Council Minutes - May 5, 2020

Council Minutes - May 5, 2020
Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers

Mayor Novak called the Ely City Council Meeting to order at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers.

2. PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell, and Mayor Novak

Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve the minutes from the April 21, 2020 Public Hearing, the April 21, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, the April 28, 2020 Special Council Meeting, and the May 1, 2020 Special Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.


Mayor Novak indicated that the meeting is being held in the Council Chambers and Boards or Commissions may also meet in here with Social Distancing in place.

A. Motion to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda
B. Authorization for Professional Services for the Construction Engineering Services for the 2020 Connector Taxiway Project with TKDA for $119,300.
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the consent agenda items A and B.
Kess asked if the engineering services for the 2020 Connector Taxiway Project are 100% reimbursable with the FAA. Langowski indicated that they will be for this project.
Motion Carried Unanimously.


A. Standing/Special
Budget Committee
A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee to approve a budget adjustment increasing the minor equipment line item budget in the Fire Department by $5,000 to $11,000 and increase general fund grant budgeted revenues by $5,000 to purchase turnout gear. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Ely Utilities Commission: Minutes included in the agenda packet

RAMS: Minutes included in the agenda packet.

Omerza indicated that at the Coalition Board Meeting they decided to reschedule the Summer Conference to 2021 the location will be the same. The Fall Conference is scheduled to be in Willmar and plans are in the works for the dates.

A. Clerk-Treasurer
i. Approve the EUC Consent Agenda from April 29, 2020 items:
1. Approve bid from Michaels Power for Electrical Improvements/Fiber installation construction for $176,450.18.
2. Recommend allowing US Customs Right of Entry to build near Water Plant.
3. Approved the payment of the March Bills for $372,169.20
Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve the EUC Consent Agenda Items 1-3.
A.Forsman stated that the customs are replacing the old shed that was at the same location.
Langowski stated that he talked with Customs regarding the dock and it sounds like they will work with us to repair or replace when needed.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

ii. Brush and Yard Mulch Recycling
Langowski stated that in the past there has been lots of trash in the brush and mulch piles at the old recycling center. Currently the new recycling center has not had much trouble with garbage being left. At first we thought we could have a centralized location for citizens to bring their brush and mulch, but that is not possible with Covid-19.
Langowski stated that we are proposing to allow City residents to dispose of brush, leaves, and grass clippings at the old dump on Lookout Ridge Road. In an effort to ensure the site does not become a dumping area for trash, appliances, and furniture we propose to have it staffed and only open on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month in May and June from 8am-4pm. City residents will be required to show proof of residency in the City of Ely. Social distancing measures will be taken to ensure safety. We will propose additional open hours if necessary. The gate will be locked when we are not present.
The only material that will be accepted is brush, leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings. There will be a pile dedicated to brush and a separate pile for leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings. No plastic bags or any other waste will be accepted. All other waste can be disposed of at the transfer station towards Babbitt.
We are hopeful that this will eliminate the issues we have had in the past with the mulch pile being full of plastic and garbage and the brush pile having furniture and other trash mixed into it.
Langowski stated that the Northwoods Transfer Station on the way to Babbitt also takes brush and mulch. Langowski also warned residents to drive with care on the Lookout Ridge Road, it is a gravel road and we do not want to get complaints from the neighbors.

iii. Part Time Workers
Langowski stated that we anticipate starting our summer mowing and maintenance of the cemetery as well as the parks starting the week of May 11. As in years past, we anticipate four employees returning to the cemetery. In the public works and utility departments we have typically hired five between the departments. Currently we have two that are returning and a new intern scheduled to start with the utilities for a total of three.
With reduced staffing levels we will work to prioritize the work as efficiently as possible for 2020.

iv. 2020 Ely Fiber Installation and Construction Bids
Langowski stated that this was approved in the EUC consent agenda. Langowski indicated that they have started the installation of the poles for this project. It was $176,000 for the electrical work to make room for the fiber. Discussion has been had on the revenues and how the leases are going to work. Langowski indicated that looking at the investment being made in the electrical distribution; the lease revenue could be a partial offset to this. The discussion was to keep it as a utility enterprise and to make it part of the electric utility. The utilities are engaged with this project and the line crews are out making this project happen.

B. Fire Chief
Chief Erchull stated that the Fire department participated in the Homemade Mask Drive and they collected approximately 230 homemade masks. Thanks to the community for donating!

C. Library Director
Library Director Heinrich stated that they are starting curbside pickup again, but this time is will be by appointment only. They are continuing to do activities and story times on Facebook.

D. Police Chief
Sergeant Houde thanked the council for giving him the opportunity to be the police chief. Sergeant Houde told the council he is looking forward to working with each of them and that his door is always open. Sergeant Houde also wanted to assure the community of a smooth transition when Chief Lahtonen retires; we have 6 great guys working for the community. Sergeant Houde also thanked Chief Lahtonen for his 33 years of public service, 26 years with the City of Ely Police Department. Houde indicated that Chief Lahtonen has taught him a lot and he has some big shoes to fill, and he is up to the challenge.

Omerza/Callen moved to put a moratorium on Calendar parking until the fall. Motion Carried Unanimously.

E. City Attorney
Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve the Note and Mortgage for the Storefront Rehab Loan for TMC Property, LLC /Cunningham Electric for work for 421 N Lakeview Ave, for renovation of existing building for future offices includes energy efficient lighting in garage/shop, new energy efficient heating system, new roof and other projects for $17,500.
A.Forsman indicated that this is his employer, but he does not make a profit from this.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

F. City Engineer

A. Senior Center Request for Loan
Campbell indicated that she would like to extend the option to them to apply for a Storefront Loan.
Attorney Klun indicated that as long as they own the building they could apply for a loan.
Campbell/A.Forsman moved to have the Ely Senior Center apply for a Storefront Loan with the same terms and conditions as other loans, pending proper paperwork, financials, and fees and to direct Attorney Klun to work with the applicant and to proceed with the loan processing. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the City and EUC claims for May 5, 2020 – $388,803.29. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A. 2020 Committee Seats –Park and Recreation Board
(1 Seat Open, Term Expires 1/31/2023)
Kris Winkelman, Chris Bud Ahrens, and Michael Banovetz
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve Chris Bud Ahrens for the Park and Recreation Board with term expiring 1/31/2023. Motion Carried 6-1 with Campbell voting No.

B. 2020 Committee Seats – Cemetery Committee
(2 Seats Open – Term Expires 1/31/2021)
Michael Banovetz
Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve Michael Banovetz for the Cemetery Committee with term expiring 1/31/2021. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A. Omerza/Callen moved to approve the Ely Historic State Theater Wine and Strong Beer Liquor License pending receiving proper paperwork, fees and background checks. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve Resolution 2020-014 A Resolution Enacted Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Section 12.29 Extending the Period of A Mayor-Declared Local Emergency. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.


Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting at 6:15pm without objection.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo
May 23, 2020