The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for May 02, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

MAY 2, 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; Tom Cvar, Fire Chief; Karen Luoma, Librarian; 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 April 18, 2005, City Council meeting with the following corrections:

Page 5, last paragraph, “He said that from Springer Drive to the end of Shorthair Lane the road was really rubbery and had many soft shoulder areas.” “Councilor Roskoski asked if there was any correspondence with the Developer regarding the cul-de-sacs and the City Administrator said that an e-mail was sent to the developer.”

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 April 16-30, 2005, totaling $158,436.24, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period April 16-30, 2005, totaling $204,127.30, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Pohia were present and asked the Council what the status was on their Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The Mayor advised them that the CUP was on the agenda and the Council would be acting on it shortly.

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor said that he strongly encourages debate and discussion, but at the last meeting some of the Council members cross the line and in the future he will take more control of the meeting. He said that he would like to keep the meetings more productive.

The Mayor commented how successful the fund raiser for Joe Stewart was. The Mayor thanked the efforts of Don Kleinschmidt, Gail Kleinschmidt, and Larry Cuffe, Jr. for their work on the fund raiser. 

The Mayor commented on the proposal regarding the ATV trail. He stated that the beginning of the trail is by County Road 102 by General Electric going east to Nichols Avenue (by the old skating rink), with a spur going to the Wacootah Overlook. He said that he wants a public meeting for the people of Mountain Iron to discuss the proposed trail. The Mayor said that there are 358 registered ATV owners and in comparison there are 227 snowmobile owners. The Mayor said that the public meeting should include U.S. Steel Corporation because the trail crosses some of their land. Councilor Irish corrected the Mayor saying that none of the land that the ATV Club is using for the trail is located on U. S. Steel�s property. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to table the Presidential Freedom Scholarship until the next regular meeting when the City Attorney is available. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the Conditional Use Permit for Wayne Pohia, 8754 Unity Drive, Mountain Iron, on parcel 175-0070-01487, to construct an accessory building larger than allowed by the zoning ordinance. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Mayor how the Library Project was going with regard to the tuck pointing and the elevator. The Mayor said that the USDA loan would be finalized in the next week or two. Councilor Irish asked if the USDA loan would be coming back to the City Council for final approval. The City Administrator said that loan had already been approved. Councilor Irish asked if the amount of the loan could be changed. The City Administrator said that the loan is drawn down as expenditures are paid and if there is a balance remaining it would just go against the principal owed by the City. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the Fire Department to send up to three volunteer fireman to attend the regional meeting in McDavitt Township at a cost of $15.00 per fireman. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to have a Volunteer Employee Care Contribution Fund established with contributions from all willing employees including the Council Members, Management Employees, and Union Employees with a $10.00 per year contribution. The moneys from this fund would be used when there is a death of a city employee, employee�s parents, employee�s spouse, or an employee�s child for a gift totally $50. Also, if there is a serious illness or injury to a City Employee the same gift will be given. It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to amend the motion to have it changed to have this as a recommendation. The amended motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of City Staff and award the crack sealing quote to Northwest Asphalt in the amount of $0.527/unity price per pound installed for a total amount of $10,000.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding the paint on the Water Treatment Plant. The Director of Public Works said that the Water Treatment Plant was painted last summer by City Staff using paint that was donated by the Contractor who worked on the water tanks.

Councilor Roskoski questioned why the City is hauling brush to the landfill instead of putting it on the burn pile. The Director of Public Works stated that the brush is hauled to the brush site unless it is contaminated and then it must be disposed of at the landfill. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the Librarian to advertise and hire one temporary worker to work at the Library for a six week period beginning June 13th and ending July 21st, 2005at a rate of $6.00 per hour. The motion carried.

The City Engineer updated the Council regarding the possible upgrades to the corner by the Voyageur Motel on Mountain Iron Drive. 

Councilor Irish questioned the City Engineer regarding the train crossings and the risk index for the crossings. The City Engineer said that there were no funds available for an upgrade and he was not aware of the risk index for the area. The City Engineer said that he could look into the situation further. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to approve the Assistant Librarian position changing the training and experience as follows:

High school diploma or equivalent.

2 years post secondary education library science degree preferred required.

Minimum two years library work experience preferred.

Computer training or experience.

Valid Minnesota Class D driver�s license.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to authorize City Staff to post internally for the Assistant Librarian Position as per the union contract. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski asked for an update on the Mesabi Trail. Mayor Skalko updated the Council regarding the Mesabi Trail Project. He said that the Regional Rail Authority felt that the overlay project would be completed by the end of June. The Mayor also informed the Council that there are two big tours scheduled to use the Mesabi Trail. The first one would be July 25th with approximately 1,000 bikers. And then, on August 13th there is another tour going through on the Mesabi Trail.

Councilor Roskoski asked if the Utility Advisory Board (UAB) had met to discuss the Ann�s Acres Street Lighting Project. The Director of Public Works said that the UAB would be meeting on May 24th to review the project. The Director of Public Works said that Minnesota Power�s Engineering Department was reviewing the project and would be supply cost figures for the June 6th City Council meeting.

Councilor Roskoski said that the Locomotive Park Project is looking good. He questioned whether a drinking fountain had been ordered. Councilor Roskoski asked if the plan for the park included street light standards. Mayor Skalko said that the City had received a TEA 21 grant in the amount of $160,000 for fiscal year 2008. 

Councilor Nelson asked Councilor Roskoski if he spoke to the Director of Public Works prior to coming to the City Council meeting. He asked Councilor Roskoski if he would speak to City Staff prior to the City Council meetings as not to have so many questions at the Council meeting. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to table the blight ordinance and send it back to the Blight Committee for further review. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to direct City Staff to inquire about the costs for Christmas lighting on Unity Drive from Marion Drive east to the north end of Mountain Iron Drive and on County Road 7 from Unity Drive south to Tamarack Drive. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to have the Department Heads make a recommendation to the City Council regarding individual employees requesting to attend non-mandatory training and conferences. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

During the open discussion, the Council questioned the letter from Jerry Kujala to David McGregor regarding obtaining building permits. The Council was informed that Mr. McGregor had applied for the necessary permits.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Irish said that he was contacted by a resident in Parkville regarding discussions for removing some of the street lights on Nichols Avenue. The Director of Public Works said that there is currently no plan to remove any street lights in Mountain Iron. 

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Irish said that during the Joe Stewart benefit at the Community Center there were problems with the microphones again. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to check out the public address system thoroughly and correct any problems. The motion carried.

At 8:22 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Darlene Anderson, a thank you.

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the April 22, 2005, Friday Fax.

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