The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Meeting Minutes for November 27, 2007

NOVEMBER 27, 2007

The meeting was called to order at 6:33 p.m. with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present was: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Greg Chad, EMT Representative; Joe Buria, Mountain Iron Fire Department; Sally Peterangelo, Librarian; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works (entering at 6:34 p.m.); and Tom Cvar, Fire Chief (entering at 6:39 p.m.).

The Mayor stated that the purpose of the meeting was to review the 2008 budget.

The Mayor asked for the Council Members opinions on what percent of change they wanted to see in the levy. The Administrator said that the Consumer Price Index was 4.3%. The City Administrator said that the Council did not have to conduct a public hearing because the preliminary levy increase was less than the Consumer Price Index. The Council indicated the following levy increases:

Councilor Roskoski 0%
Councilor Stanaway 2%
Councilor Zupancich 2% (no more than that)
Councilor Prebeg 2% and anywhere up to 4.3% (Consumer Price Index)
Mayor Skalko 2%

The Mayor suggested that the Council review the 2008 budget, page by page, so the Council could comment on the various departments.

The Council noted an increase of $107,299 for the Local Government Aid. 

Question on the “Charge for Services” actual balance of $214,511.65. The Municipal Services Secretary said that approximately $168,000 of this balance was for the Unity Second Addition property sales and would be transferred to the bond payment fund.

CITY COUNCIL. Other Expenditures at The City Administrator said that the majority of the expenses in this line item are for legal services when the Council Members contact the City Attorney with questions.

PLANNING AND ZONING. The Zoning Administrator will be requesting an increase in wages because the wages have not been adjusted for 15 years. The Mayor said that the Zoning Administrator was working on updating his license. Councilor Roskoski said he would like City Staff to obtain a wage comparison with neighboring cities to see if this should be increased.
FIRE PROTECTION. The Fire Chief distributed a reworked 2008 proposed budget with a total of $99,700. The Fire Chief said that the number of fire runs was down, but the overall charges were higher. The Fire Chief said that he would like to see an increase of $19,700 from the 2007 budget. The Fire Chief said that the department needs five more Volunteer Fireman and the cost of the mandatory training is approximately $2,000 per fireman. The Fire Chief said that the Relief Association would like an increase of $1,600 per year; he said that the City contribution to the pension has not increased since 2001. The Fire Chief said that to see the actual dollars budgeted that pass through from the State of Minnesota State Fire Aid to the Relief Account. There are no additional dollars to the City, this amount comes in as revenue and is expended out to the Relief Association. 

At 7:16 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 7:18 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

It was the consensus of the Council to adjust the Fire Protection Training line item from $15,000 to $20,000 and the Relief Association amount from $19,800 to $25,700, with a total budget of $88,300. 

STREETS at No comments

BUILDINGS at No comments.

CAMPGROUND at No comments.

LIBRARY. The Librarian requested that the Council consider adding $7,280 to her budget for a drinking fountain, doors, a copy machine lease, the elevator contract, and window treatments. It was the consensus of the Council to have her additional items in the Capital Improvement Fund with a total amount budgeted for whatever items can get completed with the funds appropriated. 

RECREATION DEPARTMENT. Discussed the Special Events for the Department. The Librarian suggested possibly holding a winter festival, sliding party, holiday event, etc. Councilor Prebeg suggested bringing these suggestions to the Park and Recreation Board for a recommendation to the Council.

The Director of Public Works said that the City has grant funding for the Archery Range, the materials have been ordered, but the project is currently on hold due to the new housing development being located in the Archery Range area. 

GENERAL GOVERNMENT. Increase in the pension contribution for the retirees.
EMT Equipment. Greg Chad advised the Council that the $12,000 budgeted for the EMT’s would be appropriate. The Council questioned what type of storage building would be needed for the EMT’s.

The Mayor stated that the following Capital Improvement items should be designated:

Old Town Streetscape $35,820.00
Old Highway 169 $125,000.00
Tennis Courts $110,000.00
Grass Rig $35,000.00
Library $5,000.00 (doors, sinks, window treatments, fountain)
Street Sweeper $125,000.00
Class Five Gravel $20,000.00
TOTAL $455,820.00

At 8:17 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and seconded by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

Submitted by:

Jill M. Forseen, CMC/MMCA
Municipal Services Secretary

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