Council Minutes - June 2, 2020

Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers
Meeting will be held via Zoom-video/teleconference

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

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

Callen/Campbell moved to approve the minutes from the May 19, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, and the May 26, 2020 Study Session. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.



A. Motion to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda
B. Approve the Cares Act Airport Grants Agreement, Cares grant number 3-27-0027-021-2020 for $30,000.
C. Storefront Rehab Loan for Kris Winkelman and Steve Renneberg DBA Arrowhead Outdoors for work at 1810 E Sheridan St, to update lighting and energy efficiency, install outside lighting with timers, fix lights in basement, and clean up out wires and problem wires in basement for $5000 pending proper paperwork and fees and to direct Attorney Klun to work with the applicant and to proceed with the loan processing.
D. Lease Agreement between the City of Ely and the Ely Softball Association.
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the Consent Agenda Items A-D. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.


A. Standing/Special
Sanitation Committee
A.Forsman indicated that the revisions to the commercial sanitation contract is being reviewed by Attorney Klun and will be brought to the council at the next meeting.
Omerza asked that the contract would come in a better format than the minutes.
Mayor Novak indicated he would hope it will be in redlined format from the old contract so we can see the changes that were made.
Attorney Klun indicated that she will work with A.Forsman with the redlined contract.

Ely Utilities Commission: Minutes included in the agenda packet.

RAMS: Minutes included in the agenda packet.

A. Clerk-Treasurer
i. The following items of business were recommended for approval at the regular EUC meeting of Wednesday, May 27, 2020:
1. Approved purchase of 16 light fixtures from WESCO for Chapman Street for $49,824.00
2. Approved the April EUC Bills List for $380,626.04
3. Approved the lighting rebate for the Ely Senior Center for $932.07
Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve the EUC consent agenda items 1-3. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

ii. Dump Truck Repair/ PD Squad Repair
Langowski indicated that the 2004 International tandem axle dump truck is down for maintenance. There has been a head gasket issue with the truck and during the tear down it was discovered that additional parts are necessary to repair all the found issues. The estimated cost of the repair parts total $6100. These repairs are within our maintenance budget.
Langowski also indicated that the 2014 Police Dodge Charger had developed a valve train noise. Upon inspection, it was found that a roller lifter has failed causing a failure with the cam shaft. It is recommended to replace the engine in this vehicle to ensure continued service rather than only replacing the cam shaft and valve cost of $2,100. The cost for the remanufactured long block with warranty is $3,600.
Langowski stated that both these vehicles are being repaired in house by City Mechanic Kevin Mattila.
Callen asked where we stand with the equipment replacement schedule for these vehicles.
Langowski indicated that the dump truck is scheduled to be replaced in approximately 2 years and the squad car was due next year, but the squads usually take extra months to get on the road, we could possibly push replacing the squad another year.
A.Forsman stated that the squad could buy us some time with replacing the engine. The Budget Committee can look at the squad replacement schedule.

B. Fire Chief

C. Library Director
Library Director Heinrich indicated that summer reading has started. If you would like a packet call the library and you can pick one up curbside. The library is still doing curbside pick-up for library items.

D. Police Chief
Chief Houde congratulated the 2020 High School Seniors. The Police Department helped with the procession through town. Chief Houde also thanked the Fire Chief for helping out with traffic control during the procession.
Omerza indicated that it was amazing how the city came out in force for the Graduates.

E. City Attorney

F. City Engineer

A. Hazardous Waste Disposal Information from St Louis County.
A.Forsman indicated that the Business Hazardous Waste Collection is tomorrow, June 3, 2020 from 11am-3pm at the Northwoods Transfer Station. The Household Hazardous Waste Collection is on June 11, 2020 from 10am-2pm at the Ely Joint Public Works Facility.

B. Correspondence from the 4th of July Committee regarding the 4th of July Parade.
A.Forsman indicated that some community members would like to know the councils thought on this and whether or not it would be allowed if another group wanted to move forward with their own event.
Mayor Novak indicated that we have rules out of St. Paul that we have to adhere to and he is not sure that MnDot would approve a permit for a parade. Mayor Novak indicated that we have a lot of committees, boards and commissions, and we have to beg for volunteers sometimes, we have volunteers that had to wrangle with making this decision, Mayor Novak indicated that he doesn’t want to override the decision of the committee. Mayor Novak stated that he called around and currently the only parade that is still scheduled is in Eveleth.
A.Forsman indicated that he respects the work that the committee does and how long they struggled with this, and that they waited this long to make a decision. A.Forsman indicated that he is glad that the fireworks are still happening.

Callen/Kess moved to approve the City and EUC claims for June 2, 2020 for $292,015.66. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.


A. Kess/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2020-015 Resolution Allowing Outdoor Dining. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. A.Forsman/Kess moved to approve Resolution 2020-016 Resolution for a Temporary Outdoor Dining Permit from State of Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Langowski indicated that we have not had any requests yet for the utilization of the Sheridan Street area. Other businesses around town are utilizing other streets and sidewalks which are good. The one thing the businesses are required to follow is to leave an ADA pathway with wheelchair access along the sidewalk, which they have all done. For those that do serve alcohol they would want to look at their liability insurance policy to make sure they are covered in the spaces they are serving.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

C. A.Forsman/Campbell moved to approve Resolution 2020-017 Constitutional and Business Friendly Community.
A.Forsman stated that he was the one that brought this resolution forward. He has received some support and some objection from the businesses regarding this resolution. A.Forsman

indicated that this resolution does not force any business to open, unless they have a plan following guidelines by the CDC and Department of Health and want to be open.
Kess indicated that he opposes the resolution on the basis of the health and safety of the people; we should leave this up to the professionals.
Mayor Novak indicated that he will not support either resolution since it will put us in a controversial position with the state.
Debeltz stated that he supports the businesses, but wants to make sure we do things properly.
Mayor Novak indicated that he talked to several businesses and they said they will not open since their liquor licenses, and other stated issued licenses would be at stake.
Omerza indicated that she is also opposed to the resolution, and stated her reasons at the Study Session.
Callen stated he is afraid if we would pass a resolution like this that out LGA could end up getting cut. We have a good working relationship with the governor right now and we don’t want to ruin that.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-No, Debeltz-No, Omerza-No, Callen-No, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-No. Motion Failed 2-5.

D. Resolution 2020-018 Resolution Urging Governor Walz to Allow Businesses in the City of Ely to Reopen – No motion was made on this resolution

Mayor Novak indicated that he received an email today asking if a separate committee were to put together a 4th of July committee for a parade and they want to know what the council’s position is. Mayor Novak indicated that if a separate committee did this we would need council approval to move forward with a 4th of July event depending on what comes forward. As far as a parade, MnDot would have to allow it on a state highway and the city would have to agree to a permit.
Omerza stated that we have a 4th of July Committee, and appreciate the hard work of that committee. In the past committee chair Velcheff and the previous chair have had to beg, borrow and steal people to be on the committee and help with the parade. Omerza indicated that she finds it interesting that we say that we may not have a parade and people are coming forward that they want to put one together. We just had two resolutions that the majority of the council was not willing to take on, and now all of a sudden we are willing to have a group of people come in and have a parade. Omerza stated that we do not know if they can even get a permit for a parade, she said questions this council and the validity of this group of people.
A.Forsman indicated that with the disposal of the Resolutions 2020-017 and 2020-018 that council is not willing to move forward on this. A.Forsman stated that it hurts that there will not be a 4th of July parade as he thinks it does everyone in this room. Without passing the resolutions separating ourselves from the governor’s decisions, he doesn’t think it would be possible. A.Forsman stated he would like to see it happen, but on the other hand he can see that it isn’t going to.

Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting at 6:17pm without objection.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo
June 20, 2020