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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for March 17, 2008

MINUTES
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
MARCH 17, 2008

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Alan Stanaway, Tony Zupancich, Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Anderson, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; and John Backman, Sergeant.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Stanaway that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Approve the minutes of the March 3, 2008, City Council meeting as submitted.

2. 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.

3. To acknowledge the receipts for the period March 1-15, 2008, totaling $146,040.67, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

4. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period March 1-15, 2008, totaling $272,029.65, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

At 6:32 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing for the Old Highway 169 Improvement Project. The motion carried.

William Buria, 9138 Streetcar Road, Mountain Iron, spoke and asked the Council where the project would begin and end. The City Administrator stated that the project would begin in the Costin area where the last project left off and proceeds west approximately one mile and would be completed in the next three years. 

The Mayor said that Carolyn Olsen initially brought the condition of Old Highway 169 to the Council’s attention. The Mayor said that the special assessments would be funded by a ten per cent assessment to the property owners and the balance of 90 per cent to the City.

Bob Brown, 5474 Brown’s Road, Mountain Iron, would like to see the road completed past Giorgi’s Road, not just one mile. The City Administrator advised Mr. Brown that the City Council only budgeted $125,000 for the project. The Mayor said that the project could go further down Old Highway 169 depending on how the bids come in for the project. 

There were no communications received and no other public input.

At 6:36 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public hearing, Councilor Roskoski asked Bob Brown, Commercial Building Inspector, a question regarding some issues that were raised at the last Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. He asked where the condemned property was that they were referring to and what the process is to get the property taken care of. Mr. Brown said that the property was the Wayne Motor and Oil property at 8904 Main Street and the issue is between the State of Minnesota and the property owner because of the condition of the property.

The Mayor updated Councilor Zupancich about the Summer Work Outreach Program (SWOP) Board because he missed the last meeting. The Mayor said that the next meeting would be the first Tuesday of the month at the Buhl Public Library at 5:30 p.m. and the Council agreed to sit on the Board on a rotating basis. The Mayor said that he had attended the first meeting held on March 3rd. He said that the next meeting would be held on April 1st. Councilor Zupancich said that he could attend the April 1st meeting. The Mayor advised the Council Members that they should be thinking about who would be available to attend the May 6th meeting.

The City Administrator updated the Council on the following:

– Mountain Iron Library. He said that the Expense Report for the Library was in the Council packet. Councilor Roskoski questioned the Administrator regarding some of the figures in the report. Councilor Stanaway thanked the City Administrator for preparing the report. 
– Mountain Manor. He advised the Council that the contracts for the grant for the Mountain Manor apartment conversions have been executed. The grant amount is $30,000 with a City match of $30,000. He said that at the next City Council meeting the City will need to get an Architect involved in the project to keep it progressing.
– Sump Pump Ordinance. A list of those residents not in compliance with the ordinance was distributed at the request of Councilor Roskoski. 
– Comprehensive Plan Public Hearing. The hearing is set for Monday, March 24, 2008, during the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
– Joint Meeting. There is a Special Joint Meeting scheduled for Monday, March 31, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. with the Mountain Iron City Council, the Buhl City Council, the Kinney City Council, Great Scott Township, and the Mountain Iron-Buhl School Board.

The Director of Public Works reported on the following:

– Bougalis Construction. Councilor Roskoski asked whether the televising of the sewer lines was for the storm sewer or the sanitary sewer. The Director of Public Works said that both the sanitary and the storm sewer were completed. He said that the sanitary sewer was completed along the Parkville Industrial Park road to identify the sanitary sewer services along the road. And, the storm sewer that was completed in the Downtown Mountain Iron area along Agate Street from the Senior Center, across the Old City Garage parking lot, and to Agate Street. The Director of Public Works said that they found some deteriorated lines and they located the sewer lines that they were looking to locate.

– West Two Rivers Campground. He informed the Council that the Caretakers that worked at the Campground for the past few years would not be returning to work this year. He advised the Council Members that they would be advertising for applicants for the caretaker position at the West Two Rivers Campground soon.

It was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich to direct City Staff to send a letter of appreciation to Wilbur and Violette Ball for their years of service as the Caretakers at the West Two Rivers Campground. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Prebeg to direct City Staff to place advertisements for the Caretaker position at the West Two Rivers Campground. The motion carried.

The City Attorney updated the Council regarding the “Friends of Mountain Iron Foundation”. He said that Councilor Roskoski had initially requested that this information be prepared. He said that if there was an interested group of people would like to form a “Friends of Mountain Iron Foundation”, or organization to support the City, that it be done in the form of a non-profit corporation, possibly with tax exempt status. The Attorney said that there is a statute stating that the City can not form such a Corporation, so the formation of the Corporation would have to be done by an independent group and would have to be financially separate from the City. Councilor Roskoski said that he would have to contact the people interested in the group and see if they are still interested in starting it.

The Sergeant reported to the public in general, that there are several fraud cases going on right now with regard to internet fraud and mail fraud with regard to hiring Secret Shoppers. He said that these cases are very difficult to prosecute. He advised the public that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Roskoski questioned the Sergeant and the City Attorney regarding the sale of forfeited vehicles being sold and the funds being turned over to the City. The Sergeant said that he had looked into the situation when he started to work in Mountain Iron and all of the forfeitures go into a County Fund for the Saint Louis County Sheriff’s Department and not to the individual City’s. He said that there are approximately six to eight vehicles per year, with one or two of those being an ATV or a snowmobile in Mountain Iron. He would like to keep one ATV and one snowmobile to use in the Mountain Iron Law Enforcement office. He informed the Council that the County usually sells the forfeited items through the internet. The sale of the items can not reduce the amount of the sheriff’s contract, but could be used to purchase equipment. The Sergeant said that he would look into how the City of Mountain Iron could change this policy to benefit the City.

It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Stanaway to direct the Sheriff’s Department Sergeant and the City Attorney to work together on a policy change for the forfeiture of property and bring the information back to the City Council for further consideration. The motion carried.

During the Liaison Reports, the following items were discussed:

– Library Board. Councilor Stanaway advised the Council that the window treatments have been installed at the Library and look good. Councilor Stanaway questioned the Director of Public Works regarding when the framed artwork would be hung in the Library. The Director of Public Works said that because of the size and the weight of the picture and the lathe and plaster walls, he contacted Architectural Resources to have them evaluate a hanging system for the picture. He said that he has not heard anything further from them at this point.
– Planning and Zoning Commission. Councilor Roskoski asked Councilor Zupancich regarding Mr. Klimek using the Wayne Motor and Oil site for his roll-off containers regarding securing the site. Councilor Zupancich stated that there were some issues with Mr. Klimek regarding the debris being spread around. Councilor Zupancich said that there was consideration of rezoning the area, installing fencing, or erecting a pole building and Mr. Klimek did not want to expend funds to upgrade the area. The Planning and Zoning advised Mr. Klimek to work with the City Administrator to look for a more suitable site for his business.
– Personnel Committee. Councilor Prebeg informed the Council that Mr. Mike Downs had been offered the Foreman Position and they are currently working out the details of the employment agreement with the Personnel Committee. They intend on having the City Attorney review the contract prior to the Council reviewing the employment agreement.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Stanaway to adopt Resolution Number 13-08, ordering improvement and preparation of the plans for the proposed overlay of Old Highway 169, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Stanaway and seconded by Zupancich to adopt Resolution Number 14-08, calling for bids for the reconstruction of the tennis courts in South Grove, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Skalko to adopt the Safety Incentive Program Policy as presented. It was moved by Roskoski and seconded by Zupancich to amend the motion to have the City Attorney research the applicable statutes, check with the Attorney General’s office, and report back to the City Council, in writing, if this proposed Incentive Program is legal or not. The amendment to the motion carried. The amended motion carried unanimously.

During the open discussion, Councilor Stanaway questioned the Council regarding seeking an appraisal of the value of the artwork and seeking insurance for the artwork at the Library. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator and the Librarian look into an appraisal and insurance coverage on the artwork.

Also during the open discussion, Mayor Skalko said that there should be an informal meeting every other month with the City Administrator, the Fire Chief, the Chairman of the Safety and Health Board, and the Director for the Emergency Medical Technicians, to discuss health and safety issues.
At 7:28 p.m., it was moved by Zupancich and seconded by Skalko to recess the regular meeting and open the closed session to discuss contract negotiations with the Management Personnel. The motion carried.

At 7:29 p.m., the Mayor recessed the meeting.

At 7:45 p.m., the Mayor called the closed meeting to order to discuss contract negotiations for Management Personnel.

At 8:08 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Zupancich that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Jill M. Anderson, CMC/MMCA
Municipal Services Secretary 

www.mtniron.com

COMMUNICATIONS

1. Ann Scholler Assistant Auditor, Highway 53 Long Range Task Force, a letter of thanks for the contribution towards the lobbyist service contract for 2008.

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