Council Minutes - November 10, 2020

Council Minutes - November 10, 2020
Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers

The regular City Council Meeting on November 10, 2020 was called to order by Mayor Novak at 5:30pm.

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

Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve minutes from the October 20, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, October 27, 2020 Special Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A. Addition 8.A Housing & Redevelopment Authority
B. Addition 9.A.i City of Ely CARES: Ely Area Ambulance Service Invoice
Additions A and B were added without objection.

Mayor Novak discussed the new restrictions and safety measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, bars and restaurants have to close at 10pm and limit counter service and no bar games that require standing.

Debeltz/Callen moved to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda. Motion Carried Unanimously.


A. Standing/Special
Budget Committee: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Heritage Preservation Commission
Campbell/A.Forsman moved to approve the recommendation from HPC to accept the retaining wall as designed by the architect and engineer (with a 12-inch gap). Motion Carried Unanimously.

Planning and Zoning Commission: Minutes included in Council Packet

Park and Recreation Board
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Park and Recreation Board to get the Winter Festival’s specific Covid plan before approving use of the park, and to give the plan to the Park and Recreation board or the Council. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from Park and Recreation to put up signage and a bench on east end of Miners Lake adjoining Trezona Trail. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from Park and Recreation to move forward with the bid for construction for the Hidden Valley Mountain Bike Trails. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Ely Utilities Commission: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Library Board:
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Library board to continue with curbside pickup and revisit in December. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza/Kess moved to approve the recommendation from Library Board to reinstate standard due dates with a reminder prior to December 1, 2020.
Omerza indicated that late fines have not been implemented since Covid started back in March and there are several items that have not been returned since then and it is time for those items to get returned.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Insurance Committee: Minutes included in the Council Packet
Langowski indicated that a grievance was filed by AFSCME 1490 which is included under New Business. Currently we offer a Gold, Silver and Bronze health insurance plans. We are scheduling a negotiating meeting to discuss the plans.

Ely Area Ambulance Service Board of Directors: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Ely Area Joint Powers Ambulance Board: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Range Association of Municipalities & School: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Housing & Redevelopment Authority: Minutes included in the Additions Council Packet
Mayor Novak indicated that he is the Council representative for the HRA and next January the council will need to reappoint a new representative.

A. Clerk-Treasurer
i. CARES Act Funding update
Langowski indicated that the City received two nonprofit applications for the CARES funding from the City of Ely that met the requirements. The Ely Folk School and Dorothy Molter Museum, the council dedicated $1000 each for nonprofits and we recommend they both be awarded $1000.
Langowski indicated that as the council approved at a previous meeting, the Ely Area Ambulance Service has experienced additional expenses due to the COVID pandemic. Due to these expenses the per capita charge was increased from $5.05 to $10.10. This resulted in an unbudgeted expense to the City of Ely of $17,144. We recommend that the remaining $16,351.68 in CARES funding be dedicated to this expense.
Callen/Kess moved to recommend approving the applications to the Ely Folk School and Dorothy Molter for the nonprofits to receive $1000 each and to use the remaining $16,351.68 in CARES funding be dedicated to the additional expense for the Ely Area Ambulance Invoice. Motion Carried Unanimously.

ii. The following items of business were recommended for approval at the regular Ely Utilities Commission meeting of Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
1. Approved purchase of a Filter Level Transmitter for $1,300.00 and two Clear Well Level Transmitters for $4,990.00 from In Control for the WTP.
2. Approved payment of the EUC September Bills for $297,323.13.
3. Approved payment of the WSN Invoice for $1,476.20 for Fiber Bidding.
4. Approved payment of the Braun Intertec Invoice for $9,500.00 for the WWTF Mercury Project.
5. Approved payment of the Grand Ely Lodge Lighting Rebate for $587.75.
A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the Ely Utilities Commission Consent Agenda items 1-5. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Fire Chief

C. Library Director
Omerza read the announcements from the Library with can be found on the Library website.

D. Police Chief
i. Campbell/Kess moved to accept the resignation of Adam Borchert from the Ely Police Department, effective November 21, 2020 and to send him a Thank you for everything he has done for the community.
Chief Houde thanked Borchert for his time with the City of Ely Police Department and wished him well in his future.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

E. City Attorney
i. Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the 1st Reading of Ordinance No. 344, 2nd Series an Ordinance of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Adding Chapter 17, and the Licensing of Short Term Rentals.
Attorney Klun stated that she has worked with Planning and Zoning Commission, Building Official Whitney, St Louis County and the Minnesota Department of Health since 2018 working through the process for Short Term Rentals. We have made a lot of updates overtime. Attorney Klun indicated that the Council could have a Public Hearing regarding this ordinance if they feel necessary. The requirements are similar to the rental license and Building Official Whitney would enforce the licensing.
Kess indicated that he is opposed to Section 17.06 the Zoning District and allowing these in R-1 zones. Kess stated that his reasons for the opposition of R-1 are that it would change the character of the neighborhood, traffic congestion and public safety. Kess

indicated that is difficult to find an apartment in Ely already. The Short Term Rentals are not considered commercial property and the hotels/motels have to pay more in taxes and have more licensing they need to follow.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman- Yes, Kess – No, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza -Yes, Callen – Yes, Campbell-No, and Mayor Novak – Yes. Motion Carried 5-2 with Kess and Campbell voting No.

Kess/Campell moved to schedule a public hearing on December 1, 2020 at 4:30pm regarding Ordinance 344 Short Term Rental Licensing. Motion Carried Unanimously.

F. City Engineer


A. City and EUC claims for November 10, 2020 – $761,714.90
B. Ely Nordic Ski Club expenses for grooming the Trezona Trail for the 2019-2020 winter ski season for $2332.00
C. SEH Invoice Number: 393844 for the Prospector ATV Trail for $1,440.
Callen/Debeltz moved to approve the Claims for Payment items A-C. Motion Carried Unanimously.


A. RAMS – Board of Director Nominations – Matter of Information Kess’s term is for another two years.

B. Kess/Omerza moved to approve Premier Pyrotechnics to shoot the 2021 4th of July Fireworks for $15,000. Motion Carried Unanimously.

C. A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the Walker, Giroux & Hahne Understanding of Services that they will provide to the City of Ely for the year ending December 31, 2020. Motion Carried Unanimously.

D. Campbell/Omerza moved to approve Resolution 2020-041 Resolution of the City Of Ely, City Council for the CDBG application related to the Washington Street Infrastructure Improvements Project. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman- Yes, Kess – Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza -Yes, Callen – Yes, Campbell-Yes, and Mayor Novak – Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

E. Kess/Debeltz moved to approve the Temporary Liquor License for the Ely Folk School on December 12, 2020 at Semer’s Park Beach for a Holiday Party. Motion Carried Unanimously.

F. Campbell/Callen moved to approve Resolution #2020-042 Resolution Authorizing Application for Ely Blue Line Club To Apply for Raffle Permit. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman- Yes, Kess – Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza -Yes, Callen – Yes, Campbell-Yes, and Mayor Novak – Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

G. Grievance from AFSCME Local 1490 in regards to insurance open-enrollment
Langowski indicated that they are having a negotiating meeting on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 4pm. The council can take action if needed after that meeting.


Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting at 6:08pm without objection.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo 11/2/2020