Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers September 7, 2021

Regular Meeting
Ely City Council – City Hall,
Council Chambers
September 7, 2021

1. CALL TO ORDER
The regular meeting of the Ely City Council was called to order by Mayor Skraba at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers.

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

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Campbell/Callen moved to approve minutes from the August 17, 2021 Public Hearing, the August 17, 2021 Special Council Meeting, the August 17, 2021 Regular Council Meeting, and the August 31, 2021 Study Session. Motion Carried Unanimously.

4. ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Additions 8.A Library Board
B. Additions 8.A Park and Recreation Board
C. Additions 9.A Prospectors Loop Beaver River Bridge
D. Additions 11.D Partial Payment Estimate No 4 for the 2021 City Infrastructure Improvements Project for $42,975.25 to Utility Systems of America.
Additions A-D added without objection.

5. MAYOR’S REPORT: None

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

B. Kess/Omerza moved to approve Council and Staff to attend the League of Minnesota Fall Forums. Motion Carried Unanimously.

7. REQUESTS TO APPEAR: None

8. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Standing/Special
Heritage Preservation Commission
Campbell/Kess moved to approve the recommendations from the HPC to have the Council review the business plan and related information submitted by a potential buyer for the purchase of the Ely Community Center and to form a subcommittee.
Mayor Skraba indicated that Clerk Langowski, City Attorney Klun, and Council Members Omerza and Kess will be on the subcommittee. This will be discussed within the subcommittee then brought back to the council.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the HPC to request the Council support the creation of a $30,000 IRRR grant request for the Pioneer Mine Memorial Project via council resolution. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Campbell/Kess moved to approve Resolution 2021-041 Resolution Authorizing Submission of IRRR Grant request to help fund the Miners Memorial Located at the Pioneer Mine Site in City of Ely. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Ely Utilities Commission
A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from the Ely Utilities Commission to approve advertising for bids for the WWTF Mercury Project. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from the Ely Utilities Commission to purchase of Reclosure Batteries for Sub B for $2,268.00 and Trip Breakers for the WWTF for $13,120.00 from CE Power. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from the Ely Utilities Commission to approve payment of the EUC July Bills for $497,810.52. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Employee Relations Committee
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendations from Employee Relations to set the firefighter pay for reimbursed fires at $25 per hour.
Callen indicated that he will be abstaining as a member of the fire department.
Chief Marshall indicated that we are reaffirming this rate as we have not worked these types of fires before.
Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Callen abstaining.

Omerza/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from Employee Relations to set the hourly wage for firefighters at $12/hr and Engineer and Captain pay at $15/hr.
Callen indicated that he will be abstaining as a member of the fire department and as a Captain
Chief Marshall stated that the old rate was $10.08 which is the Minnesota Minimum Wage, and this will help to recognize what the engineers and captains do on a fire.
Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Callen abstaining.

Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from Employee Relations to accept the resignations of Maxwell Brewer and George Burger and to post for the position of one patrolperson and to send them a letter of Thanks.

A.Forsman indicated that we had 2 dedicated individuals and would like to include a letters of thanks.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from Employee Relations to approve the job description for Assistant Police Chief and to post the position of Assistant Police Chief with a starting salary of $79,000 and negotiable benefits.

Kess stated that he had talked to Chief Houde about this change and he is in favor of making a position of Assistant Police Chief, we used to have an Assistant Police Chief in the past.
Callen asked if this will be posted internally and externally.
Chief Houde stated that it will just be posted externally since none of the current officers qualify for the Assistant Chief Position.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from Employee Relations to post the Equipment Operator 2 position internally and then externally if no internal candidate’s post. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Library Board
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Library Board to appoint Todd Crego to fill the Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust seat that was vacated by Chris Steele. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Park and Recreation Board
2022 Project Priorities for Park and Rec – Matter of Information
Sculpture Bases for the 2 donated bronze sculptures at Whiteside Park (approximately $20,000)
Sand Volleyball Court at Semers – Create a second sand volleyball court and replace the sand and netting in the other court (approximately $5000)
Softball Complex – Fix the roof and benches (Approximately $5000) the fences still need to be fixed.

Omerza indicated that she is on the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Board as the Economic Environment committee chair this year and is now the past president of the Greater MN Partnership.

Kess indicated that the new RAMS executive director Ida Rukavina has taken over RAMS and the minutes from the last meeting will be coming.

9. DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
A. Clerk-Treasurer
i. Rainy River Watershed – an area with Severe Drought Conditions – Start ordinance process to meet the steps outlined in our Water Supply Plan.
Langowski stated that we have received notification from the DNR regarding the ongoing severe drought conditions. The State of Minnesota does have a Drought Plan and the city has a Water Supply Plan. Langowski has spoken to the DNR to figure out where we are and what we need to do. Within our water supply plan, we need to develop an ordinance to do enforcement if a critical water deficiency would be declared, which would be if the governor would declare that. We are currently not in a declared critical water deficiency. This is one of the steps in our Water Supply Plan, if we would reach this step we have to start the process of making an ordinance. The league had a sample draft ordinance that we can use and modify to fit Ely’s needs. The Ely Utility Commission has worked on this for a while. It is important that we try to conserve water; fortunately we have received rain lately, so people should not be watering their lawns as much. Langowski and Attorney Klun will work on the ordinance and bring it to the council.

ii. Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the Cemetery Columbarium Foundation with the Low Bidder as C&C Winger at $8500.
Langowski stated that the Korpi Trust has given generous donations to the City for Cemetery projects. We received a bid for the Columbarium from Laurentian Monument, under the Columbarium it is required to have a frost footing to support the weight of the Columbarium we received 2 bids the low bidder was C&C Winger and we received another bid from TNT Construction.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

iii. Kess/A.Forsman moved to approve the Updated Forest Service request for runway waiver which states: the US Forest Services to exceed published single and dual wheel weight limitations for emergency wildland firefighting aircraft at the Ely Municipal Airport, the USDA Forest Service and their cooperating agencies are hereby authorized to operate single wheel class air tankers at a maximum load bearing take-off weight up to 99,000lbs and dual wheel class air tankers at a maximum load bearing take-off weight up to 159,000lbs on Runway 12-30, Connector Taxiways A1 and A2, and the Aircraft Apron. This authorization is in effect until December 31, 2021.
Langowski stated that the runway was designed to meet these requirements but it has not been published with MNDot yet, TKDA is working on getting it published.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

iv. Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve advertising for bids for the Prospectors Loop Beaver River Bridge.
Langowski stated that we are continuing to work with the Prospectors group on their project, there has been money secured for half of the Beaver River Bridge project, which is towards the Bear Head State Park; the other half should get awarded tomorrow at the IRRRB meeting. We have two grant applications on the IRRRBs docket, one for the Hidden Valley Mt Bike Trails to finish that project and the bridge project. With that award tomorrow the funds will be in place and we can start advertising for bids for the Beaver River Bridge project.
Motion Carried Unanimously

B. Fire Chief
i. Fire Department Meeting
ii. Accept the resignations from Matt High and Bob Zupancich from the Ely Fire Department.
Chief Marshall stated that both High and Zup were excellent firefighters and due to life changes they have decided to resign.
The Public Safety Open House has been rescheduled for September 15th from 3-6pm at the Ely Fire Hall. Chief Marshall invited the council to come.
Chief Marshall thanked the council for the wage increases, no one does this for the money, but it is nice to show the appreciation. Chief Marshall indicated that the fire department currently has 31 members and we have 4 openings. We have 2 applications and are hoping to get a couple new members. There is new firefighting training in Breitung at the end of September.
As of August 28th the Ely Fire Department was officially done working on the Greenwood Lake Fire and done at the Airport on September 4th.
Chief Marshall stated that the Ely Fire Department along with other local fire departments, police, forest service, etc will be participating in a somber procession in remembrance of September 11th at 9am. The somber procession will go along Sheridan Street.

C. Library Director
Library Director Heinrich stated that the new hours for the Library will be 9am-6:30pm Monday – Friday, to try to give the working folks time to come to the library.
Library Director Heinrich discussed the programing and announcements regarding the library which can be found on the Library website.

Debeltz/Callen moved to send a Thank You to Matt High and Bob Zup for their service as Ely firefighters. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Debeltz/Callen moved to send a Thank You to Police Officers Maxwell Brewer and George Burger for their service on the Ely Police Department. Motion Carried Unanimously.

D. Police Chief
Chief Houde thanked the council for approving the posting for a patrolperson and Assistant Police Chief.
Chief Houde thanked Maxwell Brewer and especially Sergeant George Burger for his years of service.
Chief Houde reminded everyone that it is Harvest Moon this weekend, we will have extra traffic in town so driver carefully. Also school is open, please take extra time and caution around the school grounds and when kids are coming and going.

E. City Attorney

F. City Engineer

10. COMMUNICATIONS: Matter of Information
A. Correspondence from St Louis County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
B. Correspondence from the Ely Chamber of Commerce regarding the City of Ely’s Complementary Membership.
C. Correspondence to Senator Tina Smith, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Congressman Pete Stauber regarding future Airport improvements.

11. CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT:
A. City and EUC claims for September 7, 2021 – $470,027.45
B. 2022 Coalition of Greater MN Cities (CGMC) Dues Invoice for $6151.00
C. 2022 CGMC Voluntary Assessment for the Environmental Action Fund for $849.00.
D. Partial Payment Estimate No 4 for the 2021 City Infrastructure Improvements Project for $42,975.25 to Utility Systems of America.
Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve the Claims for Payment items A-D. Motion Carried Unanimously.

12. OLD BUSINESS:

13. NEW BUSINESS:
A. Callen/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2021-040 Resolution Authorizing to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement for Airport Improvement Excluding Land Acquisition. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve the Commercial Renovation Loan for Pengal’s Inc at 137 E Sheridan St for $6000 to repair roof pending proper paperwork and fees and to direct Attorney Klun to work with the applicant and proceed with loan processing. Motion Carried Unanimously

C. Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the Temporary Liquor License for Dorothy Molter Memorial Foundation to have a Beverage Garden at the Ely Marathon in Whiteside Park on September 25, 2021. Motion Carried Unanimously.

D. Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve the resignation of Chris Steele from the Library Board and post for the opening and to send a letter of thanks for his service. Motion Carried Unanimously.

E. A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the Conditional Use Permit for Paul Hedrick for a Recreational Vehicle Park at 1759 Pioneer Road.
Langowski stated that a CUP was issued in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s, planning and zoning went through the process for it to be approved, but it was never recorded properly, this is just following through with the recording of the CUP.
Motion Carried Unanimously

F. A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the City of Ely providing in kind services for the Northern Lights 5K Glow Run and Ely Marathon and Half Marathon on September 24 and 25, 2021. Motion Carried Unanimously.

14. OPEN FORUM: None

15. ADJOURN
Mayor Skraba adjourned the meeting at 6:24pm without objection.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo September 25, 2021