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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota



Meeting Minutes for September 19, 2005

MOUNTAIN IRON CITY COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 19, 2005

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; Jill M. Forseen, Municipal Services Secretary; Don Kleinschmidt, Director of Public Works; Larry Nanti, Director of Parks and Recreation; Sam Aluni, City Attorney; Rod Flannigan, City Engineer; Joe Stewart, Sergeant; and Wade Rasch, Sergeant.

The Mayor welcomed the audience and the television viewing audience.

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

Add the following items to the agenda:

II. E. Temporary Liquor License-Laurentian Arts & Culture Alliance

Approve the minutes of the September 19, 2005, 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 2005, totaling $90,844.79, (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, 2005, totaling $232,685.35, (a list is attached and made a part of these minutes).

Approve of the temporary on-sale liquor license application for the Laurentian Arts and Culture Alliance on October 14, 2005, at the Mountain Iron Community Center.

The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

During the public forum, Tammy Hejda and Gail Kleinschmidt were present and wanted to go on record opposing the City developing an ATV trail adjacent to their property in Parkville between Nichols Avenue and Falcon Avenue. Ms. Hejda said that they purchased the property from the City adjacent to there property to avoid having an ATV trail along the side of her house and property. The Director of Public Works said that cement barricades with reflectors were installed by Nichols Avenue and Falcon Avenue. Councilor Prebeg asked if there were any signs placed there informing the public that the area does not allow motorized vehicles. The Director of Public Works stated that there has been no signage placed. Councilor Roskoski said that he would like to still have access for bicycles and pedestrians to use the trail. Councilor Prebeg felt that the Council still wants to allow non-motorized use of the trail.

The Mayor informed the Council that the first Labor-Management meeting was held and went well. He felt that the meeting was very productive. He thanked the members in attendance at the meeting.

The Mayor informed the Council that $6,700 would need to be the budgeted in 2006 for the Range Recreation Center in Eveleth. 

The Mayor advised the Council and the audience that the newly relocated Recycling Center is now open and operational. He stated that the Recycling Center is available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, but the yard waste site required the Mountain Iron residents to obtain a slide card from the City Hall to access site.

The Mayor advised the Council that a Committee of the Whole meeting needs to be scheduled to discuss the budget. He also advised the Council that a commitment of funds for the South Grove Park would need to be budgeted to match the $20,000 grant to update the playground.

It was moved by Skalko and supported by Prebeg that beginning November 1, 2005, calendar parking would take effect and be implemented year round. The motion failed on the following roll call vote: Nelson, no; Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, no; and Skalko, yes.

The City Administrator announced that representatives of the Minnesota Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities would be at the City Hall on Thursday, September 22, 2005, at 9:00 a.m. to meet with the City officials.

The Mayor questioned the City Administrator whether any additional information had been received regarding improvements to the area by Adventures regarding further development. The City Administrator said that he had not heard anything additional.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Administrator if the truck tire stand for Locomotive Park was located by the old Pilotac Plant by the bridge. The City Administrator said that is where the City requested that USX Corporation put the truck tire stand.

Councilor Irish asked the City Administrator if the sale of the land to Birchem Logging had been completed. The City Administrator said that it was not. Councilor Irish asked the City Administrator if the land for the ATV trail was secured. The City Administrator said that he was not aware of any land for the ATV trail. Councilor Irish said that the Council made a resolution that the ATV trail land was to be secured for the land exchange. Councilor Irish said that he provided three maps to the City Administrator for the easement area. The City Administrator said that the maps supplied by Councilor Irish were not sufficient to record on the land through the County Recorder�s office. 

It was moved by Irish to direct the City Administrator to continue obtaining land for the proposed ATV Trail using the maps available from the City Engineer. No further action was taken on the motion.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Nelson to authorize Staff to purchase a 2006 garbage truck chassis from Skubic Brothers International at the State Bid price of $65,884.00. The motion carried on the following roll call vote: Irish, no; Roskoski, no; Prebeg, yes; Nelson, yes; and Skalko, yes.

Councilor Irish questioned why the Utility Advisory Board did not make a recommendation on the replacement of the garbage truck. The Director of Public Works said that they adopted the 2005 budget that included the purchase of the garbage truck.

Councilor Irish questioned the Director of Public Works whether the Wastewater Treatment Plant sound barrier enclosure was completed. The Director of Public Works said that he would check on the matter.

Councilor Roskoski questioned the Director of Public Works regarding a portion of the ceiling at the Wastewater Treatment Plant falling in. The Director of Public Works said that some concrete was lost and he had contacted Benchmark Engineering and they would be making a report on what corrective action that would need to be taken.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to authorize the 2006 contract for mandatory training with the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association at a cost of $12,543.46. The motion carried unanimously on a roll call vote.

Sergeant Joe Stewart introduced Sergeant Wade Rasch to the City Council. Sergeant Rasch reviewed the August 2005 Activity Report with the City Council.

Councilor Roskoski asked the City Attorney what the status on the blight complaint filed against P & H MinePro was. The City Attorney said that he received the information from the Blight Officer and he said that an internal meeting with City Staff would be held to discuss the matter further.

Councilor Roskoski said that there were a few residents that went to a recent Planning and Zoning Commission meeting and discussed the issues relating to P & H. Councilor Roskoski stated that the Planning and Zoning Commission members felt that P & H should have a Conditional Use Permit, with conditions attached, to continue to conduct business as they are. The City Attorney surmised that the issue may be that there have been changing uses on the property and that now makes it nonconforming as far as a permitted use as opposed to a conditional use. Dan Prebeg, 5418 Bluebell Avenue, spoke to the Council regarding the P & H issue. Mr. Prebeg felt that P & H was making excessive noise and he was concerned that they are putting their waste products onto the ground and he was concerned that this would get into the water table and affecting the environment. Richard Lucarelli, 5422 Bluebell Avenue, felt that the business was very noisy. Terry Malmstrom, 5408 North Court, spoke and said that the residents that signed a petition requesting the City to deal with the issue and the City has done nothing regarding the petition. John Rappuchi, 5450 Carnation Avenue, said that there should be a reasonable solution to the problems with P & H regarding the noise after regular business hours. It was the consensus of the Council to have Staff see where P & H is in or out of compliance with the City Ordinances. 

The Mayor asked the City Attorney if there were regulations regarding how long the trains can stop traffic at the crossings. The City Engineer felt that the regulations for the maximum amount time that a train can stop traffic is ten minutes and that there are penalties that could be imposed if they hold traffic longer. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the City Engineer and award the bid for the Mountain Iron Drive Storm Drainage Improvements to the low bidder Hibbing Excavating, Inc. in the amount of $62,022.00. 
After further discussion, Councilor Nelson withdrew his motion, pending seeking further information on the assessment policy for a project such as this and Mayor Skalko withdrew his support.

The Council requested the City Engineer to check with Hibbing Excavating, Inc. to see if they would hold their bid price until Spring if the project gets delayed.

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Prebeg to have City Staff place the Canadian National Railroad noise issue on the October 3, 2005, City Council agenda with the information distributed by the City Engineer being placed in the Council packet. The motion carried.

It was moved by Prebeg and supported by Irish to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and approve the variance for Duane�s Marine, 8327 Unity Drive, Mountain Iron, parcel code 175-0071-01152, to allow the construction of an accessory building closer to the lot line than allowed by the ordinance. The motion carried.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Skalko to accept the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission and deny the variance for Frank Oberstar, 8637 Mud Lake Road, Mountain Iron, to raise three beef cattle, due to how the City Council is limited on the permitted uses of the zoning district. The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

Alan Stanaway, President of the Mountain Iron Relief Association, was present to review the proposed pension increase request with the City Council. Mr. Stanaway said that the additional $50 per year would be made without any additional contribution from the City.

At 8:12 p.m., Councilor Roskoski left the meeting.

At 8:14 p.m., Councilor Roskoski returned to the meeting.

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to allow the Mountain Iron Volunteer Fire Department Relief Association to increase the pension amount to $1,600 per year beginning January 1, 2006. The motion carried.

Councilor Roskoski, Liaison for the Library Board, advised the City Council that the Library Renovation Project that was proposed to be completed by January 1, 2006, would not be completed until sometime in the Spring. 

It was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg to adopt Resolution Number 27-05, setting a hearing on proposed assessment, (a copy is attached and made a part of these minutes). The motion carried with Councilor Roskoski voting no.

It was moved by Irish and supported by Roskoski to direct City Staff to pursue a Federal Enhancement Grant for various bike trails throughout the City. The motion carried.

The Council discussed the updating of the Emergency Management Plan. Councilor Nelson felt that this item should be budgeted for in the 2006 budget cycle. 

It was moved by Roskoski and supported by Irish that any meetings/negotiation with any person/group/business/developer wishing to buy/sell/lease land from or to the City of Mountain Iron would include up to two City Councilors being involved and present at all pertinent meetings involving said negotiations. The motion failed with Councilor Nelson, Councilor Prebeg, and Mayor Skalko voting no.

During the open discussion, Councilor Irish requested that City Staff install new batteries in the calculators on the desk. The City Administrator said that the calculators were solar powered. 

The Mayor announced that the Park and Recreation Department will be meeting on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at 5:00 p.m. at the Mountain Iron City Hall to discuss the status of the Wolf Park.

It was moved by Irish motion to allow himself to meet with the City Administrator regarding the land exchange and securing the land necessary for the ATV trails or work on a proposal for alternative routes. The Mayor stated that a motion was not necessary for Councilor Irish to meet with the City Administrator. The Mayor further advised Councilor Irish that if he needs any formal action regarding the matter to put it on the next Council agenda. 

At 8:51 p.m., it was moved by Nelson and supported by Prebeg that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried.

COMMUNICATIONS

The Greater Minnesota Agency, Inc., a letter advising the City that there will be no increase in health insurance benefits for the 2006 Blue Cross/Blue Shield renewal.

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, asking whether the City Council would like to schedule a meeting with the Flaherty & Hood, P.A. Staff to review the actions at the previous legislative session during the week of September 19th.

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