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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for October 15, 2001

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL MEETING

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Brunfelt with the following members present: Joe Prebeg, Jr., Stephen Skogman, Joe Matanich, Ed Roskoski, and Mayor Mitchell Brunfelt. Also present were: Craig J. Wainio, City Administrator; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; and Joe Stewart, Sergeant.

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:

VI. E. VRMC Foundation-Request for Temporary On-Sale Liquor License.

F. Resolution #40-01

2. Approve the minutes of the October 1, 2001, 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 October 1-15, 2001, totaling $178,795.98, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

5. Acknowledge the receipts for the period October 1-15, 2001, totaling $118,015.96, (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, Mountain Iron-Buhl School District Superintendent Jim Techar spoke regarding the upcoming referendum vote. He requested that the Council pass a resolution supporting the referendum. Mr. Techar said that if the referendum does not pass, the school is currently in statutory operating debt that a plan needs to be submitted to the State. The School Board�s plan is to pass the referendum and if it does not pass, the District will be consolidated or dissolved. He said that if the district is dissolved, it might end up being split into three or four districts with the County. If the referendum does not pass, taxpayers in Mountain Iron would face paying for the debt of the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District along with the levy of the new district. Mr. Techar said that an informational flyer would be sent to the taxpayers in the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District. He also said the Save Our School (SOS) Committee would be promoting passage of the referendum. Mr. Techar said that if the referendum does not pass, there would be no local control if the district were dissolved.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Prebeg to motion to pass a resolution of support for passage of the Mountain Iron-Buhl School District referendum and publish a copy of the resolution in the Mesabi Daily News. The motion carried.

At 6:40 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on proposed assessments on Marble Avenue and Garden Drive. The motion carried.

Vern Paschke, 81 Garden Drive, questioned what amount the residents would be paying on Garden Drive. The Mayor advised him that the property owners are assessed 75% of the project costs and the City pays 25% of the costs.

Allison and Bryan Wiitala, 5719 Marble Avenue, submitted a letter to the Council. She also asked how Marble Avenue is designated. She said that school employees, students, teachers, and parents use this street more than the residents living on the street. The Mayor said that the assessments are designated at 75% assessment to property owners and 25% to the City. Mrs. Wiitala said that the street improvements were made for the school. The Administrator said that the property owners on Marble Avenue were assessed for the work completed in front of their property. The Administrator said that the residents were not charged for curb, gutter, sidewalk, and landscaping if they didn�t have the work completed on their side of the street. Mrs. Wiitala also said that there are parking problems on Marble Avenue. She also requested that the City notify the Wiitala�s when decisions have been made regarding the parking.

Ozzie Rudlong, 5721 Marble Avenue, stated some parking problem she has incurred over the years. She also asked why the residents were not notified when this project was proposed so they could let the City know what the landowners wanted for the improvement. The Mayor said that all of the property owners were notified prior to the Marble Avenue reconstruction being completed.

Ralph Hanson, 53 Garden Drive, asked the Council who was financing the project. The Mayor advised Mr. Hanson that the City issued bonds to complete the work. He asked if he could pay the entire assessment at once. The Mayor advised him that he could pay the entire assessment as soon as he wants.

Dick Edstrom, asked what the main reason for the construction going so deep on Garden Drive. The Mayor said that the Street Committee and the City Engineer reviewed all of the streets in the City. Some of the streets were determined to only need an overlay, but on others an overlay would not do any good, so a complete street construction was done.

Michael Poaletti, 55 Garden Drive, asked who completed the study for streets needing work completed. The Mayor advised him that the Street Committee reviewed the streets. The Mayor also said that the City Engineer looked at the history of the street and the condition before the Street Committee made any decisions. Mr. Poaletti requested a copy of the letter announcing the first public hearing. The Mayor advised him to stop in the City Offices to get a copy of the public hearing notice that was sent to the property owners.

Elizabeth Suomi, 57 Garden Drive, when the street project was completed she questioned why 10 feet of concrete was put in her driveway. She said that the concrete created a water problem at the end of her driveway. She also advised the Council that there is a ponding problem in her yard by the fire hydrant. She said that the residents of Garden Drive should have had more say in the project prior to it being completed. The Mayor also informed her that she did receive a public hearing notice. The Mayor advised Mrs. Suomi that the City Engineer would be directed to look at her driveway and the ponding problem by the fire hydrant. She also said that the Contractor did not complete the landscaping portion of the project in an acceptable manner.

Albert Lind, 54 Garden Drive, said that there is a problem with the manhole cover in front of house. The Mayor said he would have City Staff review the problem.

Richard Edstrom said Range Landscape did bring their water truck around to water the sod, but Range Landscape had advised the residents to water the sod, so they did not use their water truck.

Allison Wiitala requested to have the public hearing continued until the City Engineer could be present. The Mayor said that they would send the City Engineer to various sites that have problems. He said that the final special assessments would be considered at the November 5th City Council meeting.

Andy Butler, 5717 Marble Avenue, asked if the residents were informed of the cost of the project prior to it being completed. The Mayor said that the total project costs were in the public hearing notice, not the cost for each individual street.

Vern Paschke, 81 Garden Drive, said that he has a corner lot. Councilor Prebeg questioned whether his assessments were calculated properly. The City Administrator said that he would check the calculations.

Wes Anderson 1863 Highway 5, Hibbing, owns the house on 71 Garden Drive, said that the landscaping was poor and he said that the City entered onto his property to put the apron on driveway. The City Administrator said that the City Contractor was working into the City right-of-way. Mr. Anderson said that he had a sanitary sewer installed when the street improvements were completed and he paid for the sanitary sewer pipe from the center of the street. He said that in other towns they do not make the homeowner pay for the entire pipe, he has paid for the pipe from the property line in. The Mayor said that City Staff would research whether they have the property owner pay from the center of the street or the property line.

Armiida “Ozzie” Rudlong, spoke on behalf of Jim Jenko stating that he was against the assessment and would agree with the assessment at 50%.

At 7:28 p.m., it was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to adjourn the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

The following residents spoke during the public forum:

Sylvia Chad, 907 West 22nd Avenue, with a new street name of Daffodil Avenue, Mountain Iron, MN 55792, said that she spoke with officials at the Virginia Post Office and they said that the street name and number can legally be changed, but the City being used has to be Virginia not Mountain Iron 55792. The Mayor advised Mrs. Chad that he spoke with Hal Otto, Manager of the Address Management System of the U.S. Postal Service in Minneapolis, last Friday afternoon and he said that Mountain Iron would be listed as a place name under the 55792. Mr. Otto confirmed that the Virginia Post Office would route the mail as addressed with Mountain Iron, MN 55792 as they did with address on Mountain Iron Drive last year.

Linda Strukel, 904 West 24th Avenue and now 5490 Marion Lane, said that she feels that she has been deceived. She said she spoke with personal from the post offices and the city regarding this change address and she has encountered problems.

William Dundas, Supervisor from Camp 5, a new township that was formed in 1999, Blackduck/ Elephant Lake area north of Orr on County 180 East, requested that the City of Mountain Iron donate, the pumper truck that is going up for bids, to Camp 5. The Mayor asked the City Attorney to see if the City could legally donate the pumper truck.

Tiffany Anderson, Representative of the Board of Laurentian Art and Cultural Alliance, requested the City to waive the fee for the use of the Community Center on December 7th. She said that this event is to commemorate the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and World War II. She said that they are in the process of restoring a 1912 theatre in Downtown Virginia.

Robert Rojeski, 930 West 21st Avenue, new address 5472 Carnation Avenue, Mountain Iron, MN 55792, said that he wasn�t able to get his drivers license changed because of the city and zip code problem. He said that he is also concerned about the postal deliveries. Jerry Kujala, Minnesota Department of Transportation, said that he would speak to the employees at the License Bureau.

Bob Strukel, 904 West 24th Avenue, new address 5490 Marion Lane, Mountain Iron, MN 55792, requested that the City Council clarify that 9-1-1 did not require the address changes. The Mayor said that they did not, the City Council initiated the address changes.

Doris Moe, 901 West 22nd Avenue, new address 8394 Unity Drive, Mountain Iron MN 55792, said that the City is changing their address to the side of their house when it should stay on the Avenue. The Mayor said that he would have City Staff re-check their address.

Councilor Prebeg said that City Staff should speak to the Postmasters because they are not giving the correct information to the residents. The Mayor said that they are trying to facilitate a meeting with the Hal Otto, the City Administrator, the Mayor, the Mountain Iron Postmaster, and the Virginia Postmaster to come to an understanding.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and approve payment request number one to C.O.A.L. Rental, Inc. in the amount of $40,011.00 for the South Grove Baseball Field Reconstruction. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Roskoski to accept the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Department for the purchase of bleachers from E.F.Anderson at a cost of $6,410.63 and the purchase of four dugouts from E.F. Anderson at a cost of $9,584.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Prebeg to approve the contribution to the Trail Hawks Snowmobile Club for trail grooming in the amount of $2,500. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Skogman, yes; Matanich, yes; and Brunfelt, yes.

The Council received the Capital Improvement Plan. It was the consensus of the Council to schedule a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting when it is convenient for City Staff to review the Capital Improvement Plan.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Matanich to approve the temporary liquor license for the Laurentian Arts and Culture Alliance for December 7, 2001. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to deny the request to waive the rental fees for the use of the Community Center on December 7, 2001 by the Laurentian Arts and Culture Alliance and direct the City Administrator to advise the Alliance of this action. The motion failed on the following vote: Matanich, yes; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, no; Skogman, no; and Brunfelt, no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skogman to approve the request to waive the rental fees for the use of the Community center on December 7, 2001 for the Laurentian Arts and Culture Alliance. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski and Matanich voting no.

The Council requested City Staff review the Building Policy to amend the policy to accommodate some judgment calls and bring the recommendation back to the City Council for approval.

The Council reviewed the list of communications.

At 8:36 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 8:38 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

The Council reviewed the letters received from the Range Recreation Civic Center regarding the loan payoff and the 2002 budget.

It was moved by Skogman and supported by Matanich to approve the temporary liquor license for the Virginia Regional Medical Center Foundation for November 14, 2001. The motion carried.

At 9:41 p.m., Councilor Skogman left the meeting.

At 9:43 p.m., Councilor Skogman returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skogman to adopt Resolution Number 40-01, supporting application, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the September 2001 activity report for the Sheriff’s Department.

During the Mayor’s report, he advised the Council that at 7:00 p.m., Friday, October 19, 2001 at the Coates Hotel there will an opportunity to view the screening of the trailer for the movie “Two Harbors”.

The Mayor discussed the confusion regarding the addresses changes. He said that the City Administrator has prepared supplemental letter to be sent out to the 55792 residents. Jerry Kujala said that he would speak to the workers at the driver�s license bureau to see what concerns they have.

The following Councilors spoke during the open discussion portion of the meeting:

Councilor Skogman said that the blacktop that was put on Old Highway 169 was done very poorly.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skogman to direct Staff to contact St. Louis County regarding the paving of Old Highway 169 and County Road 102. The motion carried.

Councilor Skogman said that the public address system in the community center went out during the League of Minnesota Cities Regional Meeting. The City Administrator said that Perpich TV would be over to look at it.

Councilor Skogman said that there is dirt going over the curb by the Messiah Lutheran Church. He also pointed out that the stop sign by Spring Creek Outfitters needs to replaced. The City Administrator said that he would advise the City Crew of the maintenance items.

Councilor Skogman said there are Extreme Wrestling activities being conducted in South Grove. It was the consensus of the Council to have the City Administrator and the City Attorney, as needed, check with the League of Minnesota Cities to see if there is an ordinance that the City should adopt regarding the wrestling activities. Sergeant Stewart said that he met with the parent and kids involved in this Extreme Wrestling and they said that the activity would be discontinued.

Councilor Roskoski said that at the last Civic Association meeting, the Association requested that there be a plaque placed in the Mountain Iron Room of the Community Center honoring Miriam Kailanen for all of the projects she was involved in with the City. It was the consensus of the Council to form a committee to develop a concept of who should be honored. The Committee will be formed with the Recreation Director, Councilor Skogman, and Mayor Brunfelt.

Councilor Matanich requested that the Street Committee meet and discuss some of the problems, i.e. parking, signs, etc.

Councilor Roskoski said that the property owners would like more detailed information regarding the proposed assessment amounts. The Mayor explained that if the City sent out proposed assessments on an individual basis, the City could only deviate by 10% in the final assessment amount.

Councilor Prebeg asked City Staff what kind of comments were made by the League of Minnesota Cities Representatives regarding the use of this facility for a regional meeting. The Mayor said that the League was really pleased with the facility. The Mayor thanked the Municipal Services Secretary for planning and coordinating the meeting and dinner.

At 9:08 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skogman that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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