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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for September 18, 2006

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 18, 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; Wade Rasch, Sergeant; and Sam Aluni, City Attorney.

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

Move the following item on the agenda:

A. to III. B. Resolution Approving Joint Powers Agreement

V. B. 3-4 Way Stop at the Unity Drive/Mud Lake Road Intersection

Approve the minutes of the September 5, 2006, 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 September 1-15, 2006, totaling $123,274.71, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

To authorize the payments of the bills and payroll for the period September 1-15, 2006, totaling $139,337.46, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Dick Norvold, Representative from the Iron Range Fiber Network, stated that the project is a joint venture of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Agency, the Blandin Foundation, and the Northeast Service Cooperative. He stated that so far they are seeking support from 14 communities. So far, they have support for the project through a Joint Powers Agreement from Hibbing, Biwabik, Hoyt Lakes, Nashwauk, Ely, Tower, Gilbert, and Keewatin. He said that they are eventually looking to have all 14 communities on board with the Iron Range Network. So far, there is no financial obligation from the City of Mountain Iron, at this point, to get the final numbers because the funding is available through grant funding. He said that they are looking for bonding for approximately 20-30 years if the project continues.

Also during the public forum, Gary Cerkvenik, Representative from Qwest and the Minnesota Cable Association, said that they are here on behalf of the presentation given by the Iron Range Network. He stated that they are opposed the project. He stated that there are 14 communities in Utah, which is the model for the project, and they have 450,000 residents there and the area here has about 10% of that population. He said that the changes for this being successful with the smaller amount of numbers are minimal and the City would be involved with assisting in the cash flow. The project would have to be subsidized by the City, the IRRRB, grants, federal funds and other funds to make this project viable. Andy Shriner, Representative from Qwest, gave an update on the work force in this area and what kind of impact this would have on jobs in this area. He stated that he has concerns with public tax dollars used to compete with private section, they questioned whether that is an appropriate use for public money.

It was moved by Nelson that if the study does not cost the City anything to complete, that the City approve the Resolution Approving the Joint Powers Agreement as long as the City can pull out of the agreement once the financial information is received. The motion died for lack of support.

The Mayor updated the Council advising them that the Walgreens project is moving along and should be opened by the Spring of 2007. 

The Mayor also reported that he had met with Bob Manzoline, Regional Rail Authority, and Mr. Manzoline advised the Mayor that 12 signs had been approved for the Mountain Iron Trail. He thought that there were approximately 30 signs suggestions submitted. Councilor Roskoski said that he and William Buria had worked on some of the historic signs suggestions.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to hire Louis Russo Consulting to work with the Personnel Committee/Council in negotiating contracts with the City management employees. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to have the City Attorney review and come back with his written findings for the second meeting in October whether it is legal, ethical, or appropriate behavior for any City Councilor acting alone, without Council authorization, to write and distribute through our Community as listed as Exhibit A, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes) as listed on Page 16 of the Council packet. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the agreement regarding the 40 acre parcel across from the City Hall, he said that the Iron Range Investment Group has signed a letter of intent and there has been no money that had changed hands. The Mayor stated and confirmed that a Development Agreement had been signed and there were some title problems currently and that is why the title had not been cleared. Once the title is cleared by the City, the agreement will be moving forward. Councilor Prebeg said that the developer was attracted by the improvements that the City had done with the property and the funds that were put into the land were not wasted because the developer is going in there and developing the property.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Nelson to direct the City Administrator to seek the costs associated to provide Dial-a-Ride for the entire area of Mountain Iron. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, yes; and Skalko, yes.

The City Administrator advised the Council that he would be attending the Minnesota Department of Transportation Enhancement workshop on September 20th in Virginia.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to authorize the purchase of one (1) new tandem axle trailer, 14 foot type, 12, GVW, tension axle from Scharber Equipment for their low quote of $4,984.59. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize the following items to be disposed of at the October 7, 2006, Saint Louis County Auction:

1994 Redi Haul Trailer � VIN # 47SS142T3R1009001

1984 Chevy Dump Truck with plow and sander � VIN #1GBM7D1F8EVB1750

Ford Crown Victoria � VIN # 1FALP71W9TX145988

1999 Ford Crown Victoria � VIN # 2FAFP71WOXX197402

Graco Greaser

Homelite Cut Off Saw

Homelite Generator � 5500 watts

Hydro Quick Pressure Washer

1985 Bolens Lawn Tractor

Bench Grinder

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Councilor Roskoski asked the Director of Public Works what work had been done specifically for the Walgreen Project. The Director of Public Works stated that the City had not provided any work on the project and the City would not be completing any work on the project.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to approve the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association contract for training for the year 2006-2007 in the amount of $7,000.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Council noted that the Mountain Iron Parks and Recreation Department recommended that the City of Mountain Iron not sell any of the land to Mr. Ed Klimek at 5366 Mineral Avenue. This was informational and required no action.

The Council reviewed the Sheriff�s Department monthly activity report for August, 2006.

Sergeant Rasch advised the Council that he had accepted a transfer to the Duluth Sheriff�s office and this transfer would occur probably within the next month and he would keep the Council updated with regard to who his replacement would be. The Mayor said that his transfer would be a loss for the City and wished the Sergeant well in his new position.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the City Attorney regarding the blight property in Kinross. The Mayor thought that the property has been sold and the transaction has not been completed yet.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg to approve the preliminary concept for Unity Second Addition and authorize the City Engineer to begin the formal plat for Unity Second Addition. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, yes; and Skalko, yes.

The Mayor requested the City Engineer bring the sound monitoring report to the next regular meeting for further discussion.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Skalko to call for bids for the Unity Drive Project, Unity Drive Sidewalks, and the City Garage paving. 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 Skalko to approve the Lineman Position Analysis, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes) and authorize the hiring process for the lineman position as authorized in the contract. It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to table the Lineman Position issue. The motion to table failed on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, yes; Roskoski, yes; Prebeg, no; and Skalko, no. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to approve the form as the official form the City uses entitled “Employee Time Sheet”, modified to include the employee�s signature; and, eliminate the forms entitled “Overtime Report” and “Call Out Form”. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; Irish, no; and Skalko, yes. 

During the liaison reports, Councilor Roskoski updated the Council regarding the Library Board. He stated that they had reviewed the lighting and computer wiring hook-up presented by a consultant/engineer that the City had hired and they approved the plan. They also picked the type of lighting fixture that emulates what was there in 1916-1917. He stated that there were many concerns regarding the elevator because it is many months behind scheduled. The inspector had come to the library several times and advised the City what additional things need to be completed to have it useable. He also reported that there was a problem with a doorway in the basement being too narrow. He said that there is currently a meeting being scheduled with all of the officials involved to resolve these issues. The Director of Public Works said he spoke with contractor on the elevator and the inspector has been contacted and the electrical deficiencies that were pointed out by the elevator inspector were taken care of and they were scheduling another inspection and should be operational soon. 

The Mayor updated the Council that he would be calling a meeting with the Downtown Group within the next month. He said that the T21 grant project rehabilitation project grant funds would not be available until Spring-Summer of 2008. Councilor Roskoski questioned whether he could become a part of the Downtown Committee with there being three Council members present. The City Attorney said that as long as the Council is not taking any official action at the meeting.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that the four-way stop at the intersection of Unity Drive and Mud Lake Road (County Road 103) remains for the present; also, the City Sergeant would research City records going back 40 years and compile a list of bodily injury and property damage accidents at that intersection; and further, that the City Sergeant also compile the County Road records for a list of bodily injury and property damage accidents at that intersection. Such request would be forwarded to the City Council as soon as possible. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Prebeg, no; Nelson, no; Irish, no; Roskoski, yes; and Skalko, no.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Irish to approve payment request number ten to Lenci Enterprises Incorporated for the Library Reconstruction Project in the amount of $11,785.00. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Nelson to adopt the contract with the Mesabi Humane Society, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes), at a cost of $1,000 per month. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish asked the City Administrator if there was a comprehensive plan for the T21 Grant. The City Administrator stated that the City does have a comprehensive plan for the grant.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Irish asked the Director of Public Works whether the four-way stop sign at the intersection of Unity Drive and Mud Lake Road. The Director stated that he thought the sign on the west side was permanent and the one on the east side was temporary with a sign and flags and reflectors to indicate that there was a change made.

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Roskoski questioned the waterline loop being put in on Heather Avenue. The Mayor thought that was approved by the City Council. Councilor Roskoski questioned whether there were going to be assessments to the residents for the waterline loop. 

Also during the open discussion, Councilor Nelson stated that he was concerned regarding the Iron Range Network presentation. He stated that he felt that the Council made a mistake turning down the grant money for the study.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Nelson to adopt Resolution Number 29-06, approving a joint powers agreement for the Iron Range Network, (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 Skalko to recess the regular meeting and open the closed session to discuss contract negotiations strategies concerning the contracts with management personnel. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

The Council recessed until 9:15 p.m.

At 9:55 p.m., it was moved by Roskoski and supported by Skalko to adjourn the closed meeting and the regular meeting. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

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