The Taconite Capital of the World

City of Mountain Iron, Minnesota

Utility Advisory Board Meeting Minutes for November 01, 2016





The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Chairperson Renzaglia.  Members present:  Reynold Renzaglia, Joe Matanich, Harvey Hellyer, Susan Tuomela and Joe Prebeg, Council Liaison. Others present:  Michael Downs, Public Works Director, Tim Satrang, Lead Wastewater Operator, and Amanda Inmon, Municipal Services Secretary. Not present: Bruce Peterson.


It was moved by Tuomela and supported by Matanich to approve the minutes of the August 30, 2016 meeting. The motion carried unanimously.


No one was present at the public forum.


The Director of Public Works reported about a broken waterline that was right underneath the Mesabi Trail in front of the gas plant. The line was an easy fix. It was mentioned that there was a power outage as well but that was from the power that is provided to us, one of MN Power and Virginia.


Matanich questioned the Director of Public Works if the City is selling the back lots of Garden Drive to the residents at the last meeting. New information came about that the City has told Benchmark to plot them out to set up for sale.


Tim Satrang, Lead Wastewater Operator, was asked to come to the meeting to discuss the budget for the waste water fund. Either prices need to rise or costs need to be cut and Tim was asked his opinion on areas that costs could be reduced. Tim mentioned that the maintenance end of the budget is hit the hardest and discussed in great detail that if pumps, lines and lift stations were modernized the initial costs would be high but could greatly reduce maintenance costs going forward. Maintenance is usually budgeted for $15,000, and is already over for the year.  Already there is a need for a new pump that costs $9,000 of the $15,000 that is budgeted. The pump at the water treatment plant is going to fail and the small spares will only get them by for so long. Additionally there are weak spots in the lines and the lift stations are in dire need of modernization as everything is quite old. There are some areas of the City that would probably qualify for some grants to help reduce costs. The Committee would like to further discuss at the next meeting with Tim exactly what is needed to improve the flow system and an estimation of those costs associated.


Joe Prebeg mentioned that there was discussion at the City Council meeting regarding getting power at the Woodland Estates and asked Mike Downs what the status is on that. Mike responded that they are running cables from Carnation to the new development and believes power will be there by the fall for the one house that is already built and won’t need to power the station until the remaining houses are built. However it is a work in progress. The lots are selling for around $24,000, and it was questioned if any of that money will be returned to the electric fund. Mike said he is hoping so but no one knows if that was thought about by the EDA when determining the price. Transformers need to be paid for and the underground line is not cheap. It should apply to all services that are provided; water, sewer and electric.


Mike was asked to give an update on the electric updates and voltage conversion. All transformers are changed except one and are waiting to tie in where it crosses the highway; MN Power will then be contacted to hit the transformer switches. There is no problem going to a higher voltage, but Parkville and West Virginia will run off the new sub and is anticipated to be done sometime next year.


The next meeting was scheduled for Thursday, November 29, 2016.


At 4:55 p.m., it was motioned by Tuomela and supported by Renzaglia to adjourn the meeting.  The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Stevens

Accounting Technician

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