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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

PSHB 1-22-20 Minutes

Mountain Iron

Public Safety and Health Board Meeting Minutes

Mountain Iron Community Center

January 22, 2020


The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Al Stanaway at  6:33P.M.


  1. Members present: Margaret Ratai, Steve Skogman, Margaret Soyring, Al Stanaway, Mark Madden, MIFD Liaison Alternate.  Also, present: St. Louis County Sheriff Sgt. John Backman, MIFD Fire Chief Gerry Knapper, Councilor Joe Prebeg, City Administrator Craig Wainio. .


  1. Consent Agenda
  2. Consent Agenda approval: Motion by M. Ratai and second by S. Skogman to approve the agenda.  Motion carried.
  3. Motion by M. Soyring  and second by M. Ratai  to approve December 4, 2019 minutes. Motion Carried.
  4. Communications:  January 1 email from M. Madden Asst. MIFD Chief about December 23rd delivery of Pierce fire truck.  January 8 email forwarded to Board members by C. Wainio, City Administrator Re: Tobacco 21 and E-Cigarette Flavors from Jenna Ballinger, Essentia Health Virginia, Community Health Specialist. January 21 email from M. Ratai Re: Notes from House of Representative John Hout, District 57, community meeting with local emergency medical responders on January 6, 2020. Rep. Hout is meeting with EMR providers around the state to obtain information about what is needed in the area and the issues with recruitment and retention.



III.       Public Forum: None


  1. Committee Staff Reports
  2. First Responders: No report available. Reports this year will follow the 2020 pay schedule of 13 pay periods. Report available at next meeting.  Data is obtained from St. Louis County 911 Communications. MIFD Liaison Alternate M. Madden noted that Responders are paid quarterly. Currently four certified First Responders and one individual who needs to complete certification.
  3. Fire Department Report: No report available.  Reports this year will follow the 2020 pay schedule of 13 pay periods. Next pay period ends on January 27th. Four calls this month.  One call in Mountain Iron and three mutual aid calls.

            13 fire fighters on roster, 11 active, 1 inactive with injury, 1 with questionable status.  10 active members are on the job truck schedule.


  1. Sheriff’s Office Report: Sheriff Deputy J. Backman reported that he will be ordering a new  squad vehicle for the Mtn. Iron department but none are in production at this time.
  2. Other – Mesabi Human Society Animal Control. Report arrive after agenda was

            sent.  C. Wainio will send to Secretary for the minutes.

            1.23.20 report received from C. Wainio.  October, 2019 1 cat and 1 dog,

            November, 2019 2 cats were picked up by Animal Control. No report for

            December,2019.  January – November 2019 totals: 11 cats, 9 dogs


  1. Unfinished Business


  1. New Business
  2. Nominate/elect chair and secretary.  Motion by M. Ratai to table nominations/election of officers until all Board members are present.  Second by S. Skogman. Discussion: S. Hunter has requested to be present for the election process but unable to be here tonight due to health issues.  Yes: 3, No: 1. Motion passed.  Nomination/election of chair and secretary will take place at the next meeting.
  3. Fire Department Service Planning Committee Final Report Presentation at the Committee-of-the-Whole, Mountain Iron City Council on December 16, 2019.

                        Board members M. Ratai, M. Soyring, S. Skogman, A. Stanaway were present at the meeting. Final Report of the Fire Department’s Shared Service Study between the Cities of Mountain Iron and Virginia was presented. Full consolidation was recommended.  Discussion with Councilor Joe Prebeg and City Administrator C. Wainio about the next steps.  The Planning Committee is continuing to work with the same facilitator to address known issues/problems.  Work groups will be established as the Committee moves forward to establish a merger.  There will be progress reports to the City Councils.  If the two fire departments merge a new department/fire district will be established with a new name and logo.  Firefighters are working on the logo and name that would establish the new department’s identity.

  1. City Council approved Resolution Number 20-19 on December 16, 2019 Authorizing Proceeding with Recommendations Identified from the Fire Department Service Planning Committee.
  2. City Council approved Resolution Number 21-19 on December 16, 2019 Authorizing the Approval of a Department Service Planning Grant with the State of Minnesota. C. Wainio, City Administrator, reports that the grant was submitted by the end of December, 2019. He will be attending a meeting next week about the funding request.
  3. City Council authorized the donation of MIFD Truck 188 to the Evergreen Fire Department on January 6, 2020. The truck was delivered to Evergreen FD on January 9th.  MIFD Fire Chief G. Knapper will conduct a training about the truck to Evergreen FD next week.
  4. MacQueen Emergency Group delivered the Pierce Enforcer Pumper truck MIFD Engine 19 in the late afternoon on December 23, 2019. Delivery was not confirmed until the truck had left MacQueen. The Mayor and City Administrator were informed to coordinate insurance and other necessary paperwork.  Engine 19 arrive and the majority of the department were present for 6 hours of training about the truck by a MacQueen representative.  After the training a few dedicated firefighters have expedited the transition from Engine 188 to have Engine 19 operational.  Some additional items need to still be installed.  Information about the arrival of the new truck was posted on the City of Mountain Iron and Library pages by MacQueen.  MIFD plans to have the truck available for viewing when final equipment has been installed.  Discussion about lack of notification to Public Safety and Health Board members with reference to January 1 email from M. Madden.
  5. Discussion held about MIFD preference for salary increase vs. PERA contributing increase due to no change in salary from 2019 to 2020 budget and recruitment/retention efforts.       More feedback is needed as there are different needs from younger members vs. older members.  Recommendation to revisit topic and obtain additional information/feedback about best tools to use for recruitment.
  6. Review of  proposed  revisions to Fire Department, Animal Control and Public Nuisance Ordinances by City Attorney is still pending with no response.  Chairperson Stanaway recommended that the issue will be addressed at the next Ordinance meeting.
  7. Review of Fire Prevention Code, Open Burning, Knox Box Ordinances by MIFD for updates is pending.  Sheriff Deputy Backman still plans to discuss the Knox Box Ordinance with MIB Principal J. Jotter.
  8.        Proposed revisions to the Traffic Ordinances will be addressed at the next Street and Alleys meeting per Chairperson Stanaway.
  9. Sheriff Deputy Backman provided feedback to Chapter 130 General Offenses Ordinances, Firearms Sections 130.20 -130.29

                        Ordinances listed are either incongruent with current state laws or the behavior is already covered by state law, and therefore serves no useful purpose being included:

  1. 130.21  Possession and Concealment of Firearms – incongruent
  2. 130.26 Reckless Acts – covered by state law
  3. 130.27 Possession by Minors – covered by state law other than BB guns
  4. 130.28  Furnishing to Minors – covered by state law other than BB guns
  5. 130.29 Silences – incongruent
  6. C. Wainio, Administrator, provided a printed copy of the” Report of the Attorney General’s Working Group on the Regulation of Sexually Oriented Business, June 6, 1989” that is referenced in Ordinance 130 General Offense Appendix I and II to the Secretary.  Contact Secretary to review the report.
  7. Tobacco 21 and E-Cigarette Flavors email from Jenna Ballinger, Community Health Specialist, Essentia Health Virginia discussed. Ordinance Chapter 115 Tobacco Regulations needs to be updated to reflect  federal legislation Tobacco 21 nationally effective on December 21, 2019 that changes the sale of tobacco and tobacco products to individuals at age 21 and older.  Discussion held that the new legislation would also affect the age of those who can sell from 18 to 21 years old.

                        Discussion about correspondence from League of Minnesota Cities to bring city tobacco ordinances up to date with federal statutes. S. Skogman noted that he had reviewed the  Tobacco Ordinance and only need to change the age from 18 to 21. Vaping is addressed in the City’s Tobacco Ordinance.

Note: This Board had not reviewed the ordinance as it referred to City Council licensing.  

  1. C. Wainio, Administrator, will post the revised Emergency Management Plan approved by the City Council in 2019 to the City’s website under Codes.


VII.          Open Discussion

  1. Discussion held about having City ordinances that replicate a state law.
  2. Discussion held about the Rep. John Huet meeting on January 6, 2020 at Mesabi

                Range College, Eveleth to address regional Emergency Response needs, recruitment and retention. 

  1. St. Louis County Sheriff’s News Release by Dewey Johnson, Emergency Management Coordinator, seeking public comment for the County’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan though Friday, January 31, 2020 was posted on the City of Mountain Iron Facebook page. Feedback can be offered at The final plan will be submitted to the State of Minnesota Health Department and FEMA.  City of Mountain Iron Mitigation Action Chart (2020-2025) is posted with the Plan.
  2.       MIFD Fire Chief G. Knapper discussed adding the Clinton Township Fire Department to the MIFD Fire Box as the first call out rather than the current Fayal Township Fire Department. . Clinton boundaries abut to the City of Mountain Iron and has a quicker response time than Fayal FD.  The Clinton FD has a new 5500-gallon pumper truck.  Clinton is on the ISO for insurance class. Chief Knapper has spoken to the Clinton FD Chief who is in agreement with the change.   Consensus of the Board to make the change to the Clinton FD for first call out by  St. Louis County 911 Communication.  Chief Knapper will notify 911, Clinton FD and Fayal FD of the change via email on January 23rd.
  3. MIFD has installed a plow on Truck 16 and will be installing a plow on Truck 10.  Plows were furnished by the Public Works Department.
  4. MIFD has been shoveling fire hydrants and many are also being shoveled by residents.  Recommendation to send a reminder to shovel hydrants to residents and a thank you to those that do shovel on the MIFD and City of Mountain Iron Facebook pages.    


VIII.           Announcements

  1. Next Public Safety and Health Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 29th at 6:30 PM.


  1. Motion by M. Ratai and second by M. Soyring  to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried.

               Meeting adjourned at 8:03 P.M.


Respectfully submitted by:


Margaret Ratai






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