Ely City minutes of 9/18/2007

UNOFFICIAL MINUTES<BR><BR>Council Chambers<BR><BR>Ely, Minnesota<BR><BR>Tuesday, September 18, 2007<BR><BR>6:30 P.M. Regular Meeting<BR><BR>Ely City Council<BR><BR>Regular meeting of the Ely City Council was called to order at 6:30 P.M. by Mayor Charles J. Novak.<BR><BR>PRESENT: Council members Debeltz, Nikkola, Omerza, Sheddy, Zupec, Mayor Novak (6)<BR><BR>ABSENT: Council member Lindroos (1)<BR><BR>Mayor Novak declared a quorum present, and thanked citizens present for attending tonight's meeting; also those individuals in the viewing audience, for tuning in.<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that the minutes of the regular meeting of September 4th and the adjourned regular meeting of September 13th, be approved without reading. Carried unanimously. Minutes to stand as recorded.<BR><BR>Council member Debeltz requested the following additions to tonight's agenda: presentation of check to the City of Ely for first responder's program in the amount of $1,000.00 from the Ely Moose Lodge membership. This matter will be taken up on tonight's agenda under D. Mayor's Agenda, Item #3. Council members concurred with this addition.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported on a scheduled joint study session between the City of Ely and Town of Morse Commissioners, to take place on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, 6:30 P.M. Morse Town Hall, to further discussion on annexation issues. <BR><BR>He also reported that he has been approached by the Commissioner of Parks, State DNR, regarding city participation on a task force, with first meeting scheduled for Friday, September 20th, 11:15 A.M. Breitung Township, with the Governor tentatively scheduled to appear at this meeting also. Mayor inquired as to whether any other Council members would be interested in serving on this task force; otherwise he would be willing to serve. Moved by Debeltz supported by Nikkola, that Mayor Novak be authorized to attend above scheduled meeting and represent the City of Ely to this newly established task force. Carried unanimously. Council member Omerza noted that this was a wonderful opportunity to have city representation to this group, and in the event Mayor Novak cannot attend a scheduled meeting, that the City should have alternate representative attend. <BR><BR>Council member Jerome Debeltz then presented Mayor Novak with a $1,000.00 check to the City of Ely, from the Ely Moose Lodge #1580, to help defray city expense in funding the First Responder's Program. Moved by Omerza supported by Zupec, that a letter of thanks be sent to the Ely Moose Lodge for their generous donation. Carried unanimously. Council members also thanked Council member Debeltz, for his efforts in obtaining the $1,000.00 donation, as he is also a member of the Ely Moose Lodge.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported that the Iron Range Fiber group will be holding a public meeting on Wednesday, September 26th, 6:30 P.M. at the Ely Senior Citizen Center, to give members of the public a full briefing from August 2005 to current, on fiber to the premise Project. The public is welcome to attend.<BR><BR>The following consent agenda items were brought before the Council for approval:<BR><BR>1. Marty Gish - interest in renting space - old city garage site or other ( refer to City Administrator);<BR><BR>2. City of Ely Truth In Taxation Hearing - Tuesday, December 4th, 6:00 P.M. City Hall Council Chambers ( prior to regular scheduled council meeting of that evening); continuation hearing if needed on Tuesday, December 11th - 5:00 P.M. <BR><BR>( prior to EEDA Meeting);<BR><BR>3. Terri Muhvich, Ely Girls' Softball Coach/Coordinator - Building Update - INFORMATION;<BR><BR>4. City acceptance of 2006 City of Ely Audit as prepared by Walker, Giroux and Hahne Ltd.;<BR><BR>5. Paul and Tracy McDonald - status of city parcel next to their property ( refer to Planning and Zoning Commission and City Land Committee);<BR><BR>6. LMC - Regional Training, October 16th, Grand Rapids Mn - 2:00 - 6:00 P.M.<BR><BR>( Mayor and/or Council members authorized to attend);<BR><BR>7. Lolita Schnitzius, Secretary - Ely Area Community Foundation - installation of commemorative bricks - INFORMATION; request for special events liquor license for Foundation fundraiser scheduled for October 24th, 5:00 P.M. - 6:30 P.M., Chapman Street Market ( approve pending proper paperwork and approval by State);<BR><BR>8. MNDOT - solicitation for enhancement projects workshop, September 20th, Duluth ( Mayor and/or Council members authorized to attend);<BR><BR>9. Ely Chamber of Commerce - letter of thanks to City for assistance and cooperation in Harvest Moon Festival - INFORMATION<BR><BR>Mayor Novak recommended that added to above item #1 should be that the City Administrator and City Attorney be directed to come up with a standard policy to include insurance requirements, for rental of city facility space. Council members concurred with recommendation. Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that above items be approved and ordered filed. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Mauro Caruso had requested placement on tonight's agenda regarding budgeting and levy increase but was not present in tonight's audience. Mayor Novak reported that Mauro had attended last week's City Budget Committee Meeting and voiced his concerns to committee members, with the Budget Committee encouraging Mauro or any citizen to attend their weekly meetings with input.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy reported on behalf of the City Cemetery Committee ( due to Council member Lindroos' absence at tonight's meeting); committee is <BR><BR>requesting Council approval to allocate $6,780.00 out of cemetery beautification fund to be used for tree planting project at the East end of the cemetery grounds to replace as needed, the Lombardi poplars which are dying. Moved by Sheddy supported by Omerza, that request be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>As a matter of information the Cemetery Committee has determined that the blacktopping of cemetery roadways that was approved prior by the Council , will cost approximately $7,000.00, not the $10,000 as originally estimated. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy reported that there will be a Cemetery Work Day scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd, at 9:00 A.M., at which time gravel will be provided to those individuals who wish to take care of a particular grave site. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola reported on behalf of the City Budget Committee meeting of September 13th: Roger Skraba had spoke to the Budget Committee representing the Mesabi Trail System, referencing that on the Trezona Trail several shrubs and small trees are starting to heave up the trail. The request was for $6,000.00 in assistance to clear the trails of the brush and small trees to preserve the trail. Moved by Nikkola supported by Omerza, that as per the recommendation of the City Budget Committee, $3,100.00 be transferred from the Elections Budget to the PW Sidewalks and Curbs budget; $2,000.00 be transferred from the Public Works cutting edges to Public Works Sidewalks and Curbs; adding $900 from sidewalks and curbs, to grant the $6,000.00 request. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy reported that the Planning Commission had scheduled a public hearing on September 13th, to consider a request to vacate a portion of a city right of way, alley ( Mark and Sharon Luthens). There was no opposition to said request, with Council member Sheddy also reporting that in conversation with Public Works General Foreman Mike Popesh, it was indicated that there was no reason not to grant the vacating of the alley as it is too steep and costly to develop as an alley. Moved by Sheddy supported by Debeltz, that request to vacate a portion of a city right of way from Mark and Sharon Luthens be approved, and that this matter be referred to the City Attorney to have an ordinance drafted up for the October 2nd regular city council meeting, for a first reading and publication. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola reported on behalf of the Employee Relations Committee Meeting of September 13th: draft hiring policy was reviewed with amendments as submitted to the ER Committee to be recommended for approval and incorporatation in policy. Moved by Nikkola supported by Sheddy, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>A request was received from the City Labor Management Committee for two hours of comp time for members who must come in for meetings on their own time. This would allow for LELS ( Police Officers) and Essential Supervisors to attend more consistently. ER Committee is recommending that the time of the City Labor Management Committee be set at 5:00 P.M. to minimize the impact on business hours. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved to schedule the City Labor Management Committee Meetings at 5:00 P.M. per recommendation of the ER Committee. Carried unanimously. Council member Sheddy stated that as a member of the City Labor Management Committee, he does not feel moving the meeting time to 5:00 P.M. will encourage people to attend that are now being compensated for attending these meetings. Mayor Novak stated that if the committee members feel the City Labor Management Committee is valuable, why wouldn't they participate without compensation. Council members noted that if there is a problem with this committee meeting at 5:00 P.M., the group can come back to the Council for reconsideration.<BR><BR>Paul Pederson, Independent Agent retained by the City, presented a series of worksheets on the City's Blue Cross Blue Shield health care plan, anticipating a 9% increase in rates for 2008. Three plans were presented for consideration that would need City employee union approval, along with City approval. ER Committee is recommending that the Council approve a full employee meeting to go over various healthcare plans and options, to be held late October 2007. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that the City Administrator be directed to schedule a full employee meeting with Paul Pedersen to give employees an option for future health care coverage plans, to be scheduled the latter part of October at the Joint Public Works Maintenance Facility. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola reported that Trish Schreffer had requested an hourly wage increase while filling in the Planning and Zoning Office, with City Administrator Butler recommendation her hourly wage be increased to $13.00 per hour while working in the Planning and Zoning Department. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola reported that Pat Lammi had requested an hourly wage increase for hours she worked during the absence of the City Accountant, requesting a wage comparable to the former General Office Assistant position, at $16.50 per hour, with the City Administrator recommending the hourly increase be set at $13.00 per hour. The ER Committee had recommended that the City Administrator bring both wage differences to the full Council for final decision. City Administrator reported that with a wage increase to $13.00 per hour, the increase in wages for total hours worked would be $1,089.00; that with a wage increase to $16.50 per hour, the increase in wages for total hours worked would be $2,359.50. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that Pat Lammi be compensated $13.00 per hour as recommended by the City Administrator.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy questioned why the ER Committee did not go for the higher wage recommendation, with Council member Nikkola stating that Pat was filling in but not replacing the employee making $16.50 per hour, as the General Office Assistant performed other duties as well. Council member Debeltz commented that Pat was performing accounting tasks and trained in the General Office Assistant on payroll as well. City Administrator Butler noted that he feels a bump in hourly wage is warranted for Pat but not at $16.50/hour. Pat Lammi was present in the audience and requested to address the Council. She stated that she had sent out a letter to the Council requesting the $16.50 per hour adjustment while working in City Accountant's absence, but she never was approached by any Council member regarding her request. Council member Zupec thanked Pat for all the extra work she took on in the City Accountant's absence, noting that he feels employees who step up to the plate in situations such as this, should be rewarded. He also questioned the extreme amount of overtime paid the former Office Assistant. Moved by Zupec supported by Omerza, that Pat Lammi be compensated $14.75 per hour, for hours worked in the accounting department since the accident of the City Accountant. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Omerza, that the City of Ely send a letter of thanks to Pat Lammi for her services in the accounting department during the city accountant's absence. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola addressed the Pay Equity Compliance Report that needs to be submitted by the City of Ely to the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations by December 31, 2007. Moved by Debeltz supported by Omerza, that the City of Ely retain Independent Consultant Paul Ness, to complete the necessary pay equity reporting form that needs to be submitted to the State. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza reported that she had attended a brief meeting Tuesday morning with Spectrum officials regarding assisted living in Ely. Discussion was held relative to joining two grants into one, and is recommending that City Engineer Harold Langowski be authorized to continue with this process. Mayor Novak also commented that the IRR Grant Process has been modified - that the City needs an end project ( Spectrum Project) - that the equity contributed by Spectrum will be four million dollars, which could be applied to Project. Moved by Omerza supported by Debeltz, that City Engineer Harold Langowski be authorized to prepare a grant application as noted above, to the IRR by their October 19th deadline. Carried unanimously. Harold informed Council members that he will have the necessary resolution prepared for the next regular council meeting.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak stated that this matter will be taken up on the October 9th EEDA Agenda; and also the October 16th Regular City Council Meeting Agenda.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza questioned the Police Commission minutes and whether they are looking for a replacement member. Police Chief Manning reported that they are in need of a secretary to take official minutes from the already appointed group to replace former member Tom Bruels, that the Commission has enough members but they did not have a quorum for the last monthly meeting. Matter of information.<BR><BR>City Attorney Bentz reported on the Mutual Aid Agreement he had drafted, for First Responders - this contract has been emailed to the League of Minnesota Cities for review and language concerning insurance requirement. He has not heard back from the League as of this date, but will have the necessary information for Council members by the October 2nd regular council meeting. Matter of information.<BR><BR>City Attorney Bentz also reported that he is in receipt of a copy of the fully executed lease between St. Louis County, the City of Ely, Lake County, for the Joint Public Works Maintenance Facility, and that he is following up on a memo of understanding with the St. Louis County Attorney's Office pertaining to the salt/sand shed agreement which was submitted to the City of Ely by St. Louis County for prior approval. He also informed council members that he has redrafted a contract for Building Inspector and has mailed draft contract to Patrick Conary for consideration and review. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Moved by Sheddy supported by Zupec, that the City of Ely approve a one year extension to the 3 year covenant requiring purchaser to build on this property, to James Summers who has purchased Block 2, Lot 10, East Spaulding Addition. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported on behalf of the City Streets and Infrastructure Committee Meeting of July 25th: discussion had entailed as to the ongoing problem of blocked sidewalks and ROW's, on West Camp Street, First Avenue and 2nd Avenue, between Camp and Sheridan Street. Mayor Novak had spoke with Police Chief Manning, and the problem is still ongoing. Committee is recommending that a letter be sent to the Ely Police Commission requesting that this problem be looked into and a report back to the Committee as to what has been done. Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that the Police Chief be directed to work with the City Administrator to solve this issue, to report back to the Council with their findings and recommendation. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>RLK Kuusisto Engineer Harold Langowski reported that he will be attending the Minnesota Rural Water Association Meeting in Grand Rapids, on October 16th, and will also have staff attending the September 20th MNDOT Workshop in Duluth, regarding solicitation of enhancement projects, regarding the Mesabi Trailhead Project - there will be funding through 2011 with a 20% match local grant, which in this case would be the Mesabi Trail Group's responsibility. He also informed Council members that there will be a September 19th, 10:00 A.M. bid opening at Ely City Hall for Ely Department of Revenue remodel ( SATO Building), and that bids will be addressed at the special EEDA Meeting of that evening. Harold then presented Council members with a proposal from RLK Kuusisto to extend current contract for engineering services to the City of Ely, for the years 2008 and 2009. Matter of information. <BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported that at a meeting he attended today, the parking lot reconstruction for Revenue remodel was discussed, which will accommodate 32 additional vehicles; that the boulders have been removed and public works will begin the trenching and buying of necessary conduit for this project. <BR><BR>City Engineer Langowski also reported that the new Pamida location will be ready for blacktop; that the City's portion of the 4th Avenue Project will be completed later this week. Council member Zupec questioned the drinking water problem home owners are experiencing in that area, with Harold noting that this will improve as the project now wraps up. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator Butler reported that he has distributed a draft version of the Miner's Dry Rental Agreement to Council members, and that he is currently working on insurance requirement issues. He tried to get a sweeper from the St. Louis County garage to clean the building, and was informed that the City of Tower may have a walk along unit that the City could use. He will be following up on this suggestion and will have the Miner's Dry Rental Agreement placed on the October 2nd regular city council meeting for approval. Council members recommended that City Attorney Bentz be given a copy prior to the October 2nd meeting to review. <BR><BR>EUC General Manager presented the following consent agenda items for approval:<BR><BR>1. Authorize purchase of weatherproof cabinet w/60 amp main 2/4 - 20 amp circuits including lighting contactor for 4th Avenue from MacMillan Electric - not to exceed $2,000.00;<BR><BR>2. Authorize purchase of 4" badger compound meter 2/flange set and remove read from Hydro Metering for Trailer Park - $2,881.75 ( Mid America Meter price is $4,219.00);<BR><BR>3. Authorize Lighthouse Power Systems, Two Harbors, to repair generator transfer switch at Burntside Pump House - share mobilization with St. Louis County;<BR><BR>4. Authorize Electric Pump to repair 7.5 HP flygt pump from Pioneer Lift Station $2,618.84 ( new pump cost $6,112.00);<BR><BR>5. Authorize $536.55 special assessment for MMUC legal and legislative fund;<BR><BR>6. Authorize payment of $11,925.00 to MDH for community water supply service connection fee ($6.36 billed to every water customer);<BR><BR>7. Authorize payment of Banyon Invoice No. 00141977 - $780.01<BR><BR>INFORMATION<BR><BR>1. Authorize payment of In Control invoice no. 07088EA01 - $15,648.50 ( prior award);<BR><BR>2. Change EUC Meeting place to Joint Public Works Garage ( acted on by TAB);<BR><BR>3. Approve bills payable for August 2007 - $252,459.81 ( prior council approval);<BR><BR>4. GM to attend MDH Stage 2 DBP Rule IDSE Schedule 4 meeting in Hoyt Lakes<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Nikkola, that above items be approved and ordered filed. Carried unanimously. Council member Zupec requested a clarification on Item #6, as he has concerns about the recent results in the city's lead and copper testing report. This matter will be discussed at the next joint study session between the City of Ely and Ely Utilities Commission.<BR><BR>Communication was received from Police Chief Manning, requesting Council consideration in allowing the Ely Police Department to move into the vacated utility billing office, for additional space as to the small area they have now housed in. He also suggested that with this move the DARE office could be located there also, rather than downstairs adjoining the City Administrator's Office. Council member Sheddy <BR><BR>informed Council members that the Planning and Zoning Office was looking at relocating their upstairs office to an office more accommodating, and were interested in this office space also. Police Chief Manning also expressed an interest in utilizing the cold storage building that is currently attached to city impound lot located at the old city garage site. They need additional storage and enclosed storage for some of the better vehicles that they have to deal with. Council member Zupec also discussed the large morton building at the old St. Louis County garage site and the cost of relocating this building to be approximately $15,000 - $20,000. Council directed City Administrator, Police Chief, EUC General Manager and General Public Works Foreman to meet and discuss this matter and bring a formal recommendation back to the Council for action. <BR><BR>Claims for payment were received from the following:<BR><BR>A. Architectural Resources Inc. - professional services, Ely Revenue Building Remodel - $1,683.00.<BR><BR> Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that claim be approved with monies to be taken out of Capital Improvement Items in the EEDA Budget. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>B. LMC :<BR><BR>1. 4th quarter 2007 Workers' Compensation Payment - $19,222.25;<BR><BR>2. Annual membership dues - Sept. 1, 2007 - Sept. 1, 2008 - $3,029.00; Minnesota Mayor's Dues - $20.00;<BR><BR>3. 3rd installment - Municipality Insurance - $28,523.50<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Nikkola, that LMC claims be allowed and paid. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>A. RLK Kuusisto Engineering ( professional services _<BR><BR>1. Capital Improvements Plan Update - July 2007 - Invoice #3 - $190.00;<BR><BR>2. West Chapman / 1st Avenue Improvements - July 2007 - Invoice #12 - $176.25<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that RLK claims be allowed and paid. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that the City dispense with readings in entirety, of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight's agenda. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>City Attorney contract was discussed, being that current contract between City of Ely and Klun Law Firm will expire December 31, 2007. Mayor Novak stated that the Council has two options: to call for requests for proposals or to retain current City Attorney under professional services contract. Moved by Zupec supported by Omerza, that the City of Ely request proposals for City Attorney, City Engineer, and Independent Agent now handling city insurances through the League of Minnesota Cities. <BR><BR>YES: Council member Zupec (1)<BR><BR>NO: Council members Debeltz, Nikkola, Omerza, Sheddy, Mayor Novak (5)<BR><BR>ABSENT: Council member Lindroos (1) <BR><BR>Motion lost.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy commented that the learning curve for law firms and engineering firms are pretty steep, and he feels that the City of Ely has been well served by our current City Attorney and City Engineering Firm. He noted that it could cost the City additional monies if the City would change these two firms. Council member Debeltz agreed with Council member Sheddy, stating that the Klun Law Firm and RLK Kuusisto Engineering have served the City well. Council member Omerza recommended that the Council review current and new proposals to discuss at a later date. Mayor Novak stated that he is in favor of retaining the current City Attorney and City Engineering Firm. Moved by Sheddy that the City retain the Klun Law Firm as City Attorney and accept submitted proposal.<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that the City Attorney Contract and City Engineer Contract be placed on the September 25, 2007 regular monthly Ely City Council study session, requesting both parties to be present to review proposals with the Council. Carried unanimously. Council recommended that the current City of Ely Liability/Municipal/Workman's Compensation Insurance through the LMC, with Acordia being current independent agent, be placed on an October council agenda for discussion.<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Nikkola, that the City of Ely approve of Grant In Aid Agreement - Lake Snowmobile Taril - Ely to Vermilion - $10,764.00, and that the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer/Admin. be authorized to execute on behalf of the City of Ely. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza offered the following resolution: 2007 - 31<BR><BR>WHEREAS: the Babbitt/Ely/Embarrass/Tower Knights of Columbus, c/o 524 East Wilson Street, Ely, Minnesota 55731 has applied for a Minnesota Lawful Gambling Application to conduct BINGO on October 28, 2007, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 231 East Camp Street, Ely, Minnesota 55731,<BR><BR>NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the City of Ely approves of said application and that the Babbitt/Ely/Embarrass/Tower Knights of Columbus be authorized to submit the necessary paperwork to the State of Minnesota, Department of Gaming, Gambling Control Division.<BR><BR>Motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was made by Council member Omerza, seconded by Council member Debeltz, and declared carried on the following vote:<BR><BR>YES: Council members Debeltz, Nikkola, Omerza, Sheddy, Zupec, Mayor Novak (6)<BR><BR>NO: None (0)<BR><BR>ABSENT: Council member Lindroos (1)<BR><BR>Adopted this 18th day of September 2007.<BR><BR>Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Northeast Service Cooperative have finalized the January 1, 2008 medical renewal rates for the City of Ely Health Insurance Group, and are looking for the City's committal to renew this plan, by October 15th. Moved by Zupec supported by Sheddy, that this matter be referred to the September 25th Study Session for discussion, and then placed on the regular city council meeting agenda for action.<BR><BR>Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Moved by Omerza supported by Debeltz, that tonight's meeting adjourn.<BR><BR>Carried unanimously. Adjournment at 7:50 P.M.<BR><BR>Patricia M. Wellvang<BR><BR>Deputy Clerk<BR><BR>City of Ely<BR><BR>Ely Echo 9/22/2007