The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for June 05, 2006

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

JUNE 5, 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 (entering at 6:35 p.m.); Rod Flannigan, City Engineer (entering at 6:35 p.m.); and Wade Rasch, Sergeant.

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

Move the following item on the agenda:

VI. A. Resolution Number 17-06 to IV. A. 2.

Approve the minutes of the May 15, 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 May 16-31, 2006, totaling $133,470.02, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period May 16-31, 2006, totaling $182,215.09, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

At 6:33 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on street improvements. The motion carried.

The Mayor gave a brief explanation of the special assessment process to the audience. He stated that the Council would take input on a street by street basis. He said that there are over a $1 million in proposed projects and the City only has $300,000 to put towards the street projects.

Public input for:

HEATHER AVENUE (Centennial Drive to the south end):

Dale Skinner, 5425 Heather Avenue, stated that he lives at the end of Heather Avenue and has no street frontage, but there is a turn around in his yard and he would be willing to have this turnaround paved and have the City assess him for this portion.

Thomas Seitz, 5435 Heather Avenue, stated that there are two different amounts listed on the proposed assessment, one with water and one without water. He questioned why they would be charged for the water installation when he already has water and would not need the line put in.

Dan Chad, 5439 Heather Avenue, would like to see the road blacktopped and the City water line extended.

Bill Luzovich, 5456 Heather Avenue, would like to see the road blacktopped and if they are putting the water line in that this work should be completed prior to the road being paved.

Larry Lindholm, 8430 Centennial Drive, said that his property was adjacent to Heather Avenue and he would not directly benefit from the blacktopping, but he stated that he was not opposed to it. He said that the City should have some ditching put in along Heather Avenue to have a place for the sump pump water to go. He further stated that he felt that the property owners receiving the waterline benefits should pay for it.

Larry Lindholm, Representing RGGS Lands and Minerals, they own the parcel across from Dan Chad and Tom Seitz and they have no plans to develop the property and they are not opposed to the blacktopping project. RGGS would like to have the City complete the water line extension utilizing City Staff.

HEATHER AVENUE (Centennial Drive to Unity Drive):

Larry Lee, undeveloped corner of Centennial Drive and Heather Avenue, does not want Heather Avenue blacktopped.

Dean Niska, 5485 Heather Avenue, stated that the blacktop would look nice there, but he is semi-retired. He stated that he was neither for nor against the project.

Petronilo Landicho, 5481 Heather Avenue, stated that he felt the same as Dean Niska regarding the project.

Mrs. Dale Petersen, 5482 Heather Avenue, stated that she was opposed to the project. 

SLATE STREET:

Jerry Birchem, Mountain Timber Properties, 8937 Slate Street, stated that the City should put the funds into other streets that are used more. He is opposed to blacktopping Slate Street.

CITY GARAGE PARKING LOT: No comments.

CORAL STREET (from Marble Avenue to Mountain Avenue): No comments.

ENTERPRISE DRIVE NORTH (from Nichols Avenue to County Road 7):

The following letter was received:

Larry Nelson, Ziebart, 8425 Enterprise Drive North, requesting that he only be assessed on one of his lots rather than both because of the gas pipeline on one lot.

GRANITE STREET (from Mineral Avenue to Marble Avenue):

The following letters were received:

1. Marion Giru, 8870 Granite Street, opposing the overlay project.

2. William Mattila, 8862 Granite Street, opposing the overlay project.

3. Scott & Laurie McDermid, 5694 Marble Avenue, opposing the overlay project.

4. Mark Morin, 5691 and 5691 � Mineral Avenue, opposing the overlay project.

UNITY DRIVE (from Mud Lake Road to Diamond Lane):

Frank Falkowski, 8427 Mud Lake Road, questioned the several options listed on his special assessment letter. He questioned whether any of the property owners in Unity Addition would be paying any special assessments for using the road. He stated that he does not use Unity Drive because his access to his property is on to Mud Lake Road. 

Larry Lindholm, Representing RGGS Lands and Mineral, said that they received a notice for a special assessment on fronting Unity Drive and they have no street frontage on Unity Drive, this is a clerical error that the City needs to correct. 

Silas Walters, 5499 Cameo Lane, feels that everyone in Unity Addition should pay for the special assessments on Unity Drive. He stated that he opposes the sidewalk being put in unless the sidewalk went somewhere. He requested that the City add more “Children at Play”, speed limit and/or a stop signs on Unity Drive. He said that he was not opposed to the overlay on Unity Drive. 

Mike Fridgen, 5499 Coral Lane, feels that everyone in Unity Addition should pay for the special assessments on Unity Drive. He said that he would like to see a sidewalk down the entire length of Unity Drive, but is opposed to a sidewalk from Diamond Lane to Cameo Lane. He felt that the contractor building the assisted living project did the most damage to Unity Drive.

Tara Wainio, 5498 Coral Lane, stated that she was not in favor of the sidewalks and was in favor of option two, a bituminous reclamation of Unity Drive. 

Nicole Felten, 8557 Unity Drive, would like to have the Council proceed with whatever plan that would make the road last the longest and would be in favor of the sidewalk if it goes at least to Mud Lake Road. 

Emil Johnson, 8589 Unity Drive, stated that he has walked the road for the past 40 years without a sidewalk and he is opposed to the sidewalk. He said that the Council should overlay Unity Drive.

UNITY DRIVE (County Road 7 to the railroad tracks):

Nancy Henderson-Korpi, Director of the Mesabi Family YMCA, would like the street overlayed to extend the life of the road. 

Roger Koski, 8368 Unity Drive, stated that this portion of Mountain Iron is a unique situation. He said that a study was conducted recently and in a 24 hour period there were 3,000 vehicles that had traveled on this portion of Unity Drive. He said that there are no load restrictions on the street and there are some very large trucks that travel on this road. He said that there are only five residential property owners that are paying on this area along with the businesses. He said that the street was completed approximately 13 years ago.

Dick Levasseur, 5498 Carnation Avenue, agrees with Mr. Koski�s comments.

Harold Moe, 5499 Daffodil Avenue, agrees with Mr. Koski and Mr. Levasseur�s comments. He felt that the street improvement costs should be divided and charged to the businesses and the people that use the street. 

CENTENNIAL DRIVE (west end to approx. 400 feet east of Heather Avenue):

Jack Zollar, 8426 Centennial Drive, questioned the Council as to why just 400 feet were being completed. He stated that he is for the overlay project.

Larry Lee, undeveloped corner of Centennial Drive and Heather Avenue, does not want Centennial Drive blacktopped.

Larry Lindholm, 8430 Centennial Drive, was against the overlay project.

TAMARACK DRIVE (from County Road 7 to approx. 600 feet east):

The Mayor said that the following people contacted him:

Tim Kovich, 8393 Tamarack Drive, is opposed to the overlay project.

Larry Johnson, Tamarack Drive, is opposed to the overlay project.

John Nordlinder, 8394 Tamarack Drive, is opposed to the overlay project.

Spoke during the public hearing:

Bob Voss, 8397 Tamarack Drive, would like the Council to wait on the project. 

LOCOMOTIVE STREET (Mountain Avenue to west edge of Town of Grant plat):

Peter Skogman, 5757 Mesabi Avenue, said that he is against the project. He said that the City does not have funds to complete the project. He said that the street is barely used and the street ends in a dirt road and is used by 4-wheelers and snowmobilers. He feels that if this road was worked on it would have to be totally reconstructed, as an overlay would not hold. He felt that his assessment of 75% was incorrect, because he was assessed on Mesabi Avenue and he is on a corner lot and the amount was not reduced for the second assessment.

UNITY DRIVE (west from Emerald): No comments.

PARK RIDGE DRIVE (from Nichols Avenue to the east edge of Park Ridge Plat):

Councilor Roskoski felt that the Economic Development Authority should be paying for the special assessments and not the property owners.

At 8:04 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko that the public hearing be adjourned and the regular meeting be reconvened. The motion carried.

At 8:06 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

The Mayor reviewed some economic development projects that are being completed or proposed in the City. He stated that the Assisted Living Facility is currently under constructed behind the Community Center on Unity Drive; a Walgreens Store will be constructed in the area by the Voyageur North Motel on Mountain Iron Drive; and the Park Ridge Development Agreement was officially signed last week by a developer from Wisconsin with the possible construction of a motel, a restaurant, and possibly a big box type of development. The Mayor said that there are two existing businesses that are considering a major expansion in Mountain Iron. He also said that one business in town is looking to relocate and the Mayor is hoping they will stay in Mountain Iron.

At 8:07 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

The Mayor updated the Council regarding residential development in Mountain Iron. He said the Unity Second Addition is being considered.

The Mayor said that he would like to thank the following people for working as a team in the City of Mountain Iron to bring development to the area: the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Economic Development Authority, the City Administrator, and Gary Cerkvenik.

The Mayor informed the Council that the City of Mountain Iron was awarded the $500,000 grant for the renewable energy park. He said that the City is still in the running for the manufacturing business for the wind blades, the business is deciding between Mountain Iron and a City in the southern United States.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to refer the overtime time sheet forms to the Personnel Committee to develop a more simplified, shorter, and condensed form for the City Staff to use. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution #17-06, ordering improvements and preparation of plans to include the following projects: Enterprise Drive North from Nichols Avenue to County Road 7, Unity Drive from Mud Lake Road to Diamond Lane, Option Number 2; and to have a waterline properly installed across Heather Avenue near 5439 Heather Avenue and overlay Heather Avenue as one of the next project in the future. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution #17-06, ordering improvements and preparation of plans, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes) to include the following projects: Unity Drive from Mud Lake Road to Diamond Lane, Option Number 2; and to have a waterline installed across Heather Avenue near 5439 Heather Avenue and overlay Heather Avenue as one of the next projects in the future. After further discussion, the Mayor amended the motion to have Heather Avenue blacktopped, following a public hearing, when the City has completed the waterline extension. Councilor Prebeg supported the amendment. The amended motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to send Enterprise Drive North to the Street and Alley Committee to develop a recommendation or proposal for the first City Council meeting in July. The motion carried.

At 8:31 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

During the Administrator�s report, Councilor Roskoski asked the Administrator how many people came in to review the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources mining map. The Administrator said numerous people reviewed the map. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Nelson to award the crack sealing services to Bergman Companies Incorporated at their low quote of $0.55 per foot installed with costs not to exceed $10,000. 

At 8:33 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to award the repainting quote of the Baldwin Locomotive located at Locomotive Park to Ultimate Body and Frame from Aurora in the amount of $23,739.11. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to authorize the Recreation Director to advertise for the Merritt Day�s celebration and the Mountain Iron 4th of July activities in the usual and customary manners in the Manney Shopper and the Mesabi Daily News. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to authorize the Recreation Director to hire a contractor who meets all the contractor�s conditions to cut blighted areas to cut properties and then assess the fees on the property owner�s real estate taxes. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to hire the following individuals for temporary summer labors to work for the Mountain Iron Recreation Department:

Michael Thompson

James Haugen

Michael Schultz

Britini Felix

Colin Gettle

Caly Dobberstein

Matt Moesenthin

Jada Strumbell

The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to authorize the Recreation Director to place an advertisement in the Mesabi Daily News for the South Grove Park construction days set for June 20th and 21st. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to authorize the final payment request number four to Hibbing Excavating Incorporated for the Water Treatment Plant Backflush Tank in the amount of $1,856.10. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to authorize payment request number two to Hibbing Excavating Incorporated for the Mountain Iron Storm Drainage Improvements Project in the amount of $14,832.35. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the Conditional Use Permit to Dale L. Sprague, 4859 Butler Road, Mountain Iron, to conduct a home business (snowmobile and ATV repair shop) on parcel 175-0071-05058. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to adopt the Memo of Understanding between the City of Mountain Iron and AFSCME Local 453 in regards to temporary assignment of personnel and increased duties and responsibilities, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes), contingent on the City Attorney reviewing and approving the agreement. The motion carried with Councilors Irish and Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Administrator to forward the list of Library Board concerns to the Library Architect:

New main entrance light standards are too tall.

New rest room tile grout is badly cracked.

A new roof tile has come loose.

New rear entrance sidewalk slabs are uneven.

No elevator telephone yet.

The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to refer the property sale request from Mr. and Mrs. Klimek to the Park and Recreation Board for a recommendation to the City Council and have City Staff supplying a map and dimensions for the property to the Park and Recreation Board. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to adopt the City of Mountain Iron Former Dump Relocation Agreement, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Nelson to direct the City Attorney to review the applicable statutes that may be used to help the Council to potentially form a seasonal and/or yearly road/load policy. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski to send Mr. Harry Lamppa the May 15th City Council meeting tape, where Mr. Alar explained to the Council that he forgot to tape the May 1st City Council meeting. The motion failed for lack of support.

During the open discussion, Wilbert Johnson made it clear to the Council that he does not complain at every City Council meeting.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski distributed a sheet to the City Council members titled “Park Ridge Development Finances” that he prepared. 

The Mayor advised the Council members that he will be gone for two weeks on vacation, but will be back for the June 19th City Council meeting.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Prebeg informed the Council that the Community Center landscaping project has been proceeding and is currently under budget.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to send Mr. Harry Lamppa a copy of the letter that Darwin Alar had submitted to the City Council regarding missing the taping of the May 1st City Council meeting. The motion carried.

At 9:23 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to go into a closed session to discuss contract negotiation strategies concerning the contract with AFSCME Local Union #453. The motion carried.

The Personnel Committee updated the Council regarding the contract negotiations.

At 9:47 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Gary Lamppa, a letter and copies of articles to the Mayor regarding information regarding the lynching sign placed on the Mesabi Trail and a request for information regarding the “staff error” regarding the taping of the May 1st City Council meeting.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the May 26, 2006, Friday Fax.

Natalie Pankratz-Leff, an e-mail requesting the Council to place an ad in the newspaper regarding the construction days for the South Grove Park.

Recent News

Campground Reservations

Contact Us