The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for July 17, 2006

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

JULY 17, 2006

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; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer (entering at 6:32 p.m.) and Wade Rasch, Sergeant.

The Mayor welcomed the audience and the television viewing audience to the meeting. The Mayor reminded the Council that a motion needs to be made immediately, maybe with a brief introduction, and then the Council will discuss the motion once it receives support.

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

Add the following item to the agenda:

IV. K. Resignation from the Library Board

L. Acceptance of the Final 2005 Audit

X. Ratification of the Union Contract (after the closed meeting)

Move the following item on the agenda:

IV. H. City Engineer to III. B.

Approve the minutes of the July 5, 2006, 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 July 1-15, 2006, totaling $695,158.06, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period July 1-15, 2006, totaling $244,886.57, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor thanked the following people for the work completed on Local Union #453 contract negotiations: Steve Giorgi, Michael Downs, Louis Russo, Don Kleinschmidt, Joe Prebeg and Allen Nelson.

At 6:36 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on the CDBG application. The motion carried.

The City Administrator summarized the grant application to the City Council. He said that the grant application was for upgrades at the Mountain Manor facility including carpeting and playground equipment. The purpose of the hearing was to seek public input on the application. 

Councilor Roskoski made a statement regarding the installation of the carpeting in the public areas first with the apartment carpeting installation completed if there was any remaining funds.

Councilor Irish questioned whether the application included air conditioning. The City Administrator said that he recalled that this item was discussed at the Council meeting, but never was included in the recommendation for the grant application. 

At 6:39 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to close the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, Peggy Anderson, Merritt Days Committee Member, and Jeremy Jesch, owner of Mac�s Bar, were present and had questions regarding serving liquor at a Polka Fest being held at the Senior Center during the Merritt Days Celebration. It was the consensus of the Council to have this referred to the City Attorney and the Sergeant for further review.

The City Engineer reviewed the Unity Drive sidewalk options with the Council. It was the consensus of the Council to reconsider the sidewalks at the first meeting in August.

At 6:56 p.m., the City Engineer left the meeting.

The Mayor commented on the Community Center facility with regard to holding his 40th Class Reunion in the facility. He said that he had received some nice compliments regarding the buildings. He said that he appreciated the residents that worked on the Community Center Committee to have the building constructed in 1999. He thanked the Committee members involved. He said that the Community Center is being used by the entire Iron Range area residents.

The Mayor discussed the truck hauling to Minntac. Councilor Prebeg said that he was contacted by a Division Manager that advised him that Minntac would be utilizing trucks hauling to the plant because of a shortage of concentrate at the Minntac Plant. He said that the hauling would last for approximately five weeks from the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. He said that the Division Manager also contacted the City Administrator to advise him of the scheduled hauling. 

The Mayor said that on July 12, 2006, Councilor Prebeg, Councilor Roskoski and himself attended the Library Project construction close out meeting. He advised the Council that the project was basically completed. 

The Mayor said that he would like to see an additional payment made to the part-time summer employees for working on the 4th of July holiday. The Mayor said that he was checking in to the legalities of making the additional payment to them. No further action was taken on the matter.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct City Staff to send a thank you letter to Ozzie Kohler for all of the time and efforts he made working on the South Grove Playground Improvement Project. It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to amend the motion to include everyone that worked on the South Grove Playground project by placing an ad in the newspaper. The amendment to the motion carried. The amended motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if he had checked into the new grant program regarding septic systems. The City Administrator advised the Council that he had reviewed the grant application and that there were no funds available for the City.

Councilor Roskoski asked City Staff to contact Qwest to publish the City�s emergency contact numbers for the area phone books. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator work with the Sergeant and the Fire Chief to contact Qwest to have the appropriate numbers listed in the next phonebook publication. 

Councilor Irish said that there was an article in the Mesabi Daily News regarding comments made by Senator Bakk regarding the use of $3,500 in grant funds for preparing grant applications from IRRRA. He questioned if the City was utilizing these funds. The City Administrator said that the City had used the grant writing funds when the City had a qualifying grant that required outside assistance to prepare the application. 

Councilor Irish also asked the City Administrator about the copy of the tax abatement estimate for L & M proposed expansion; he said he had not received it. The Administrator said that he had sent it. Councilor Irish said that he had not received it. The City Administrator said that he would resend the information.

The Council reviewed the Large Trash collection list of revenue and expenditures. Councilor Roskoski felt that the fees should be increased to cover the expenses to the City. Councilor Nelson felt that this was a good service to the Community and the cost should not be increased. No further action was taken on the matter. 

The Director of Public Works updated the Council regarding the location of the Centennial Drive street sign. He said that the signage was visible and consistent with the area signage. Councilor Roskoski also questioned the name of Nichols Avenue being called McGinnis Road. The Director of Public Works said that he would contact the St. Louis County 9-1-1 Communication Department to see if there is a problem with the Nichols Avenue signage and maps that they are currently using.

The Director of Public Works updated the Council regarding the Locomotive Park access ramps. He said that the ramps were changed when the Park was upgraded. Councilor Roskoski asked if the Director of Public Works could paint the crosswalks in the Locomotive Park area. The Director of Public Works said that he would have the City Crew take care of the painting of the crosswalks.

The Council discussed charging residents for culvert installations. It was the consensus of the Council to have the Utility Advisory Board make a recommendation to the Council regarding the matter.

The Council discussed the East Unity Drive proposed repairs. It was the consensus of the Council that with an estimated cost of $80,000 for repairs, to wait, and consider this with the 2007 street improvement projects.

The Council reviewed the June 2006 Sheriff�s Department Activity Report.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the Fire Department and hire Dustin Rabideaux and Andrew Rogers contingent on passing a medical examination. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to authorize one representative to attend the Fire Chief�s Conference from October 18-21, 2006, in Duluth at a cost not to exceed $750.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Attorney reported that an Administrative Hearing would be scheduled in regard to P & H MinePro. City Staff said that a hearing would be scheduled to accommodate those that are involved.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the Conditional Use Permit for Robert Warren, 5608 Oriole Avenue, Mountain Iron, to construct a 24� x 24� addition to an accessory building on parcel 175-0057-00045. The motion carried.

During the Liaison Reports, Councilor Roskoski reported that the lights installed at the entrance of the Library were not correct. He said that they measured the lights and they were nine feet tall and the specifications state that the lights be six feet tall. The Architect said that he would check on the specifications and contact the contractor regarding the error and that there would be no additional expense for the City.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to accept the resignation of Deborah Lewis from the Library Board, thank her for her years of service, and post the vacancy on the Library Board. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to accept the 2005 audit as submitted by Walker, Giroux, and Hahne in its entirety. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 18-06, authorizing receipt of funds and authorized signatures for the project contained in the State Bonding Bill, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to amend the motion to table the issue for now. After further discussion, Councilor Irish withdrew his amendment and Councilor Roskoski withdrew his support. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution Number 19-06, authorizing the submission of the Community Development Block Grant application, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

At 8:04 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to authorize the agreement from Arrowhead Regional Development Commission to update the City�s Comprehensive Plan. The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg absent.

At 8:06 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the City pave Coral Street with an estimated cost of $13,000 and the assessment rate changing from 75% to 50%; that the City pave Granite Street with an estimated cost of $12,000 and the assessment rate changing from 75% to 25% on this street, because all of the people originally said no to the 75% assessment rate, we on the Street and Alley Committee would not know what the residents would say to having the assessment rate at 25%, so another public hearing would have to be held; that the City pave the west one-half of Locomotive Street with an estimated cost of $15,500, one person said no during the public hearing and the other two property owners never said anything, which means a yes for the project, and the assessment rate would be changing from 75% to 25%. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski; yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; and Skalko, no. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to make an amendment to the local improvement guide to the following:

Add: 8) Commercial Frontage Road-

A Commercial Frontage Road is a road that is parallel to an arterial street, having one side abutting the arterial right-of-way and the other side abutting commercial property. This road may or may not be assessable from each end.

The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; and Skalko, no.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski said that he had contacted Commissioner Nelson regarding the truck hauling by Minntac on Mineral Avenue.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Nelson said that the Director of Public Works should check on the exit area from Parkville Road on to Old Highway 169 with brush and cattails obstructing the view.

At 8:32 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and supported to Nelson to recess the regular meeting and go into closed session to discuss contract negotiations with AFSCME Local Union #453. The motion carried.

At 8:40 p.m., the Council went into closed session following a break.

At 9:50 p.m., it was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to close the closed session and reopen the regular meeting at 10:00 p.m. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to approve the proposed agreement with AFSCME Local Union #453. The motion carried unanimously.

At 9:55 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Small Cities Update, forwarding the July 11, 2006 update.

City of Mountain Iron, notice of a public hearing for a conditional use permit for Perry Fiorini, 5386 South Court, Mountain Iron.

James and Lavina Gilbert, a letter regarding the increased utility rates.

Lyndon Hepokoski, a letter regarding a new federal communications act going through Congress that will affect cable TV and franchise fees.

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