The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for September 07, 2004

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 7, 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: Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Joe Stewart, Sheriff�s Sergeant.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

IV. 5. Striping on County Road 7

Approve the minutes of the August 16, 2004, City Council meeting as submitted.

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 August 16-31, 2004, totaling $489,231.18, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period August 16-31, 2004, totaling $270,456.86, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

No one spoke during the public forum.

During the Mayor�s report, he advised the City Council that he had a relative here from Michigan and he brought him to the Wacootah Overlook and the Mayor wanted to express his thanks to City Staff because the property looked nice.

At 6:35 p.m., Rod Flannigan, City Engineer, entered the meeting.

Also during the Mayor�s report, he said that some issues were brought up at the last meeting with regard to this Council spending money in the Downtown Area. He stated that there have been some funds spent in the Downtown Area with regard to the flower pots, the banners, the park equipment, and the library renovation. He said that regardless of where the library would have been located, it would have need renovation. He said that he supported the Park Ridge Development with approximately $300,000 in City funds being expended. He said that the Council has approved approximately eleven streets to be overlayed at a cost of approximately $180,000, with only one street being completed in the Downtown area. The Mayor said that he has been in supported of the proposed land exchange with the Mountain Iron/Buhl School District that would cost approximately $75,000. The Mayor also said that, if the Engineer�s report is favorable for development in the Desert Area, that he would support proceeding with the land acquisition from United States Steel Corporation. The Mayor also said that he would like to see something started with the consolidation of the South Grove Parks into one park. He also said that he would support lighting in the Ann�s Acres area. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve the quote for 200 feet of 8-foot fence for the yard waste site to Iron Oaks Fencing at a cost of $3,856.00 for the materials and labor, with the funds being expended from the recycling budget. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to approve the horizontal boring quote from Gulbranson Excavating at their quoted price of $10.00 per foot for approximately 1,000 feet to make electrical upgrades to the Stoney Brook neighborhood. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to reject the bids for the electrical substation upgrade. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski to direct the City Administrator and/or the Director of Public Works to contact the proper officials at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to see if it is appropriate to use the old dump site for storage of demolition materials, different types of soils, and having the recycling bins located at this site with a controlled access with security. After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski withdrew his motion.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to authorize the Director of Public Works to proceed to use the old dump site for storage of different types of granular material. After further discussion, Councilor Roskoski withdrew his motion and Mayor Skalko withdrew his support.

At 7:08 p.m., Steve Norvitch, Assistant Fire Chief, entered the meeting.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to have the waste materials temporarily placed at the Desert Area and the snow removal dumping site to be located behind 5366 Mineral Avenue in South Grove. After further discussion, Mayor Skalko withdrew his motion and Councilor Roskoski withdrew his support.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to use the old dump site, on Mineral Avenue, as a temporary site for waste material and have City Staff contact the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to see if there is a problem with this site. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Roskoski to direct the City Engineer to look at Grant Street and determine what is causing the cracking on the road. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish to have the Director of Public Works contact Saint Louis County or the Minnesota Department of Transportation regarding striping the right turn lane from County Road 7 on to State Highway 169. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to have the Director of Public Works contact Saint Louis County regarding fixing the potholes on County Road 102 between Parkville and Virginia. The motion carried.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Prebeg to authorize the purchase of the materials for the pavilion at the West Two Rivers Campground from Flannigan Sales at their low quote of $17,279.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to have a culvert installed for the Downtown Area Sliding Hill at an estimated cost of $2,000. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Irish asked the Recreation Director how the “Movies in the Park” went. The Recreation Director said that there were about 60 children in attendance at the movie. He said the Recreation Department would be looking for sponsors for the event for 2005. 

Councilor Irish questioned the attorney�s bill regarding the fee for a call made by Darin Alto about the Parkville School. It was the consensus of the Council that the City should not be paying this charge.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Engineer if he had the specifications on Locomotive Park. The City Engineer said that the information on Locomotive Park was submitted to the City Administrator. The Mayor said that the Council would have to review the Locomotive Park plans at the September 20, 2004 City Council meeting. 

The Council reviewed the Sheriff�s Department report for the month of August, 2004. 

At 8:04 p.m., Councilor Prebeg left the meeting.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to authorize the Library Substitute�s hourly wage to increase to $6.00 per hour effective September 8, 2004. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski that all non-mandatory conference, training, or workshops be presented to the Council through the appropriate department head. The motion failed with Nelson, Prebeg and Skalko voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt the conference, workshop, and training policy as follows:

a) Management personnel following the contract provisions regarding conferences, workshop and training. 

b) Union personnel allow only mandatory conferences, workshop and training that are required for safety or to maintain or attain a City of Mountain Iron required license or certification.

c) Fire department and EMT personnel allow only conferences, workshops and training that is required to maintain or attain required certification and as necessary for the safe performance of duties.

d) All other personnel will not be allowed to attend any training unless it is mandatory and/or essential for safety.

e) All requests for non-mandatory conferences, training or workshops shall be presented to the City Council through the appropriate Department Head.

The motion carried with Councilor Irish voting no.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt the communication policy as follows:

“The City’s telephones, cellular phones, fax machines, pagers and portable radios are for City business use. The City does understand that employees occasionally need to use the City communication systems to make or receive personal phone calls. The employee should attempt to make or receive personal phone calls during non-working hours (breaks or lunch). This includes use of employees� personal cell phones. Excess use of the City communications systems for personal calls is prohibited and may lead to disciplinary action. All aspects of the communications systems can be monitored for abuse. Employees who find it necessary to make a personal long distance call must reimburse the City for the call. It is the employee’s responsibility to notify the City Administrator of the date and time of the call and request cost information of any personal long distance calls made as necessary. Violators of this policy will be disciplined according to contract.”

The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to allow the Fire Chief to attend the Fire Chief�s Conference at City expense as outlined in the expense sheet the Fire Chief submitted. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to block the vent on the south side and block a portion of the windows above the boiler room on the east side of the Parkville School contingent on the approval of the City Attorney. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no.

At 8:59 p.m., Mayor Skalko left the meeting.

At 9:00 p.m. Deputy Mayor Roskoski called for a five minute recess.

At 9:05 p.m., Mayor Skalko reconvened the meeting.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 31-04, approving proposed 2004 tax levy collectable 2005, reflecting a 10% levy increase. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; and Skalko, no.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 31-04, approving proposed 2004 tax levy collectable 2005, reflecting a 9% levy increase. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Nelson, yes; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; and Skalko, no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to adopt Resolution Number 31-04, approving proposed 2004 tax levy collectable 2005, reflecting a 5% levy increase, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 32-04, approving proposed 2005 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.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to adopt Resolution Number 33-04, setting the dates for the public hearings on the proposed budget and 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 34-04, application for an IRRRB grant, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 35-04, accepting work for the Eagle Avenue Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 36-04, Charitable Gambling, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to table Resolution Number 37-04, Vacation of a portion of Missabe Avenue until a new location for the sliding hill and skating rink is up and running in the Downtown Area. The motion carried with Councilor Nelson voting no. 

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to authorize the payment request number five, the final payment, for the Phase II-Interior Renovation of the Mountain Iron Public Library in the amount of $5,500.00. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, yes; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Prebeg questioned Councilor Irish why he called City Staff out on August 13th regarding an odor at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Councilor Prebeg felt that this was a waste of City funds for a callout about the smell at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Councilor Irish stated that he never called anyone out, he said that he contacted Minnesota Power and requested to have the person “on call” contact him. Councilor Irish said that he requested a full report of the call outs on August 13th from Minnesota Power. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to award the 1979 Chevrolet C70 Tanker Fire Truck bid to Dana Preston for the amount of $3500.00 with the understanding that he can take possession of the truck when the fire department is done with it. The motion carried. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to reject the bid on the 1975 Chevrolet C-65 Luverne Pumper. The motion carried.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to authorize the Mountain Iron Fire Department to seek a fire department that could use the 1975 Chevrolet C-65 Luverne Pumper Fire Truck as a fire truck and bring a recommendation back to the City Council. The motion carried. 

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to call a special meeting on Wednesday, September 15, 2004 at 5:30 p.m. for the purpose of canvassing the election votes for the primary election. The motion carried.

The Council reviewed the letter received from the Northland Foundation regarding a challenge grant for up to $3,000 for the Senior Center Kitchen Upgrade project. 

During the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski commented on the two appraisals for the land from United States Steel Corporation. He said that the dump information and tailing basin were not referred to in the appraisals. 

During the open discussion, Stephen Skogman was in the audience and asked the Mayor if he and Councilor Nelson could respond to the political statements made at the beginning of the meeting by Mayor Skalko. Mr. Skogman said that the Park Ridge Development was started before Mayor Skalko was in the Mayor�s position. Mr. Skogman said that the overlays completed on the streets were funded from street bonding money approved five years ago. Mr. Skogman also said that bonding money was also used for the water tower renovation projects. Mr. Skogman said that the Mountain Iron-Buhl School land negotiations were started several years ago. Mr. Skogman said that the funds that were spent in the Downtown Area for the flower pots and banners were not budgeted for.

At 10:08 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

Small Cities Update, August 30, 2004.

Biosolids Disposal Site Authority, forwarding the 2005 budget.

Tri-Cities Biosolids Disposal Authority, forwarding the 2005 budget.

Notice of Public Hearing for a Conditional Use Permit for Larry Tviet.

Notice regarding the League of Minnesota Cities Annual Conference in Duluth on October 10-12, 2004.

Northland Foundation, advising the City that the Board of Trustees has approved a challenge grant for up to $3,000 for the Senior Center upgrade.

Anonymous, a note regarding cleaning up the garbage behind the Parkville School.

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