The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for November 10, 2009

NOVEMBER 10, 2009

Mayor Skalko called the meeting to order at 6:32 p.m. with the following members present: Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, Ed Roskoski, Gary Skalko and Joe Prebeg Jr. (entered at 6:33 p.m.). Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Anderson, Municipal Services Secretary; Jeremy Knapper, Fire Department; Joseph Buria, Fire Department; Greg Chad, First Responders/Fire Department; and Steve Norvitch, Assistant Fire Chief (entered the meeting at 7:09 p.m).

The Mayor said that the purpose of the meeting was to review the 2010 City budget. The Mayor said that there are some concerns and facts regarding the 2010 budget. He said that the projection of revenue loss for the City of Mountain Iron for 2010 is approximately $370,000. The majority of this revenue loss will be from taconite production tax and aid. He also said that Director of Public Works said that the 2009 budget of $50,000 for Locomotive Park and $35,000 for the Ann’s Acres Park, was not spent and requested that the Council reserve this funding for 2010. He also said that the $75,000 from the sale of the land in West Virginia has been allocated to that area for additional park improvements and there is also a $100,000 grant for the relocation of the ballfield in the West Virginia area. 

The Council reviewed each department as follows:

– Taxes. The Mayor reviewed the impact on the residents for the various levy increases. He also pointed out that the tax increase would be minimal because of the additional market valuation increase by the new development in the City of Mountain Iron. There were several questions regarding the bond levy and the special levy. The City Administrator clarified how these were established.
– Intergovernmental Revenue. Reductions in the local government aid again. The Homestead Credit is once again separated from the levy. There would be significant reductions in the Taconite Production Tax and Aid payments.
– General Revenue. No comments.

– City Council. No comments.
– Administration. Discussion regarding the cost savings by not publishing the minutes.
– Election. No comments.
– Assessing. No comments.
– Planning and Zoning. Additional wages are reflected with inspections for residential and commercial construction, with an offset in the revenues.
– Police Protection. Sheriff’s contract shows an increase, but the City pays actual expenditures. 
– Fire Protection. The Fire Department would be having additional training costs in 2010, with several new firemen starting due to retirements. Also, there would be a required matching fund for a $450,000 joint grant for communication equipment that was awarded jointly for some area towns. It was also stated that the Fire Department would like to see an increase in the hourly wage for call outs and training. The Fire Department would be writing grant applications to try to obtain additional equipment. Questioned the Fire Department members if they were going to request an increase in the pension and contribution because the Relief Association had not submitted any request in 2009. The Assistant Fire Chief pointed out to the Council that they should begin to budget for the purchase of a new fire truck. 
– Emergency Management. No comments.
– Animal Control. No comments.
– Streets. Questioned the street maintenance costs because of all of the new streets completed. Discussion followed with regard to crack sealing of streets and general maintenance of all equipment. 
– Buildings. No comments.
– Campground. Questioned the insurance line item. It was clarified that this is for insurance for city employees that work at the campground.
– Recreation Department. No comments.
– Library. Questioned the insurance costs. It was clarified that since the Librarian is now a full-time employee that these costs have increased. They discussed the requested capital improvement for the library basement at a cost of $26,000.
– Other. Televised meetings costs are higher because the City now has their own channel. Emergency Medical Technicians Equipment account was reduced, Mr. Chad requested that this amount be reinstated due to the need for some necessary equipment. 

At 7:39 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 7:41 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

The Council discussed having a five percent levy increase. It was the consensus of the Council that the proposed Library capital improvements for the basement or the Sheriff’s Department vehicle would not be able to be purchased if the levy was decreased.

At 7:44 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

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