The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for November 21, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

NOVEMBER 21, 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; Wade Rasch, Sergeant; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer (entering at 6:36 p.m.).

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

Add the following item to the agenda:

IV. J. Tire Stand at Locomotive Park

Approve the minutes of the November 7, 2005, 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 November 1-15, 2005, totaling $137,193.15, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period November 1-15, 2005, totaling $872,707.53, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor advised the Council that the Recreation Director had called him and told him that he would not be at the City Council meeting.

At 6:33 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing for the street vacations. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski said that the City should not vacate the property, but save it for future use for the possible location of a trail.

At 6:35 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adjourn the public hearing for the street vacations and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, Dave Fazio, 5660 Falcon Avenue, Parkville, questioned a sump pump fine being charged on his utility bill. He also said that he also received notices that the utility bill was filed in court. He stated that the property was never out of compliance, but it had not been inspected by the City.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to waive the sump pump fine charges on Dave Fazio�s utility bill for his property located at 5660 Falcon Avenue due to the unusual circumstances. After further discussion, Mayor Skalko withdrew his motion. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to refer the Fazio sump pump fine issue to the Utility Advisory Board for discussion and a recommendation to the City Council and have a follow up letter sent to the property owners who are currently being fined for the sump pump violations. The motion carried.

During the Mayor�s report, the Mayor informed the Council that the new Christmas decorations had been put up. He thanked the City Employees for installing the decorations. The Mayor also stated that funds would be appropriated in 2006 for additional Christmas decorations for Nichols Avenue and Mineral Avenue through South Grove and Downtown Mountain Iron.

The Mayor commented that the yard waste/recycling site has been working well for the Mountain Iron residents. 

The Mayor commented on the City of Mountain Iron portion of the taxes on the proposed 2006 tax statements. He said that the main portion of the increase is that the properties in Mountain Iron were re-assessed in 2005 for the entire residential area of Mountain Iron. He also said that there was a shift in the state funding and some of the taconite funds are now distributed to the school district. 

It was moved by Skalko to adopt Resolution Number 40-05, Street, Curb, and Gutters Assessment Policy. The motion died for lack of support.

The Mayor stated that as long as he is Mayor he does not want to hear about the assessments for Grant Avenue, Spring Park Road and North Court because the Council had an opportunity to make a change that would have been constant and uniform. He said that the policy would have implemented the same rate for everyone in Mountain Iron and this Council has chosen to ignore it. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to authorize the City Administrator permission to continue to work on the grant application process for both of the trails involving the Federal Enhancement Funding Grant. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the purchase of one Ford F-450 4 x 4 cab and chassis from Elk River Ford State Bid contract #435320 in the amount of $25,297.80. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt the agreement with Saint Louis County for placement of the roll-off recycling containers, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

Terry Malmstrom asked if there would be new signage placed on the roll off recycling containers. The Director of Public Works said that Saint Louis County would be responsible for the signage. It was the consensus of the Council to have the Director of Public Works request the County to add signage.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works how the sewer charges were charged during the Summer months. The Director of Public Works stated that he thought the summer rates were charged June through September with the charges based on January through March usages. 

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works what the Voyageur Motel does for their sump pumps in the winter. The Director of Public Works stated that Valvoline has a waiver to dump their water into the sewer system due to a safety issue because they have no place to dispose of their water. The Director of Public Works stated that the Voyageur Motel dumps their sump pump water into the storm sewer. 

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works if he had reviewed the sewer lift stations to develop a plan to beautify the areas. The Director of Public Works stated that he reviewed the lift stations in the residential areas regarding adding screening and he felt that the City would still have to access the property and with the screening this would be difficult. He said that he looked into painting the lift stations, but they all are made with stainless steel and if the City painted them, the paint would probably flaked off and would created a maintenance problem.

Councilor Roskoski asked if the insulation and electrical installation had been completed on the Downtown Mountain Iron Skating Building. The Director of Public Works said that the building had been wired and they are currently working on finishing the inside and it would be ready for the skating season.

The City Council reviewed the October 2005 Activity Report for the Saint Louis County Sheriff�s Department. The Sergeant reminded the City Council that the Sheriff�s Department would be participating in a public safety mobilization geared towards seatbelt enforcement during the holiday weekend. Councilor Nelson asked the Sergeant if the Department reviewed the speeding situation on Enterprise Drive North. The Sergeant said that speed limit signs would be posted on Enterprise Drive North. 

The City Attorney updated the Council on the status on the blight issue regarding P & H MinePro. The City Attorney said that the Recreation Director had contacted the League of Minnesota Cities regarding obtaining sample ordinances regarding noise pollution and other types of alledged nuisances. Mrs. Malmstrom commented that the blight issue is worse now. Mrs. Malmstrom said that the noise testing should be done in the Summer and Spring when they are more active and working outside. The City Attorney said that the City needs to get some standards in place now, so that when Spring comes the City can do some monitoring. Mr. Malmstrom said that on and off in the past month they have been arc welding. Councilor Roskoski said that there is a crane with a 60 foot boom at the P & H MinePro and he felt that this would be considered sight pollution. Councilor Prebeg asked Councilor Roskoski if the working hours had been adjusted by P & H MinePro because he had heard that they had adjusted their hours of work. Councilor Roskoski said that they now start working at 6:30 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m. and end a little earlier. 

Councilor Irish questioned the City Attorney regarding a letter for early retirement with the continuing payment of health insurance benefits. Councilor Irish said that the Personal Committee reviewed the letter and stated the City Attorney reviewed the retirement letter and he discovered that the City Attorney had not reviewed Schur�s retirement letter.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Attorney to review the letter of early retirement and compare it to the contract language and report back to the City Council at the next meeting that the City Attorney is in attendance. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the final payment request to V & S Consulting for the Ann�s Acres Water Building and Tank Demolition Project in the amount of $5,210.40. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the Payment Request Number One to Hibbing Excavating Incorporated in the amount of $23,468.80. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to post the Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator position internally according to the collective bargaining agreement with applications being excepted until December 12, 2005. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to have the Downtown Committee work with the Parks and Recreation Board to suggest some alternatives to display the production truck tire in Locomotive Park more appropriately. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to adopt Resolution Number 38-05, Vacating 

Streets in Parkville 2nd and 3rd Additions. The motion failed with Councilor Irish and Roskoski voting no. (NOTE: The motion must pass on a 4/5 vote.)

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution Number 39-05, requesting inclusion in the Saint Louis County Help America Vote Act Equipment Plan, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko that the liquor and cigarette license applications for the period January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006, be approved and issued to the following individuals and business establishments pursuant to the approval, where necessary, of the Liquor Control Commission and pursuant to the payment of all outstanding license fees and utility charges:

Jeff & Greg Properties, Inc. On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

DBA: B. G.�s Saloon Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

5494 Highway 7 Off-Sale Non-Intoxicating Liquor

Mountain Iron, MN 55792 Cigarette

Mike Lambert Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

DBA: Silver Creek Liquor Company Cigarette

5489 Highway 7

Mountain Iron, MN 55792

Commander Club On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

American Legion Post #220 Off-Sale Non-Intoxicating Liquor

5748 Mountain Avenue, PO Box 361 Cigarette

Mountain Iron, MN 55768

Mac�s Bar, Inc. Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

DBA: Mac�s Bar On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

8881 Main Street, PO Box 313 Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

Mountain Iron, MN 55768 Cigarette

Bruce A. Carlsen Cigarette

Corner Spur

5499 Highway 7, Box 1207

Mountain Iron, MN 55792

Marion Giru Off-Sale Non-Intoxicating Liquor

Little Joe�s Cigarette

5537 Nichols Avenue, PO Box 356

Mountain Iron, MN 55768

Jay Ryan Moehlenbrock Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

Jay Ryan Enterprise, Inc. On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

DBA: Sawmill Saloon & Restaurant Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

5478 Mountain Iron Drive Cigarette

Mountain Iron, MN 55792

Adventures, Va., Inc. Off-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

Greg Hartnett On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

5475 Mountain Iron Drive Sunday On-Sale Intoxicating Liquor

Mountain Iron MN 55792

The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Nelson to adopt the contract with the Mesabi Humane Society at the new fees posted, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to approve the agreement with Walker, Giroux, and Hahne, LTD to perform the 2005 City Audit. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was the consensus of the Council to have City Staff request that the 2005 audit report be prepared sooner.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to adopt the Elected Officials Out-of-State Travel Policy, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to accept the recommendation of the Library Architects and approve RFP Number 8 and 9 for the Mountain Iron Library contract. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the open discussion Councilor Nelson thanked the Fire Chief for submitting the fire department activity report to the City Council and he hopes that they continue submitting the reports.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski said that Heather Avenue and Spring Park Road have both turned into muddy messes. He felt that both roads would need crushed rock placed on the roads to improve the driving conditions.

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish addressed the Mayor�s comments on the assessment resolution regarding his comments regarding Grant Street and North Court, he felt they were unfair. The Mayor said that he also stated Spring Park Road. The Mayor said that the issue is over now and he can accept that. He further stated that the City Council had three months to review the proposed policy. Councilor Irish felt that it should have gone through the Street and Alley Committee for a recommendation.

At 7:54 p.m., it was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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