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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for October 04, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

OCTOBER 4, 2004

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; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; and Rod Flannigan, City Engineer.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. D. 1. Mesabi Trail Map/Plan-Downtown Mountain Iron

Approve the minutes of the September 20, 2004, City Council meeting amended as follows:

Page 2, Paragraph 10, “After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski amended the motion to include a member or two from the following Boards and Committees to meet and review the insurance report and make a recommendation to the City Council: Parks and Recreation Board, the Downtown Committee, and the Streets and Alleys Committee.

Page 5, add Paragraph 2, “Councilor Roskoski expressed concerns regarding the Mashkenode Lake developers requesting the City to take over the streets in the Mashkenode Lake area. He stated that after he reviewed the streets by digging approximately 40 holes, he discovered that there was not enough granular fill on the streets.”

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, 2004, totaling $761,020.13, (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, 2004, totaling $193,062.34, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Steve Duerre, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), works with training wastewater treatment operators and offers assistance to the smaller wastewater treatment plants. He said that he was referred to Mountain Iron by John Thomas, who was the compliance contact for the City of Mountain Iron from the Duluth office. Mr. Duerre said that there had been some reorganization at the MPCA and Ben Weiner has now replaced John Thomas. Mr. Duerre said that he was in Mountain Iron to review the odor complaint. He said that he had been at the wastewater treatment plant several times and he hadn�t notice any odor problems, which does not mean that there is not an odor problem. He said that the way he understood the odor problem occurring was when the aerobic digester was shut off to load the sludge on the truck. He further stated that most wastewater treatment plants are located in more remote areas and he does not like to see new homes being constructed so close to a wastewater treatment plant. Councilor Prebeg asked Mr. Duerre if the City is in compliance with the regulations. Mr. Duerre said that the City is within the MPCA regulations. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to form a committee including the City Engineer, the Director of Public Works, a Senior Wastewater Treatment Plant Employee, a Representative from the MPCA (Mr. Wiener and/or Mr. Duerre), the City Administrator, Councilor Irish, Council Roskoski, and a Representative from the LaMourea family to review sources of noise and odor from the operation of the Wastewater Treatment Plant. This group would work together to isolate some main causes of odors and noise, review various remedies, prepare a report with proposed costs, and forward it to the City Council. And further, to have any meetings set after 4:00 p.m. And further, to have a deadline for this project as sometime in January or February of 2005. After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski amended the motion to change from a committee to an informal group. Councilor Irish supported the amendment. The amended motion carried with Councilors Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct the Recreation Director to contact a private party to see if they would be willing to hay the Wolf Park field area or if no one can cut it before November 1, 2004, to have the City Crew cut the grass. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the City Administrator regarding the City purchase of property in Parkville from the Rail Authority and offer of the extra land to the adjoining property owners. He asked if Werner Herzog had been contacted regarding this matter. The City Administrator said that he would research if there was property adjacent to Mr. Herzog.

Councilor Irish questioned the City Administrator regarding how many property owners had purchased land and how much the City was charging for the land. The City Administrator stated that several property owners have been interested in the land and the price varied with the area of the land purchased. Councilor Irish requested a list of the costs for the transfer of the land. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to accept the low bid of Jola and Sopp Excavating for the emergency water connection to the City of Virginia water system at a cost of $45,478.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Utility Advisory Board and approve the proposal from Minnesota Power to complete the substation construction at a cost not to exceed $62,960.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski asked who received the Connector publication. The Director of Public Works stated that residents that purchase electricity from the City receive the publication. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that in reference to the map/plan of the Mesabi Trail Plan in the Downtown Mountain Iron area, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes) that the following be coordinated by City Staff and completed by the City Crew:

To notify Saint Louis County to move the sign on the south side of the sidewalk area, if possible.

The area that is where the City sidewalk connects to the Mesabi Trail be blended in with the Mesabi Trail.

To have the City Crew remove the dirt and debris from the sidewalk over the entire length, down to the bare concrete.

To clean and cut the boulevard area down to the original level so that it is even with the curb and sidewalk tops.

With the completion of this project by Fall freeze up of 2004.

The motion carried with Councilors Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski to approve the Variance application for Rebecca Wilkins to construct an accessory building eight feet closer to the lot line than allowed by the Zoning Ordinance on parcel 175-0057-00150. The motion died for lack of support.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to deny the Variance application for Rebecca Wilkins for parcel 175-0057-00150, on the advice of the Zoning Administrator, because the property owner can meet all of the setback requirements on her property to construct an accessory building without a variance. The motion carried with Councilors Irish and Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Prebeg to make a recommendation that the accessory building be built on parcel 175-0057-00150 as planned, as per the size of the building, but that the building be constructed to meet the proper setbacks. After further discussion, Councilor Prebeg withdrew his motion.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct the Zoning Administrator to meet with Ms. Wilkins, this week, and discuss the accessory building location and verify the numbers. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

Councilor Roskoski said that the Downtown Committee would like to have the Recreation Director seek quotes on installing an outdoor drinking fountain at Locomotive Park. 

Councilor Roskoski said that he was contacted by Ron Alto, 5731 Mesabi Avenue, regarding his neighbor storing junk cars on his leased land. The City Administrator stated that Mr. Alto would have to come into the City Hall to sign a complaint regarding the issue.

At 8:20 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

Councilor Roskoski stated that the vent at the Parkville School was still open. The Director of Public Works said that the City Crew had gone in and secured everything that needed to be secured at the Parkville School, but he would check further into the matter.

At 8:22 p.m., Councilor Prebeg returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to set up a meeting with the Virginia Street and Alley Commission and the City of Mountain Iron Street and Alley Committee to discuss improvements to 16th Avenue. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to authorize payment request number three to Hardrives, Incorporated for the 2004 Street Overlay Project in the amount of $7,095.30. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct the City Engineer to check with Seppi Brothers or Ulland Brothers on their “crushed rock/mill feed” and see how much they would charge for it. And further, if the price is within $1,000 of the genuine mill feed that the City proceed to purchase the necessary amounts and have it placed on Heather Avenue and have this project completed before the road freezes up, at a cost not to exceed $7,500. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to reject the quotes on the improvements to Locomotive Park. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to direct the City Administrator to contact North Star Fire Department and advise them that the City is willing to donate the 1975 Chevrolet Pumper Fire Truck to them. The motion carried with Councilors Roskoski and Irish voting no.

The City Administrator advised the City Council that there were no bids received on the Tuck Pointing Project for the Mountain Iron Library.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if the City would be able to satisfy all the documentation to the Minnesota Department of Education for the library grant. The City Administrator advised Councilor Roskoski that the City would absolutely get it completed. 

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish advised the Director of Public Works to contact St. Louis County regarding clearing the brush from around the signs at the northeast corner of the intersection of Old Highway 169 and County Road 102 in Downtown Mountain Iron.

At 8:55 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Minnesota Department of Education, forwarding the grant agreement and outlining the requirements of the $112,500 grant.

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, forwarding information regarding becoming a committee member.

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, forwarding the September 27, 2004, small cities update.

Mountain Iron-Buhl CAPP Committee, forwarding a thank you for providing the hookup facility for the Rolling Plains Art Museum traveling artist at the West II Rivers Campground.

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