The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for June 27, 2002



JUNE 27, 2002

Deputy Mayor Prebeg called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

Present: Councilor Matanich, Councilor Prebeg, Councilor Skogman and Councilor Roskoski. Also present were Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator, Karen Louma, Library Director and Rudy Schoolderman from ARDC.

The discussion was a follow up on two strategic planning rounds that involved one planning session with City staff and one with City Councilors. The discussion was broken down into three topical areas, housing, economic development and community services. For each topical area the discussions and issues identified in the previous two rounds were reviewed and priorities and potential action steps that need to be in place were further discussed. At the conclusion of the discussion participants were asked to rank nine projects identified through the planning process as critical projects for Mountain Iron.

First the housing component was reviewed. It was determined that the City of Mountain Iron feels it is important to expand its housing stock and to support new development in order to make up for housing lost through mining expansions in order to maintain or expand its tax-base. In addition the City feels it is important to attract young families in order to keep a customer base for the facilities offered within the community such as schools, retail and city services. 

Second, the Economic and Community Development opportunities were reviewed and discussed. After discussion it was felt that at this point this element does not require immediate action from the City since there are no clear leads for businesses that may want to locate to the available sites. The City should work with the Quad Cities economic development director in finding an interested party to locate on one of the highway access sites. The City�s role should be to assist in site preparation but should not finance construction of a spec. building. Site design should take advantage of highway exposure for commercial and good transportation access for light industrial or office use.

Third, Community Infrastructure was discussed and it was determined that the City of Mountain Iron has a variety of needs regarding community services and infrastructure. These include maintenance and upgrading of existing infrastructure as well as development of new infrastructure to promote new development. 

After the discussion of the three topical areas meeting participants were asked to review the projects identified in the previous two planning rounds and to rank these projects. For the ranking each participants received nine stickers ranked 1-9. Each participant was asked to give their favorite project the highest ranking with 9 points being the highest and their least favorite the lowest with 1 point being the lowest. In order to rank each project the total number of projects were added with the project receiving the highest number of points receiving the highest ranking. The projects� ranking is listed below: 

Priority 1

Upgrade or replacement of the City Library (36)

Provide infrastructure for the four mile lake development. (Pending an agreement with a developer can be reached.) (35)

Priority 2

Start preliminary site development along Highway 169 for commercial development. (28)

Site preparation for phase two housing development at school baseball field location. (27)

Unity Drive Extension to access residential land for development. (27)

Priority 3

Enterprise Drive Extension (21)

Old Downtown tourism enhancement project(s) (20)

Acquire US Steel reservoir property for upscale housing development (19)

Golf course concept (12)

Deputy Mayor Prebeg adjourned the meeting at 8:57 p.m. 

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