove. Judge Berger will review the first week in May.

2) Range TV Franchise application-the Attorney said that he provided a confidential memorandum to the City Administrator outlining the procedure for processing the proposed Cable TV franchise application from Range TV or any other prospective cable TV applicant. The City Attorney said that the Council needs a commitment from Range TV to agree to reimburse the City for the legal fees and costs to change the cable provider. The City Attorney further said that the City would not be incurring any costs up front. 

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to allow the City Attorney to contact outside counsel and negotiate for the cable change. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

At 7:10 p.m., the Mayor recessed the meeting.

At 7:14 p.m., the Mayor reconvened the meeting, Councilor Piri had not returned. 

A City Attorney advised the Council that a four/fifths vote was needed for the Conditional Use Permit to be issued without approval of the Planning and Zoning Commission. The previous motion on the Tammaro Conditional Use Permit failed.

At 7:15 p.m., Councilor Piri entered the meeting.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to refer the Conditional Use Permit back to the Planning and Zoning Commission to start the process over and have them make a recommendation to the Council with sufficient findings for a recommendation of approval or denial for the permit. The motion carried.

The City Engineer had nothing to report.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to authorize a letter of support to the St. Louis County Board for the grant application for the Quad Cities Recreation Authority. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to authorize the Recreation Director to proceed with the plans for the Volunteer Recognition Dinner set for April 21, 1998. The motion carried.

The Director of Public Works said that the quotation was opened at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 14, 1998 on the Recycling Trailer. One quotation was received. The tabulation is as follows:

ABM Equipment

One (1) new hydraulic side dumping curbside

recycling trailer according to specifications $22,950.00

Staff recommends purchase of the recycling trailer from ABM Equipment at their quoted price of $22,950.00 plus tax.

Funding of this will be as follows:

Trailer $22,950.00

Tax $ 1,491.75

TOTAL $24,441.75

Mountain Iron Eveleth

County Recycling Grant $ 5,883.50 $ 7,112.00

Garbage Recycling Fund $ 5,723.13 $ 5,723.13

$11,606.63 $12,835.13

TOTAL $24,441.76

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to authorize the Director of Public Works to purchase a recycling trailer for the quoted price of $22,950.00 from ABM Equipment. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize the Tri-Cities Biosolid Disposal Authority (TCBDA) to use the City of Mountain Iron personnel to process payroll, PERA, worker’s compensation, etc. and the TCBDA would then reimburse the City for all costs incurred. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize the tanker truck to be repaired at an estimated cost of $4,000. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Olsen and supported by Skogman to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the building permit for the Wireless Alliance for a communication tower, a cellular equipment building and a driveway in Section 20, Township 58 North, Range 15 West. The motion carried.

Mr. Steinberg and Mr. Pojar, Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Mineland Reclamation Division, were present and reviewed maps with the City Council. The maps showed the Iron Range area with regarding to future mining and plans for the area. 

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to acknowledge the following election judges that have been appointed to serve at the February 10, 1998, special election:

Precinct #1 – City Hall Precinct #2-Nichols Town Hall

Ellen Nelson Rose Irish

Gertrude Buria Gladys Bergquist

Dorothy Anderson Phyllis Yelenich

Alternate

Caroline Kujala

and authorize a wage of $6.50 per hour and provide one hot meal to the election judges on election day. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Council discussed the final payment request to Hardrives, Inc. for the 18th Avenue Project. It was the consensus of the Council to hold the final payment on the project until some portions of the project are addressed and reconsider the payment at another meeting when things are taken care of.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to approve the Animal Control Contract for the period February 1, 1998 through February 1, 1999 at a cost of $801.92 per month, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Matanich to adopt Resolution #98-02, Bank Authorization, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Olsen to authorize the City Administrator and staff to prepare a grant application to the Mineland Reclamation Division of IRRRB for wetland mitigation projects or any other appropriate item. The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the list of communications.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Brunfelt to authorize the 1998 First Quarter appropriation to the Tri-City Sludge Disposal Authority in the amount of $2,852.80. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to authorize the 1998 Appropriation to the Sludge Disposal Site Authority in the amount of $3,362.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Sergeant Stewart reviewed the criminal activity in Mountain Iron.

The Mayor had nothing to report.

During the open discussion the following Council members had items to discuss:

Mayor Brunfelt – 1) He stated that he received a call from a person in Hibbing whose parents live in the Meadowbrook Apartments. The person said that the concern was about transportation for residents of Mountain Iron. It was the consensus of the Council to have the Administrator seek information from the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) to help the City in supplying a service or information to contact a federal agency with a copy going to Congressman Oberstar, the City of Virginia regarding dial-a-ride coming into Mountain Iron, and Brown Transportation; then place the issue back on the City Council agenda when the City Administrator has obtained the information.

Councilor Piri – 1) Minntac Liaison Committee-is there a guarantee that the road through Costin will remain open. He requested that the information from the Committee meeting be sent to the businesses in Downtown Mountain Iron. Councilor Skogman said that a summary of the meeting could be prepared and sent to the Downtown businesses. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator prepare a notice to the Downtown business owners informing them that the road to the west of the bridge in Costin will remain open.

Sergeant Stewart distributed a list of monthly activities to the City Council.

At 8:10 p.m., it was moved by Piri and supported by Brunfelt that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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