Meeting Minutes for March 07, 2016
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
March 7, 2016
Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:27 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Susan Tuomela, Alan Stanaway, Tony Zupancich and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Amanda Inmon, Municipal Services Secretary; Michael Downs, Director of Public Works; Sally Yuccas, Librarian Director/Special Events Director; John Backman Sheriff’s Department and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer. Absent: Bryan Lindsay, City Attorney.
It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Tuomela that the consent agenda be approved as follows:
- Approve the minutes of the February 16, 2016, special meeting as submitted.
- Approve the minutes of the February 16, 2016, regular meeting as submitted.
- That the communications be accepted and 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 16-29, 2016 totaling $158,905.10 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).
- To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period February 16-29, 2016, totaling $457,161.53 (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).
The motion carried on a roll call vote with all members present.
- Mike Grahek spoke on the Garden Drive Assessment, presented a cost per foot analysis, looking at most equable allocation for residents on Garden Drive. Skalko mentioned the public hearing on proposed assessment February 16th. Zupancich mentioned that the residents would be capped out at $5000, regardless of square footage. Prebeg stated that assessments are preliminary, currently waiting on bids, hoping on lower and better rates per square footage, however the city is as always looking for new and fresh ideas.
- Chuck Bainter presented and spoke on behalf of creating resolution for new Mountain Iron-Buhl High school, if May 3rd voting goes in positive direction. The Vote “YES” committee, meeting continuously with the overall objective to get voters within the School District to vote yes, thus possibly having the IRRRB give roughly 85% of the $29 million of projected cost, making the residents pay the remaining 15%. This new school would be very beneficial for the current Merritt Elementary students, Chuck stated that it would give them roughly 45 more minutes for teacher-student interaction/contact time, due to later pick-up time. Other option Chuck Bainter mentioned was that the old Mountain Iron-Buhl High School would be maintained at about $19 million over a 20 year period or another option would be to allow for the student numbers to go down, thus allocating them and the tax payer money to other School Districts within St. Louis County.
- Prebeg mentioned that even with the added tax, the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District would still be the lowest in regards to school taxes when compared to surrounding districts. However if the District did dissolve, the City of Mountain Iron would pay other School District rates, if combined with St. Louis County, thus burdening the city with their school taxes.
- Chuck Bainter stated that they are looking at cooperation not consolation with St. Louis County, however the surrounding Districts pulled out, they are looking for more of a variety of classes for students, thus being a win-win for tax payers and the School District. School board is responsible for bringing up class size, working with Northwest Service Cooperative and County schools to offer more classes with diversity.
- Zupancich questioned what the School District’s plan was for the old High school once the new High school was built? Chuck Bainter stated that the building or even part of it could be used by local business/people, has not been completely discussed as of currently, due to the fact that part the building is roughly over 50 years old.
- Stanaway stated for the desire that there were more open-lined communication/ open door policy amidst the School Board and City Council, especially since residents ask the City Council questions, both should be on board together.
- Mayor stated that the key is not the building, but the teachers and curriculum, however to consolidate you have to have a partner, but Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia not on board, should be for the residents to vote on this referendum for new school.
It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Zupancich to support Resolution #17-16 based on facts currently present; with the City of Mountain Iron whole heartedly supporting ISD 712 in their efforts to pass a bond referendum for a new high school and encourages our residents to vote YES on May 3rd, 2016. Opposed by Tuomela, motion carried with 4:1 vote, supporting referendum (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes) .
- Labor Management Meeting scheduling
- Condolences to the family of Marie Charivollotti’s family.
- Condolences to the family of Og Krueger’s family.
- Congratulations to Council member Joe Prebeg’s son, Nick Prebeg on making Command Master Chief and becoming Command Master Chief of USS Chafee; United States Naval Destroyer.
- Congratulations to Mountain Iron-Buhl Boys’ Basketball team, who beat Northwood, both teams had a great year.
- Congratulations to Mountain Iron-Buhl Girls’ Basketball team, if win Wednesday, March 9th game, it will be seven consecutive trips to State.
- Big thank you to Emergency Management committee for hosting the “Table Top Emergency Workshop,” held February 29th at the Mountain Iron Community Center. Attendance from those throughout the region.
It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg to schedule to Labor Management Meeting on Tuesday, March 15th at 2:00 p.m., at the Mountain Iron Community Center. Motion carried unanimously.
The City Administrator reported the following:
- Building new house ore structure, housing lots available in South Forest Grove as well as Unity Addition, anyone interested should contact the City of Mountain Iron via phone, email or visit the City website
- Non-Audit Services Letter-stating that the City Council appoints City Administrator
It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to designate Craig Wainio, City Administrator, to oversee/monitor and except responsibility and evaluate all non-audited services, which include preparation of financial statements and notes to the financial statements which are to be included in audit. Motion carried unanimously.
The Director of Public Works reported on the following:
- Residents can call City Hall to be placed on list for culverts which are backed up to be cleaned and steamed once snow and ice have thawed
Library Director/Special Events Coordinator report.
- Thank you, to those who helped with Mish Mash Mush on March 5th
- March 26th at 12:00 pm, Merritt Elementary 31st Annual Easter Egg Hunt
- No formal or informal report at this time
- Nothing to report, however will answer questions about any resolutions and projects
Public Health and Safety Board reported on the following:
- Stanaway stated that the Fire Department Officers wanted some sort of Fire Fighter Competency exam, two exams which were determined to be acceptable, submitted to City Council for final approval.
- Public Health and Safety Board compared and researched firefighter tests prior to hire, Greg Chad, Fire Chief; would like to make sure that newly hired fire fighters can comprehend competency test.
- Zupancich stated that the competency exam would be a condition to employment, done prior to interviews, thus if this test cannot be comprehended the individual would not be interviewed or recommended to go further in the hiring process.
It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Tuomela to authorize the Fire Department to implement a basic competency test as part of their hiring procedure as presented (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously. Skalko said competency test should be re-evaluated roughly six months to a year to ensure it is working and not eliminating every candidate.
It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Tuomela to approve the authorization for the City of Mountain Iron to contact the Minnesota Department of Transportation concerning Highway 169/County Road 109 intersection. Specifically to inquire of signalization of this particular intersection could be included in their 2017 project to upgrade the corridor (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg to approve the Improvement Guide which adopts the following amendment to the City of Mountain Iron’s Improvement Guide; being that any residential property within the City that has two or more streets adjacent of adjoining that property and the streets are improved within a ten year period, the total assessment to the property owner for all the projects shall not exceed $5000 (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to adopt Resolution Number 05-16; authorizing The City of Mountain Iron to obtain two lots on the corner of Mesabi Avenue and Locomotive Street and one lot located on the east side of Mineral Avenue on behalf of Habitat for Humanity. Structures/buildings on two of the lots, St. Louis County land department would remove and be responsible for part of the cost of removal of buildings along with IRRRB, no residents or individuals have shown interest in any of the parcels (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to adopt Resolution Number 13-16; authorizing the transfer of MNDot parcel # 175-0071-01168 from the City of Mountain Iron to the HRA, placing the entire parcel in the name of the HRA on one title. Later at future meeting requesting a short HRA meeting to transfer the entire parcel from the HRA to the rightful owner (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Tuomela to adopt Resolution Number 14-16; authorizing The City of Mountain Iron to request from Habitat for Humanity the Quartz Street lot for public use. Staff is requesting that the City request the lot from St. Louis County for no charge so as to protect the City’s infrastructure due to being a sewer main location (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 15-16; authorizing The City of Mountain Iron to approve the Plans and Specifications made by the City Engineer and to advertise for bids for Project #MI16-02, Garden Drive South Street project for 2016 (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Prebeg and seconded by Stanaway to adopt Resolution Number 16-16; authorizing The City of Mountain Iron to approve the Plans and Specifications made by City Engineer and to advertise for bids for Project #MI14-10, Bicycle and Pedestrian Recreational Trail (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to approve temporary Liquor License for Soroptimist of Virginia, for their Movie Night for Women-Fundraiser at Cinema-6, on April 13, 2016, at the City of Mountain Iron’s Community Center. The motion carried unanimously.
It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to set 2016 Local Board of Appeal & Equalization or Open Book meeting, tentatively scheduled by St. Louis County for April 21, 2016 from 6p.m- 7p.m. at The City of Mountain Iron’s Community Center. The motion carried unanimously.
The Council reviewed the list of communications.
Summer Work Outreach Project (SWOP), requests sponsorship to their 20th Anniversary Program. It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Tuomela to make a donation of $1,000 to the Summer Work Outreach Project, out of the Charitable Gambling Fund. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.
At 7:36 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. Motion carried with all members present.
Municipal Services Secretary
- Thank you, from Judy Seurer for the retirement Coffee’n cake, as well as for plaque and generous gift.
Mediacom is in the process of transforming its TV channel line-up to all-digital, moving channels 2-17 through 95 to a permanent digital home.