The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for January 20, 2015

MINUTES

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

JANUARY 20, 2015

 

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:32 p.m. with the following members present:  Joe Prebeg, Jr., Susan Tuomela, Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, and Mayor Gary Skalko.  Also present were:  Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Clark, Municipal Services Secretary; Michael Downs, Director of Public Works; John Backman, Sergeant; Greg Chad, Fire Chief; and Bryan Lindsay, City Attorney.

 

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

 

  1. Approve the minutes of the January 5, 2015, regular meeting as submitted.

 

  1. That the communications be accepted and placed on file and those requiring further action by the City Council be acted upon during their proper sequence on the agenda.

 

  1. To acknowledge the receipts for the period January 1-15, 2015 totaling $203,515.07, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

 

  1. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period January 1-15, 2015, totaling $1,063,872.39, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

 

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

 

No one spoke during the public forum.

 

The Mayor reported on the following:

 

  • Condolences:  To the family of James Dosch and Sister Madeleva Schur.

 

The Mayor gave his “State of the City” address.  The following is a summary:

 

1.         The City is in excellent financial condition.   

            a.         Reserves are solid.

            b.         There has been no tax levy increase in the past five years.

2.         New Housing Development.

            a.         Unity Second Addition.  Three more houses have been constructed there for a                                     total of 17 since 2008.  The annual tax base of those 17 homes is $5 million.           

            b.         South Forest Grove, an EDA Development.  Two more lots were sold in 2014 and                  one home was built for total of five homes constructed.

3.         Miscellaneous Information:

            a.         New City Projects completed in 2014:

                        1.  Fairview Lane.  Overlay was completed.

                        2.  Tennis Courts.  Courts were resurfaced. 

                        3.  Downtown Mountain Iron.  Curbs and sidewalks were replaced by the                                             Library and Post Office.

4.         2015 City Projects:

            a.         County Road 102.  Part of the reconstruction work was completed in 2014 and the                   final wear coat would be placed in 2015 and the road would be opened in the                                     Spring or Summer of 2015.  The road was paid for by U.S. Steel Corporation and                                  their new entrance would be off of this road.

            b.         Streets.  There will be a partial reconstruction of Mountain Iron Drive, from the                                     railroad tracks to Highway 53.

5.         Economic Development Authority Projects completed in 2014:

            a.         Wal-Mart.  The store opened in the summer of 2014, providing over 200 jobs and                              it increased the City’s tax base by $13 million. 

            b.         Any-Time Fitness.  The new business began construction in 2014 next to the                                     AmericInn and should be open in the Spring of 2015.

6.         Economic Development Authority Projects in 2015:

            b.         A T & T.  They will be constructing a new service center in Rock Ridge                                          Development.  Construction should begin in the Spring.

            c.         Town Houses.  The EDA purchased land from Calvary Cemetery Association                                     on County Road 7 to construct town homes.

7.         Green Renewable Energy.  The City is moving towards long term involvement in green             renewable energy with the following projects:

            a.         Construction of the Renewable Energy Park with a $500,000 grant from the State                            of Minnesota in 2006.

            b.         Laurentian Energy Authority, the woodyard plant, was constructed in 2006.

            c.         The Wind Farm was constructed in 2008 with partners Minnesota Power and                                     United States Steel.

            d.         The Economic Development Authority worked with the IRRRB to construct                                     Silicon Energy, a solar power plant. 

            e.         In 2012 the City installed 30 solar panels at the Community Center through a                                     $100,000 grant from the IRRRB.

            f.          The City was recognized in 2012 as a Greenstep City, the second City in the State                to be recognized.

8.         Conclusion:  The Mayor said the City would be celebrating their 125th Anniversary on             August 3-8, 2015, the same time as the Merritt Celebration, and they are looking for             additional Committee Members to assist with the celebration.  He also felt that he was             speaking for the entire Council saying the City continues to move forward in a positive             direction.  He said that even though we are a smaller City, in population, but we like to             think big, outside of that box and hope to continue to make our City a better place to live      and work.

 

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Tuomela to appoint Larry Sokoloski to the Cable Commission as the School Board Representative with the term expiring on 12/31/2016.  The motion carried.

 

The Mayor requested that the City Administrator send a letter to Chuck Bainter thanking him for his service on the Cable Commission.

 

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to authorize the payoff of the United States Department of Agriculture loan in the amount of $245,858.34.  The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Tuomela to authorize the Municipal Services Secretary to attend the Minnesota Municipal Clerks Association Annual Conference in Red Wing, Minnesota from March 17-20, 2015, at a cost not to exceed $817.50.  The motion carried on a roll call vote.

 

The City Administrator reported that the Saint Louis County Community Development Grant Advisory Board had recommended approval of the $50,000 grant application from the City of Mountain Iron for the Downtown Storm Sewer Project and he thanked the CDBG Board for all their hard work.

 

The Director of Public Works advised the Council that the City had authorized residents to contact the City if they would like to trickle their water because the frost level is down to 61 inches. 

 

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to contribute $300 to the Saint Louis County Agricultural Fair Association with the funds expended from the Charitable Gambling Fund.  It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to amend the motion and add a request to the neighboring towns to match the funds contributed by the City of Mountain Iron.  The amended motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

 

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to allow City Staff to prepare plans and specifications for the Mud Lake Road Force Main Project.  The motion carried.

 

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to authorize Staff to prepare the plans and specifications for the Storm Sewer Interceptor between Main Street and Agate Street with funding for the project from IRRRB for $60,000, CDBG for $50,000 and the City of Mountain Iron for $60,000.  The motion carried.

 

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to accept the letter of retirement received from Don Niska for working over 37 years with the City, with an effective date of January 26, 2015 and forward the appropriate retirement package to Mr. Niska.  The motion carried.

 

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to authorize the contract with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to update the City’s Comprehensive Plan, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes).  The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

 

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to adopt Resolution Number 01-15, Bank Authorization, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes).  The motion carried.

 

It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to authorize a contribution of $200 to the Mountain Iron-Buhl Class of 2015 All Night Graduation Party, and if they utilize the Community Center building for their event to contribute an additional $300, with the funds expended from the Charitable Gambling Fund.  The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

 

At 7:04 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and go into a closed session under MN Statute 13.05D, subdivision 3 (a) for performance evaluations concerning the management employees, following a brief recess.  The motion carried.

 

At 7:13 p.m., the Mayor called the closed meeting to order with the following members present:  Joe Prebeg, Jr., Susan Tuomela, Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, and Mayor Gary Skalko.  Also present was:  Bryan Lindsay, City Attorney.

 

The Mayor stated that the purpose of the closed meeting was to discuss performance evaluations of the City Administrator, the Director of Public Works, and the Librarian/Special Events Coordinator.

 

At 7:37 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg that the closed meeting be adjourned and to reconvene the regular meeting.  The motion carried.

 

At 7:39 p.m., Mayor Skalko called the regular City Council meeting to order with the following members present:  Joe Prebeg, Jr., Susan Tuomela, Alan Stanaway, Tony Zupancich, and Mayor Gary Skalko.

 

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg based on the performance evaluations of the Management Staff the following wage increases would be effective January 1, 2015:

 

            City Administrator                                         2.5%

            Director of Public Works                                2%

            Librarian/Special Events Coordinator                        2%

 

The motion carried.

 

At 7:40 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Tuomela that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Jill M. Clark, MMC

Municipal Services Secretary

www.mtniron.com

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

1.         Saint Louis County, forwarding proposed revisions to the Saint Louis County Zoning Regulations.

2.         Mountain Iron-Buhl Class of 2015, requesting a contribution for their All-Night Graduation Party.

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