The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for May 17, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

MAY 17, 2004

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: Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Sam Aluni, City Attorney.

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

Approve the minutes of the May 3, 2004, City Council 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 May 1-15, 2004, totaling $211,055.64, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period May 1-15, 2004, totaling $223,896.55, (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 Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on the Spring Park Road proposed improvements. The motion carried.

At 6:34 p.m., Rod Flannigan, City Engineer, entered the meeting.

The City Engineer outlined the Spring Park Road proposed improvement projects to the public. The Engineer stated that the City was looking at Option D for a sanitary sewer extension. 

The Mayor explained to the public that the reason the City Council was going through this public hearing was because of a petition received from the property owners on Spring Park Road.

Tom and Kim Baczewski, 8551 Spring Park Road, spoke and stated that they have ten acres further to the east of Spring Park Road and their assessment would be 90% at a cost of approximately $28,000. Mr. Baczewski said that this assessment does not have any benefit to him and he is totally against the project. 

At 6:42 p.m., Craig Wainio, City Administrator, entered the meeting.

Norville Petersen, 8554 Spring Park Road, questioned whether the assessment was based on property value or front footage. The City Administrator stated that it was based on property area. Mr. Petersen stated that he bought property many years ago adjacent to the Spring Park Road with no intention of developing the lots. Mr. Petersen asked whether there was a classification difference between residential and commercial. The City Administrator said they were treated the same. Mr. Petersen asked what would determine whether this project goes forward or not. The Mayor stated that it would be determined by what the property owners would want. Mr. Petersen asked whether the City would have a water and/or sewer connection in the new commercial development adjacent to Spring Park Road. Councilor Prebeg advised Mr. Petersen that the extension in the Commercial area has not been completed for the entire area at this time and is only available near Highway 169.

Bill Tuomela, said that he would like to see the Spring Park Road area developed for future housing. 

Kevin Elsner, 8571 Spring Park Road, questioned the need for getting your septic system upgraded to obtain a building permit. 

Sue Tuomela, 8573 Spring Park Road, said that the reason she signed the petition was to have a sewer extension to Spring Park Road and to have the road upgraded. She said that she was not interested in having a water line extension completed. 

Dave Debevec, 8576 Spring Park Road, said that he just moved in to the Spring Park area and his septic system needs to be upgraded in the next year and would like to know what the City would be doing before he has any work completed. Mr. Debevec said that he would like to see Spring Park Road upgraded.

At 7:26 p.m., it was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to close the public hearing on the Spring Park Road improvements and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to have all of the information that was supplied to the City Council, on pages 17-30 of the May 17th City Council packet, be mailed to all of the Spring Park Road property owners. The motion carried.

During the public forum, Wilbert Johnson, 5621 Nichols Avenue, said that his neighbor�s truck is un-tarped again and he wondered if he would need to sign another complaint. The Blight Officer said that he would have to sign another complaint. Mr. Johnson provided the Blight Officer with another complaint. 

At 7:29 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 7:31 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

Also during the public forum, Dan Prebeg questioned the City Council resolution regarding the hiring of the Summer Part-time Staff. The Mayor said that there are currently five job openings for part-time work on the City crew and there are five applicants that are over the age of 18. Mr. Prebeg said that his son would be over 18 this summer and he would like to see him get hired again because it was a good experience for him.

Also during the public forum, Alan Stanaway, 5152 Spirit Lake Road, said that there was a near accident by his house and he would like the City to contact the County to add signage regarding a blind driveway and/or reduced speed limit. The Director of Public Works said that the City could request signage to the County on Mr. Stanaway�s behalf. It was the consensus of the Council to have the Director of Public Works look into the matter.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to waive the Community Center fees for the rental of the building on June 23rd and 24th, 2004, for the Jeremy Carpenter Memorial Scholarship Committee fund raiser. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to refund the Community Center fees for the rental of the building for the Mountain Iron-Buhl Volleyball fund raiser banquet held on May 5, 2004. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to have the Director of Public Works contact the DM & IR/Canadian National Railroad regarding painting their bridge abutments from the street to the steel girders that are up above and have the lights that are hanging out on the bridge repaired. The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the mining effects reports and budgets. 

At 8:05 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 8:06 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding contacting P & H MinePro regarding the use of Jasmine Street (9th Street). Councilor Roskoski said that on May 13, 2004, loaded on a Kirscher Transport low boy, in the Merritt Industrial Park was a 28 yard shovel bucket that was there at 9:00 p.m. and at 7:00 a.m. on May 14, 2004 the truck was gone. The City Attorney said that Sergeant Stewart should talk to them regarding hauling. The City Administrator said that the road they are using is a designated truck hauling route. The Director of Public Works said that he would contact them and ask for the weight tickets.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the Director of Public Works to call for quotes on crack sealing on an amount up to $10,000. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

The Council discussed the water main situation with the Virginia Department of Public Utilities from 8 � Street in Virginia to Unity Drive in Mountain Iron.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to approve the following items for the Merritt Days Celebration:

Approve closing the Downtown area, as was done during the past celebrations, starting on Thursday, June 24th and ending on Sunday, June 27th. The complete blocking plan is not complete until the carnival has set-up. The committee will work with local law enforcement to assure routes are acceptable.

Release City funds in the amount of $2,000.

Authorize City work as needed for clean-up and set-up.

Approve workers and funds to get the carnival set-up. The may include purchase of electrical load center and wiring needed for six 240 volt 30-50 amp circuits. Estimated cost is $1,500.00.

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize City Staff to seek quotes for the backwash water storage reservoir for the Water Treatment Plant. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to authorize pay request number one to Jola and Sopp for the Eagle Avenue Sanitary Sewer project in the amount of $16,900.50. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Engineer if they had looked into the intersection of Spruce and Aspen in Ann�s Acres to develop a crown for the water to flow properly. The City Engineer said they have looked into the situation. He said that an overlay would not work and they would have to do some milling work in there and repaved. He said that no design or cost estimate had been completed.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the City Attorney and accept the deed to the Bon Air property in settlement of the claim that the City of Mountain Iron has against Harry�s Bon Air, Incorporated, but still retain the right to collect any amount of restitution from the arson. The motion carried.

At 8:37 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

At 8:39 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to adopt the Guideline for City Mowing, with the guideline taking effect May 17, 2004, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution 24-04, authorizing the sale of land to adjoining property owners. After further discussion Councilor Irish withdrew his support. The motion died for lack of support. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Engineer to prepare descriptions for the property recently acquired from the Regional Rail Authority in the Parkville area with the City maintaining ownership of 25 feet on each side of said Railway Company�s Main Track. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to contribute $2,500 to the Greenwood Cemetery Association with the funds to come out of the 2004 mining effects funds. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, no; Roskoski, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to contribute $1,250 to the Greenwood Cemetery Association with the funds to come out of the 2004 mining effects funds. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, no; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to table the Fire Truck Bids and to direct City Staff to submit the bids to the Fire Department to review and make a recommendation. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to refund Sherry Wiitala $55.88 from her $100 Community Center deposit because of the call out to open the doors, and to direct Staff to send a letter to her explaining how the refund was calculated. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Council discussed previous trades and land exchanges completed in the past with U.S. Steel Corporation. 

The Council discussed the Parkville Bon Fires. The Mayor said that he spoke with Sergeant Stewart, Fire Chief Cvar, and Tom Nikolanci of the DNR regarding the matter and they said that a burning permit is required. 

During the open discussion, Councilor Nelson clarified that when he states “he calls for the question” that it is not to get the meeting over sooner as implied earlier by other Councilors, but he considers that the discussion is drawing on and not going anywhere. 

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Irish said that the Planning and Zoning Commission would like to have a new zoning map prepared and an aerial map of Mountain Iron displayed on the wall in the Mountain Iron Room of the Community Center. 

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Prebeg said that he has been approached by Bruce Kniivila at U. S. Steel and he wanted the City to have an aerial photo that he had prepared.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to accept the aerial photo/map and to have the photo/map framed and hung in the Community Center and to direct City Staff to write a letter to Bruce Kniivila thanking him for the photo/map. The motion carried.

Councilor Prebeg also informed the Council that U. S. Steel Corporation would supply two drill bits and to have the City Crew take them off of U. S. Steel property. He also said that a dipper tooth should not be a problem. Councilor Prebeg said that a formal request would need to come from City Staff for the shovel bucket. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct City Staff to contact Saint Louis County regarding U. S. Steel Corporation not mining in the County Road 102 (Old Highway 169) area to request that this road be upgraded. The motion carried.

At 9:32 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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