The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for January 25, 1999


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; and Mark Wirtanen, Architect.

The following Community Center Building Committee members were present: Carolyn Kujala, Sheri Johnson, Joe Prebeg, Jim Johnson, Larry P. Johnson, Renee Kailanen, and Mark Kailanen.

The Mayor said that the purpose of the special meeting was to make a decision on the community center and continue on with the project.

The Mayor reviewed the report on Community Center options (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The City Administrator outlined the process that Staff considered when preparing the list of options. He said that Staff considered what the Council said at the last meeting regarding the time frame and looking for other funding options to go along with this. He said that staff looked at how the project could be completed this Summer with the design process and the bidding process.

The Architect said that it takes about two to three months to prepare the design development and construction documents. He said that instead of building two separate facilities the City could integrate this into one building. By doing this, utility costs, lobby, restroom facilities, mechanical room, and conference rooms could be shared. He said that the $90 per square foot should provide a good quality, low maintenance building.

The Mayor asked the City Council if they had any questions regarding the report.

Councilor Piri asked if all city services were not located in the same building why this would not be effective. Councilor Skogman explained that if the Sheriff�s Office was located downtown and a resident came into the City Hall with a question for the Sheriff�s Department the employee would have to send them to Downtown Mountain Iron to their office. Councilor Piri also asked if the ball field location for the building to be constructed on had been resolved with the Mountain Iron-Buhl School. Mayor Brunfelt said that this is still an assumption that the building will be built on the ball field land and there had been no exchange of land.

Councilor Piri asked if the Minnesota Department of Transportation had authorized the access to the road to be opened by Merritt Elementary. The City Administrator said that the State has indicated a willingness to open the access road in the future if the traffic flow increased.

Councilor Matanich asked the Architect what the time frame would be for calling for bids and a construction start date. The Architect said that his office was very busy. He said that the City�s project is scheduled to begin to be prepared by the end of January. He said that he needs to get a firm commitment from the Council to complete the construction documents and call for bids. He said that the construction documents take about four to five weeks to complete and to allow three weeks for the bidding process.

Councilor Olsen asked what happened to the first Architect, Mr. Saccoman. She said that he estimated a $1.2 million facility and now the estimate is at $1.4 million. She questioned why the architects were changed. Mr. Wirtanen said that when Architectural Resources was hired they developed different schematics for the building. Mr. Wirtanen said that the increase in charges could be because of the additional fill needed for the previous construction site.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to proceed with option number two which includes a Community Center with an integrated City Hall, Sheriff�s Office and joint Council Chambers/Activity Room; and, authorize the architect to begin preparing final plans and specifications and to move forward with the project under the assumption that the building be built on the existing ball field by Merritt Elementary; and further, to fund the project by using the $1,015,000 Community Center Bonds funds, $50,000 in accumulated interest on the bonds, $110,000 from dedicated reserves for buildings and ADA compliance, $250,000 from dedicated utility funds, $25,000 from other sources, and the balance from the capital improvement fund. The following roll call vote was taken: Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; and Matanich requested to have more discussion on the subject. The Mayor withdrew his roll call.

Councilor Matanich asked the Architect if the City Council votes for option number one or two has the Architectural firm completed work on the options. The Architect said that they only drew two designs for the community center, they do not have any drawings for the combined buildings.

Councilor Matanich asked if the school does not give the City the ball field property to construct on or delays in the transfer of the property, is the City going to move the building to the other site with the increased costs. The Architect said that if the City does end up constructing on the other site, the costs would increase.

The Mayor asked if the Community Center Committee had any questions and he would allow only the Chairperson, Joe Prebeg, to address the Council.

At 6:58 p.m., the Mayor declared a five-minute recess.

At 7:01 p.m. the Mayor called the meeting back to order.

Community Center Committee Chairperson Prebeg said that the Committee was concerned how the design of the building with government offices and social functions using the same building, would that be compatible. The Mayor said that he did not feel there would be any problems. The Architect said that would be a personal opinion on that issue.

Chairperson Prebeg said that the Committee promoted the bond issue as a Community Center building not a combined facility. The Committee feels that it is only fair to the community that the Council proceeds with option number one, allowing for the construction of the Community Center. He also said that the Committee felt that it was a Council decision and could understand the reasons for an integrated City Hall.

The Mayor continued with the roll call vote on the motion: Matanich, yes; Piri, no; and Brunfelt, yes. The motion carried.

At 7:06 p.m., it was moved by Piri and supported by Skogman that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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