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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for October 16, 2006

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

OCTOBER 16, 2006

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

The Mayor welcomed the audience and the television viewing audience to the meeting.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. A. 1. Set Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting for 2007 Budget

V. A. Library Air Conditioning Line Routing

Move the following item on the agenda:

IV. H. 2. Zoning Violations to III. A.

Approve the minutes of the October 2, 2006, City Council meeting with the following correction:

Page 4, last paragraph, change to read: “Councilor Roskoski said that, regarding the 13th Street crossing, that he contacted a High MN/DoT official who specifically told him that legally we have no jurisdiction over the project, morally we do and that person relayed his concern to our engineering firm. The Mayor said that this is a MN/DoT highway issue.” 

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 October 1-15, 2006, totaling $103,720.34, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period October 1-15, 2006, totaling $698,139.91, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, abstain; and Skalko, yes.

During the public forum, Tom Schlotec, Representing Star Homes, addressed the Council regarding letters that he had received regarding non-conforming sign violations. He stated that he is obligated by the companies to display their banner signs as terms of their sales. He said that he would remove the signs and just keep the conforming sign. He felt that he would not have to take down his banner signs because he had seen other banner signs in front of other businesses in town. It was the consensus of the Council that if there are other business putting out banner signs, they should also be checked into by the Zoning Administrator. The Council also discussed putting temporary signs for a certain limited time with regard to a possible ordinance change. Mr. Schlotec stated that he would take down the temporary signs for the time being so there are no further problems with them.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to refer the temporary sign issue back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for further discussion and a recommendation. And further, direct the City Administrator to contact the Zoning Administrator regarding the issue. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Also during the public forum, Wilbert Johnson said that the Mountain Iron City Council meeting is the number one viewed Council meeting in the area. He stated that he is hearing complaints from residents regarding a motion not getting supported and the issue not being discussed and voted on and the residents want to hear how the Council votes. The Mayor said that a motion was not supported only one time over the last few years. The Mayor stated that he felt that a motion does not necessarily have to be supported, but he does feel that it is not correct for a Council member to just not vote on an issue at all. The Mayor advised the audience and the television viewing audience to encourage them to get out and vote because there are some critical issues coming up.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to set a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting for Monday, October 30, 2006, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the 2007 budget. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the progress of the Mountain Iron Voluntary Remedial Action Plan. The City Administrator updated the Council regarding the project.

At 6:42 p.m., Larry Nanti, Recreation Director, entered the meeting.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding remaining Summer projects to be completed. The Director of Public Works stated that they are trying to complete the cement work and patching work prior to the weather changing. The Mayor asked what the status of the light for the Downtown Park was. The Recreation Director stated that the light would be installed next Spring. The Director of Public Works stated that a light had been installed in the South Grove Park as well as the removal of some equipment. 

The Mayor welcomed Sergeant Feiro to the City of Mountain Iron.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct City Staff to write a letter to Sergeant Wade Rasch for his service here for the City of Mountain Iron and wish him well in his future endeavors. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The City Engineer updated the Council on the bids received for the Street Paving Project and the City Garage Paving Project. He stated that there was a bid opening on October 13, 2006, and Ulland Brothers had left out a line item on the bid. The City Attorney advised the City Engineer that the error made amounted to $2.00 per square yard, but the bid was still incomplete. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution 30-06 and award the 2006 Street Improvement Project bid to the low bidder of Ulland Brothers Incorporated in the amount of $320,159.15 with the approval of the City Attorney. After further discussion, Skalko amended the motion that if the City Attorney recommends not awarding the bid to Ulland Brothers that the bid be awarded to the second lowest bidder of Mesabi Bituminous in the amount of $331,410.75, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). Irish supported the amendment. The amended motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

The Mayor requested that the memorandum regarding the letter distribution be placed on the December 18, 2006, City Council agenda when the City Attorney would be present to discuss the issue.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and deny the variance application of Jean M. Noyes, 5757 Mountain Avenue, Mountain Iron, Parcel Code 175-0010-01380 and 175-0010-01400 due to restrictions of the ordinance. After further discussion, Skalko amended his motion to refund Jean M. Noyes the $150 variance application fee. Prebeg supported the amendment. The amended motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Roskoski addressed some issues that were brought before the Street and Alley Committee. The Street and Alley Committee recommended that a “Children at Play” or “Slow Down” sign be posted on Otto Road with the approval of law enforcement.

It was moved Roskoski and supported by Skalko that information regarding the right lane turn off of County Road #7 and Unity Drive on pages 19 and 20, written by Benchmark Engineering, in the October 16, 2006, City Council packet be forwarded to the Saint Louis County Highway Department for their additional input and to have this implemented as soon as possible. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski said that the Street and Alley Committee would like the Parks and Recreation Board and the Downtown Group review the Locomotive Park/Mesabi Trail Fence Project and make a recommendation. The Recreation Director stated that this Project is currently progressing.

Councilor Roskoski, Liaison for the Library Board, said that the Library usage is increasing. The Library Board is going to be advertising for a temporary worker to fill in for vacations and sick leave. He also updated the Council regarding the Library being closed for electrical work being completed and City Staff wanted to know if they need to complete work somewhere else or just take vacation. The City Administrator said that he spoke with the Librarian and advised her that they could take vacation or unpaid leave for any time that the Library had to be closed. Councilor Nelson stated that a group was displeased with the elevator not being available for a meeting scheduled at the Library.

Councilor Roskoski distributed a drawing regarding the routing of the air conditioning line in the Library building. The Director of Public Works stated that he spoke with the air conditioning installer and the unit would not work with the way Councilor Roskoski was requesting. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to award the quote for the Library Electrical System Upgrade to Hometown Electric for their low quote of $31,350.00. (Note: The Director of Public Works stated that approximately $18,000 of this bid would come from the Electric Department for an energy conservation program.) The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to authorize payment number one to KGM Contractors Incorporated in the amount of $402,374.70 for the Mountain Iron Voluntary Remedial Action Plan. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve the continuation of employment for Mr. Tim Satrang. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to direct the Fire Chief to check to see that the Laurentian Bio-Mass area has ample hydrant coverage and make a recommendation to the Council. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Council reviewed the list of communications.

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski stated that he was pleased to hear that the excessive noise coming from the Wastewater Treatment Plant was no longer there. He expressed a thank you from the residents of South Grove. The Mayor stated that the Director of Public Works and Benchmark Engineering worked on the project.

Councilor Roskoski updated the Council regarding the Walgreen construction with regard to a frontage road being anticipated to access Walgreen and the Sawmill. The Mayor stated that he hopes that the Walgreen store does well in Mountain Iron. Councilor Irish asked the Council to review the Walgreen area regarding a semi truck traveling through the area that there may be problems with them blocking lanes.

The Mayor stated that he spoke with the City Attorney regarding closing the regular meeting to the public to discuss employee performance and this would not be appropriate. It was the consensus of the Council to have this on the agenda for the second meeting in December when the attorney is present.

At 8:08 p.m., it was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

COMMUNICATIONS

League of Minnesota Cities, forwarding the 2007 Policy Committee highlights.

Army National Guard, an invitation to attend a Community Reintegration training event on October 16th in Hibbing.

Range Recreation Civic Center, forwarding additional information regarding the estimated economic impact regarding the use of the facility.

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