The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for September 02, 2003

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 2, 2003

Mayor Skalko called the City Council meeting to order at 6:37 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; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; and Karen Luoma, Librarian.

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

1. Approve the minutes of the August 18, 2003, City Council meeting as submitted

2. 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.

3. To acknowledge the receipts for the period August 16-31, 2003, totaling $113,993.57, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

4. To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period August 16-31, 2003, totaling $375,568.19, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Jim Moelenbrock, representing Jay Ryan Enterprises, dba: the Sawmill Saloon, said that he had submitted an application to the City regarding the 2:00 a.m. bar closing time for serving alcohol. The City Council requested that this item be placed on the September 15, 2003 City Council meeting agenda and that the City Administrator provide a copy of the proposed ordinance and a copy of the application. 

At 6:47 p.m., it was moved Nelson and supported by Prebeg to recess the regular meeting and open the public hearing on street improvements. The motion carried.

The City Administrator reviewed the history of the street improvement bond money that was issued to complete the proposed improvement projects. The City Engineer has reviewed the conditions of the proposed roads and made a recommendation to the City Council for improvement based on this condition. 

The Mayor stated that the City Council would take public input on each street. The first street would be Locomotive Street in Downtown Mountain Iron.

Tom Autio, 5753 Marble Avenue, stated that he does not have a problem with the street being overlayed. He asked how the street assessment is charged to the resident. The City Administrator advised him that the City Council would determine an interest rate and it is normally billed over 10 years onto the real estate taxes or can be paid in full when assessed.

Park Drive, South Grove: 

Vern Paschke, 5471 Park Drive, concern that if an overlay is completed, that he is the last lot and it has never been blacktopped in front of his house. Said that the street should not be considered a residential street because it would be connecting another neighborhood. He was concerned that contractors would damage the road and he would be paying the assessment again in five years. He said that he is also concerned with the speeding problem on that street. The Council said that is an enforcement issue and they would notify the Sheriff�s Department.

Rod Erchul, 5405 Park Drive, he said that he lives on a corner lot. He asked if Fairview Lane would be completed also. The Council said no. He asked when Park Drive would be overlayed. The Mayor stated that possibly this year, but more than likely next year. He also said that if the road were overlayed there would only be two inches of the curb left. He said that the water backs up over the curb into his yard. He said that he was in favor of the overlay being completed.

Arbor Lane, South Grove:

Emil & Bernice Stimac, 8779 Arbor Lane, they stated that they have no objection to the project being completed. 

Glenn Curry, 5424 Garden Drive South, he said that he has a corner lot. He said that he has no problem with the overlay being completed. 

The Mayor stated that the Council received a letter from James Maki, 8795 Arbor Lane, stating that he would like to see the overlay completed on Arbor Lane.

Parkville Road, Parkville:

Eugene Cimperman, 8491 Parkville Road, said that there is a problem with speeding on the Parkville Road. He is opposed to the overlay being completed. 

Al Flashberger, 8467 Parkville Road, said that he was opposed to the road being overlayed. He said that this road is a commerce road and not a residential road.

Candace Krueger, 8461 Parkville Road, lives on Parkville Road, opposes the construction.

Natalie Belt, 8497 Parkville Road, lives on the corner of Nichols Avenue and Parkville Road, said that she would be concerned with the road being upgraded because of the speeding issues. 

Spring Park Road, Parkville:

Marlyn Meckola, 5627 Oriole Avenue, spoke in favor of the project. He said that the assessment is too high. 

Oriole Avenue, Parkville:

Marlyn Meckola, 5627 Oriole Avenue, spoke in favor of the project. He felt that the assessment here was also high.

Cardinal Street, Parkville:

Ellen Nelson, 8501 Cardinal Street, spoke in favor of the project. She would like the Council to consider dropping the assessment rate to 50% because of the high amount of traffic on the road. She also requested that when the street is upgraded that the City also look at improving the drainage by Nichols Town Hall. She said that a lot of the water drains into her yard. The City Engineer stated that they do not evaluate drainage problems when an overlay is completed, only when the road is completely reconstructed.

Eagle Avenue, Parkville: 

Werner Herzog, 5633 Eagle Avenue, is in favor of having the overlay completed. Werner also said that he was representing Ron Lehman, 5635 Eagle Avenue, and that he was also in favor of the project.

Grant Street, South Grove:

Tara Lamourea, 8804 Grant Drive, said that the majority of the traffic on Grant Drive is from the City going to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. She wanted to know why the residents pay 75% of the assessment and the City only pays 25%. She said that she would be willing to approve of the project if her assessment was 10% or 25%. 

Councilor Irish submitted a petition from the property owners on Grant Drive that feel that the benefit of the street is mainly for City use. The petition was signed by Tara LaMourea, Jeremy Lamourea, Roger Scinto, Dale Irish and one other unidentified signature.

North Court, Ann�s Acres:

Steve Steblay, 5412 North Court, said that he was also representing Tom and Pam Wickstrom, 8369 Spruce Drive and Ed Williams, 5411 North Court. Mr. Steblay said that the water problem on North Court is in the round circle of the cul-de-sac. He said that he and those he was representing were opposed to the straight stretch of the cul-de-sac being overlayed. 

Ed Roskoski, 5409 North Court, said that he would like to have the cul-de-sac circle completed and the straight stretch of the cul-de-sac not completed.

Brian Hill, 5410 North Court, would like to have the project completed.

South Court, Ann�s Acres:

Perry Fiorini, 5386 South Court, submitted a petition from the property owners on South Court stating that they were against overlay project. The petition was signed by Perry Fiorini, Jean Fiorini, Tim Norman, Bruce Orde, Maxine Orde, Henry Korpela, and Rodney Hurd. 

Heather Avenue:

Larry Lee, has property on the corner of Heather Avenue and Centennial Drive, feels that his assessment should be lowered by 25% because he has a corner lot. He is opposed to the project being completed. 

Bill Luzovich, 5456 Heather Avenue, stated that he would like to see the project completed.

Warren Nordeen, 5459 Heather Avenue, stated that if the road were built up any more, he would be in a wetland. He said that the road subgrade needs to be reviewed further to prevent future problems. He said that he is neither for nor against the project. 

Dean Niska, 5485 Heather Avenue, stated that he was assessed for Unity Drive last year. He stated that he was opposed to the project being completed.

Petronilo Landicho, 5481 Heather Avenue, stated that he is opposed to the project being completed.

Dale Petersen, 5482 Heather Avenue, stated that he is in favor of the overlay. He requested that the City review the variance issued to Tim Anderson because he is operating a business from his home and the majority of the traffic is from this business.

Tom Seitz, 5435 Heather Avenue, stated that he was in favor of the project. 

Dan Chad, 5439 Heather Avenue, said the road needs infrastructure improvements before the road is upgraded. He said that he would like to see all of the utilities provided before an overlay is completed.

Marion Lane, Lambert Addition:

Beth Skalko, 5478 Marion Lane, spoke in favor of the project being completed. She was concerned about the maintenance of the road following the overlay to preserve the road as long as possible. 

Dennis Yourcek said that he would be purchasing Reeny Kunz�s property on 5480 Marion Lane and he would like to see the project completed.

Browns Road, Kinross:

Carla Pocket, 5476 Browns Road, stated that she was against the overlay project being completed. She also stated that she was against having an outlet to Highway 169 from Browns Road.

Streetcar Road, Kinross:

Roger Scott, 9131 Streetcar Road, said that it would be nice to have the road paved. He asked if blasting would affect the road. The Engineer was not able to answer his question. Mr. Scott asked if the overlay would have any effect on the property taxes. The City Administrator advised him to contact the St. Louis County Assessor�s office regarding the property tax question. 

David Buria, 9140 Streetcar Road, would like to see the overlay completed if the City can do it that reasonably. He said that he would like to see an access onto Highway 169. He said that it would be a waste of money to blacktop Brown�s Road, Streetcar Road, and Giorgi�s Road unless the road is upgraded first. 

Beth Scott, 9131 Streetcar Road, said she was totally against the project.

Bill Buria, 9138 Streetcar Road, stated that he would like to see Streetcar Road, Giorgi Road, and Browns Road all completed at the same time not have any completed. He would like to have the assessment rate lowered to 50%. He also is in favor of having an access to Highway 169. 

Giorgi�s Road, Kinross:

Cheryl Pirjevec, 5455 Giorgi�s Road, said that she was also representing John MacDonald, and they are totally against having Giorgi Road overlayed. 

Randy Larson, 5441 Giorgi�s Road, said that he was totally against the overlay project. He also stated that he also against having an additional access on to Highway 169.

Gary Ronkainen, 5429 Giorgi�s Road, stated that he is totally against the overlay project.

Bob Brown, 5474 Brown�s Road, said the Council should consider completing all three roads at once, Browns Road, Streetcar Road, and Giorgi Road or not completing any. 

Bruce Kniivila, representing U. S. Steel Corporation, said that he would like to see all three roads considered together. He stated that U. S. Steel Corporation is against the overlay projects being completed.

At 8:35 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to close the public hearing and reconvene the regular meeting. The motion carried.

At 8:36 p.m., the Council recessed.

At 8:43 p.m., the Council reconvened.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct the City Administrator to write a thank you letter to Gary Cerkvenik for his assistance in pursuing the contacts for assistance with the Mountain Manor issues. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to waive the building rental fees for the use of the Senior Center for the McMillen 50th Anniversary Party on Saturday, November 22, 2003 because of the scheduling conflict with the Festival of Trees event. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Mayor advised the Council that the Quad Cities Assessor issue is still in the discussion stages.

Jeff & Joni Eichorn were present regarding some questions regarding the construction of their furniture store in Mountain Iron. It was the consensus of the City Council to have the Mountain Iron Housing and Redevelopment Authority review the matter at their next regular meeting. 

The Council reviewed the 2004 budget.

The City Council requested the City Administrator to prepare a report showing the cost to the City for the 3% raise given to the city employees.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to direct Damberg, Scott, Gerzina, and Wagner Architects with Erik Wedge to coordinate with the City Administrator and the Director of Public Works to look at the condition of the roof and gutters of the library building and bring the information back to the City Council. The motion carried.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to direct the Recreation Director to work with the Eveleth Range Technical College to have the masonry class construct dugouts at the South Grove fields with the cost of materials estimated at $4,000 to $6,000 with the costs being charged against the charitable gambling funds or the cable TV franchise fees. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to direct the Recreation Director to obtain a written quote from Vidmar Iron Works for the slab, tire stand, installation and all work related to getting the existing tire to the proper display position at Locomotive Park. And further, have the Recreation Director contact U. S. Steel Corporation to ask if they would build the City a tire stand and request that they notify the City by mid October. The motion carried.

The Mayor requested that the Recreation Director set up a meeting in September with the Administrative Board, the Sergeant, and the City Attorney regarding the City�s blight ordinance.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Nelson to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and authorize payment request number one to Hibbing excavating, Inc. for the Unity Drive Gravel Road Extension Project in the amount of $10,453.80. 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 Prebeg to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and authorize payment request number three to Rajala Construction, Inc. for the Mountain Iron Commercial Forty Project in the amount of $175,981.82. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to honor the request of Jerry D. Kujala for his parking request with all the necessary signage being put into place before calendar parking begins. The area effected would be from the school parking lot driveway north to Main Street on the east side of Marble Avenue and from the apartment south alley driveway north to the Main Street on the west side of Marble Avenue. This situation will be reviewed for workability by January 1, 2004 and at that time the City Council will determine if it will remain permanent. And further, if it is to remain permanent that the City Council modify the ordinance to reflect the changes. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the crosswalk improvement and the striping plan, as reviewed by the Street and Alley Committee and noted on supplied maps, be implemented at once, as weather permits, and completed by August 1, 2004, with all of the work being completed by City Employees. Handicapped crossing ramps will be made to conform to various standards as each individual crossing area may warrant. The motion carried with Councilor Prebeg and Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that work on the Mountain Avenue parking change between Locomotive Street and Main Street be started at once. City Staff and Crews will work with the City Engineer and the Library Architect to determine the amount of parking places, the width of the parking places, what angle of the parking places, and to include how many handicapped parking places that are necessary. And further, all of this angle parking will be on the east side of Mountain Avenue and the west side of Mountain Avenue will be parallel parking. Necessary parking signs will be purchased and installed. The completion of the project would be December 31, 2003. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to authorize the Mountain Iron Volunteer Firemen to attend the Minnesota State Fire School on September 20 & 21, 2003 at the Mesabi Range Community College. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, no; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to approve the following training meetings for the Mountain Iron Volunteer Firemen:

September 6, 2003 Regional Meeting, Duluth�3 members at $12/person plus transportation;

December 6, 2003 Regional Meeting, Mountain Iron-15 members at $12/person; and

October 16-18, 2003 Fire Chief�s Conference, Duluth-the Fire Chief-$150 plus transportation and lodging.

The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to authorize the payment of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities 2004 general assessment in the amount of $1,972. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that during the interim of the Library being without a custodian that the City�s Building Maintenance person meet with the City Librarian to seek direction on what work needs to be completed at the Library. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to table Resolution Number 27-03 until the next regular meeting. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to authorize the final payment to Mesabi Bituminous for the 2002 Street Overlay Projects in the amount of $19,346.50 and adopt Resolution Number 28-03, accepting work (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 29-03, the 2004 Housing and Redevelopment Authority Tax Levy, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 30-03, approving the proposed 2003 tax levy, collectable 2004, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 31-03, approving the proposed 2004 market rate based referendum levy for the general obligation community center bonds and interest, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski updated the City Council on the meeting held with the Minntac Officials. The following people attended the meeting: Joe Prebeg, Ed Roskoski, Craig Wainio, James McConnell (USX General Manager), Dennis Hendricks, and John Skube. The following items were discussed:

USX would look at fabricating a tire stand.

USX might donate more equipment to the City of Mountain Iron.

USX would check on the request of the Mesabi Trail regarding the route around Ray Saari�s property, they said they did not know the trail was going there.

Wacootah Overlook-USX is not doing anything with the Overlook, the City can upgrade as they wish, this is actually State property.

West II Rivers Campground-USX said that they would check on extending the lease to five to ten years. They said that they would not sell the property.

Right of first refusel on property sales � USX is checking on their company policy.

ATV snowmobile trail between Brunt Dump and Parkville-USX said that they don�t know where the trail would be going. 

USX would like to have some streets vacated in Costin.

The Mayor requested that the Librarian add the State Grant to the Library Board Meeting Agenda for consideration. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to have the City Administrator and/or the Director of Public Works and the Recreation Director along with Bob Manzoline research as to where sewer and water can be tapped in to, to be brought into the area on the west end of Locomotive Park for the Mesabi Trail Head potential water source and restroom project with the necessary information being included in the October 6, 2003, City Council packet or earlier. The motion carried.

At 11:04 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

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