The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for October 04, 1999

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, Deputy Clerk; Larry Nanti, Recreation Director; and Greg French, City Engineer.

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

1. Approve the minutes of the September 7, 1999, regular meeting as submitted.

2. Approve the minutes of the September 21, 1999, 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, 1999, totaling $173,576.24, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

5. Acknowledge the receipts for the period September 16-30, 1999, totaling $86,713.97, (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.

At 6:32 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to recess the regular meeting and convene the public hearing on the proposed tax rate increase. The motion carried.

The Administrator advised the public of the purpose of the hearing. He stated that a new state law took effect this year requiring that if the tax rate goes up a public hearing must be held. However, he said that it does not mean that the tax rate will necessarily go up.

The Administrator advised the Council that there was no written correspondence received regarding the public hearing.

At 6:33 p.m., it was moved by Piri and supported by Skogman to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

During the public forum, the Administrator advised the Council that Mr. Ted Newberg had approach him regarding purchasing the City owned property behind his property. The Mayor noted that several other residents from the Newberg neighborhood were also present.

Mr. Hans Hansen was present and asked the Council if the residents did purchase the lots would they be able to build on them.

The Administrator said that there are two power lines in the area and that some of the lots would not meet the maximum depth requirement of the ordinance. Councilor Olsen said that a variance could only be issued if the property owner showed a hardship. If they purchase a substandard lot, that would not qualify for a hardship.

The Mayor felt that he would want to sell the lots if the people were interested in buying them. It was the consensus of the Council to have Staff work out the details regarding the descriptions, easements, and lot sizes and bring the information back to the next regular meeting for further consideration.

Also during the public forum, Ed Roskoski questioned why the Quad City sign would be located in the center of town rather than the City limits.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Olsen that the City Council does not approve of the Quad Cities sign that is proposed to be located on Highway 169 by South Grove. And further, the Council recommends that the Quad City Alliance Committee relocate the sign to the west of the City of Mountain Iron boundary line by Country Road in the Great Scott area. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to discuss the City contribution for the cost of construction of the entrance signs, in the amount of $25,000, be completed through the 2000 budget process. The motion carried with Councilor Olsen voting no.

Also during the public forum, Steve Giorgi, Chairman for the Planning and Zoning Commission said that the Planning and Zoning Commission expressed displeasure with the City Council regarding the sale of Lot 6 in the new housing development by Merritt Elementary School. They were concerned with future problems

with regard to undue hardships on the development. The Mayor said that the City Engineer and the City Attorney assured him that everything would be done in order and there would be no problems encountered. The City Administrator also said that he had no concerns as well.

The City Assessor was present and reviewed tax law changes with the City Council.

The City Engineer said that the City Hall/Community Center project was proceeding well. He also commented that the City Crew has been real helpful with the project.

The Personnel Committee informed the Council that there were two semi-finalists for the posted labor position in the City. The finalists were Jeff Marks and Robert Spolar. The Personnel Committee said they did not have a recommendation for the Council and they would like the Council to make the final selection. The Mayor requested Staff to make copies of the applications for the two finalists and allow the Council to review them in order make a decision.

At 7:12 p.m., the Mayor recessed the meeting to allow the Council to review the applications of the finalists for the labor position.

At 7:30 p.m., the Mayor reconvened the meeting.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Piri to hire Robert Spolar to fill the labor position for the City. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to authorize and initiate City Staff to post a full-time labor position. The motion carried.

The 1999 Annual Evaluation and Planning System report was submitted and reviewed by the City Council. Councilor Skogman commented that he would like the report to list the questions that were asked to make the report more understandable.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Olsen to approve the agreement dated May 1, 1979 between the Mountain Iron Water and Light Department and Triax Midwest Associates, L.P., (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Matanich and supported Piri to authorize the Park and Recreation Board to hire winter seasonal workers. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to adopt Ordinance 04-99, concerning special zoning district, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Olsen to adopt Resolution Number 47-99, authorizing a tax rate increase, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Piri to adopt Resolution Number 48-99, setting an updated preliminary levy, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). NOTE: The Administrator said that the correction of the mining effect tax was made and this had to be re-certified. The motion carried.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to direct the City Administrator to call for bids on the City Hall building and the City Garage directly behind the City Hall as one package. The motion carried with Councilor Olsen voting no.

It was moved by Brunfelt and supported by Skogman to direct the City Administrator to call for bids on the Fuel and Lumber building. The motion carried.

It was moved by Piri and supported by Skogman to adopt Resolution Number 49-99, setting a public hearing on business subsidies, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the list of communications. The Council was please with the letter from Jerry Kujala, Assistant District Engineer from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, regarding addressing concerns made by the City Council.

During the open discussion, Councilor Skogman informed the Council that he had attended some meetings regarding a public safety training facility. He said that the State has $10 million available for building training facilities and the Committee is looking for a site to locate such a building. Councilor Skogman said that they would need approximately 100 acres for the site and he suggested that the City of Mountain Iron actively pursue the public safety training building. This would also involve matching funds and the surrounding Cities could possibly contribute to the

building with the mining effect tax. The Minnesota College Association can not own the building; they can only manage it so the City would own the building. The public safety-training center covers public safety, mine safety, public works for other cities, private works, railroads, gaslines, etc. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator and Councilor Skogman keep in contact with the Committee and update the City Council periodically.

At 8:00 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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