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City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

UAB Min 012318

Mountain Iron Utility Advisory Board

Mountain Iron Water Plant

23 January 2018

Meeting was called to order 4:00p.m. by Chairperson Renzaglia

Members present:  Reynold Renzaglia, Harvey Hellyer, Bruce Peterson, Sue Tuomela, and Mike Downs.  Others present:  Tim Satrang, Public Works Director, Lisa Stevens, Accounting Technician

Members absent:  Joe Prebeg, Council Liaison

Moved by Peterson and supported by Hellyer to approve the Consent Agenda including the 28 November 2017 minutes.  Motion carried unanimously.

Public Forum:  None


Old Business:

  • Satrang explained he and Stevens researched service rates for treating bulk biosolids and found no increases since at least 2005. In that same period of time, residential rates have increased by 58%.  Satrang explained bulk biosolid fees have been generated using a pounds/load formula calculated by volume treated and lab analysis data sampled by staff and analyzed by a laboratory.  Renzaglia discussed the possibility of charging a blanketed rate per load.  Satrang informed the board the operator in charge has the authority of refuse treatment of any load if he/she feels it may disrupt the process at the wastewater treatment facility. 

Motion by Renzaglia to replace the pounds per load calculation used to determine bulk biosolids treatment fees, to a simple $50.00 per thousand gallons biosolids treatment fee to Mintac or any other producer of bulk biosolids.  Supported by Hellyer.  Motion carried unanimously. 

  • Nichols Township Lagoons –
  • Viet, the contractor at the site, indicated it would have equipment on site at the earliest possible opportunity to take advantage of the earliest possible spring start time.
  • Water Filters—

Discussed different possible funding sources for this project.  The possibility of a pre-engineering report.  How staff is planning to disassemble piping on the water filters to inspect the underdrain system.  Also, the recommendation of Stantec Engineering on the possibility of rehabbing the existing filters or the replacement of the existing filters.  PWD will keep the Board informed.

  • Electrical Voltage Upgrade-

On hold until spring construction starts.

  • Transformer Storage Area/PCB project.-

Satrang explained how a GPS camera was being used.  When a photo is taken of a label, it stores an icon on a map.  After this information is downloaded to a computer, the icon can be clicked on the map, a photo is expanded of the transformer label.  Staff has completed the old downtown area and will move to a different area soon.  Staff will take label information and correlate it with past sample results to determine if re-sampling is necessary.  Staff will begin working on the new transformer storage area in the spring.  Satrang talked briefly about Regulatory Compliance Services.  They provide a consulting service to utilities on PCB management for somewhere around $500 per year. 

New Business:

  • Private Fire Hydrant Inspection Ordinance

Discussion took place on how this would be an enforcement of an existing state fire code.  The need for this ordinance, as there are several private fire hydrants connected to the Cities water distribution system.  How this would keep private hydrants operable in the event of an emergency and protect the city, if city staff performs maintenance on privately owned fire hydrants. 

–Motion by Peterson supported by Helyer to recommend to the council the proposed Private Fire Hydrant Inspection Ordinance.  Motion passed unanimously.



All publicly owned hydrants shall remain visible and accessible from the roadway for maintenance and emergency use. All sides, including top, shall have a minimum three foot clear zone. No person other than authorized City employees shall operate fire hydrants or interfere in any way with the water system without first obtaining a permit to do so from the Public Works Director as follows:

  1. Permit: Permit to use a fire hydrant shall be issued for each individual job or contract and for a minimum of 30 days and for such additional 30 day periods as the Public Works Director shall determine. The permit shall state the location of the hydrant and shall be for the use of that hydrant and none other.
  2. Deposit: The user shall make an advance cash deposit set by City Council resolution to guarantee payment for water used and to cover breakage and damage to hydrant, which shall be refunded upon expiration of the permit, less applicable charges for use.
  3. Rental Charge: The user shall pay a rental charge set by City Council resolution.
  4. Hydrant Rentals: There shall be a rental fee for fire hydrants, set by City Council resolution, payable by each owner (including the City) upon whose property such hydrant is situated.
  5. Temporary Connection to Fire Hydrants: An owner of a private water system may make a temporary aboveground connection to a fire hydrant, subject to the time periods, conditions and payment as specified in subsection C of this Section. In addition, the method of connection to the private system shall conform to all existing requirements of the City Code and the type of meter used shall meet the approval of the Public Works Director.


  1. Section 508 of the Minnesota State Fire Code requires inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection water supplies which include water lines and fire hydrant systems. Fire hydrant systems shall be subject to periodic tests, maintained in an operative condition at all times and shall be repaired where defective. Additions, repairs, alterations and servicing shall comply with approved standards. Section 101 of the Minnesota State Fire Code authorizes the city to adopt rules to implement the fire code. The City considers the private hydrants part of the municipal waterworks system. It is in the public interest that private hydrants be inspected and tested by qualified personnel and repaired and maintained in good working order to protect life and property.
  2. Fire Protection Inspections shall be conducted annually on all private hydrants directly or indirectly connected to the municipal water system. This inspection shall include testing of the operation and flow of the hydrants. The owner of the hydrant may use a City approved plumber that is licensed in the state of Minnesota to perform the inspection or elect to have the City perform the inspection for a fee.
  3. If the property owner elects to have the City complete the inspection a hydrant inspection fee shall be charged for each hydrant inspected by the City or City’s agent and the fee shall be billed once annually to the owner of the private hydrant as part of the water bill. The city council must establish the rates to be charged for a hydrant inspection to the customer annually within the fee schedule.
  4. In the event the inspection indicates that repairs are required, the city shall notify the owner of the hydrant or water line, with a copy to the fire department, setting forth the repairs required. If repairs are not made within the time period set forth by the Public Works Department in the notification, the necessary repairs shall be made by the city and the cost billed to the owner.
  5. The property owner may sign a waiver and petition the city for the repairs. The city will contract for the repairs and assess the property in accordance with the city’s assessment policy.
  6. If the property owner elects to hire their own City approved inspection company that is licensed in the state of Minnesota, they will be required to submit a completed City provided annual inspection form to the Public Works Department.
  7. Action to Collect Charges: Any amount due for the above charges in excess of 90 days past due shall be certified to the County Auditor for collection with real estate taxes. This certification shall take place regardless of who requested the inspection services, whether it was the owner, tenant or other person. All applications for inspection services shall contain an explanation in clear language that unpaid bills will be collected in real estate taxes in the following year. The City shall also have the right to bring a civil action or other remedies to collect unpaid charges.

SECTION 3:  ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTY.  Penalties shall be accordance with Section 10.99 of the Mountain Iron City Code.

SECTION 4:  SEVERABILITY.  If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this law or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this law, or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance directly involved in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered.

SECTION 5:  INCONSISTENT ORDINANCES. All Ordinances or portions thereof inconsistent with this Ordinance shall be repealed and replaced with the provisions of this Ordinance.

SECTION 6:  CITY CODE. This Ordinance shall be incorporated into the Mountain Iron City Code as Section 51.30.

SECTION 7:  EFFECTIVE DATE.  This Ordinance shall be effective in accordance with State Statute.

  • Councilor Tuomela informed the Board that Mountain Iron water operators have earned the Water Fluoridation Quality Award given through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Minnesota 104 of 603 possible fluoridating community public water systems have received this award. This award recognizes communities that achieved excellence in water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoride in drinking water.

Other Items of Concerns:

Moved by Peterson and supported by Downs to adjourn.  Motion passed unanimously

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Stevens

Accounting Technician

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