The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for March 21, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

MARCH 21, 2005

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:31 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 Prebeg that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

Add the following items to the agenda:

A. 1. Letter to Annette Frericks

2. Declaration for the Firefighters & EMT�s

3. Set up of Mayor�s Office

VIII. 1. Mesabi Humane Society Membership

2. EDA items

Approve the minutes of the March 7, 2005, City Council meeting with the following corrections:

Page 3, Paragraph 3, “�.City Council packet being sent to the residents in the Spring Park area and South Grove area along with a cover letters being sent out�”

Page 3, Paragraph 7, “�..water problems, and fire protection, to be listed appropriately in all future directories.”

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 March 1-15, 2005, totaling $156,999.94, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period March 1-15, 2005, totaling $124,531.53, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

At 6:37 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on JOBZ. The motion carried.

The City Administrator stated that the public hearing was for JOBZ benefits for Precision Testing Incorporated.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the procedure completed for the JOBZ designation. He said that some of the things should have been completed prior to the public hearing being set. He said that an application and the review by the Economic Development Authority (EDA) have not been completed. The City Administrator stated that the EDA made a recommendation to give Precision Testing Incorporated JOBZ benefits. The Administrator said that there was no time frame set to have the application completed. Councilor Irish said that he contacted the JOBZ Coordinator and he was advised that with the tax subsidies issues, it is everything or nothing. Councilor Irish also stated that a relocation agreement was not prepared. Councilor Irish said that he would like all the information to go back to the state for their consideration. 

At 6:47 p.m., it was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to close the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to prepare a Declaration of Appreciation for the Mountain Iron Volunteer Firefighters and the Emergency Medical Technicians for the meeting in Virginia on May 6, 2005 hosted by the Virginia Area Ministerial Association. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to forward a letter to Annette Frericks thanking her for Roman Frericks� years of service on the Utility Advisory Board. The motion carried.

The Mayor stated that he would like to ask Annette Frericks if she would like to complete the remaining term of her husband on the Utility Advisory Board.

The Mayor requested that City Staff set up a Mayor�s office for him at the City Hall to include a desk, phone, and file cabinet with this being completed by the first week in April. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the large trash pickup to be held the weeks of June 6th and June 13th, 2005, at a cost of $5.00 per participant. The motion carried.

The Street Light Policy will be considered at the April 4, 2005 meeting.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve the sewer rate for residential charges at $10.00 per month service charge plus $1.50 per 1,000 gallons of water used and the commercial charges at $20.00 per month service charge plus a $1.50 per 1,000 gallons of water used, using the average water consumption used during the months of January, February, and March for the residential summer rate. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to approve the sewer rate for residential charges at $10.00 per month service charge plus $1.00 per 1,000 gallons of water used and the commercial charges at $20.00 per month service charge plus a $3.00 per 1,000 gallons of water used, using the average water consumption used during the months of January, February, and March for the residential summer rate. And further, this rate would take effect on April 1, 2005. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve the caretaker contract for services with Wilbur and Violette Ball for West Two Rivers Campground for the 2005 season and authorize an increase in the contract of $25 per week for a total of $525 for the 17 week season. The motion carried on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to keep the same policy as last year for the temporary 40 hour per week positions that are on the public utilities and street department being 18 years or older as of the date work would begin. If there are more applicants than positions, then the City would go to a lottery system. And further, to have City Staff use the same list for other temporary positions that open during other times of the year. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to add to the list of criteria for the all season temporary employment policy that all employment position, rates of pay, length of employment and how many employees are needed must be authorized by the City Council prior to any advertising being published. And further, all employment opportunities will be advertised in the Mesabi Daily News, several times, under the appropriate heading in the paper. And further, the Council will make the final approval of the list of employees. The motion carried with Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to authorize Councilor Irish to work with the City Attorney to find out the right-of-way ownership on Monkey Road in Parkville. The motion carried with Nelson voting no.

The Recreation Director requested that the Council clarify that the Recreation Board can hire the employees for his department, i.e. ground keeper, lifeguards, coaches and umpires. It was the consensus of the Council to have the Park and Recreation Board interview and recommend to the City Council for hiring, employees for their department.

During the Liaison reports, Councilor Roskoski reported that at the last Library Board meeting, the board met with Erik Wedge to review the final tuck pointing, lentils, drain tile, basement renovation, elevator, sidewalk, and handicapped parking. He said that there was one glitch that surfaced and Mr. Wedge would be making a change. Councilor Roskoski stated that when someone uses the back door to get into the library to use the elevator, the Librarian can not see that area, so there will be some sort of light or sound alarm whenever someone uses the back door.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to authorize the Library Board and Librarian to hold a use book sale at the Mountain Iron Public Library beginning March 21st through 31st with the revenues received being turned into the City General Fund. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to work with the City Attorney, maybe property owners of the Mashkenode Lake Area, and Taylor Investments (the developer) to discuss the installation of cul-de-sac along the west area of the Mashkenode Lake Development. The motion carried with Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that with regards to the sidewalk that is east of the Ken Jacobsen alley (5738 Mineral Avenue) that:

the boulevard area between the sidewalk and the curb be sodded or seeded along the entire length; and

that the area south of the sidewalk be brushed, cleaned up, fill added where necessary up to the width of six feet or more and be sodded or seeded along the entire length; and

all work will be done with city employees and equipment; and

the completion date would be by Fall freeze up of 2005. 

The motion carried with Nelson and Prebeg voting no.

Barb Politano and William Buria, Calvary Cemetery Association Members, were present and requested that the City Council consider contributing $12,500 from the Mining Effects fund for a joint venture to construct an addition of a modern office and reception area to the Calvary Cemetery Association building.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski that the City of Mountain Iron goes on record allocating $12,500 of mining effects funds in the 2006 budget to be put toward the Calvary Cemetery Association building addition. The motion carried with Irish voting no.

Mr. Buria requested that the Council authorize the City Engineer to survey the Calvary Cemetery Association property located in Mountain Iron. The Council took no action on the request.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution Number 06-05, authorizing and providing for the incurrence of indebtedness in the principal amount of $300,000.00 for the purpose of providing a portion of the cost of acquiring and constructing an accessible public library providing for the collection, handling, and disposition of revenues therefrom, and authorizing makings of promissory notes, security instruments. And pledges of revenues to evidence and secure the payment of said indebtedness and for related purposes, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 07-05, supporting the Mountain Iron D.A.R.E. fundraiser, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to direct the City Engineer and City Staff to work together to come up with a recommendation to fix Heather Avenue. After some discussion, Councilor Nelson amended the motion to direct the City Engineer to investigation completing some type of trenching for drainage on the road. Councilor Prebeg supported the amendment. The amended motion carried unanimously.

It was moved by Roskoski to direct City Staff to reschedule the custodial staff to allow for an additional 1-2 hours per week to work at the Mountain Iron Library with no overtime. After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski withdrew his motion.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to contact U. S. Steel Corporation to ask them how long the trucks will be hauling taconite concentrate on Mineral Avenue. The motion carried with Nelson and Prebeg voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to change the spending cap limit for the Administrative Staff from $2,500 to $1,000 and if there is something more than $1,000, of an emergency nature, that can�t wait until the next City Council meeting, that the Administrative Staff check with the Mayor for authorization. After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski amended the motion that the cap be $2,500 in the case of an emergency with the Administrative Staff justifying the emergency to the City Council after the fact. Councilor Irish supported the amendment. The motion failed with Councilor Prebeg, Councilor Nelson and Mayor Skalko voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Nelson that because the curb and gutter on the inside gutter of Mountain Iron Drive and 13th Street by the Voyageur Motel, 5476 Mountain Iron Drive, juts, sticks up, and forces driver�s vehicles potentially into the other lane that Benchmark Engineering be authorized to survey and find out if there is additional public property available in that area to move the curb and gutter in, which would be more easterly. The motion carried.

Councilor Prebeg advised the Council that the Personnel Committee met before the City Council meeting regarding the personnel issue. He stated that there would be a letter drafted concerning the issue and it was suggested that the Council meet in closed session at the next meeting that the City Attorney is in attendance.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski asked if anyone had any additional information regarding the issues taking place at the Mesabi Humane Society because of the City�s contributions to operate the facility. No one had any additional information to offer.

Also during the open discussion, Council Roskoski said that at the last EDA meeting, there was a deal with a prospective business to locate on the tailing pond at a cost of $20,000 for 80 acres with JOBZ benefits applied. Councilor Roskoski said that the City is spending $70,000 to clean up the dump. He further stated that the EDA voted to not accept the deal. Councilor Nelson clarified said that this was a rough draft prepared by the company that was interested in the lot. 

Councilor Nelson advised the Council that he wouldn�t be able to attend the March 31, 2005 special meeting.

At 9:00 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the March 11, 2005, Friday fax.

Mountain Iron-Buhl Class of 2005, forwarding a thank you for the contribution to the All Night Graduation Party.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the March 18, 2005, Friday fax.

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, forward a memorandum concerning the CGMC�s proposed amendments to the “Clean Water Legacy Act”.

Small Cities Action Update, a e-mail with contact information regarding the budget resolution.

Fleherty & Hood, forwarding a letter sent to the League of Minnesota Cities regarding the “Clean Water Legacy Act”.

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