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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for March 07, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

MARCH 7, 2005

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; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.

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

Approve the minutes of the February 22, 2005, 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 February 16-28, 2005, totaling $951,124.98, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period February 16-28, 2005, totaling $256,061.76, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Andrew Autio, 8380 Gardenia Street, spoke to the Council regarding the sump pump ordinance. He stated that his house has always been in compliance with the ordinance. He said that he paid the $25 fine and he would like the money returned to him. He said that he has now had his property certified by the City and is now listed as in compliance. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson that pursuant to Minnesota Statute 13D.05, Subdivision 2B, that the City Council will close a portion of the March 21, 2005 regular City Council meeting to consider charges and allegations concerning an Employee of this City unless the Employee requests that the meeting remain open to the public. The motion carried.

The Recreation Director advised the Council that the skating rinks have been closed for the season. He also advised the Council that the pictures have been put up on the walls of the Community Center.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to eliminate the advertising in the Mesabi Daily News Progress Edition for 2006. The motion carried.

Councilor Prebeg publicly thanked the Director of Public Works and the City Crew for their assistance during the Prebeg Memorial Snowmobile Ride. 

The City Engineer reported that they have not been able to verify the right-of-way ownership on Monkey Road in Parkville. 

The City Engineer reported that he did not find any information regarding the reconstruction of 16th Avenue completed in the late 70�s or early 80�s. He said that he contacted Peter Baker, the City Engineer on the project, and he advised him of what he recalled on the construction project. Councilor Roskoski requested that the City Engineer put the information from Mr. Baker in a memorandum to the Council.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the Fire Chief to attend the Arson Investigation Conference, March 30-April 1, 2005, in St. Cloud at a cost not to exceed $891.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Prebeg asked if the Street and Alley Committee had a chance to discuss the stop sign request in Parkville. Councilor Roskoski said that the Committee had not yet met to discuss the request.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the City yard waste recycling area on County Road 102, between Downtown Mountain Iron and South Grove, to be fully functional and completed by Fall freeze up of 2005. And further, items included in the project, but not limited to, are proper signage, a security light that will go on at dark and go off at sunrise, the access road will some sort of gravel crushed rock surface, the gate card system will be fully operational, and where the recycling bins are going to be located that a proper thickness of asphalt paving be placed. And further, all Mountain Iron residents will be notified by letter stating that the project is completed and what operational procedures that they will have to follow to use it. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg that due to the public misunderstanding that homeowners had to call and schedule a sump pump inspection or did not realize that homes without a basement or drain tile still needed an inspection, the Mountain Iron City Council authorizes the Director of Public Works to waive the sump pump surcharge fees from homeowners who did not know they had to notify the City to schedule a compliance inspection, demonstrated that their homes were in compliance prior to December 31, 2004, and passed a compliance inspection by April 1, 2005. And further, that the waiver will be a credit on the resident�s utility bill. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski that because of apparent misunderstandings, as far as residents having their sewers, sump pump, drain tile systems inspected for compliance, that they be notified via letter stating that they have been given a grace period and advising them that they need to call city hall, including the City phone number, to have a City Employee come and inspect their property. The motion died for lack of support.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to publish a display advertisement in the Sunday, March 13, 2005, Mesabi Daily News advising Mountain Iron residents that they need to contact the City Hall for a sump pump compliance check. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that if the anonymous donor comes through with the $1000 donation, as mentioned by Steve Skogman, that the City budget the remaining necessary funds to tape and televise the rest of the regular City Council meetings for the remainder of 2005. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; and Skalko, no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to have the gutter drainage problem, east of the driveway at 5480 Diamond Lane, be remedied by City Crews working in cooperation with City Administrative Staff and Benchmark Engineering Personnel. The project will entail lowering the curb and gutter, where necessary, and the project will be completed by Fall freeze up of 2005. After further discussion, Roskoski amended the motion and Irish supported the amendment that if further study reveals that something more has to done, other than lowering a short section of curb and gutter, that this situation be brought back to the City Council for further action. The amended motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; and Skalko, yes.

The Council reviewed the South Grove Park Development proposal as presented by Benchmark Engineering. The Mayor advised the Council that he had submitted a draft letter to the South Grove Residents to be mailed with the information to be submitted to the Residents.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to set a special meeting for Thursday, March 31, 2005, to discuss the Spring Park area improvements at 6:00 p.m. and the South Grove Park Development at 7:30 p.m. with the materials included in the March 7, 2005, City Council packet being sent to the residents in the Spring Park area and South Grove area along with a cover letter being sent out as soon as possible. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to waive the community center rental fee for the Mountain Iron-Buhl All Night Graduation Party Class of 2005 on May 26, 2005. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to allow the City Administrator and the Director of Public Works to enter into discussions with the City of Virginia about the possibility of trading land for land, but not to enter into any agreement. The motion failed with Councilors Prebeg, Irish, Roskoski and Mayor Skalko voting no.

The City Council requested that the Economic Development Authority add Highway 53 property development to their next agenda. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to have City Staff contact all of the phone directory companies that service the Mountain Iron area, as soon as possible, to notify them of the following Mountain Iron emergency numbers: law enforcement, power outages, drinking water problems, and fire protection, to be list appropriately. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to set the Board of Review meeting for Tuesday, April 12, 2005 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Skalko to have City Staff contact the Chamber of Commerce and request that the Quad Cities Map that they have had printed in the past, be updated with the City of Mountain Iron�s new street addresses. The motion carried.

During the open discussion, Councilor Nelson said that with regard to how the City Council meetings are being run with Council members and audience members speaking without being recognized by the Mayor, he would like to see a change in how this is done. The Mayor said that normally the audience members wait to be recognized before they speak and he will look for the Council members to put their light on to be recognized before they speak.

At 8:33 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Saint Louis County, forwarding information regarding a pilot program for backyard compost.

Laura and John Reinhardt, a letter urging the City Council to reject the proposal from Excelsior Energy.

State of Minnesota, Office of the State Auditor, a letter requesting that the City Council review the operating losses of the Wastewater Treatment Plant for the years 2002 and 2003 and asking that the City submit a plant to make the fund profitable.

St. Louis and Lake Counties Regional Railroad Authority, an invitation to an appreciation dinner on April 11th in Hibbing.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding information regarding the March 31, 2005 State of the Cities Legislative Conference, the April 19, 2005, Safety and Loss Control Workshop.

Minnesota Association of Small Cities, forwarding the March 3, 2005 update.

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