The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for July 18, 2016



July 18, 2016


Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:31 p.m. with the following Council members present: Susan Tuomela, Alan Stanaway, Tony Zupancich, Joe Prebeg, Jr. and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Michael Downs, Director of Public Works; Amanda Inmon, Municipal Services Secretary and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.


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


  1. Approve the minutes of the July 5, 2016, 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 July 1-15, 2016 totaling $177,687.33 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).


  1. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period July 1-15, 2016, totaling $537,385.23 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).


The motion carried on a roll call vote.


Public Forum:


  • Garden Drive North Residents
    • Residents along the north side of Garden Drive North have requested to explore the possibility of obtaining the property behind their lots, roughly 100-110 ft. of the property to add to current property
    • Steve Skogman mentioned that Planning and Zoning would glance at the proposed lots, to ensure that they are not dedicated park land, which could ultimately be changed
    • Councilor Prebeg had a couple questions regarding future city use, utility easements, as well as who would pay the survey costs if lots are purchased and if anything would be able to be built on these lots?
    • The City Engineer and Public Works Director stated that a portion of the lots would be required to be City property for use of utilities easement, particularly electrical. The City Engineer stated that should retain north portion so many feet so that there is still the ability to take Unity Drive to Mineral Avenue, this would allow the City to do that in the future
    • The City Administrator stated the costs would be the residents’ responsibility for all engineering fees, recording, legal costs and survey costs. These additional costs could  be added to the overall cost of the lots and pins for property lines


It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Zupancich to submit proposed lot purchase request from residents on Garden Drive North to the Planning and Zoning and Utility Advisory Board further research in regards to Zoning Ordinances, easements and other pertinent information about the 11 lots. The motion carried.


The City Auditor reviewed the 2015 audit for the City of Mountain Iron.


It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to accept the 2015 City of Mountain Iron Audit prepared by Walker, Giroux & Hahne, LLC as presented. The motion carried.


Mayor’s Report:


  • Condolences to family of Clifford “Cliff” Johnson
  • Cannot ignore what has happened in the last couple of weeks, the world’s condition. When you are in your little town in Northern Minnesota, you can get a little isolated, but none of us can put our heads in the sand, we are all part of this great country, and the world we live in.  Things have been happening for a long time, however in the last 10 days or so, things have escalated. With 84 innocent people being killed in France by a suicide truck driver, there have been states with shootings such as Falcon Heights, MN; Baton Rouge, LA, the killing of five Police Officers in retaliation in Dallas, TX and three more Police Officers killed in retaliation in Baton Rouge, LA. Cannot help but wonder when is the violence and hatred going to stop, we all live in this world together, so much of the hatred and violence stems from differences in religion or race, and while it is hard, no matter what race or religion you are or if you are no religion, we all have to live in this world together. I do not have any answers, but it is scary, what kind of world we are leaving our children and grandchildren, this violence and hatred has to stop, “all lives matter.” Condolences to everyone from France to Falcon Heights to Dallas to Baton Rouge. As I mentioned I don’t have the answers, but hopefully we are going to get our act together in this world, so we can all live together and be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
  • Birthday to Elma Filander Riccio, July 30th, turning 91
  • SWOP Annual dinner, Thursday, July 21st at 6pm at the Community Center


City Administrator reported on following:


  • July 25th at Aurora community Center, new program, collaboration between AEOA and IRRRB, “Better Business Energy Retrofit Program,” grants up to one third the cost to retrofit business to be more energy efficient
  • Payment Services Network is working, offering online bill pay, either via the City website, calling PSN or going to their website or phone app


The Director of Public Works reported on the following:


It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Tuomela to authorize the City of Mountain Iron staff to purchase 3000 yards (4500 tons) of Class 5 gravel from Ulland Brothers in an amount not to exceed $20,000. The gravel will be stored at the pit in Kinross, with 2008 being the last time the City made a large gravel purchase which is now exhausted. The motion carried on a roll call vote.


It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to authorize the City of Mountain Iron staff to purchase transformer from Wesco in amount of $8,520 for Strip Mall development on Rock Ridge, with amount being reimbursed back to City from Strip Mall developers. The motion carried on roll call vote.


Library Director/Special Events Coordinator report:


  • Tuesday, July 19th at 1pm, “Professor Marvel’s Magic of the Olympus magic show”
  • Wednesday, July 20th at 1pm “Grand Finally” for Reading club participants
  • Wednesday-Saturday, August 10th-13th, Annual “Merritt Days” headliner being “Sister Hazel”
  • Thank you to the SWOP kids for all of their help and hard work



City Engineer report


  • No report, unless there are questions
  • Bike and hiking trail scheduled to start in July


It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to refer the Anytime Fitness proposal back to the Personnel Committee, Health and Safety Board, Mountain Iron Fire Department Chief and City Administrator to work together in regards to developing a plan for membership dues for Mountain Iron Fire Department at Anytime Fitness. The motion carried.


The Council reviewed the list of communications.


The MIB Quarterback Club requests contribution for their 2016 Ranger Football Season, for assistance in purchasing safety equipment, other football equipment as well as for defraying traveling expenses. It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Tuomela to donate $100 to the MIB Quarterback Club to help with the purchase of equipment for their 2016 Football Season out of the Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried on a roll call vote.


At 7:38p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Tuomela that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion carried.


Submitted by:                                                              

Amanda Inmon                                               

Municipal Services Secretary                                





  1. Thank you from Minnesota H.O.G. Rally Committee for sponsoring their “2016 Rumble on the Range.”
  2. UNITED TACONITE Mustang Pellet Project, ground breaking event/celebration, Thursday, August 11th from 10-12pm at United Taconite, Forbes, MN.

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