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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for July 19, 1999

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Mayor Brunfelt called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. 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; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; Joe Stewart, Sergeant; and Mark Wirtanen, Architect.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Add the following item to the agenda:

V. B. Walmart Property

2. Approve the minutes of the June 21, 1999, committee of the whole meeting as submitted.

3. Approve the minutes of the June 21, 1999, regular meeting as submitted.

4. Approve the minutes of the July 6, 1999, regular meeting as submitted.

5. Approve the minutes of the July 15, 1999, committee of the whole meeting as submitted.

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

7. Authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period July 1-15, 1999, totaling $148,511.78, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

8. Acknowledge the receipts for the period July 1-15, 1999, totaling $575,905.94, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion to adopt the consent agenda carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Larry Schechinger advised the Council that he had attended the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting regarding the Goehring Conditional Use Permit.

Mr. Schechinger reviewed the history of the sale of the public property in South Grove with the Council. He said that he was upset and felt discriminated against regarding the opportunity to purchase the property from the City in South Grove to construct a garage. He said that Mr. Goehring had acquired the property to construct a garage next to his home. The Mayor said that Mr. Merten originally purchased the property, then there were title problems and Mr. Goehring approached the Council to purchase the lot. The Mayor said that he understands the Schechinger’s concern, but the City deeded the lot to Mr. Goehring and there is nothing the City can do now. The Mayor said that Mr. Goehring is entitled to a conditional use permit.

Also during the public forum, Richard Edstrom spoke to the Council regarding the previous requirements of the construction of a single family home on the lots and that the Council would not allow houses to be moved into the neighborhood by Mr. McGregor. Mr. Edstrom said that the property was originally zoned recreation, then the Council removed the park designation, put the land up for sale and required that a single family dwelling be constructed on the property within two years.

The City Attorney said that the City Council adopted an overall policy for the property to be zoned urban residential sewered and not only for individual homes.

The City Administrator said the City Staff�s opinion is that Mr. Goehring�s conditional use permit be approved.

Larry Schechinger stated that, for the record, he did not get a public hearing notice for the Goehring conditional use permit. Mr. Schechinger also asked that when the land came back to the city from Mr. Merten was it posted publicly for sale. The Administrator said that it was not.

The Mayor felt that the approval of Mr. Goehring�s conditional use permit should not be contingent on anything. The Mayor advised Mr. Schechinger to take the situation to his own legal counsel.

Also during the public forum, Rochelle Linaman was present and made a complaint about the activities around the Bon Air. She stated that she has spoke with the Sheriff�s Department on several occasions and they advised her to go to the City Council for further action. She said that she lives next door to the Bon Air and there have been fights from the Bon Air Bar customers and they go through her yard and cause damage.

Ms. Linaman said that she has a foster home with little children in the house and she has to check her yard for broken glass and such before she can have the children go out in the yard to play. She said that she has also received threats over the phone. The Mayor requested law enforcement officials to be present and have the Sheriff Deputies patrol more on the weekends and make more arrests. The City Attorney felt that the Sheriff�s Department should write a letter to the Bon Air Bar owners advising them of the problems occurring at the neighbor�s home.

Also during the public forum, Ed Roskoski advised the Council of the following items:

1. Civic Association-discussed where the Quad City Alliance would be placing the new entrance signs. He said that the Mountain Iron sign coming from the west will be put by South Grove. He felt that the sign should be put at the west entrance to the City by the Spirit Lake Road. The Administrator said the he was not aware that the Quad City Alliance had chosen a site for the sign. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator look into the placement of the sign. And, if the Alliance is deciding to put the sign close to South Grove, to have the Administrator write a letter to the Alliance stating that the Council agreed to have the sign put up contingent on it being put on the west entrance of Mountain Iron.

2. City Hall- he said that the new City Hall would be 4,000 square feet and the present City Hall is 7,000 square feet. He said that it appears that the office will be too small at the new building.

3. Cost of sewer and water extensions from Merritt School to the baseball field-he questioned what the cost was to the City. The Mayor thought the cost was about $250,000 to put the lines in. The Mayor said that Staff can provide him with the summary of the bids for that project.

4. Bids on utility extensions and road construction for the new City Hall-he questioned when that would be awarded. The Mayor said the bid would be awarded tonight.

5. City Government spending money to get new businesses in town-he questioned why the City Council is not addressing problems with the sewer backups in Mountain Iron rather than spending so much money to get businesses into town.

6. City Purchasing-he questioned the City purchasing policy regarding purchases of different types of lawn and garden supplies. He questioned why the local businesses were not approached to even quote prices on equipment for the City. The City Administrator said that the City has a limit of $2,500 that department heads can authorize for purchases. After the $2,500 limit, the City Council authorizes the purchases.

Also during the public forum, Larry Schechinger spoke and asked if the Council members had read what Constance Jones, Executive Director of the Virginia/Mountain Iron Chamber of Commerce, had written in the Sunday Mesabi Daily News. The Mayor said that he would read the article and talk to Ms. Jones regarding the contents of the article.

Also during the public forum, Rochelle Linaman spoke and questioned if the City had a snowmobile ordinance. The Mayor said that state law regulates the use of snowmobiles. The Sergeant said that snowmobiles could use city streets to get in and out of town. Councilor Skogman asked that the Ordinance Review Committee look at the ordinances pertaining to snowmobiles.

Ed Roskoski asked whether the Council was going to address his request regarding local businesses getting an opportunity to quote on equipment. Councilor Matanich said that every local business should get an opportunity to quote on equipment purchased by the City. The Mayor said that he trusts the Director of Public Work’s judgement on purchasing. The Director of Public Works said that he never specifies what brand of equipment to purchase. Mr. Roskoski said that no city employee had called or stopped at North Star Cycle to get a quote on equipment.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to adopt Resolution #32-99, awarding bids on the Community Center/City Hall site work, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Skogman, yes, Matanich, yes, Piri, yes, Olsen, no and Brunfelt, yes.

The City Attorney discussed the opinion supplied the City Council regarding the Civic Association mailings and staff use. Councilor Olsen expressed disappointment with the opinion because she felt that the City should support the activities of the Civic Association. The Attorney said that if any work is completed in the City office it should be documented and charged to the Civic Association.

It was moved by Olsen and supported by Piri to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the conditional use permit for Jeff and Roxanne McMillen to add fill to his yard exceeding the limits allowed by the zoning ordinance on parcel 175-0071-03320 and 03330. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the conditional use permit for Jason Goehring to construct a storage facility of a maximum size of 30 feet by 45 feet on parcel 175-0055-02700. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the variance for Larry and Karen Tokarczyk to construct a garage 20 feet from Nichols Drive on parcel 175-0055-00930. The motion carried.

It was moved by Matanich and supported by Piri to approve the street closing for the Merritt Days Celebration, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Architect presented the plans and specifications for the Community Center/City Hall building to the Council. The Mayor asked if the Council had any additional questions to ask the Architect. Councilor Skogman asked if the Council would be addressing some of the things that Ed Roskoski brought up regarding the size of the building and office. Councilor Skogman said that this was not a proper comparison because a portion of the present City Hall is not being used.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve the plans and specifications for Community Center/City Hall project. The motion carried with Councilor Olsen voting no.

Councilor Olsen questioned how the City was going to pay for the City Hall portion of the building. The Mayor said that the City Administrator had supplied that information to the Council at a previous meeting. Councilor Matanich asked that the Council be given a summary of where the funds were to be expended from, prior to the next bid award.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve Kraus-Anderson as the construction manager for the Community Center/City Hall project. After some discussion, Councilor Skogman withdrew his motion and Council Matanich withdrew his support.

Councilor Piri stated that he would like to see hard numbers regarding the split with the City and the ECSU project for the construction manager services. The Mayor said that he would like to get the construction managers involved right away. The City Administrator said that he does not think there would be a problem as long as the City Council moves forward with this.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to accept the recommendation of the City Administrator and authorize Kraus-Anderson to proceed as construction managers for the Community Center/City Hall project for the next two weeks and review the final figures at the August 2, 1999 meeting. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Matanich, yes; Piri, yes; Olsen, no; Skogman, yes, and Brunfelt, yes.

The Administrator informed the Council that he had received correspondence from Darci Winter and Associates regarding her client, WalMart, which is not interested in locating in Mountain Iron. The Mayor said that he called a meeting of the Residential Development Committee for next Tuesday at noon regarding the residential development along 8th street and the 40 acre parcel that WalMart was considering locating on. Councilor Olsen said that she doesn’t want to give up on the WalMart project. She said that if they were interested on locating on that property some other business may also consider it. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator continue to pursue the WalMart project and contact the legislators to encourage them to get the legislation passed to allow the project to proceed.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to approve Resolution #31-99, Charitable Gambling, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the list of communications.

During the Mayor’s report, he said he had nothing additional but would be reading the article by Constance Jones and contacting her.

During the open discussion, Councilor Olsen advised the Director of Public Works that the corner of Streetcar Road and Giorgi’s Road is washed out. The Director of Public Works said that Mining Avenue is also washed out, almost impassable, and they would be repairing that first.

The Mayor requested that the Sheriff�s Department be inserted into the agenda so he doesn�t forget to address them.

At 7:54 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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