City Council minutes of Oct. 16, 2007

DRAFT MINUTES<BR><BR>Council Chambers<BR><BR>Ely, Minnesota<BR><BR>Tuesday, October 16, 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, Lindroos, Nikkola, Omerza, Sheddy, Zupec, Mayor Novak (7)<BR><BR>ABSENT: None (0)<BR><BR>Mayor Novak welcomed the audience present and also the listening audience, to tonight's council meeting. <BR><BR>A quorum was declared.<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that the minutes of the regular meeting of October 2nd be approved without reading. Carried unanimously. Minutes to stand as recorded.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak noted that under V. Claims for Payment, Items E and I. are duplicates, from Architectural Resource Inc. - services rendered on the Ely Revenue Building Remodel, in the amount of $14,667.00, and that since these services were provided to the Ely Economic Development Authority ( EEDA), he is recommending that the billing be sent back to Architectural Resources Inc. requesting that they reclarify the billing as being to the EEDA, not the City of Ely, with both item E and I to be removed from tonight's agenda. Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported that the Senate Investigative Committee was in Ely last week and took part in a presentation at the VCC, regarding bonding requests. He feels the City of Ely put forth a very viable bonding request, noting that the Pattison Street extension is the city's 1st priority. The various bonding requests received by the State will be addressed in the next few months. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak recommended that the City of Ely send a letter of gratitude and appreciation to the leaders and crew members of Outward Bound, for completing and painting the entrance signs at Highways 169, 21 and 1, and also to Frana Cherico, for coordinating this project. Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak also recommended that the City of Ely publicly thank Mr. Stan Passananti, for donating a dumpster for the neighborhood in the Whiteside Park Area, to clean up after water problems experienced. Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that a letter of appreciation be sent Stan Passananti for his generosity. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported that he had attended a meeting today of the Iron Range Resources Board, at which the Spectrum project was discussed. Matter of information.<BR><BR>The following consent agenda items were brought before the council for approval:<BR><BR>1. ISD #696 - letter of appreciation to the City for 2007 donation to Ely Community Education - INFORMATION;<BR><BR>2. MN DNR Lease - Enforcement Seasonal Storage - Ely Municipal Airport - November 1, 2007 - October 31, 2008 ( Mayor and Clerk authorized to execute);<BR><BR>3. CGMC - Fall Conference, November 7th - 9th, Alexandria - ( Mayor and/or Council members authorized to attend);<BR><BR>4. Council authorization to apply to Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Liquor Control Division, for Consumption Display Permit for Miner's Dry Building;<BR><BR>5. Town of Morse - communication addressing Basic Fire Protection Agreement ( to refer to Fire Protection Review Committee);<BR><BR>6. Ely Chamber of Commerce - letter of appreciation to City for financial contribution to holiday decoration project - INFORMATION<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that above items be approved and ordered filed. <BR><BR>Council member Omerza questioned item #5 and the city ads that were taken out in the paper on cancellation of fire protection, inquiring as to how many times these ads will be run. Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator Butler reported that the ads were posted once, as per procedure, to alert township residents of the possibility of cancellation of fire protection services from the City of Ely, if a fire contract was not in place by December 31, 2007.<BR><BR>Council member Lindroos suggested that a reminder letter be sent to the entities prior to publishing this type of ad. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Matthew Davis requested to appear before the Council representing the North Country Trail Association, seeking City support for the Arrowhead Trail reroute. He noted that the difference between the National Recreation Trail ( NRT) and National Scenic Trail<BR><BR>( NST), is that the NRT's are designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture; NST's are authorized (designated) by an act of Congress. Only already existing trails can be designated as NRTs - therefore, NRT designation never brings about the development of new trail opportunities; NSTs are "authorized" by Congress to be established - except where a NST route incorporates already existing trails, NST authorizations lead to the creation of new trail recreation opportunities. Council member Zupec inquired as to where the group would be looking at this trail, and the expectations with other trail systems in the area. Matt reported that proposed trail would end at Kekekabic, be picked up on the Fernberg and head through the City of Ely. This particular trail must be non motorized, and trail could be shared with ski trails, bicycle trailers, etc. The group would take advantage of existing trails, and there would be walkers on the sidewalks of Ely, to frequent the Ely businesses. Mesabi Trail would be out of the realm of viable options due to motorized vehicles being allowed - nature of public/private partnership. Council member Omerza questioned what type of buffer zone would be located between the motorized/non-motorized route, with Matt noting that the organization would try to make proposed trail as remote as possible, and avoiding wetlands. Mayor Novak questioned how Congressman Oberstar is leaning on this proposal, with Matt stating that the Congressman supports the proposed trail, but is waiting to see how communities respond that will be involved. Moved by Zupec supported by Nikkola, that the City of Ely send a letter of support to Congressman Jim Oberstar in support of the proposed relocation of the North Country National Scenic Trail, and that a resolution of support be drafted for Council action at the first business meeting in November, contingent upon the trail not interfering with existing and future trail systems in the area. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council members thanked Matt Davis for his presentation.<BR><BR>Council member Lindroos reported on behalf of the Ely Airport Commission meeting of September 11th: the Ely Airport Commission had interviewed firms that submitted proposals for Airport Consultant, with all firms interviewed being very capable, and are recommending that TKDA be awarded the airport consultant position, and will further conduct negotiations for professional service contract with TKDA. Moved by Lindroos supported by Nikkola, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously. Mayor Novak noted that in the official airport commission minutes a proxy vote was reflected for the firm of RS and H, and that proxy votes are not allowable by city boards/commissions. This proxy vote will be nullified, reflecting total vote for RS and H being one. <BR><BR>Council member Nikkola reported on behalf of the City Budget Committee Meeting of October 11th: the main objective of the City Budget Committee is to now look at all possible departmental budget cuts, so as to reduce the proposed levy amount by December. City Budget Committee is recommending that $10,000 be moved from the Public Works Full Time Employees line item to that of Public Works Part Time Employees, to cover the remainder of this year for part time staff. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>The City Budget Committee is also recommending that $1,600.00 be moved from Public Works Line Item 422- dust oil, along with $500.00 from Public Works Line Item 421 -cemetery improvements, and placed in Public Works Line Item 309 - Computer maintenance, and that the funds be used to purchase a new computer for the Public Works staff including the mechanic. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously. Mayor Novak noted that the $500.00 noted from cemetery improvements has nothing to do with the cemetery maintenance funds collected from the public; the cemetery improvements line item is part of the regular cemetery budget as set by the Ely City Council.<BR><BR>Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator reported on behalf of the Employee Relations Committee Meeting of October 11th: current life insurance carrier MII has changed over to USAble, and there has been frustration with both companies not honoring a policy section in employee contracts whereby the City will provide retirees a paid up life insurance policy in the amount of $10,000 at the time of retirement. He is recommending that the City of Ely contract with the A.T. Group ( Bill Singer, representative) who currently manages the City's dental insurance and long term disability plans. ER Committee is recommending that the City contract with the A.T. Group for life insurance coverage, effective November 1, 2007. Moved by Debeltz supported by Nikkola, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza reported that a correction needs to be publicly made regarding the appraisal of the West End Development ( south side ), which was appraised by Salerno Land Appraisers at $150,000 - not the $165,000 as stated by local news media. <BR><BR>She also stated that at the October 9th EEDA meeting, a recommendation was made to ensure Planning and Zoning participation inclusion on city land use planning sessions. Moved by Omerza supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza also noted that the EEDA recommended that the Ely Business Park Plan be placed on the November regular monthly Ely City Council Study Session.<BR><BR>for discussion and further review. <BR><BR>Council member Omerza had reported at the October 9th EEDA Meeting, that the US Forest Service would be calling for impact statements and letters of support for anticipated "Mining of Precious Metals" in the area south of Ely, with EEDA recommending that a letter of support from the Ely City Council be drafted, expressing City of Ely support of said exploration and mining in keeping with the established standards of personal and ecological safety. Moved by Omerza supported by Zupec, that recommendation be approved. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza informed Council members that she had met with Pat Henderson and Linda Fryer, and the group will be going ahead with putting together information to send the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, to host the 2009 Summer Conference in Ely. Matter of information. <BR><BR>Council members also discussed the City contacting the LMC to put together a Land Use Seminar, with the Planning and Zoning Commission members to be invited, so they are prepared to modify and update the city's current zoning ordinances. Council members requested that the EADA and Community Joint Powers Board members be invited also. The Clerk's Office will coordinate this seminar.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza reported on the October 5th TAB Meeting; the Ely Charter Commission had requested a "mission statement" from all city appointed boards, commissions, committees, but the TAB members felt that the ordinance that is in place at this time addressing the Telecommunications Advisory Board is suitable the way it is now written. Council member Zupec suggested contacting the League of Minnesota Cities, so as to give the Council a clear insight as to the setting up of Boards and Commissions. Council member Novak also requested that the Council members be provided draft copies of minutes from the Ely Charter Commission after their regular scheduled meetings, giving Council members the opportunity to review prior to requests being made of the Council by the Charter Commission. Council member Zupec will pass this information on to the Charter Commission at their October 17th regular scheduled meeting. <BR><BR>Council member Omerza reported on behalf of the City Parks and Recreation Board: Friday and Saturday will be workdays at the new recreational site ( 10th and Main Street) and they would appreciate any volunteers that may have some time, to stop down and assist. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Deputy Clerk Wellvang addressed the Council pertaining a letter she had provided the City Administrator for Budget Committee consideration some time ago, requesting short term temporary clerical assistance in the City Clerk's Office. Due to scheduled vacation time off and certain days of the month where the situation warrants, she would like to have an individual to call in to assist her, when needed. There is currently no one on staff to assist in the Clerk's Office at this time. She noted that she had spoken to Lolita Schnitzius, who was interested in assisting, stating that with Lolita's background, experience and knowledge of City of Ely matters, she feels she would be a good temporary fit in the office. Moved by Omerza supported by Zupec, that the Clerk's Office be authorized to retain a 67 calendar day per year office staffing person. Carried unanimously. Deputy Clerk thanked the Mayor and Council for their positive response to her request.<BR><BR>City Attorney had been referred Fire Protection Services Agreements for furnishing fire protection in all Unorganized Townships 64-12 and 64-13 through St. Louis County.<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Omerza, that the City approve of the agreements with the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer authorized to sign on behalf of the City of Ely, pending City Attorney's review and approval. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>City Engineer RLK Kuusisto Harold Langowski reported that InfraTech had completed televising and cleaning pipes as requested, and that they will put together a brief summary for the City Engineer as to what they have found in their testings.. Harold in turn, will put together a full report for the Council and public, at the end of November. Once this report is received, the City will then have some answers as to the sections of water/sewer pipes that need to get repaired either by the local public works department or contractor. He also reported that a walk through had been completed of the Miner's Dry, with several items still needing attention: heating system relay ( would suggest that a technician look at the heating system) and if the Miner's Dry will not be rented in the winter, the City should then look at winterizing the building. Harold had attended a Rural Water Financing Workshop in Grand Rapids, noting that rural development has made a couple of changes recently, and that funding options are out there, providing communities additional grant dollars other than CDBG funds. Council member Zupec also reported that he has been contacted by an individual interested in touring the old water plant and is requesting that the City Engineer along with Council member Sheddy, be authorized to tour the water plant with individual. Moved by Debeltz supported by Omerza, that request be granted and also allowing an additional two Council members that may be interested in participating in this tour, to also be authorized to participate with group. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator reported that he has set up a teleconference on email policies, scheduled for Friday, October 26th, from Noon - 1:00 P.M. at his office, for interested Council members and Departments Heads to attend. <BR><BR>Council members were instructed to inform the Deputy Clerk if they will be in attendance as if four members sign up, a special meeting notice will have to be drafted. Council member Omerza stated that she would be at the teleconference.<BR><BR>EUC General Manager presented the following consent agenda items:<BR><BR>1. Approve purchase of a Walchem chemical metering pump from Aqualogix for $868.00 plus tax;<BR><BR>2. Approve payment of RLK Invoice #2, Pamida Utility Extension for $1,104.20;<BR><BR>3. Approve payment of RLK Invoice #15, 4th Avenue Project - $14,330.36<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Omerza, that above items be approved and ordered filed. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Claims for payment were received from the following:<BR><BR>A. Salerno Appraisal Services - West Sheridan Street appraisal - $400.00;<BR><BR>B. St. Louis County - August ( $8,840.49) and September ($3,547.35) charges, Ely Joint Maintenance Facility;<BR><BR>C. Patrick Conery Services - 3rd quarter building permit status report - prior building permit updates - $22,428.90;<BR><BR>D. Ely Community Resources - 4th quarter 2007 allocation - $3,315.00;<BR><BR>E. Klun Law Firm - services rendered on Innis/Blueberry Ridge Development - $184.68;<BR><BR>F. RLK Kuusisto Engineering - services rendered on capital improvements update - $172.77;<BR><BR>G. Community Development Joint Powers - 4th quarter 2007 allocation - $12,862.65.<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that claims be allowed and paid, noting that above item C be modified to stipulate that payment be made after fees are collected. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Discussion was held relative to Patrick Conery Services - 3rd quarter building permit status report, with Mayor Novak stating that he did not have time to review contract City of Ely has with Patrick Conery Services for building inspections; Council member Debeltz stated that the City should pay when all permit fees are paid. Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator Butler reported that the fees have already been paid for the permits noted in this billing, and is consistent with the contract language. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Moved by Omerza supported by Zupec, that the City dispense with readings in their entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight's agenda. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza offered the following ordinance: Proposed Ordinance No. 207, Second Series, An Ordinance of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Adding to the Ely City Code, Chapter 20, Section 20.13.14, Entitled Vacation of a Portion of 9th Avenue East.<BR><BR>The Council of the City of Ely Does Hereby Ordain:<BR><BR>Section 1. That part of South 9th Avenue East which lies south of the alley south of James Street, and between Lot 7, Block 8, and Lot 9, Auditor's Plat No. 38, is hereby vacated Subject to and Reserving easements in favor of the City of Ely for utilities, water lines and sewer lines in, over and under said property.<BR><BR>Section 2. Be It Further Resolved, that the Mayor and City Clerk are hereby authorized to sign all documents necessary to effectuate the intent of this ordinance.<BR><BR>Section 3. Codification. This ordinance shall be codified as Section 20.13.14 of the Ely City Code.<BR><BR>Section 4. Effective Date: Pursuant to Section 3.08 of the Charter of the City of Ely, Minnesota, the adoption of this Ordinance is effective thirty (30) days after final adoption and publication.<BR><BR>Motion for the adoption of the foregoing ordinance was made by Council member Omerza, seconded by Council member Nikkola, 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: None (0)<BR><BR>ABSTAIN: Council member Lindroos (1)<BR><BR>&#149; Council member Lindroos noted for the record that he is abstaining due to having a situation similar to the contents of this ordinance with his own property.<BR><BR>Ordinance #207, Second Series, adopted and given a second and final reading and publication, this 16th day of October 2007.<BR><BR>The topic of annexation was placed on tonight's agenda under Old Business. Mayor Novak reported that the Ely City Council and Town of Morse had met and came to an understanding on a basic agreement, which would split property tax revenues. Moved by Omerza supported by Lindroos, that the City Attorney be directed to work with the Town of Morse Attorney to craft a document as to proposed annexation agreement, as discussed. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola suggested sending this document to the Municipal Board of Boundary Adjustments to review prior to sending to Legislature. Council member Zupec agreed with Council member Nikkola. Council member Debeltz stated that the City needs to be thankful to the Town of Morse for the gesture of friendly annexation, with Council member Lindroos noting that when conversing with an attorney for the LMC, he thought whatever action taken by the Board of Adjustments would not have to be approved by the Legislature, but the City needs to go forward with his document. Council member Omerza stated that the City started at 20% and is now down to 10% tax revenue, and that at the current time the City of Ely is landlocked and in need of more land. Mayor Novak stated that the City has an agreement with the Town of Morse that annexation will only be publicly discussed when both parties are at the table, and the basic agreement needs to be on paper for review. Moved by Omerza supported by Lindroos, that the document crafted for proposed annexation by City Attorney and Town of Morse Attorney be provided to the Municipal Board of Boundary Adjustments prior to sending to the Legislature. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak noted that the IRR Infrastructure Grant ( Spectrum) has been signed and submitted; that project is a viable project and the IRR will be addressing this matter on Friday. Matter of information.<BR><BR>From the September 25th Study Session, Council member Zupec had recommended that the Clerk-Treasurer/Admin. be directed to receive a cost estimate from City Insurance Agent for coverage regarding sewer backup in city residents homes - Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator Butler reported that he has requested this information from the City Insurance Agent, who in turn, is researching request with the League of Minnesota Cities. Agent did note that this additional insurance would be a separate item upon our current policy. Council member Zupec reported that he had discussions with individuals whom carry water backup coverage on their residence, and the cost is minimum to acquire. Council member Zupec also requested the Council require a routine schedule of cleaning city lines from the EUC General Manager and General Foreman of Public Works. Moved by Omerza supported by Zupec, that the Council direct the EUC General Manager and General Foreman of Public Works to develop a routine schedule of cleaning of city lines, with copy of schedule to be remitted to Council for information.<BR><BR>Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Marvel Anderson, Volunteer - Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, contacted the City regarding the 10 Most Endangered Historic Properties of Minnesota for 2007 Exhibit<BR><BR> ( which features the Ely Community Center.) It is currently in St. Paul for the month of October, and the City can acquire this exhibit to display between November and May of 2008. Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that the City of Ely approve the installation of exhibit in Ely. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Discussion was held regarding City of Ely Ordinance No. 144, Second Series, An Ordinance Amending Chapter Three of the Ely City Code Relating to Municipal and Public Utilities - Rules and Regulations, Rates, Charges and Collections, Section 3, Subdivision 11, relative to franchise fee, where noted that unless earlier repealed or amended, the franchise fee shall expire on December 31, 2007. Moved by Lindroos supported by Nikkola, that the City approve continuance of the franchise fee under same terms as we have now, and that this approval of franchise fee continuation be referred to the City Attorney to draft up proper paperwork. Carried unanimously. <BR><BR>Council member Debeltz questioned what if the City receives an increase in LGA in the future, with Mayor Novak noting that this franchise fee can then come back to the table.<BR><BR>Deputy Clerk reported that no proposals were received for replacement of two approximately 250,000 BTU fuel oil fired steam boilers at the Ely Community Center.<BR><BR>Moved by Nikkola supported by Debeltz, that the City repost the Notice for Proposals, to be posted in the local paper, Range and Duluth area papers also. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Bear Island Surveying submitted a bid pertaining to the following survey contract project: part of the NW/NE, Section 33, T63N, R12W, in the amount of $2,300.00. Moved by Lindroos supported by Debeltz, that the City approve this survey estimate. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Debeltz offered the following resolution: 2007-35<BR><BR>Authorization to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Airport Maintenance and Operation<BR><BR>It is resolved by the City of Ely as follows:<BR><BR>1. That the State of Minnesota Agreement No. 91307, "Grant Agreement for Airport Maintenance and Operation", at the Ely Municipal Airport is accepted.<BR><BR>2. That the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer/Administrator are authorized to execute this Agreement and any amendments on behalf of the City of Ely.<BR><BR>Motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was made by Council member Debeltz, seconded by Council member Nikkola, and declared carried on the following vote:<BR><BR>YES: Council members Debeltz, Lindroos, Nikkola, Omerza, Sheddy, Zupec, Mayor Novak (7)<BR><BR>NO: None (0)<BR><BR>ABSENT: None (0)<BR><BR>Adopted this 16th day of October 2007.<BR><BR>Moved by Omerza supported by Debeltz, that tonight's meeting adjourn.<BR><BR>Carried unanimously. Adjournment at 7:45 P.M.<BR><BR>Patricia M. Wellvang<BR><BR>Deputy Clerk<BR><BR>City of Ely<BR><BR>Ely Echo 10/27/2007<BR><BR>