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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for November 29, 2010

MINUTES
MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL
COMMITTEE-OF-THE-WHOLE MEETING
NOVEMBER 29, 2010

Mayor Skalko called the meeting to order at 6:02 p.m. with the following members present: Tony Zupancich, Alan Stanaway, Ed Roskoski, Joe Prebeg, Jr. and Mayor Gary Skalko. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Anderson, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; John Bachman, Sergeant; Sally Peterangelo, Librarian; Susan Tuomela, Councilor-Elect Member; and Joe Buria, Fire Chief (entering at 6:06 p.m.).

The Mayor said that the purpose of the meeting was to review the 2011 proposed budget. He said that he would like to keep the levy, as proposed, with no levy increase. 

The Council reviewed each department as follows:

Revenues: 
– Taxes. Councilor Roskoski questioned the City Administrator regarding the additional revenue of $198,162 in the “Intergovernmental Aid” asking if this was an absolute. The City Administrator said that nothing was an absolute and the Governor could adjust the revenues. The Mayor said that in the past Governor Pawlenty had completed an unallotment in December, but he had heard that if Dayton is confirmed as Governor that he would keep the Local Government Aid for Cities.
– Intergovernmental Revenue. Councilor Roskoski asked what the Mining Effects funds would be spent on. The City Administrator advised the Council that 50% had been allocated, by law, to go to cooperative projects with other Cities and Counties; and, the other 50% was dedicated to infrastructure projects.

Expenditures:
– City Council. No comments.
– Administration. Councilor Prebeg asked what the $13,000 increases were for. The Administrator said that the majority of the increase were for professional services-auditing and engineering, and a slight increase in salaries. The Council discussed the potential cost savings by not publishing the minutes in the designated newspaper.
– Election. No comments.
– Assessing. No comments.
– Planning and Zoning. No comments.
– Police Protection. Councilor Roskoski asked why the Sheriff’s contract showed an increase. The Sergeant said that the budget and actual amounts should now be reflected more accurately. 
– Fire Protection. Councilor Prebeg asked what the $2,000 increase was for. The Administrator said that the majority of the increase was for training of new firemen. The Fire Chief said that the college tuition costs have increased. 
– Emergency Management. No comments.

– Animal Control. Councilor Prebeg asked what the $2,000 increase was for. The City Administrator said that it was for the increase costs of the contract with the Humane Society for services.
– Streets. Councilor Roskoski questioned the additional $20,000 in the Street Department budget. The Director of Public Works said that the department has been running into the deficit and would be increased to reflect actual expenditures.
– Buildings. Councilor Roskoski requested that the line item budget reflects closer to the actual expenditures. The Administrator said that the overall department budget is what is reviewed by Staff. Councilor Roskoski asked if the Building and Grounds Committee had discussed the building rental fees.
– Campground. No comments.
– Recreation Department. No comments.
– Library. Councilor Prebeg asked what the $4,000 increase was for. The Administrator said that the majority of the increase was for health insurance for the Librarian.
– Other. Councilor Stanaway questioned the $6,000 decrease in Government. The Administrator said that it is an adjustment to the retiree healthcare coverage. Line item: Cemeteries. The Mayor said that he was approached and requested by a cemetery association to increase their allocations. The Mayor requested that the cemetery line item be increased to a total of $9,000 with $4,500 being allocated to each Association. The Council discussed televising meetings and the associated costs. The Administrator said that a portion of the costs are reimbursed by Buhl, Kinney, and Mountain Iron-Buhl School District.
– Transfers. Councilor Roskoski asked why the City was transferring funds. The City Administrator said that the transfers are for capital improvements and debt service. 
– Capital Improvement Budget. Councilor Zupancich felt that the Council should budget approximately $15,000 for a feasibility study to be completed on the Westgate Drainage Improvement Project. OPEB Contribution-$150,000-the City Administrator said that the initial bond issue still needs to be set up. Broadcasting Equipment-$10,000-the Cable Commission will need to determine if the equipment is needed. Street Improvements-$100,000-the Mayor stated that Bluebell Avenue should be overlayed. The Director of Public Works said that the Street Committee would need to prioritize the street projects. Park Improvements -$50,000-Wolf Park needs playground equipment and a pavilion, the Park and Recreation Board would prioritize the projects. Fire Hall Improvements – $30,000-the Fire Chief said that the women on the department need access to facilities from the Fire Hall and a new overhead heater is needed in the big bay of the Fire Hall. Library Improvements-$25,000-allocation was to finish the basement project and landscape in front of the Library. Locomotive Park-$50,000-to complete the park. Councilor Roskoski requested that this allocation be put towards completing alley improvements in the Downtown Mountain Iron area.

– Debt Service Fund. Garage Addition-a portion of the funding for the project is coming from the Electric Fund, Refuse and Recycling Fund, and the General Fund. The Community Center bonds have been refinanced and are now grouped with other bonds that were refinanced. 
– Enterprise Funds. Water Department-Councilor Roskoski questioned what the debt service was for. The Director of Public Works said that it was for the water tower rehabilitation. Wastewater Treatment Department-Councilor Roskoski questioned the interest year to date amount being so low. The Director of Public Works said that the fund did not have funds to invest. Councilor Roskoski questioned the revenue received under “Other” in the amount of $258,281. The City Administrator said that the funds were loan proceeds from the Public Facility Authority. Councilor Roskoski asked if the Council was going to be raising the sewer rates. The Director of Public Works said that the rates have already been increased on January 1, 2010. Refuse and Recycling Department-Councilor Roskoski questioned the capital outlay figure of $10,000. The Director of Public Works said that it is a portion of the cold storage addition to the City Garage. Electric Department-Councilor Roskoski questioned why the “Interest Earnings” line item was so low. The Director of Public Works said that the amount was lowered because the interest rates were so low and the fund does not have money to invest. Councilor Roskoski asked about the “Charges for Services” being set at $2,230,000. The Director of Public Works said this is the amount that the new rate increase should generate. Capital Outlay-$150,000-Councilor Roskoski asked what this would be purchasing. The Director of Public Works said that it would be for the automatic meter reading system. The Director of Public Works said that all of the Enterprise Budgets have been approved by the Utility Advisory Board.

At 7:51 p.m., the Mayor adjourned the meeting. 

Submitted by:

Jill M. Anderson, CMC
Municipal Services Secretary

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