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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for January 20, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

JANUARY 20, 2004

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; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; and Rod Flannigan, Benchmark Engineering.

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

Add the following item to the agenda:

V. F. Library Liaison Report

Approve the minutes of the January 5, 2004, 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 January 1-15, 2004, totaling $128,817.45, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period January 1-15, 2004, totaling $189,068.39, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Greg French, representing SEH Engineering, was present and wanted to personally thank the City Council for allowing SEH Engineering to present a proposal for engineering services.

At 6:31 p.m., Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation, entered the meeting.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to appoint Benchmark Engineering, Inc. as City Engineer for 2004 with the construction and engineering costs not to exceed 16% and that Benchmark Engineering would present a letter to the City stating the 16% maximum. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, abstain; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to appoint Sam Aluni, The Trenti Law Firm, as the City�s primary attorney for everyday types of legal work and appoint Larry C. Minton, Ltd. as the secondary firm to handle issues that the primary firm can not handle. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Roskoski to appoint Walker Giroux and Hahne for the 2003 audit and to implement GASB 34. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; and Skalko, yes.

The Mayor reported to the Council regarding an article that was in the Duluth newspaper regarding proposals to lower the mining production tax. He emphasized that if the proposal does become law, the city would lose a significant amount of funding.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to set a public hearing for March 1, 2004 at 6:30 for the Floodplain Ordinance Amendment and the Shoreland Ordinance Amendment. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to approve the off-site gambling application for March 11, 2004, at the Mountain Iron Community Center for Chicagami. The motion carried.

The Administrator advised the Council that the Personnel Committee had a brief meeting tonight to discuss the early retirement buyout with the union. He said that a proposal should be submitted at the next regular meeting.

The Administrator said that a meeting with the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District, to discuss the land, would be set.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the Director of Public Works to forward the notice of violation reply letter, as presented to the City Council, to the appropriate authority. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct Benchmark Engineering to prepare a roster of grants available for the Heather Avenue Drainage Project. The motion carried.

Councilor Nelson asked if the Utility Advisory Board had met yet to discuss the recycling situation by the Nichols Hall. The Director of Public Works said that the Utility Advisory Board would be meeting next Tuesday and on the agenda would be options for the brush pile by the City Garage and the recycling situation by Nichols Hall. Following their meeting, it would be on the second City Council meeting agenda in February.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works if he had spoken with the City of Virginia regarding the plowing arrangements at the Cemetery. The Director of Public Works said that he would contact the City of Virginia. 

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works what the cause of the waterline break in the Centennial area was. The Director of Public Works stated that it was a frozen hydrant. 

Councilor Roskoski said that someone told him that there was a video camera that you televise the City sewers, which the City could use for free. The Director of Public Works stated that there are cameras available from the Minnesota Rural Water Association and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The Director of Public Works stated that the camera is currently in Mountain Iron. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to authorize the Director of Parks and Recreation to submit the community advertisement to be published in the special edition of the Mesabi Daily News as a cost of $576.80. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor requested that the Director of Parks and Recreation update the Parks and Recreation Board regarding comments he made about moving the South Grove Central Park to be incorporated with the Park at the southern end of South Grove. He wanted it made clear that this was just an idea to work with.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Parks and Recreation regarding order items for the Wacootah Overlook. The Director stated that he was currently getting prices on items for the Overlook. 

The Director of Parks and Recreation advised the City Council that there would be a meeting Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. with the Downtown Committee and an Equipment Representative to discuss the purchase of the playground equipment.

The Director of Parks and Recreation advised the City Council that he had Merritt Days Committee meeting prior to the City Council meeting.

The City Attorney updated the City Council on the Bon Air issue. He said that, by agreement, Harry�s Bon Air, Inc. agreed to allow a judgment to be entered against the corporation, which would be a lien against the real estate. He further stated that they are proceeding to make a claim against the insurance companying to obtain insurance for the Bon Air and if their claim is paid, then the City would get paid for the demolition costs. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Attorney to work with City Staff and U. S. Steel for a proposal, in writing, for a land exchange for cleanup of the remediation of the open dump site. And further, that once the clean up of the site is completed that if the City wants the land, that it be transferred to the City at no cost. The motion carried.

The Council discussed the conversion of the Mountain Iron Housing and Redevelopment Authority to an Economic Development Authority. The City Attorney said that all debts would transfer to the new Economic Development Authority and if there was a default, it would be the responsibility of the City. 

Councilor Roskoski informed the City Council that Mrs. Luoma would be going on medical leave shortly. The Library Board requested that all correspondence regarding the Library be submitted to Mrs. Luoma and Mrs. Kostich. Councilor Roskoski also said that the Library Board requested that an addendum be added to the Library roof project to add opening up the sky light in the ceiling or adding lights to make it look like a sky light. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to approve the plans and specifications and authorize the bidding for the library roof repairs with an addendum be added to the project to open up the sky light in the ceiling or adding lights to make it look like a sky light. And further, to include bids on both asphalt roofing and simulated tile. The motion carried with Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to apply for the Public Library Accessibility Grant, with the City Administrator in charge of the application preparation working closely with the Mayor, the Library Director, and the Library Board with the deadline being April 26, 2004. And further, that the Library Board reviews the completed grant before it is submitted. The motion carried with Nelson voting no.

The Administrator updated the City Council regarding the Community Development Block Grant for inflow. He said that the City has the first installment of $45,000 with individual grants be awarded up to $1,000 as a one for one matching grant to improve the inflow and infiltration to the City�s system. He said that City Staff is in the process of putting together a marketing plan to inform the residents of Mountain Iron. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 01-04, authorizing the sale of property, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 02-04, authorizing the grant application to the Secretary of State for funding election assistance for individuals with disabilities, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish that the City Staff take up to $25,000, as budgeted in the 2004 Capital Improvement Fund, to purchase playground equipment for the Downtown Park. And further, that the equipment be installed prior to the 2004 Merritt Days Celebration. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; and Skalko, yes. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg that, for any future openings or vacancies on any boards, advisory boards, commissions, or authorities, that the openings or vacancies be advertised to the residents of Mountain Iron and if they are interested in serving that they fill out an application. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that any and all General Fund monies left over in the 2003 Budget, except any Enterprise Funds, be transferred to the 2004 Capital Outlay Budget, after the 2003 audit has been completed. After further discussion, Roskoski amended his motion to change the transfer from the 2004 Capital Outlay Budget to the Capital Improvement Fund. Irish supported this amendment. The amended motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if someone from the City should attend the JOBZ session in Hibbing on January 27th. The City Administrator said that the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission would be holding another information workshop that would be better to attend. 

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish asked the Administrator if there might be a grant available from the USDA for an automatic entrance door for Mountain Manor. The Administrator said that he would put that item on the next Housing and Redevelopment Authority agenda. 

Also during the open discussion, the City Engineer thanked the City Council for the re-appointment as City Engineer and all 25 families that their business supports. He said that Mountain Iron is a crucial client to them.

At 8:06 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Nelson that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Paul Tynjala, Deputy Auditor/Clerk of County Board for Saint Louis County, requesting information regarding the use of the Community Center for a County Board meeting on July 27, 2004.

Ross Wagner, Economic Development & Forest Industry Coordinator, an e-mail advising the City of a JOBZ session on Tuesday, January 27th at the Hibbing Park Inn.

Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon, an invitation to a Town Hall meeting with the Senate Health, Human Services and Corrections Budget Division on January 27, 2004, at the DECC in Duluth.

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