The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for June 21, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

JUNE 21, 2004

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; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; Joe Stewart, Sheriffs Sergeant, Tom Cvar, Fire Chief; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer (entering at 6:32 p.m.).

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. A. 1. Canopy for the Downtown Playground

2. Pavilion Improvement at the Downtown Park

V. E. Excess materials at Wastewater Treatment Plant site.

VI. F. Possible Paving Change Order

Approve the minutes of the May 19, 2004, special City Council meeting as submitted.

Approve the minutes of the June 7, 2004, 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, 2004, totaling $150,670.06, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period June 1-15, 2004, totaling $190,101.77, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Wilbert Johnson, 5621 Nichols Avenue, Mountain Iron, expressed concerns regarding his neighbor, Mr. Nordlund, parking vehicles on his property. The Sergeant explained to Mr. Johnson that he spoke with Mr. Nordlund and he stated that he would move the vehicles. The Sergeant also stated that if Mr. Nordlund does not move the vehicles there is nothing else that the City could do to make him comply. The City Council suggested Mr. Johnson have a survey completed on his property to verify the property lines. The City Engineer said that he would give him a cost estimate to have a survey completed.

Also during the public forum, Tom Cvar requested the Council to reconsider vacating the street adjacent to his property and selling him the City lot on the other side of the street. The Mayor advised Mr. Cvar to bring the issue before the Planning and Zoning Commission for a recommendation. The Director of Public Works stated that there are easements through the land that the City would need to retain.

Also during the public forum, Tom Cvar requested the Council to authorize him to attend the 2004 Fire Chief�s Association Annual Conference. The Council requested that he itemize the estimated expenses for the conference and resubmit the information for Council consideration. 

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor thanked the City Staff, the Council members, and the group of Volunteers that assisted in the installation of the new park equipment in Downtown Mountain Iron.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to authorize the purchase of a canopy for the Downtown Park playground equipment using the funds that have been donated by area businesses and residents. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to cut and shorten the eaves on the pavilion roof, stain the pavilion and the two picnic tables inside the pavilion, with the project completed by September 1, 2004. The motion carried.

The Mayor distributed an article that appeared in the Duluth Tribune regarding advertising for the JOBZ program and briefly spoke about the tax free zones. He requested that the City Administrator and the new Economic Development Authority be aggressive in advertising the City of Mountain Iron�s JOBZ program. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct the City Administrator to train or arrange training on basic aspects of City computer usage for normal or emergency start up for the three City Office Staff Employees with this training being completed by December 31, 2004. The motion carried.

During the City Administrator�s report, Councilor Irish said that he contacted Laura Kushner, Human Resources Director from the League of Minnesota Cities, regarding workers compensation insurance coverage for anyone under the age of 18 driving City vehicles. 

The Director of Public Works reported that he had contacted Canadian National regarding painting the bridge in the Downtown Mountain Iron area and they responded saying they currently have no funds in their budget to complete the work, but they would consider it in their next budget. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson motion to authorize City Staff to purchase a pickup truck mounted broom from United Truck Body at their low quoted price of $4,550.22. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

The Director of Public Work stated that City Staff went to Minntac and picked up the bits and dipper teeth and Staff is now looking for direction on what to do with them. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to designate Ed Roskoski as the volunteer to go between the City Council and City Staff for the construction of appropriate stands and placement of the two donated shovel bucket dipper teeth and the rotary bits from Minntac. The motion carried.

The Director of Public Works advised the Council that the aerial photo of the City is currently being framed and will be displayed at the Community Center shortly. 

Councilor Roskoski also reminded City Staff members to get the Locomotive Plaque up in the Community Center.

The Director of Public Works said that he had contacted Saint Louis County regarding the upgrade on County Road 761. He said that the project is in the preliminary design stage and no time frame was available as to when the road construction would begin. 

The Director of Parks and Recreation informed the Council that the Merritt Days Celebration and the 4th of July Celebration were set. He further stated that the grant funds have been expended for the Wacootah Overlook project. He also stated that the Park and Recreation Board is still looking into the “Movies in the Park” to possibly start on July 15th. 

Councilor Roskoski said that the fence at the Wacootah Overlook looked good, but the painting on the view stand had some discrepancies on the southeast corner of the stand with the paint running together. Councilor Roskoski inquired about the sea level sign. The Recreation Director said that the sign had been ordered. Councilor Roskoski also requested that the Recreation Director order four red spacers for the Downtown Playground equipment.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct the City Administrator or the Recreation Director to contact Minntac regarding repainting the reference sign white on the north edge of the Mountain Iron mine. The motion carried.

Councilor Irish advised the Recreation Director that the basketball nets in the Mountain Iron, Parkville, and South Grove parks are in bad shape and need replacing.

The City Engineer reported that the street paving projects are about half way completed. Councilor Roskoski questioned if there is till some gravel shoulders brought up to match road surface. The City Engineer said that the shouldering work would be completed on the newly overlayed roads. Councilor Roskoski wanted to thank the Crew that completed the overlay work, saying that he was pleased with how the bituminous comes up to the curb gutter.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the City Engineer to prepare a cost estimate to have Mountain Avenue, north of Locomotive Street, paved with 1 to 1 � inches of bituminous, and the costs associated with moving the shovel bucket and the view stand out of the way and putting them back, with the information provided by the first meeting in July. The motion carried.

The City Attorney updated the Council on the Bon Air. He said that the deed was prepared and forwarded to the Bon Air Owner�s Attorney, but had not received it back yet.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the hauling being done by P & H MinePro on Jasmine Street. The Director of Public Works stated that he had spoke with representatives at P & H MinePro regarding hauling down Southern Drive and coming in the back. 

At 7:53 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

The Council reviewed the Sheriff�s Department Activity Report for the month of May. The Sergeant advised the Council that the Annual Bike Rodeo was a success.

At 7:56 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt the Refuse Canister Policy, (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 authorize City Staff to move the recycling roll-off containers to the new yard site with placement prior to the access gate. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the City Engineer to prepare plans and quotes for the waterline extension from Unity Drive South along Mountain Iron Drive. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize City Staff to obtain quotes for the installation of an upgrade to the electrical substation. The motion carried. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 24-04, authorizing the sale of certain property, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 25-04, approving the JOBZ Business Subsidy Policy and Criteria, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution Number 27-04, authorizing the library grant application, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish that all previous bids on the fire trucks be rejected and authorize City Staff to re-advertise for bids for the two fire trucks. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish to direct City Staff to seek another alternative for storing demolition material and that there be no more loaders or dump trucks going on Grant Drive. After further discussion, Councilor Irish withdrew his motion.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to research the ownership of the land by the Wastewater Treatment Plant where the City is storing demolition materials. The motion carried with Prebeg voting no.

The City Administrator reviewed the emergency call out procedure.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to obtain the text of an advertisement for Sears that has been announced on KQDS using the City�s name and forward it to the City Attorney for review and recommendation. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the City Attorney to research the procedure to implement a Mountain Iron Foundation/City Endowment Fund with the fund being administered by the Mountain Iron Civic Association with the City of Mountain Iron being the assigned fiscal agent. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to reschedule the July 5, 2004 regular meeting to Wednesday, July 7, 2004 at 6:30 p.m. The motion carried.

During the open discussion, Councilor Prebeg questioned the letter received from Positively Minnesota regarding the approval for grant funding for a Contamination Cleanup Grant for the USX site. The Council discussed whether the Council wanted to proceed with the grant or not. The Administrator said that he would have additional information for the next regular meeting. 

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish commented on the allegations made by Councilor Prebeg regarding his miss use of powers. 

At 9:29 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Marilyn Skaudis, Secretary for the Mountain Iron Senior Citizens Club, a thank you for planting the plants by the Seniors Building.

League of Minnesota cities, forwarding the June 10, 2004 Friday Fax.

Federal Railroad Administration, notification of a public informational meeting on June 23, 2004, regarding the Interim Train Horn Rule.

Positively Minnesota, Department of Employment and Economic Development, advising the City that the grant application for a contamination cleanup grant for the USX Site has been approved for funding in the amount of $239,100.

Erik Wedge, DSGW, forwarding information regarding the library renovation.

Erik Wedge, DSGW, advising the City that they can not provide a recommendation on the library tuckpointing project because they did not prepare the specifications on the project.

Rodney Flannigan, Benchmark Engineering, forwarding information and a meeting notice on the creation of a quiet railroad-crossing zone in Mountain Iron.

RAMS, forwarding the legislative update.

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