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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for March 02, 1998

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt with the following members present: Carolyn Olsen, Stephen Skogman, Curt Piri, and Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt. Absent member included: Joe Matanich. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Deputy Clerk; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; and Larry Nanti, Recreation Director.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Approve the minutes of the February 17, 1998, regular meeting as submitted.

2. 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.

3. Authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period February 16-28, 1998, totaling $156,604.43, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

4. Acknowledge the receipts for the period February 16-28, 1998, totaling $635,785.53, (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.

At 6:31 p.m., it was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on the proposed 16th Avenue improvements. The motion carried.

The City Administrator explained the 16th Avenue Improvement Project to the audience. He said that a 10% assessment may be assessed on the $135,000 project. The Mayor said that the City has set aside $82,500 from an IRRRB Grant and $16,500 from reserve accounts for the project. 

The Mayor asked for public comments on the 16th Avenue Improvements.

The following people spoke during the public hearing:

Jared Cohen, President of Finnlog Homes Incorporated-stated that the corporation owns property east of the project site. He said that they went with the City of Virginia’s survey when placing fill on their property and now he has discovered that the fill is on property owned by Lee Anderson. He said that they would need an access off 16th Avenue. He requested the City to move his fill further in onto his property when the 16th Avenue Improvement Project is completed. He asked if there would be an assessment to Finnlog Homes Incorporated for the 16th Avenue Improvement Project being they are located in the City of Virginia. The Mayor advised him that the Corporation would be assessed with the property being adjacent to the project. The Director of Public Works said that he would not have any problem with the fill being moved onto his property. Mr. Cohen requested that the Director of Public Works put the moving of the fill in writing for him. The Director of Public Works said that he would need access to the property and a culvert would need to be placed. 

Carolyn Olsen said that the City of Virginia is applying for a grant from IRRRB for 16th Avenue South. She questioned whether the City of Mountain Iron could also apply for a grant. The Mayor said that the time lines would not work to apply for a grant on this project. The City Administrator said that the IRRRB is already funding part of the City of Mountain Iron’s 16th Avenue project.

At 6:43 p.m., it was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to close the public hearing on the 16th Avenue Improvements and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, Ed Roskoski requested that granular fill be placed on the entrance to Ann’s Acres on Spruce Drive. He said the road was like a washboard. 

It was moved by Piri and supported by Skogman to adopt Resolution #12-98, Local Government, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to allow the Park and Recreation Board to hold a public hearing on March 19, 1998 at 6:00 p.m. to receive input from the public for an Outdoor Recreation Grant application to upgrade the South Grove Recreation area. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Olsen to authorize the Recreation Director to seek quotes to paint the dozer and the shovel at the Downtown Historic Park. (NOTE: During the discussion, the Mayor said that whoever has assisted the Recreation Director from the Downtown Revitalization Committee in the past would be allowed to continue to work with him on the project.) The motion carried.

Charlene Luoma, Teacher at the Mountain Iron-Buhl Schools and Representative of Art on the Iron Range, reviewed the Michigan Artrain project. She said that the Michigan Artrain will be in Mountain Iron or Virginia on August 14, 15, & 16, 1998 and possibly August 13, 1998. The total cost to bring the project to the area is approximately $35,000. She said that they are working with the DM&IR and DWP Railway Companies to see who can bring the Artrain in. If the DWP takes it in, the Artrain would be located in Mountain Iron in the West Virginia area and if the DM & IR brings it in it will be located in Virginia. The Mayor said that the Council would go on record being in support of the project. No further action was taken. 

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to authorize staff to call for applications for summer labor positions. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to authorize staff to begin the preparation of specifications for bids/quotes on the following equipment in the Electric Department Capital Outlay Budget

3/4 or 1 ton utility truck $30,000.00

3 spool wire trailer 10,000.00

6 X 6 ATV 7,000.00

Secondary service trenching machine 15,000.00

Traffic control trailer 20,000.00

Electric transmission line tools 5,000.00

TOTAL $87,000.00

The motion carried.

Councilor Olsen informed the Director of Public Works that she had a conversation with Dennis Jindra and he was wondering when the contractor on the 18th Avenue project would be repairing the damage done to the monitoring well on his property. She said that Mr. Jindra was disappointed with the contractors on the 18th Avenue project with how the work was completed.

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 Forseen at 5462 Mineral Avenue, parcel number 175-0070-01486. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Olsen and supported by Brunfelt to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the Conditional Use Permit for Ted Tammaro located on parcel 175-0015-00820. 

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

At 7:10 p.m., it was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to recess the regular meeting and open the public meeting on the tobacco ordinance. The motion carried.

The Mayor reviewed the 1997 actions of the state legislature regarding youth access to tobacco. The City of Mountain Iron has amended the tobacco ordinance to include the new legislation. He informed the public that this is a proposed ordinance and has not been passed by the City Council yet.

The following people spoke during the public meeting regarding the tobacco ordinance:

Pat McCone, Representative of the American Lung Association in Minnesota and Coordinator of a grant called Stop Teen Tobacco Organizing Project (STTOP), commended the Council for taking on the project of updating the ordinance. She informed the Council that St. Louis County ranks fifth highest of all Counties in Minnesota for underage smoking at the ninth grade. She said that they are supporting more than the minimum requirements of the new legislation. She said that the fines for the store clerks should be less than the store owners and vending machines are easily accessed by children and should be eliminated. 

Geraldine McHugh, St. Louis County Public Health Nurse and Representative of the Range Wellness Coalition, said that youth smoking in the area is high. She said that they have been trying to educate the public about this problem with youth tobacco in hopes that they will help all of us, including the elected officials, deal with this problem throughout our communities. She said that they are working first in the Quad Cities area and then moving outside that area to continue to have a united front so that we are all supporting each other. She said that they are hoping to see all of the area cities have basically the same ordinance. She offered the help of the St. Louis County Health Department and the Range Wellness Coalition. She reviewed the proposed fines for surrounding cities.

Pastor Kristin Foster, said that there is evidence all around the community that children smoke. 

Joe Giru, submitted a letter to the editor written by Theresa Mahoney of Grand Rapids. The Mayor said that the letter would be made a part of the record. He stated that the $100 fee is too high. The Mayor stated that the increased fee will cover the added cost of compliance checks.

Jim Jenko, he advised the Council that he used to smoke and he went through surgery for throat cancer. He asked that the sheriff’s department work harder to catch more children that are smoking in town.

Jan Jonassen, Registered Nurse, said that there is a need to have more parental involvement. She stated that most adults started smoking when they were children.

The Mayor advised the audience that the next step will be to meet with the Ordinance Review Committee and consider amendments for the comments made by the audience on the ordinance. Then, this draft will be brought back to the City Council and a public hearing will be set and then the City Council will vote on the ordinance for approval or denial.

At 7:34 p.m., it was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman that the tobacco ordinance meeting be adjourned and the regular meeting reconvened. The motion carried.

The Mayor advised the Council that the Community Center Building Committee discussion will be tabled until the next regular meeting because of the girls basketball playoff game in Duluth.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen to approve of the temporary liquor license for the American Legion for April 21 & 25, 1998. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

After a lengthy discussion, it was moved by Piri and supported by Brunfelt to approve Resolution #09-98, Bank Authorization, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Piri, yes; Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Brunfelt to approve Resolution #10-98, Ordering Improvement and Preparation of Plans, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Brunfelt to adopt the notice of intent to franchise cable television system and request for applications, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Brunfelt to adopt the assessment roll for Tamarack and Spruce Drives, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved Skogman and supported by Brunfelt to adopt Resolution #11-98, for a hearing on proposed assessment, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the open discussion, Councilor Olsen questioned the proposed Parkville Development regarding the purchase of additional property. She suggested that a Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) member be added to the Ad Hoc Committee for the Parkville Development. The Council directed the Executive Director to bring the Council’s suggestion before the HRA. 

Also during the open discussion, Ozzie Rudlong spoke and said that Miriam Kailanen contacted her and asked her why the cable television rates in Mountain Iron were $5.00 more than in the City of Virginia. The Mayor said that the Council cannot address her question.

At 7:57 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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