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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for June 16, 2003

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

JUNE 16, 2003

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:31 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; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; and Joe Stewart, Sergeant.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

VI. C. 4. Change in Water Tank Lettering

6. Progress Payment #2 for the Water Tank 

V. G. Site Survey Request

H. Closed Meeting-Evaluation of Job Performance

I. Northland Annexation

Approve the minutes of the June 2, 2003, 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 June 1-15 2003, totaling $116,527.88, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period June 1-15, 2003, totaling $271,239.06, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried on a roll call vote with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

During the public forum, Wilbert Johnson, stated that he was upset regarding the blight violation with his neighbor at 5619 Nichols Avenue. The Recreation Director explained that the City has to follow procedures for this process. The City Attorney said that a criminal complaint will be made and his neighbor would have to appear before the court. Mr. Johnson asked if he could also be notified as to what actions would be taken. The Mayor said that the Planning and Zoning Commission would be meeting on June 23, 2003 and they would be discussing the issue with regard to a Home Business being conducted at 5619 Nichols Avenue. 

Also during the public forum, Rick Vidmar appeared before the Council and said that he had an amendment to his previous proposal for completing assessing services for the City of Mountain Iron. He said that there is a new state law that indicates one fifth of the City must be assessed every year. He said that because of this new law he would reduce his proposed fee 20% making it $14,800.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to put Rick Vidmar�s proposal for assessing services and contract on the City Council agenda for the July 7, 2003 meeting. And further, to add the cost comparisons from the County and Mr. Vidmar. The motion carried.

Also during the public forum, Joe Buria, Mountain Iron First Responders, was present and informed the City Council that the Mountain Iron First Responders would be losing Nick Johnson because he has accepted a job in Ashland. Mr. Buria stated that the First Responders would like the Council to authorize Justin Kochar to replace Nick Johnson. He said that this would be at no cost to the City because he would obtain Nick Johnson�s equipment.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize Justin Kochar to serve as a Mountain Iron First Responder in the City of Mountain Iron. The motion carried unanimously.

Robert Voss, 8397 Tamarack Drive, had questions regarding who is responsible for a survey when someone is putting up a fence. The City Administrator said that the applicant for the building permit certifies that the information is correct and no survey is required. 

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor informed the Council that he received a letter from Lanyk Electric with regard to advertising that they are located in Mountain Iron. The Mayor also advised the Council that he received a letter from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) with regard to violations at the holding ponds. The Director of Public Works said that this was a letter regarding the sump pump ordinance with the extension being December 2004. The Director of Public Works said that the MPCA would be making a visit to the City of Mountain Iron. 

Gary Giroux, City Auditor, was present and reviewed the 2002 City audit with the City Council. 

Councilor Roskoski questioned the City Administrator with regard to an article that he read in the last Business North Newspaper with regard to tax increment financing (TIF) funds. He asked the City Administrator if the City would be in financial trouble with regard to the TIF funds. The City Administrator said that there shouldn�t be any problems with our TIF funds with the recent bond refinancing.

At 8:08 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting. 

At 8:10 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

Councilor Roskoski questioned whether White Pine Builders would be building in South Grove. The City Administrator said that a Committee was appointed to deal with this issue and that Committee had not met yet.

Councilor Roskoski asked what amount the Mountain Iron Housing and Redevelopment Authority contributed to his wages. The City Administrator said that amount was $5,000.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to accept the recommendation of City Staff and award the asphalt crack sealing quote to Northwest Asphalt Maintenance, Incorporated based on their low quote of $0.527 per pound installed with the total amount expended not to exceed $20,000. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski said that some of the streets that were completed last year have cracks in them. The Director of Public Works said that the overlay projects have not been finalize. He said they would review the streets for cracks, request the contractor to put signs back up, and check to see if the landscaping has been completed. The Director of Public Works said that the cracks are not a warrantee item and would be sealed by the City with the crack sealing projects.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize Benchmark Engineering to prepare plans and specifications for a backwash storage reservoir. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of City Staff and award the Westgate Lift Station Upgrade to Quality Flow System based on their low quote of $24,346.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Director of Public Works requested that the City Council authorize a change order to the LeadCon contract to paint the water treatment plant at a cost of $1,500 with the City supplying the paint for the project. 

It was moved by Skalko to approve a change order to paint the water treatment plant building and change the lettering on the water tower from Mtn. to Mt. The motion died for lack of support.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the transmission rebuild on the sanitation truck at a estimated cost of $7,150.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved Roskoski and supported by Irish to authorize payment request number two to LeadCon, Inc. in the amount of $95,760.00 for work completed on the water tower. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to authorize the Director of Parks and Recreation to purchase safety glass for the shelves and doors of the trophy case. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Roskoski requested that the framed afghan hanging in the Council Chambers be raised to not hang over the wood. The Recreation Director said that he would take care of the matter.

During the Sheriff�s Department Report, Sergeant Stewart said that this year�s Bicycle Rodeo was a success. 

The Council reviewed the Sheriff�s Department Activity report for the month of May 2003.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to have the City Administrator contact Nancy Larson at Saint Louis County and apply for a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $50,000, with the City to match the grant, and get an update on the State of Minnesota grant through Jim Weikum at the Arrowhead Library System. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

The Council discussed the request from the Mesabi Family YMCA to use the City�s aerator for their soccer field. The Director of Public Works said that the City does have a equipment rental policy and the aerator is not on the policy. It was the consensus of the Council to not allow the YMCA to use the aerator. The Recreation Director said that he would contact the YMCA and advise them.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to have the City start the assessment process, as per state statutes, on all current streets being constructed in the Park Ridge Development. It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to amend the motion to also include all city utilities. The amendment to the motion carried with Councilor Prebeg and Nelson voting no. The motion, as amended, carried with Councilor Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to charge all developers the standard utilities connection charges as per City policy. The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to direct City Staff to send a letter to the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District and the Mesabi Family YMCA regarding parking for special events and advise them that there is no parking on Emerald Avenue and Unity Drive. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct Benchmark Engineering to prepare a site survey of the Mountain Iron Library for the Damberg, Scott, Gerzina, Wagner Architects, Incorporated. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to set a closed meeting for Thursday, June 26, 2003 at 5:30 p.m., with independent counsel, for the express purpose to evaluate the performance of the City Administrator. Said meeting will be closed pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, unless there is a request by the City Administrator to open said meeting. The motion carried with Nelson voting no.

Councilor Prebeg request that the northland annexation be placed on the July 7, 2003 City Council agenda.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 20-03, Ordering Preparation of Report on Improvements, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 21-03, Approving Plans and Specifications, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to hire Jerry D. Kujala as the Mountain Iron Zoning Administrator at what he was previously paid, which is a retainer of $275.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to direct the City Council that if you do not get your information submitted when the agenda is printed, the item must wait until the next regular meeting, unless it is an emergency. The motion failed with Mayor Skalko, Councilor Irish and Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to have all city licensed vehicles and all large pieces of equipment to have the City of Mountain Iron logo displayed on the vehicles and that all vehicles be issued a number. The motion carried with Councilors Nelson and Prebeg voting no.

Councilor Roskoski requested that Locomotive Park be swept. The Director of Public Works said that he would take care of the matter.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff that when the regular street sweeping is done in the City that the Mountain Manor parking lot also be swept. The motion carried with Councilors Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

The following items were discussed during the open discussion:

Councilor Roskoski said that residents of Park Place Apartments and Raintree West Apartment complexes contacted him and they were disturbed that the buffer trees were taken down for the commercial development. The Director of Public Works said that the owners of the complexes removed all the buffer trees on their property. 

Councilor Roskoski asked that when the City is mowing by the old Ann�s Acres Water Company building that they not blow all of the grass out on the street. The Director of Public Works said that he would take care of the matter.

Councilor Irish had some questions regarding the union contract with regard to the employment agreement for the Foreman. The City Administrator said that he would research the matter further.

Councilor Prebeg said that there is a blight problem on 5681 Mineral Avenue. The Recreation Director said that he would look into the matter.

Councilor Prebeg asked if the bumps on Mountain Iron Drive by the AmericInn were being taken care of. The Director of Public Works said that the matter was being taken care of.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to direct City Staff to send a letter to Chester Lewandowski, 8454 Mud Lake Road advising him that, according to the City Ordinance, his hedge is obstructing the view of the drivers on the road. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

Mayor Skalko asked if Giorgi�s Road had been graded and chloride put down. The Director of Public Works said that the road had not had chloride yet, but he would take care of the matter. 

At 10:24 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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