The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for October 02, 2000

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Mayor Brunfelt called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. with the following members present: Carolyn Olsen, Stephen Skogman, Joe Matanich, Curt Piri, and Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Service Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; and Greg French, City Engineer.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

1. Add the following items to the agenda:

V. A. Elimination of All Year Round Part-time Non-union Positions

B. 102 Spruce Drive Update

IV. A. 4. Change Order #1-Mesabi Bituminous

2. Approve the minutes of the September 18, 2000, regular meeting as submitted.

3. That the communications be accepted, placed on file, and those requiring further action by the Council be acted upon during their proper sequence on the agenda.

4. Authorize the payment of the bills and payroll for the period September 16-30, 2000, totaling $425,281.63, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

5. Acknowledge the receipts for the period September 16-30, 2000, totaling $55,793.01, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion to adopt the consent agenda carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Hal Otto, Manager of Address Management Systems for the United States Postal Service Northland District, spoke to the Council regarding the letter sent to residents and businesses on 16th, 17th, and 18th Avenue regarding the street name change. He said that the request stated that the city name would now be Mountain Iron with the Virginia zip code. He requested that the Council retract the motion and change the city name back to Virginia because of problems in delivering the mail. The Mayor said that this problem has existed for many years and the Council made the motion to change the street name and city name as a need for identification to those residents and businesses that they live and work in the City of Mountain Iron. Mr. Otto said that the physical location and the mailing address are different. Mr. Otto said that the postal service will comply with the 9-1-1 numbering system. Mr. Otto advised the Council that the postal service did a study and the annual cost for the postal service to make the proposed changes for the addresses listed within the city limits of Mountain Iron to be changed from Virginia to Mountain Iron would be $2933.

It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator and Mr. Otto negotiate the situation to try to resolve the problem. The City Council said that the remaining residents would probably be notified by the first of the year. Mr. Otto also questioned letters received from Ozzie Rudlong regarding a petition that she had completed for having this change implemented.

Also during the public forum, Mr. James Lasky spoke to the Council regarding an on going problem with his neighbor. He said that his neighbor has installed halogen lights on Mr. Lasky�s side of the lot and has adjusted the lights so they shine into his house. He also said that the neighbor has built a fence that is eight feet high installed a foot off of the ground and 13 feet long next to his house. Mr. Lasky said that he was informed by City Staff that the fence was built without a permit and the maximum height of a fence is six feet. The Zoning Administrator said that the property owner was advised to remove the fence. Mr. Lasky said that the neighbor said that the only way he would removed the fence would be with a court order. It was the consensus of the Council to have the Zoning Administrator send a letter to the property owner and demand that the fence be removed and have the City Attorney research the lights as a nuisance and make a recommendation to the City Council.

Also during the public forum, Larry P. Johnson said that he hopes that the City Council remains firm regarding the mailing issues.

Also during the public forum, Ed Roskoski said that he read the article in the Mesabi Daily News regarding the Taconite Tax distribution and he felt that the City should get neighboring towns to share in the cost of the legal proceedings. Mr. Roskoski also said that the estimate for the ADA compliance for the library. He said that the upgrade of the bathrooms seems high at $25,000-$32,000.

Also during the public forum, Joe Prebeg, Vice-Chairman of Mountain Iron Park and Recreation Board read a letter regarding the part-time secretary position for the Park and Recreation Department.

Also during the public forum, Donna Draze spoke regarding the elimination of her position as custodian at the Senior Center. She said that she was very disappointed with the procedures that were followed regarding the layoffs of the part-time positions. She felt that one person could not properly take care of three buildings.

The Mayor said that the Personnel Committee made a recommendation regarding the elimination of the year round part-time non-union positions in the City.

Also during the public forum, Larry P. Johnson addressed the Council regarding the elimination of the part-time Recreation Secretary position. He said that the Council should not eliminate the position because the Recreation Department has a need for the part-time secretary position.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve change order number one for KGM Contractors, Inc. for the Highway 169 and 8th Street South Reconstruction Project in the amount of $5,364.00 making the total contract $352,871.35. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve payment request number one to KGM Contractors, Inc. in the amount of $91,768.57. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve payment request number one to Mesabi Bituminous, Inc. in the amount of $173,000.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve change order number one for Mesabi Bituminous, Inc. for the 2000 Street Overlay Projects in the amount of $14,222.00 making the total contract $252,079.75. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Olsen, yes; Skogman, no; Matanich, yes; Piri, yes: and Brunfelt, yes.

Jim Johnson and Steve Jarvi, representing the Mountain Iron Volunteer Firemen’s Relief Association, were present and requested that the Council approve a pension increase of $50 per year for the Volunteer Firemen.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich to increase the annual pension benefit by $50 per year to a total of $1550 per year beginning January 1, 2001. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Skogman, abstain; Matanich, yes; Piri, yes; Olsen, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to accept the recommendation of the Volunteer Fire Department and authorize the appointment of Justin Kochar as Volunteer Fireman pending passing a physical examination. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Brunfelt to accept the recommendation of the Personnel Committee and eliminate all of the year round part-time non-union positions in the City of Mountain Iron. It was moved by Piri and supported by Brunfelt to amend the motion to add review the situation in six months. The amendment to the motion carried on the following roll call vote: Matanich, no; Piri, yes; Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; and Brunfelt, yes. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Piri, yes; Olsen, no; Skogman, yes; Matanich, no; and Brunfelt, yes.

The Council discussed the meeting held with the owner of the home at 102 Spruce Drive, Sergeant Stewart, Councilor Matanich, Councilor Olsen and the City Administrator. Councilor Matanich said that the residents had a lot of questions regarding the Group Home. Councilor Matanich felt that the residents got their questions answered and they now know what is going on.

The Council discussed the Emergency Services Center. It was the consensus of the Council to have Councilor Skogman, the City Administrator, Sergeant Stewart, and two Officers from the Volunteer Fire Department to discuss the needs of the various departments; funding options and possible meet with an architect to look at a preliminary design for the Emergency Services Center.

The Council discussed the Library ADA Compliance Report. The City Administrator said that he had no recommendation, but the Library Board went with option one. The Council requested that the City Administrator contact the architect and request that they, the Librarian, and members of the Library Board, attend one of the next regular meetings. Councilor Matanich asked that the Librarian seek information regarding grants that would be available to fund a portion of this project.

The Mayor discussed the taconite tax distribution. The Mayor requested to have the City Attorney look into filing a lawsuit regarding the taconite tax distribution. The Mayor also asked the Council if he could approach neighboring cities and school districts regarding the issue and asked them to get involved in the suit. Councilor Skogman said that the City should prepare for the lawsuit, but wait for the appeal process to be completed on the lawsuit in Grand Rapids.

It was moved by Matanich and supported by Brunfelt to approve the Disposition of Surplus Property Policy with the addition of a list of items listed for sale being posted. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Olsen, no; Skogman, no; Matanich, no; Piri, no; and Brunfelt, yes.

During the open discussion, Councilor Olsen asked what the status of the Mountain Iron History Book was. The Recreation Director said that he had not heard anything regarding the matter. Councilor Olsen also asked if the City has received an answer from the County regarding the poor paving job in downtown Mountain Iron. The City Administrator said that the County said they are going to see how the road holds up. Councilor Olsen asked if the City was a member of the Iron Range Economic Alliance. The City Administrator said that the City is a member and he did attend the meetings in the past and found that they were not beneficial to the City of Mountain Iron.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Matanich commented on the Planning and Zoning minutes stating that they were not aware that the City Council had approved the Conditional Use Permit for Dale Skinner.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Olsen said that the Planning and Zoning Commission still wants the City Administrator to attend their meetings. They feel that the planning portion of the Commission needs the information from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority that the City Administrator would be able to provide.

It was moved by Matanich and approved by Olsen to set a Joint Committee-of-the-Whole meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, October 23, 2000 at 5:00 p.m. to discuss communication issues. The motion carried.

At 8:50 p.m., it was moved by Piri and supported by Matanich that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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