Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers May 04, 2021

Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers
May 04, 2021

1. CALL TO ORDER
The regular City Council Meeting on May 4, 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/Callen moved to approve the minutes from the April 20, 2021 Regular Council Meeting, and the April 22, 2021 Local Board of Appeal and Equalization Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

4. ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Addition 6.C Approve Council and Staff to attend the League of Minnesota Cities 2021 Virtual Annual Conference on June 22-25, 2021.
B. Addition 8.A Fire Department Meetings
C. Omit 13.A Scott Meland interested in serving on HRA board – (Deadline to apply is May 14th. Will be brought up at next council meeting)
D. Addition 13.D Transfer of Off Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for HE, LLC DBA Ely Liquor formally Lakeshore Liquor from 438 E Sheridan St to 1406 E Sheridan St pending proper paperwork, insurance, and fees
E. Addition 8.A Joint Powers Lodging Tax Board
Additions and Omission were approved without objection.

5. MAYOR’S REPORT
Mayor Novak swore in Dave Marshall as the new Fire Chief.

6. CONSENT AGENDA:
A. Motion to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda
B. Approve Council and Staff to attend the Coalition of Greater MN Cities 2021 Summer Conference on July 29-30 in Alexandria, MN.
C. Approve Council and Staff to attend the League of Minnesota Cities 2021 Virtual Annual Conference on June 22-25, 2021.
Omerza/Kess moved to approve the consent agenda items A-C. Motion Carried Unanimously.

7. REQUESTS TO APPEAR: None

8. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Standing/Special
Budget
A.Forsman/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee that the Council approve the purchase of the Story Book Stroller in the amount of $6,010.08. Amount would be paid for by a previous year Fisher Memorial donation. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee that the Council approve advertisement with a Realtor on the sale of the East Spaulding lots. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee that the Council hold off on discussing the use of the $380,000 in COVID funding until after the MN Legislature adjourns in July.
A.Forsman stated that we want to wait and see what projects the state is going to do so we don’t “double up” on similar projects.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee that the Council approve the general fund to pay half of the Little League water bills in arrears of $932.00.
A.Forsman indicated that this could have been covered under the covid funding as the Little League was unable to have a season last year and were unable to have concessions to produce revenue.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Heritage Preservation Commission
Kess/A.Forsman moved to approve the recommendation from HPC that the City of Ely renew its real estate listing for the Ely Community Center on two historic building real estate sites: The Preservation Directory ($185.00/year) and Circa ($150.00/year). Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell abstaining.

Campbell/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from the HPC to accept the Gardner Trust Grant (using the Folk School as a fiscal sponsor) to complete the Carl Gawboy Mural Re-creation Project. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Cemetery Committee – Minutes included in the Council Packet

Planning and Zoning – Minutes included in the Council Packet

Sanitation Minutes
Spring Clean-Up Days are going to be on Friday, May 21st from 8am-3pm and Saturday May 22nd from 8am – Noon or until the bins are full. The flyer will be posted on the website, Facebook and in the Ely Echo. No trash, tires, mattresses, cardboard, yard waste or hazardous waste will be accepted. Acceptable items are aluminum cans, scrap metal, building materials, appliances and furniture.

Ely Utilities Commission: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Ely Economic Development Authority
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the EEDA that the Ely City Council direct the HRA to prioritize additional housing in Ely. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza indicated a committee on discussing the need for day care in Ely will be meeting on May 10th 5pm at City Hall, if anyone is interested they can call the clerk’s office or come to the meeting.
Negotiating Committee
Omerza/Kess moved to approve the recommendation from the Negotiating Committee that the Council pay the Fire Chief position $700.00 per biweekly pay period.
Kess indicated that this will include the Fire Chief position and the roll of the Secretary of the Fire Department.
Omerza indicated that it is a delight to see the fire department minutes in the packet and great to see the communication from the fire department.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Fire Department Meetings – Minutes included in the Council Additions Packet

RAMS Minutes – Minutes included in the Council Packet

Joint Powers Lodging Tax Board
Kess indicated that Cindy Smyka has come to the council several times to give a sense as to how the tourism board will be developed. Kess indicated that they are meeting tomorrow and they are discussing a potential name change, they have been known as the Ely Area Lodging Tax Board and there is discussion about becoming a Visit Ely Board. They are also planning on discussing the By-Laws for the Lodging Tax Board which will eventually be brought to the council for approval.

9. DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
A. Clerk-Treasurer
i. The following items were recommended for approval at the regular EUC meeting on April 28, 2021.
1. Approved the bid from Champion Tank Services, LLC for the Water Tower Painting Project for $79,800.00
2. Approved the bid from Utility Systems of America for the 2021 Infrastructure Improvements for $1,101,565.25
3. Approved substation maintenance from CE Power for $27,399.00
4. Approve the 5 year Water Tower Antenna Lease with Treehouse Broadband, LLC
5. Approved purchase of a 500 Kva pad mount transformer from T&R Electric for $7,425.00 for the new Zup’s Store
6. Approved a lighting rebate for VCC for $676.18
7. Approved payment of the EUC March bills for $460,161.75
Kess/Debeltz moved to approve the EUC Consent Agenda items 1-7.
Langowski indicated that we have had a couple year agreement with Treehouse Broadband to have their fixed base antennas on the water tower. The proposed lease is increasing to $375 per month and a 5 year lease. His system seems to be growing which is a great thing for Ely to be giving people another option for broadband.
Mayor Novak asked is there is any limitation on the amount of antennas they can put up there.
Langowski indicated that they have 3 or 4 antennas on the tower right now. They do have to work with the space that is up there. We do have few other antennas up there; Access Broadband has one, the local Ham Radio group, and a local contractor.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Langowski stated that the Water Tower Painting Project is starting next week. The 2021 Infrastructure Projects will also be starting next week. West Shagawa Road project will be starting soon with temporary water; we will be keeping everyone informed regarding the projects via the website and Facebook.

B. Fire Chief
Fire Chief Marshall indicated that the Fire Department had four calls since the last meeting, amongst quite a few medical calls. They have an officers meeting tonight and will be talking about what to do moving forward. Tomorrow night the Fire Department has their monthly training.

C. Library Director
Library Director Heinrich discussed the Library programs and announcements which can be found on the Library website.

D. Police Chief
Police Chief Houde reminded people that there is a lot of construction going on around town and the construction dumpsters are not for personal use of others, they are paid for by the homeowner or construction company; do not put your personal trash in the dumpsters.

E. City Attorney
Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve the note and mortgage for the Residential Rehab Loan for Ryan and Michale Callen at 905 E Conan St to replace water and sewer mains to the house and to extend and daylight the drain tile around the house and electrical panel work for $10,000. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Callen abstaining.

F. City Engineer

10. COMMUNICATIONS: Matter of Information
A. Ely Community Resource Quarterly Progress Report January 1st- March 31st 2021

11. CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT:
Callen/Omerza moved to approve the City and EUC claims for May 4, 2021 for $332,103.52. Motion Carried Unanimously.

12. OLD BUSINESS:

13. NEW BUSINESS:
A. OMITTED Scott Meland interested in serving on HRA board (deadline to apply is May 14th. Will be brought up at next council meeting)

B. Kess/Debeltz moved to approve the Treehouse Broadband, LLC Water Tower Lease for the Repeater site lease with a term of 5 years. Motion Carried Unanimously.

C. Callen/Campbell moved to approve Resolution 2021-031 Continuing Support and Sponsorship of the Hidden Valley Ski Area and the Ely Nordic Ski Clubs effort to maintain and operate the recreation area. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman- Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

D. Kess/Debeltz moved to approve the Transfer of Off Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for HE, LLC DBA Ely Liquor formally Lakeshore Liquor from 438 E Sheridan St to 1406 E Sheridan St pending proper paperwork, insurance, and fees. Motion Carried Unanimously.

14. OPEN FORUM
Eric St. Martin from HE, LLC DBA Ely Liquor indicated that his project is pending. He indicated that he is not ready to write a sizable check to purchase the building/business if another liquor store/license is going to be approved in the very close vicinity. St. Martin asked if we are ready to add a 5th off sale liquor store in the City of Ely, when there are 3-4 that are almost brand new owners. St Martin asked if it is just rubber stamped to approve and give out the off sale licenses.
Mayor Novak indicated that currently the City does not have any limits on off sale liquor licenses, if the city would deny a liquor license it has to be for solid grounds on a legal stand point.
St. Martin asked if there was a way to limit the amount of licenses that are given out in the city.
Mayor Novak indicated that it has never come up as an issue that needed to be addressed. Mayor Novak stated that the city has a liquor commission and that might be a good place to address it.
Langowski indicated that the liquor commission has not met in years and we do not think there are any active members anymore. We can look to see if there are any members or an active commission.
Mayor Novak stated that we can look at the statutes and the ordinances on the licenses.
A.Forsman discussed when Northern Grounds applied for their off sale liquor license, at that point Forsman made the comment that Ely needed to protect its businesses that it has. At that time there were 2 of the 3 liquor stores that we had that had just sold for a significant amount of money. It is our responsibility to support our businesses. Northern Grounds stayed true to what they said about just having their off sale for wine for their wine society. At that time it didn’t make sense to have an established system to be watered down and Forsman still feels strongly about this.
Mayor Novak agreed to much competition can kill businesses. We will see what we can do; we will look into this further.

15. ADJOURN
Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting without objection at 6:16pm.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo
May 22, 2021