Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers February 02, 2021

Regular Meeting
Ely City Council – City Hall,
Council Chambers
February 02, 2021

1. CALL TO ORDER
The regular City Council Meeting on February 2, 2021 was called to order by Mayor Novak at 5:30pm.

2. PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell, and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: None

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Debeltz/Kess moved to approve the minutes from the January 19, 2021 Regular Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

4. ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Additions 8.A RAMS
B. Additions 9.A.iii. Building Automation System Repair
C. Additions 10.C. Minnesota Mayor Together – Covid-19 Vaccine Update
D. Additions 10.D. Classification of state tax forfeited land
Additions A-D were added without objection

5. MAYOR’S REPORT

6. CONSENT AGENDA:
Omerza/Callen moved to waive the readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda. Motion Carried Unanimously.

7. REQUESTS TO APPEAR: None

8. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Standing/Special
Heritage Preservation Commission: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Planning and Zoning Commission: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Park and Recreation Board
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from Park and Recreation Board to approve allowing The Wolf previously The Heck Epic bike race to rent and spend the night at Semer’s on Friday July 16, 2021 as long as Covid protocols are followed. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Park and Recreation Board will meet on the 1st Thursday of the Month at 5pm – Matter of Information

Ely Utilities Commission: Minutes included in the Council Packet
Telecommunications Advisory Board (TAB)
Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from TAB to have a letter sent to Midco asking for a schedule and updates on what improvements are being made and any outages that can be expected. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from TAB to allow the purchase of Sony Vegas 18 at a cost of $200. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Employee Relations:
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from Employee Relations to Schedule Department Head reviews in March in 15-20 minute cycles for the 4 department heads. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza/Kess moved to have Attorney Klun proceed with distributing the Department Head review sheets to the council with the council returning them to Attorney Klun a week before the reviews.
Discussion was had on having the reviews after the first council meeting in March, or having 2 reviews after the first council meeting in March and having 2 reviews after the second council meeting in March, or having them all at the Study Session in March. The department head would have the option of having the review in an open or closed meeting.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

RAMS: Minutes included in the Additions Council Packet

9. DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
A. Clerk-Treasurer
i. Kess/Omerza moved to approve the low bid for the demolition of 274 N 5th Ave E to GMen for $11,900. Motion Carried Unanimously.

ii. The following items were recommended for approval at the regular EUC meeting on January 27, 2021:
1. Awarded a two-year bio solids hauling contract to Boss Agricultural Inc.
2. Approved payment of the 2021 NEMMPA dues for $2,000.
3. Approved the Energy Insight Inc. CIP management contract.
4. Approved payment of the MPCA Plan Submittal fee for $2,480.
5. Approved payment to Altec for bucket truck repair for $16,928.22.
6. Approved purchase of a 25 HP high lift pump from Malton Electric for $2,003.
7. Approved purchase of two lift station pumps from Electric Pump for $8,650.
8. Approved payment of the December EUC Bills list for $459,447.03.
9. Approved payment of the Arrowhead Outdoors Lighting Rebate for $552.03.
10. Approved payment of the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital Power Rebate for $1,640.12.
11. Approved payment of the Ely Historic Theater Energy Star Rebate for $173.34.

12. Approved payment of the AE2S Invoice for the WWTF Mercury Project for $83,385.17
13. Approved payment of the DNR Water Permit for $1,078.56.
Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve the EUC Consent Agenda Items 1-13 from the February 2, 2021 meeting.
A.Forsman discussed the NEMMPA(Northeastern Minnesota Municipal Power Authority) dues, this is an active group in trying to find a way to get our rates lower. We have been held captive by Minnesota Power and their rates, and this group is exploring different options to try to lower the rates. Langowski has been very involved in NEMMPA.
Langowski stated that NEMMPA has been an organization that has been formed for many decades, but within the last two years it has been restarted. It is a five member board that represents the 15 municipalities that purchase power; the board members are Ely, Two Harbors, Virginia, Hibbing, and Grand Rapids. NEMMPA sent notice and passed a resolution to Minnesota Power giving them an opportunity to look at our rate structure to see if they can come up with something better, we gave them a 90 day notice to get back to NEMMPA. If they cannot make our rates better, by the end of the year we can give notice that we are going to look for other providers. We are working on our utility rates and right now we are seeing a 7% rate increase from Minnesota Power for 2021.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

iii. Building Automation System Repair
Langowski indicated that the JACE (Java Application Control Engine) controller for the City Hall HVAC system is no longer supported by Honeywell and requires replacement as well as an update to the software. Without this system operating we are unable to monitor or control the heat settings in the individual spaces. The cost of the equipment, software, and installation is $4,380. We are also looking to add the VA clinic system into the control system.
A.Forsman indicated that having the VA clinic included in the system is definitely something we need to consider. With the small crew we have it is easier to trouble shoot from afar.
Omerza/A.Forsman moved to approve the purchase of the Building Automation System from Gartner Temperature Controls for City Hall for $4,380. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Fire Chief

C. Library Director:
Library Director Heinrich talked about Library announcements which can be found on the Library website.

D. Police Chief
Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve Police Chief Houde to attend the 2021 Minnesota Executive Training Institute (Chief Conference) in St. Cloud, MN on October 31-November 4, 2021. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Chief Houde stated that at the next council meeting we will have the swearing in ceremony for the two new officers.

E. City Attorney

F. City Engineer

10. COMMUNICATIONS:
A. Omerza/Campbell moved to approve the advertising for Bids for the Hidden Valley Mountain Bike Trail Construction.
Langowski indicated that if all goes well construction would begin this summer with completion in Fall 2021.
Motion Carried Unanimously.
B. Ely Community Resource 4th Quarter Progress Report – Matter of Information
C. Minnesota Mayor Together – Covid-19 Vaccine Update – Matter of Information
D. Classification of state tax forfeited land – Matter of Information

11. CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT:
A. Callen/Omerza moved to approve the City and EUC claims for February 2, 2021 – $2,547,507.30. Motion Carried Unanimously.

12. OLD BUSINESS:
A. Legal Newspaper Bid
Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to award the 2021 legal publishing to the Ely Echo. Motion Carried Unanimously.

13. NEW BUSINESS:
A. 2021 Committee Seat Applications and Renewals
Campbell/Omerza moved to approve the following committee appointments:
Airport Commission: Jason Chopp – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Airport Commission: Warren Nikkola – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Airport Commission: Ben Thomas – New Application – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Cemetery Committee: Mike Banovetz – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Cemetery Committee: Jeanie Zaverl – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Cemetery Committee: Bill Erzar – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Gardner Trust: Jill Swanson – Renewing (At Large Resident) – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Gardner Trust: David O’Donnell - New (Library Alt Representative) - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Gardner Trust: Vince O’Connor - New (NLAA Arts Board Rep) – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Gardner Trust: Brooke Lund - New (At Large Non Resident) – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Heritage Preservation Commission - Angela Campbell – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Park and Recreation: Lisa Marolt – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Park and Recreation: Todd Crego – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Park and Recreation: Alyssa Nelson – Renewing (VCC Rep) – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Library Commission: Christopher Steele – Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Library Commission: Mauro Caruso – Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Library Commission: Cade Thibodeaux: Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Library Commission: Tori Scarbrough: New Application - Term Expiring 1/31/2023
Planning & Zoning: Mauro Caruso: Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Planning & Zoning: Dave Huberty: New Application - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Planning & Zoning: David Hernesmaa – New Application - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Police Commission: Jennifer Cole – Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Police Commission: Jake Mather – Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Telecommunications Advisory Board: Irene Hartfield – Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2023
Telecommunications Advisory Board: Tom Just – New Application - Term Expiring 1/31/2023
Ely Utilities Commission: Anthony Colarich – Renewing - Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Ely Utilities Commission: Jordan Richards – Renewing – Term Expiring 1/31/2024
Tree Board: Todd Crego – New Application - Term Expiring 1/31/2023
Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to continue posting for the open vacancies except Planning and Zoning we will look at the 3 applications we received after the deadline at the next council meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve the Wolf Track Classic Sled Dog Race requesting to close the Recycling Area on February 21st to follow their COVID Plan and ensure the safety of the dog teams crossing and volunteers. Motion Carried Unanimously.
Langowski indicated that we will plan to put the closure on the website, radio, publish in the paper, post it on the bins, and put it on Facebook to let the residents know.

C. Campbell/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2021-013 Resolution No Need for “Prove It First” Legislation.
Kess stated that the resolution came from the Executive Board of RAMS. RAMS has always been in support of the process of mining.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman- Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

14. OPEN FORUM

15. ADJOURN
Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting at 6:12pm without objection.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo February 20, 2021