The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for May 03, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

MAY 3, 2004

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; Karen Luoma, Librarian; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. A. 1. Gravel/Sand for Recycling Area

Move: IV. E. 1. ATV Trail Update To: Public Forum, Item C

D. Resolution 23-04, ATV Trail Grant Application 

Approve the minutes of the April 19, 2004, City Council meeting as submitted.

Approve the minutes of the April 20, 2004, Board of Review 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 April 16-30, 2004, totaling $196,157.54, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period April 16-30, 2004, totaling $144,343.71, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

At 6:33 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and reconvene the Board of Review meeting. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to accept the recommendation of the County Assessor on the following properties:

Parcel Code Owner Action

175-0051-00640 Diane Lasky No Change

175-0055-00920 Frank Buffetta No Change

175-0012-02310 James Jenko Lower Improvement Valuation by $3,100

175-0032-00220 MMC Properties No Change

175-0032-00210 MMC Properties No Change

The motion carried.

At 6:36 p.m., it was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adjourn the Board of Review meeting and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

At 6:36 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular City Council meeting and open the public hearing for the Unity Drive assessments. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski commented that he looked at the road several weeks ago when the snow had melted and he felt the road had not held up well. The Director of Public Works stated that when he reviewed the street last week and he felt it held up well. 

The City Administrator stated that he was contacted by Wayne Pohia, who owns a lot on Unity Drive, and he stated that he had concerns with the road.

At 6:40 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to close the public hearing and reconvene the City Council meeting. The motion carried.

Councilor Irish introduced the DNR Trails and Water Supervisor, Scott Kelly, to the City Council and said that he was at the meeting to answer Council questions regarding the proposed ATV Trail. Rod Flannigan reviewed the map of the ATV Trail with the Council. He stated that the cost estimate for the trail was $232,000. 

Councilor Irish stated he would like to see the City apply for the full amount of the grant application and implement the project in three phases. Mr. Kelly stated that the DNR awards grant funds for up to 65% of the trail cost and up to 90% of the maintenance costs. Mr. Kelly also stated that the City can provide in-kind services and supplies as part of the grant match. Councilor Prebeg questioned the liability to the City with the trail. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to adopt Resolution Number 23-04, sponsoring the Mountain Iron ATV-OHM Trail, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Engineering Firm to apply for the grant in aid from the Minnesota Trail Assistance Program. And further, to prevent any unforeseen liability that the City may encounter to sponsored the grant, to reserve $21,000 from the 2004 mining effects tax, for cooperative projects, for the ATV trail system. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; and Skalko, yes.

During the public forum, Donna Aubol, 5749 Marble Avenue, advised the Council that she was considering opening a Bed and Breakfast in her home. The Council directed her to meet with the Planning and Zoning Commission on May 10, 2004. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the variance for Thomas Tammaro, Parcel Code 175-0065-00820, to construct an accessory building closer to the lot line than allowed by the Zoning Ordinance. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, no; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor stated that he would like to see some Class 5 added to the area by the recycling area by the City Garage. The Director of Public Works said that the recycling bins are sitting on bituminous. The Director of Public Works said that he would review the situation.

The Mayor reported that the City did not receive any T21 grant funds for the streetscape project for the Downtown Mountain Iron area. 

During the City Administrator�s report, Councilor Roskoski questioned if there was correspondence with P & H MinePro regarding hauling heavy equipment on Jasmine Street. The Director of Public Works said that he spoke with representatives from P & H MinePro regarding the situation. He said that P & H MinePro would make every effort to use the south road.

Councilor Irish questioned the City Administrator regarding the amount of acres that were in the Downtown Mountain Iron JOBZ zone. The City Administrator said there were approximately 110 acres. Councilor Irish asked if he could have a map of the area. Councilor Irish also asked if the City could transfer land from one JOBZ area to another. The Administrator said that if there is a specific project you are allowed to transfer land.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the Director of Public Works to obtain a credit card to use as a payment system to the Saint Louis County Solid Waste Department. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve the quote from Iron Oakes Fencing in the amount of $8,904.00, to purchase a cantilever gate and have it installed for the gravel storage area access road, to develop the area as the new yard waste site and recycling center. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding work completed by Duane�s Marine. The Director of Public Works stated that the City Crew moved a transformer in the area. 

Councilor Nelson expressed gratitude to the City Crew for getting the power back on, during a recent outage, so quickly in the Parkville area.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct Benchmark Engineering Staff to work with the Director of Public Works and Councilor Irish to develop some options for the noise and odor problems at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to authorize the Director of Public Works to purchase all needed materials and schedule employees to install underground sewer, water, and electricity for the Locomotive Park Trail Head building proposed location as per the Engineer�s specifications. And further, this project would be completed before the Mesabi Trail work actually takes place and the coordination of the project would be made with Mr. Manzoline, when and where necessary. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Mountain Iron Volunteer Fire Department and hire Gerry Holkko and Joel Martinson as volunteer fireman for the City of Mountain Iron. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to prepare a formal document thanking the retiring volunteer firemen for serving the City for the number of years that they served on the Volunteer Fire Department. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Administrator to obtain quotes to upgrade the entry system to comply with ADA requirements and upgrade the door opening system for the Mountain Manor and submit a pre-application for a grant for up to $10,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Irish to direct the City Attorney to accept the deed of the property for the Bon Air Bar, Inc. as payment in full for the restitution for the clean up of the property. After further discussion, Mayor Skalko withdrew his motion and Councilor Irish withdrew his support.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to accept applications for the newly created Economic Development Authority until Friday, May 28, 2004, and direct City Staff to place an advertisement in the Mesabi Daily News requesting applications for appointment to the Authority. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to authorize the Parks and Recreation Director to spend up to $400 for paint and labor for the following projects: paint the entrance gate yellow, paint the view stand blue and yellow, paint the sample box green, and have the signs redone stating the hours the overlook is open and the elevation of the overlook. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 20-04, awarding bids for the 2004 street overlay program, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to have an agreement prepared with U. S. Steel to trade the vacation of two smaller streets, not Mining Avenue, in Costin Addition, for the following items: the tire stand that they already made for the City, for Locomotive Park, a shovel dipper tooth welded onto a piece of pipe five feet long by three inches in diameter, a blast hole drill bit welded onto a piece of pipe five feet long by three inches in diameter, any size scoop/rope shovel bucket, with a door, that USS would place at the Wacootah Overlook site. And further, the City Administrator and the Park and Recreation Director are to coordinate this project with U. S. Steel Minntac. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no, Nelson, no; Irish, yes; and Skalko, no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 21-04, vacating streets in Costin Addition, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to request the following items from U. S. Steel: the tire stand that they already made for the City for Locomotive Park, a shovel dipper tooth welded onto a piece of pipe five feet long by three inches in diameter, a blast hole drill bit welded onto a piece of pipe five feet long by three inches in diameter, any size scoop/rope shovel bucket, with a door, that USS would place at the Wacootah Overlook site. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 22-04, adopting assessments for the improvements to Unity Drive, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to appoint Councilor Irish as the ATV/OHM Trail Coordinator/Consultant. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to direct the City Administrator to contact Rural Development to begin the application process to seek a low interest from them in the amount of up to $250,000 to finish the library project. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to authorize Architect Wedge to prepare specifications and estimated costs for the following: 1) complete structure tuck pointing; 2) air conditioning options; 3) southwest basement storage room upgrade; 4) the northwest basement (mini museum) upgrade; 5) storage room, underneath the entrance, upgrade; and 6) repairs to the upstairs and downstairs walls. And further, to direct Mr. Wedge to contact the City Administrator, Mayor Skalko, Councilor Irish, the Library Director, or the Library Board Members, if he has any questions. The completion date for this list is May 28, 2004, if possible. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson and Prebeg voting no.

Councilor Prebeg asked if an air quality test has been completed on the library. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator contact the person that inspected the old City Hall or possibly contact the St. Louis County Health Department. 

The Council discussed the inspections for the sump pump installations. No further action was taken on the matter. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff that the applicants for the temporary 40 hour per week summer employment positions, must be 18 years old or over. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of job openings, a lottery drawing will be held at the 2nd Council meeting in May, each year, to determine which individuals will be hire. If there are still any openings, at that time and any additional hiring would be on a first come basis. This motion will take effect immediately. And further, this motion does not include the library summer worker, coaches, or life guards. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski, that regarding the property purchased from the Regional Railroad Authority for the cost of $5,000 plus associated legal and recording fees, that said property should now be divided by our City Engineer among the adjoining land owners with the City obtaining a minimum 25 foot easement and right-of-way on each side of the center grade. All costs associated with the purchase, transfer, and sale of the land shall be included with the sale to adjacent property owners. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Skalko to have the Director of Public Works install a directional sign for the Mountain Iron City Hall and Community Center to be installed at the intersection of Emerald Avenue and Enterprise Drive South. And further, to have two directional signs installed on Mineral Avenue for the Mountain Iron Recreation Complex at the intersection of Mineral Avenue and Mud Lake Road. The motion carried. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to authorize a donation to the 17th Annual Mountain Iron-Buhl All Night Chemical Free Graduation Party in the amount of $100.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to clean up and remove the sand and rocks from the Locomotive Park area. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to direct City Staff to prepare a letter of recognition for Andrea Nichols for participating with the Minnesota Gophers Women�s hockey team at the 2004 NCAA Women�s Frozen Four. The motion carried.

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish advised the Director of Public Works that a stop sign at the intersection of County Road 7 and Unity Drive is faded and is currently attached to a telephone pole. The Director of Public Works said that he would contact St. Louis County Highway Department and advise them of the issue. 

At 9:58 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

ARDC, information on the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee Transportation Planning In-Kind Grant Program.

Gary Kuyava, St. Louis County Agricultural Inspector, information regarding the control of Noxious Weeds.

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