City Council minutes of Sept. 16

<BR><BR>DRAFT<BR><BR>Council Chambers<BR><BR>Ely, Minnesota<BR><BR>Tuesday, September 16, 2008<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>Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that the minutes of the regular meeting of September 2nd and special meeting of September 11th, be approved without reading. Carried unanimously. Minutes to stand as recorded. <BR><BR>The following additions were added to tonight's agenda: <BR><BR>Council member Omerza - to be added under New Business, Item C - Office hours; Item D - Mayor's radio appearance ( WELY); City Operations Director - to be added under New Business, E. Sander Body, public works department; Mayor Novak requested that under V. Claims for Payment, Item C be omitted at this time.<BR><BR>Council concurred with above additions and omission to tonight's agenda.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak informed the Council members of an official notification the City of Ely has received from the IRR, as to approval of City's request for the Miner's Dry Building Repairs, in the amount of $40,000. The City of Ely will be submitting a letter of commitment to the IRRB, as to proceeding with this project. Mayor Novak thanked City Operations Director Harold Langowski, for putting together this formal application for funding, along with former Council member Mike Hillman. <BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported that there will be a Joint Meeting between the Ely City Council and Ely School Board, to take place on Tuesday, September 30th, 5:30 P.M. Vertin's Caf&#233; back dining area, with the Council's Regular Monthly Study Session to take place at approximately 7:00 P.M. in Council Chambers, immediately following this study session.<BR><BR>Council members concurred with the scheduling of above meetings.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported that the City has received a communication from the League of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors, recognizing 32 legislators this year for their actions and leadership on a wide variety of legislative issues of importance to cities across Minnesota. On behalf of 800 member cities of the LMC, Senator Tom Bakk was recognized as a League of Minnesota Cities 2008 Legislator of Distinction. The LMC Board of Directors further thanked Senator Tom Bakk for his efforts to continue Minnesota's strong tradition of a healthy state-local partnership, and will be recognizing Senator Bakk at the LMC Regional Meeting in Hibbing on October 21st. Matter of information<BR><BR>Mayor Novak informed Council members of a donation received by the City of Ely from the Wilbert Harju estate, in the amount of $2,000.00 for cemetery beautification.<BR><BR>Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that the City send a letter of thanks to the Wilbert Harju estate executor, for this generous donation. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>The following consent agenda items were brought before the Council for approval:<BR><BR>Morse-Fall Lake Rural First Responder/Fire Protection Association - October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2009 ( Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer authorized to sign agreement);<BR><BR>Appointment of JoAnn Biebl to Chapman Street Redevelopment Committee;<BR><BR>Ely Chamber of Commerce - letter of thanks to Ely City Council; City Employees Harold Langowski, Mike Popesh, Butch Gornik, John Manning and departments for assistance in 2008 Harvest Moon Festival;<BR><BR>Kenneth F. Vanderbeek, Wiseguys Pizza Inc., 117 North Central Avenue, Ely - request for On Sale Liquor License for Restaurant ( to refer to City Attorney to legally research request with Liquor Control Commissioner and State Statute, to report back to the Council at their October 7th regular meeting);<BR><BR>Dan and Anne Moravitz - name change of Jackie's Drive In Liquor to Beaver's Liquor ( approve with proper paperwork to be submitted to State Liquor Control Division);<BR><BR>Office of the State Auditor, 2008 TIF Reporting Basics - September 24th, Walker, Minnesota ( Clerk-Treasurer Terri Boese requesting to attend); LMC OSHA Safety Assistance Meeting, September 24th, Mt. Iron, Minnesota ( Clerk-Treasurer Terri Boese requesting to attend * or other city department head);<BR><BR>LMC - 2008 Regional Meeting - October 21st, Hibbing, Minnesota ( Mayor/Ely City Council/City Department Heads authorized to attend);<BR><BR>Clerk-Treasurer Terri Boese - September 6th letter to Town of Morse re: meeting on annexation proposal - INFORMATION<BR><BR>City Clerk-Treasurer Terri Boese reported that under item #6, the LMC OSHA Safety Assistance Meeting has been cancelled.<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that items #1 - #8 be approved. <BR><BR>Discussion followed regarding the City requesting a breakdown of funding for above item #1. Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that motion be restated to approve items #1 - #8 contingent upon receiving necessary financial information pertaining to item #1 - Morse-Fall Lake Rural First Responder/Fire Protection Association Agreement. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak reported that Paul Pederson, City Agent of Record, Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance, will be slightly late in arriving at tonight's meeting, to be taken up under Requests To Appear Before Council, so the Council will move ahead on tonight's agenda.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza reported that the Whiteside Park Restrooms will be closing on September 28th for this season. Matter of information.<BR><BR>The City Operations Director of Public Works and Utilities presented the following EUC consent agenda items:<BR><BR>Approve the Dual Fuel Heating Agreement, Dual Fuel Heating Application and the Policy Pertaining to Dual Fuel Heating;<BR><BR>Established a Dual Fuel Heating Rate of $0.0674 per kWh;<BR><BR>Approve the Policy Pertaining to New and Upgraded Electrical Systems;<BR><BR>Authorized Utilities Plus Energy Services to complete the substation testing for $4,060.00;<BR><BR>Approve payment of the MMUA Invoice #31879 for the legal and legislative fund for $516.00;<BR><BR>Approve payment of the Terry's Operational Services Invoice for August 2008 for $550.00;<BR><BR>Approve payment of the Minnesota Department of Health lab certification invoice for $4,100.00 for two years<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Debeltz, that the City approve above items #4 - #7. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Moved by Zupec supported by Nikkola, that the City approve above items #1 - #3, contingent upon discussion on these items. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Zupec questioned electrical heating systems in residences of which Operations Director Langowski reported that this sytem must be inspected by the State Electrical Inspector. EUC Employees will see that certain requirements are met, with inspection to be conducted by the electrical inspector. Council member Sheddy discussed dual fuel - separate meters utilized. Operations Director reported that sub metering or new service - customer to decide. Council member Zupec questioned as to why wood wouldn't be acceptable like propane or fuel. Operations Director reported that wood is not automatic, where a supplemental heat system can kick in and heat a home. Lake Country Power has done away with such programs they had in place. Matter of information.<BR><BR>The following claims for payment were brought before the Council for approval:<BR><BR>LMC<BR><BR>4th quarter 2008 installment - worker's compensation premium - $20,101.25;<BR><BR>3rd quarter 2008 installment - municipality insurance - $31,801.25 <BR><BR>Richard Rand, Director of Human Resources, Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital and Nursing Home - July and August 2008 services to City - $427.50;<BR><BR>Omitted<BR><BR>MMA - Mayor's Membership - September 1, 2008 - August 31, 2009, $20.00;<BR><BR>Klun Law Firm - Invoice #14150 - $48.68 <BR><BR>Moved by Nikkola supported by Debeltz, that above claims be approved and ordered filed. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Communication was received from John Sjoberg, informing the City that the rezoning of the property he wishes to purchase from the City has been finalized. He would like to move forward with the purchase of the land which included his counter offer to the City. The appraisal of the land was for $17,500 - adding the full appraisal fee of $350.00 and &#189; the Survey costs ( $817.50) he would like to offer $18,667.50. Moved by Debeltz supported by Sheddy, that the City approve of the offer and move forward with the Clerk-Treasurer and City Attorney to conclude this transaction. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Communication was received from Pat Conery, Certified Building Official, regarding harzardous buildings and the necessary billable hours by the Building Official, licensed engineers and the City Attorney, of which these charges can be charged against the real estate at the City's higher rate. He further stated that a dangerous building needs to be secure, and he would request accompaniment by the Zoning Administrator or a city police officer, as he does not need a search warrant. He recommended that as the City determines the aggressiveness of pursuit of these buildings, a complaint form could be established. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy questioned the process that needs to be utilized in discussing an employee's job performance. It was noted that the evaluation must be done in closed session, but the employee does have the option to request that the session be open.<BR><BR>Matter of information.<BR><BR>Communication was received from Police Chief Manning, recommending that the Ely City Council consider permanently closing the Ely Municipal Jail. He noted that since the City no longer has 24 hour jailer/dispatchers, the Ely Police Department does not have the ability to staff the facility properly, finding it necessary to transport detainees immediately to the St. Louis County Jail in Virginia. The Police Department has an obligation to train staff to meet minimum yearly requirements for the Department of Corrections; the facility is also in need of repairs and maintenance to meet the health and safety requirements of the Department of Corrections. Moved by Debeltz supported by Omerza, that recommendation be accepted. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Communication was received from Lorie Kienitz, resigning from her position of Confidential Accounting Clerk , to be effective October 2, 2008. Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that the letter of resignation be accepted, with a letter of thanks to be sent to employee for working for the City of Ely. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that the Clerk-Treasuerer be authorized to advertise for the position of Confidential Accounting Clerk. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Moved by Omerza supported by Debeltz, that the City dispense with readings in their entirety, of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight's agenda. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Zupec offered the following ordinance: Proposed Ordinance #223, Second Series, An Ordinance Of The City Of Ely, Minnesota, Amending Chapter 2 Of The Charter Of The City of Ely.<BR><BR>The Council of the City of Ely Does Hereby Ordain:<BR><BR>SECTION 1. Chapter 2 of the Charter of the City of Ely shall be amended as follows:<BR><BR>Section 2.01 - Form of Government<BR><BR>The municipal government provided by this charter shall be known as the weak mayor - strong council plan of government. Subject only to the limitations imposed by the constitution or statutes of the State of Minnesota and by this charter shall be vested in a mayor and elective officials hereinafter referred to as THE COUNCIL, which shall enact local legislation, adopt budgets and determine policies. THE COUNCIL may create such departments, divisions, bureaus, commissions and boards for the administration of the city's affairs as it may deem necessary for efficient government, and from time to time may alter the power and organization of, or abolish, such departments, divisions, bureaus, commissions and boards as THE COUNCIL may create.<BR><BR>This is a weak mayor - strong council form of government under home rule charter. Administrative and legislative authority is THE COUNCIL's ultimate responsibility. The powers of the mayor are generally no greater than those of any other member of THE COUNCIL. No individual council member holds any specific administrative powers.<BR><BR>Section 2.08 - Interferences with Administration<BR><BR>Except for the purpose of inquiry and investigation under Section 2.07, THE COUNCIL and its members shall deal with and control city administrative officers and employees under the jurisdiction of the administrative officers that report directly to the city council, and neither THE COUNCIL nor any council member shall give orders to any subordinate of such administrative officers either publicly or privately. <BR><BR>SECTION 2. Effective Date: Pursuant to Section 3.08 of the Charter of the City of Ely, Minnesota, the adoption of this Ordinance is effective immediately after final adoption and publication.<BR><BR>Motion for the adoption of the foregoing ordinance was made by Council member Zupec, seconded by Council member Debeltz, 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>Ordinance No. 223, Second Series, adopted and given a second and final reading and publication, this 16th day of September 2008.<BR><BR>Grant In Aid Agreement - Hidden Valley Cross Country Ski Trail - $1,800.00 was received by the City of Ely from the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that the Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer be authorized to execute said agreement. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Council member Debeltz offered the following resolution: 2008 - 36<BR><BR>WHEREAS: Knights of Columbus, Ely Council 3238, 231 East Camp Street, Ely, Minnesota 55731, has submitted an application for a Minnesota Lawful Gambling Premises Permit Application for conducting BINGO on Sunday, November 23, 2008, at St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 231 East Camp Street, Ely, Minnesota 55731, and<BR><BR>NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the Ely City Council approves of said application and that the Knights of Columbus, Ely Council 3238 be authorized to submit 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 Debeltz, seconded by Council member Zupec, 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 September 2008.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza offered the following resolution: 2008 - 37<BR><BR>BE IT RESOLVED: That after canvassing the votes from the September 16, 2008 RECOUNT ( Primary Election held September 9, 2008) for Mayoral Candidates Charles J. Novak and Heidi Omerza, the results of said recounct are as follows:<BR><BR>FOR MAYOR Prec. #1 #2 #3 #4 TOTAL VOTES:<BR><BR>Charles J. Novak 35 74 78 88 275* <BR><BR>Heidi Omerza 48 97 49 77 271 <BR><BR>Motion for the adoption of the foregoing resolution was made by Council member Omerza, seconded by Council member Zupec, 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 September 2008.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza reported that she will be resuming her City Hall office hours starting on Tuesday, September 23rd, 9:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M. Council member's Office, downstairs of the Ely City Hall. Matter of information.<BR><BR>Council member Omerza also reported that she has been receiving numerous requests from the public, as to having the City resume the Wednesday Mayoral program after the regular scheduled Tuesday Council Meetings, of reporting to the public, as to what developed at the Council Meeting. She noted that people miss this communication over WELY and she would be willing to conduct the Wednesday morning program representing the Ely City Council, until after the November election. She had discussed this matter with WELY and they would be receptive to her filling in for Mayor Novak until November. Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that Council member Omerza be appointed to sit in for the Mayor in continuing the Mayor's morning program after regular scheduled council meetings until after the November election. Council member Nikkola cautioned the Council that he feels it would not be a good idea for an elected official to continue this show as something could be inadvertently said by a sitting Council member, and he would rather see the City Clerk fill in on this radio program. Council member Sheddy recommended that the City Clerk, Deputy Clerk, or City Operations Director fill in on this radio program. Council member Zupec pulled his support of original motion. Council member Zupec noted that Council member Nikkola's point was well taken, and that he feels the City Clerk should fill in on the radio show. Council member Debeltz noted that any Council member could fill in on this program. Council member Lindroos then supported the original motion. Council member Nikkola stated that in the best interests of the City Council, the City Clerk should be the person filling in for the Mayor on the radio program. Council member Lindroos withdrew his support of motion. Motion was declared lost. Moved by Debeltz supported by Zupec, that the City continue with the Wednesday morning Mayoral radio show after regular council meetings and that City Clerk-Treasurer Terri Boese be directed to take the Mayor's slot on the Wednesday morning WELY radio talk show taking place after Tuesday regular scheduled council meetings, until the November election is over.<BR><BR>YES: Council members Lindroos, Nikkola, Omerza, Sheddy, Zupec, Mayor Novak (6)<BR><BR>NO: Council member Debeltz (1)<BR><BR>ABSENT: None (0)<BR><BR>Motion carried.<BR><BR>City Operations Director of Public Works and Utilities Harold Langowski, along with Public Works Foreman Mike Popesh on behalf of the public works department, are requesting quotes for sander bodies to replace the sander truck which was sold this summer. The City is going to put this sander in one of the existing dump trucks in the fleet. Quotes were received as follows: United Truck Body, Duluth, MN - $9,638.25; MacQueen Equipment, St. Paul, Mn - $19,422.40; Crysteel Truck Equipment, Firdley, Mn. - $20,822.00. Moved by Nikkola supported by Zupec, that the City approve the purchase of sander body from United Truck Body, Duluth, for the amount of $9,638.25. Carried unanimously. Harold noted that it would take approximately 10 weeks for the City to receive this sander body. Council member Debeltz questioned City Operations Director as to why this particular quote was so low from the others, with Operations Director reporting that the company stuck with their original bid as solicited this past summer. <BR><BR>Paul Pederson, City Agent of Record for the City of Ely ( Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance Coverage) had requested placement on tonight's agenda regarding City Insurance Committee recommendation that the City of Ely offer employees a VEBA Health Insurance Policy effective January 1, 2009 in addition to the current plans the City now has in place by employee labor contracts. Paul reported that the renewal rate for current health insurance policies are showing a 26.1% rate increase; the City did better by being a member of the NE Service Cooperative and should be spending 85 to 86 cents on every dollar to BC/BS for medical; City is currently paying $1.11. If the City continues current premium usage, the City will end up with a 104% use of premium which would trigger a 29% increase in January 2010 on current Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance Groups the City now retains for active employees. Paul recommended that the City and employees start looking for options to reduce these costs in going forward. The VEBA plan is a high deductible health insurance plan that could offer employees a substantial amount of savings with front end / new strategy hold harmless situation; extra liability at the doctor's office. He then discussed the difference between a VEBA Plan and HSA ( Health Care Savings Account) which is governed by the IRS.<BR><BR>The City of Ely is able to put an additional third plan in place starting in January 2009, with the City and Employee's goal being to give BC/BS the least amount of money up front and only when needed. This would not be taking away anything from the current employees. Paul then volunteered to assist all current City of Ely active employees pull an audit on their 2007/2008 expenses from BC/BS, including drug coverage, and look for ways to help employees save costs. If the City so chooses to offer another health insurance plan to the employees in addition to the two current plans, he will need to know this information by October 15th. Moved by Sheddy supported by Omerza, that per the recommendation of the City Insurance Committee, the City of Ely approve of the addition of a VEBA 833 Plan for city employees who may be interested in this policy, effective January 1, 2009. Carried unanimously.<BR><BR>Paul Pederson noted that the addition of this VEBA Plan does not replace the existing health care plans now in place.<BR><BR>Moved by Sheddy supported by Lindroos, that the Clerk-Treasurer and City Attorney be directed to draft up a memo of understanding with all city employee bargaining units, offering the VEBA Plan as recommended by the City Insurance Committee as a third option for health insurance coverage beginning in January 2009; with memo to be brought before the Council at their October 7th regular meeting for signatures of Mayor and Clerk-Treasurer. Carried unanimously. * City Insurance Committee membership consists of representatives from all current city employee labor units.<BR><BR>Moved by Omerza supported by Debeltz, that the 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 9/27/2008