Council Minutes - March 4, 2020

Council Minutes - March 4, 2020
Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers

These are an abbreviated version of the minutes – for the full minutes you can go to www.ely.mn.us – City Government-Agendas & Minutes or call 218-226-5449 and we can mail you a copy.

1. CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Novak called the Ely City Council Meeting to order at 5:30pm.

2. PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza(left at 6:45pm), Callen, and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: Council Member Campbell

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Debeltz/Kess moved to approve the minutes from the EUC Rates Public Hearing on February 18, 2020, the February 18, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, and the Wastewater Treatment Facility Plan Public Hearing on February 26, 2020. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell Absent.

4. ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Addition 7.D. Eva Sebesta- Executive Director Ely Chamber of Commerce – Information regarding Blueberry Arts and Harvest Moon Festivals.
Mayor Novak noted that under Request to Appear A, B and D would speak first since they are on the same topic, then C will be after A, B, and D.
Addition A was added without objection.
Mayor Novak stated that the council does not take any action at Request to Appear.

5. MAYOR’S REPORT
Mayor Novak congratulated the Peewee Hockey team for being the consolation champs in the 12th district.
A. 2020 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Mayor Proclamation
Kess asked if the City of Ely was going to follow through with the Teal Ribbon Campaign.
Omerza indicated that some of the High School groups have done something in the past.
Kess indicated that he will follow up with the teal ribbon campaign and we can talk about it at the next meeting.
B. Resolution 2020-008 Resolution Supporting Twin Metals and Polymet Project Development
WHEREAS, The Ely City Council has passed numerous resolutions in the past concerning the support of the permitting process for the various mining projects in Northeast Minnesota; and
WHEREAS, Congresswoman Betty McCullum has authored H.R. 5598 to stop any further development or potential permitting for the Twin Metals project; and
WHEREAS, the City of Ely continues to support the continued study and exploration of minerals in the area.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Council of the City of Ely oppose H.R. 5598 and reaffirm the previous resolutions.
Upon vote taken thereon, the following voted:
For: Council Member A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, and Mayor Novak
Against: None
Absent: Council Member Campbell
Whereupon said Resolution No. 2020-008 was declared duly passed and adopted this 4th day of March 2020.

6. CONSENT AGENDA:
Debeltz/Callen moved to waive the readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell Absent.

7. REQUESTS TO APPEAR: Please see the full minutes for the discussion in Request to Appear.
A. Patricia Koski, Margaret Sweet, Joseph Mertel, and Pam Turnbull from the Ely-Winton Historical Society –
B. Jess Edberg – Dorothy Molter Museum regarding the recent changes the Ely Chamber of Commerce has made to its festival participation categories.
D. Eva Sebesta- Executive Director Ely Chamber of Commerce – Information regarding Blueberry Arts and Harvest Moon Festivals
A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to add discussion with the chamber and nonprofits about the Blueberry Arts and Harvest Moon Festivals to the March 31st Study Session at 6:30pm. Motion carried 6-0-1 with Campbell Absent.
C. Carol Orban, Betty Firth, Peta Barrett, Steve Piragis, and Becky Rom – Request for Resolution – Resolved: The City of Ely does not support a boycott of the Bois Forte Band’s Fortune Bay Casino or any other business.
Debeltz/Kess moved to have the council members communicate with the clerk’s office and city attorney for suggestions as to how the resolution should be written and brought forward at another council meeting in the correct format.
Orban indicated that the council already passed a resolution tonight about another issue and the council had no issues with its legality, but with this one you have issues.
Mayor Novak stated that the council only votes on a resolution that is presented in writing, this is not a formal resolution, it wasn’t prepared properly, our resolutions have a proper number on them, and there was no communication with the clerk’s office to prepare a proper resolution.
Kess asked if the resolution can be amended. Mayor Novak indicated that we can amend it.
Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell Absent.
Mayor Novak recessed the meeting at 6:25pm.
Mayor Novak called the meeting back to order at 6:35pm.

8. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Standing/Special
Planning and Zoning Commission- Minutes included in the packet

Park and Recreation Board
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Park and Recreation Board to approve Darren Visser to fill the ISD #696 spot on the Park and Recreation Board. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell Absent.

Approve the recommendation from the Park and Recreation Board that the section marked “this section not for rent or exclusive use” be not available to the Chamber for the Blueberry Arts and Harvest Moon Festivals.
Omerza indicated that the Park and Recreation will come to the Study Session to further discuss the festivals.

Omerza indicated that the Rink at the Rec Center is closed for the season with the warm weather.

Heritage Preservation Commission
Omerza/A.Forsman moved to approve the recommendation from the Heritage Preservation Commission to request authorization from the City to apply for the LCCMR grant (due on April 15, 2020) for funds payable in 2021, to complete the construction work on the Pioneer Wall. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell Absent.

Sanitation Committee
A.Forsman stated that the minutes are in the packet, the committee has been reviewing the commercial contract criteria and the suggestions will be brought up at the first council meeting in April.
Omerza asked if the minutes could be written with more detail. Omerza indicated that she needed to go back to the contract to try to figure out what was discussed at the meeting. The minutes need to have more information.
Mayor Novak stated that the minutes were very cryptic.
Kess stated that discussion was on specific contract information.
Mayor Novak asked who made the motions and who supported them?
A.Forsman stated that the minutes from the next meeting will be complete.

Ely Utilities Commission – Minutes included in the packet

Library Board – Minutes included in the packet

RAMS – Minutes included in the packet

9. DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
A. Clerk-Treasurer
i. Approve the EUC Consent Agenda from February 26, 2020:
1. Approved payment of $2,490.00 to Kuster’s Water for a gear box at the WWTF.
2. Approved the January EUC Bills List for $525,577.43.
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the EUC Consent Agenda items 1 and 2 from the February 26, 2020 EUC meeting. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell Absent.

Omerza left the meeting at 6:45pm to go to her son’s last home Basketball game.

B. Fire Chief

C. Library Director
Library Director Heinrich also gave an update of the upcoming events at the library which can be located on the Library Website.

D. Police Chief

E. City Attorney
i. Trezona Trail Property
Attorney Klun indicated that the property has closed; the 16+ acres are in the hands of the City of Ely. The money has been exchanged and we are working on recording all the documents. This is a good thing as it has been years in the making; the piece of land is the part that is gravel on the Trezona Trail.

F. City Engineer

10. COMMUNICATIONS: Matter of Information
A. Correspondence from Northwoods Partners regarding the Northland Foundation’s Integrated Rural Community Aging Program, March 12, 2020 11:30pm – 1:30pm at the Ely Bloomensen Community Conference Room.
B. Correspondence from the MN State Historic Preservation Office regarding the Sigurd F. Olson Writing Shack being considered for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
C. Correspondence from Frontier Communications
D. Correspondence from Margaret Sweet, Manager of the Ely Winton Historical Society regarding the Chamber of Commerce’s removal of all nonprofits from participation in the Blueberry Arty Festival.
E. Correspondence from Joseph Mertel Secretary of the Ely Winton Historical Society regarding the Chamber of Commerce’s removal of all nonprofits from participation in the Blueberry Arty Festival.
F. Correspondence from RAMS opposing H.R.5598, the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act.
G. Correspondence from the Iron Range Mayors opposing HR 5598 and support the continued environmental review and permitting process for the Twin Metals Project.

11. CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT:
Callen/A.Forsman moved to approve the City and EUC claims for payment for March 4, 2020 for $231,171.92. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

12. OLD BUSINESS:
A. 2020 Committee Seats – Heritage Preservation Commission
Kess/Debeltz moved to approve Pam Turnbull for the Heritage Preservation Commission term expiring 1/31/2023. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

B. A.Forsman/Kess moved to accept the Police Chief Job Description as written, but take out under Minimum Qualifications a minimum of three years of supervisory experience as an assistant chief or equivalent. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

C. Authorize to post for the Police Chief Position
Debeltz/Callen moved to post the Police Chief opening with the approved job description and to post it internally and externally. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

13. NEW BUSINESS:
A. A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve Resolution 2020-005 Resolution to Approve and Adopt Mercury Preliminary Engineering Report and Facility Plan Amendment. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

B. Callen/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2020-006 Resolution Supporting Ely Public Schools Request for State Funding.
A.Forsman stated that he supports the project, but looking at the plan he is disappointed in the lack of Industrial Education. The school needs to focus on vocation education, and without that he is unable to support this proposal.
Mayor Novak stated he is disappointed also, but the funding for this project is needed.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-No, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried 4-1-2 with A.Forsman voting No, and Omerza and Campbell Absent.

C. Callen/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2020-007 Resolution Requesting Funds from the State of Minnesota for Ely Trailhead and Prospector’s Loop Trail System. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

14. OPEN FORUM
Kess thanked the Clerk’s office for all the time they put in for the Presidential Nomination Primary.
Langowski thanked Deputy Clerk Velcheff, Accounting Clerk Richards, and the election judges. Ely’s voter turnout was over 31% and the state was around 25%.

Please see the full minutes for the discussion in Open Forum.

15. ADJOURN
Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting at 7:28pm without objection.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo
March 28, 2020