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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for October 03, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

OCTOBER 3, 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; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson that the consent agenda be approved as follows:

Move the following items on the agenda:

VI. A. Resolution #29-05 to IV. A. 3.

VI. B. Resolution #30-05 to IV. A. 4.

Approve the minutes of the September 19, 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 September 16-30, 2005, totaling $488,731.77, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period September 16-30, 2005, totaling $249,958.74, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Bob Prittinen, Representative for Tennis for All, was present and requested a contribution for the Quad Cities Tennis for All Program. He said that the City of Virginia would be constructing two more tennis courts at a cost of $90,000 and the building costs would be approximately $420,000 to cover four tennis courts and allowing area for bleachers and other essential areas. George Erickson, Representative for Tennis for All, advised the Council that the Tennis for All Group has received $213,000 in donations, with Saint Louis County contributing $20,000, the Virginia Foundation contributing $20,000, and the remaining balance from private citizen donations. The Tennis for All Group would like to see a total of $30,000 from the Cities of Gilbert, Eveleth and Mountain Iron. The Mayor advised Mr. Erickson that the City Council would be holding a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting to discuss the 2006 budget and their project would be discussed further at that time. 

Also during the public forum, Marion Chase, District Coordinator AARP Tax Aid, North Saint Louis County, was present and requested the City Council to waive the rental fees for the Community Center for January 16-20, 2006 for the training of volunteers for tax preparation for low and moderate income taxpayers in the area.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to waive the rental fees for the Community Center for the AARP Tax Aide Volunteer Counselors training for the week of January 16-20, 2006 from 8:00 am to 4:30 p.m. daily. The motion carried.

Also during the public forum, Bruce Cook, 9350 Old Highway 169, spoke regarding the property located next door to him that burnt down last year and now has blue tarps covering the burnt remains. He said that he is having a problem trying to contact the owner, Country Wide, to get the property cleaned up. Mr. Cook stated that his brother used to own the property and he sold the property to Annette Petrell, 8391 Spruce Drive, Mountain Iron, and she was currently selling the property on a contract for deed. He said that he spoke with the Blight Officer regarding the problem. Councilor Nelson suggested that the Blight Officer and the City Administrator meet, research the problem, and try to determine who the property owner is and report back to the City Council. 

The Mayor requested the City Administrator to add “Marigold Storm Sewer” to the next City Council meeting agenda. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to adopt Ordinance 04-05, Vehicle Parking, with an effective date of November 1, 2005. After further discussion, Mayor Skalko amended the motion to change 70.11, A. 24 consecutive hours� Councilor Nelson supported the amendment. After additional discussion, Mayor Skalko amended the motion to change 70.11, B. 72 consecutive hours� and 70.10 A…for longer than 72 hours�, (a copy of the amended ordinance is attached and made a part of these minutes). The amended motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to appoint Bob Voss, 8397 Tamarack Drive, to fulfill the term of Jason Goehring on the Economic Development Authority with the term ending on December 31, 2005. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 29-05, Approving the Amendment to the Development Agreement with Mountain Timber Properties, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilors Irish and Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 30-05, Approving the Transfer of part of the Development Property by the Developer, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilors Irish and Roskoski voting no.

Councilor Roskoski asked about a meeting scheduled in Virginia. The Mayor said that the He, a member of the EDA, and the City Administrator would be attending a dinner on October 4, 2005, in Virginia to meet with the Senate Bonding Committee Chair to discuss the proposed State Bonding Bill Project for the Renewable Energy Industrial Park for the City of Mountain Iron. 

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if he had sent a letter to the property owner on Diamond Lane advising him that nothing would be done by the City regarding the ponding problem by his property. The City Administrator said that the City Engineer advised the property owner.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if the property owners have been notified of the correct date for the public hearing for the Special Assessment Public Hearing. The City Administrator said that the residents have been notified. Councilor Roskoski also questioned the City Administrator regarding the two week notice for the Public Hearing. The City Administrator said that the remaining notices would be mailed out within the guidelines.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to award the bid for the automated side loader refuse packer to MacQueen Equipment for a bid price of $91,665.00 less a $10,000.00 trade-in allowance for a total expense of $81,665.00. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Irish to authorize the Director of Public Works to dispose of the 1994 Chevrolet Caprice to be sold at the St. Louis County Auction on October 8, 2005. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski questioned what kind of work was being completed in Parkville where the burms have been taken down and there has been some bulldozer work done. The Mayor said that Great Northern Properties or U. S. Steel Corporation has contracted with a logger to have some logging work completed. Councilor Roskoski asked if the sanitary sewer manholes in the area were taken care of. The City Administrator said that the sewers have all been cut off and are no longer connected to the City�s system.

Councilor Roskoski asked if the Spring Park Road upgrade was completed in-house or contracted out. The City Administrator said that the project was completed in-house with the Class 5 being purchased from Ulland Brothers. 

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to authorize the Parks and Recreation Board to advertise and hire for Winter positions of Day Works and Rink Attendants with a wage of $6.15 per hour. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Recreation Director how the City was going to proceed with taking care of the concerns and questions of the residents regarding the Wolf Park. The Recreation Director said that the Parks and Recreation Board took in the information from the residents and they have not had a meeting to discuss the matter further.

At 8:00 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

At 8:02 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and award the Storm Sewer Tie-in Project to Hibbing Excavating Incorporated in the amount of $62,022.00. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the Blight Officer to schedule a meeting any day of the week, but after 3:45 p.m., at the Mountain Iron Community Center with the following invited to attend: Officials from the Canadian National Railroad, Commissioner Nelson, Officials from Saint Louis County, Officials from the City of Virginia, and Officials from the City of Mountain Iron, with Councilor Roskoski being one and anyone else that would be wise to be there. And on the agenda would be train whistle blowing and delaying traffic longer than 10 minutes on Unity Drive. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the Variance for Howard and Carla Leikas, 8389 Balsam Drive, Parcel Code 175-0012-00570 with the condition that the deck in not to be enclosed or extend over eight (8) feet from the house. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the City Administrator to contact the City Attorney and have him research rules, regulations, statutes, and possibly draw up some sort of permit to be issued to Frank Oberstar for up to three head of cattle to be grazed on his land on a part-time, Summer only basis, and the permit would be required to be renewed annually and if the City Attorney has some sort of permit that the information be available at the October 17th Council meeting agenda. The motion failed with Councilors Prebeg, Nelson, Irish and Mayor Skalko voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to direct City Staff to refund the application fee of $150 to Frank Oberstar because the City could not legally authorize his variance request to begin with. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 31-05, which authorizes the transfer of the remaining Railroad Right-of-Way between Nichols Avenue and Falcon Avenue to the adjoining property owners to eliminate all concerns of gates, posts, liability, etc., with a transfer price of $50, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). After further discussion, Councilor Nelson amended his motion to charge the property owners the same amount that they paid for the original 25 feet. Councilor Prebeg supported the amendment. The amended motion carried with Councilors Irish and Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt the Snow Plowing Policy as presented, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilors Irish and Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to reconsider the street improvement special assessment rates to revert back to what they were originally assessed beginning with Locomotive Street being changed back to 75% from 25%. After further discussion, Prebeg withdrew his motion and Councilor Nelson withdrew his support.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to change the Grant Street special assessment rate to 50%. After further discussion, Mayor Skalko withdrew his motion and Councilor Prebeg withdrew his support.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko motion to accept the recommendation of DSGW and authorize payment request number two to Lenci Enterprises in the amount of $42,734.70 for work completed on the Library renovations. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the City Staff to assist the Merritt Elementary PTA to complete the playground equipment installation by authorizing City Staff to use our auger truck to assist in the installation. The motion carried.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski commented on the Mayor�s proposal to change the present street assessment policy. He said that the policy that the Mayor is proposing would make his cul de sac go from a 90% to a 50% assessment he would not complain about the change, if it is approved. He also stated that the Unity Drive residents would be paying an increase of 10% to a 50% assessment policy. The Mayor said the current policy is too subjective rather than a standard uniformed policy. 

At 9:25 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Roskoski that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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