The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for January 22, 2013



JANUARY 22, 2013


Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30 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, Michael Downs, Interim Director of Public Works, Rodney Flannigan, Benchmark Engineering and John Backman, Sergeant.


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


  1. Approve the minutes of the January 7, 2013, 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, 2013, totaling $195,223.37, (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, 2013, totaling $408,121.33 is attached and made a part of these minutes).


The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.


It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Tuomela to recess the City Council meeting and open the public hearing on the vacation of Heron Street and a portion of Falcon Avenue Street.  The motion carried unanimously.


The City Administrator explained the purpose of the public hearing was to discuss the vacation of Heron Street and a portion of Falcon Avenue as requested by a petition from the adjacent property owner, Great Northern Properties.


It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Stanaway to close the public hearing and re-open the City Council meeting.  The motion carried unanimously.


The Mayor reported on the following:


  • Mountain Iron-Buhl Girls Basketball.  He said that the MIB Girls Basketball team played Maranatha Christian Academy team on January 19, 2013 and they won the game between the two top ranked teams in the state.  He said that they played the Northwoods School a few nights before that and were defeated.  He said it shows that we have two very good girls’ basketball teams in the area.




Minutes – City Council

January 22, 2013

Page 2


  • Fire Hydrants.  He asked residents to help keep hydrants close to their property free from snow so that there is ready access to them in the case of fire.


  • Acknowledgements.  He acknowledged the passing of several long-time residents of the City:  Helen Murray, Anne Lomsak and Harvey Richart.  Condolences were expressed to their families.


The Mayor then gave a brief report on the state of the City.  The financial condition of the City remains strong, despite losing LGA and taconite production taxes.  A zero per cent levy has been passed for the last three years.  The financial strength comes from the economic development that has occurred in the City.  He thanked the Economic Development Authority and its Executive Director, Craig Wainio, for their work.  He also acknowledged the increase in housing that has occurred and strengthened the City’s tax base.  The upcoming events scheduled for 2013 include a major retailer locating in the City, completing the renovation of Locomotive Park, the completion of the renovation of the Library yard, and, with the matching grant of $250,000 from IRRRB, extending Unity Drive to connect the community from east to west south of Highway 169. 


It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Tuomela to donate $500.00 out of the charitable gambling fund to the 11th Annual Mark “Bush” Prebeg Diabetes Snowmobile Run.  The motion carried unanimously.


It was moved by Skalko and supported by Stanaway to proclaim Saturday, February 16, 2013 as Mark “Bush” Prebeg Day in the City of Mountain Iron.  The proclamation would appear in the Friday, February 15, 2013 edition of the Hometown Focus and the Mesabi Daily News.  The motion carried.


It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Tuomela to designate the City Administrator to oversee the nonaudit services performed by Walker, Giroux & Hahne, Ltd. during the audit of the City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota for the year ended December 31, 2012.  The motion carried.


The City Administrator reported that progress is taking place concerning the relocation of County Road 102.  Construction may take place this summer and then access to Minntac will be rerouted the following year.


The Interim Director of Public Works reported that there were two water line breaks in the last two weeks.  The City workers repaired them quickly and efficiently in the cold weather.





Minutes – City Council Meeting

January 22, 2013

Page 3


Scott Neff of the Trenti Law Firm reported on the arbitration ruling concerning the former Public Works Director, Don Kleinschmidt’s benefits.  He reported that the City would be required to pay for the retiree health insurance, the personal time and the comp time accrued.  The City will not have to pay for unused sick leave or unused vacation.  He recommended not appealing the arbitrator’s decision.


The City Engineer expressed his appreciation for being reappointed as the City Engineer.


It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Tuomela to approve Resolution Number 02-13, vacating Heron Street between Eagle Avenue and Nichols Avenue and a portion of Falcon Avenue between Heron Street and an east-west line between the southwesterly corner of Lot 9, Block 1 and the Southeasterly corner of Lot 12, Block 2 in Parkville First Addition, Mountain Iron.  The motion carried.


It was moved by Zupancich and supported by Tuomela to remove the street light at the corner of County Road 102 and Nichols Avenue.  The motion was amended by Zupancich with support from Tuomela, to remove the light when and if, the streets where the power to the light comes from are blocked. The motion carried.


Prebeg asked that if any Council member wishes to attend the Building the Future with Habitat dinner that they be able to contact the City Administrator to make a reservation.


It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adjourn the meeting at 7:08 p.m.  The motion carried.


Submitted by:

Judy Seurer

Accounting Technician




1.  North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity, an invitation to their Winter Dinner and Silent Auction Fundraiser on February 7, 2013 at the Mountain Iron Community Center

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