Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers October 19, 2021

Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall,
Council Chambers
October 19, 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:
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the minutes from the October 5, 2021 Regular Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

4. ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Addition 8.A Budget Committee
B. Addition 8.A Housing and Redevelopment Authority
C. OMIT - Addition 9.E.iv Updated inspection report from October 18, 2021for 1061 E Madison St and Resolution 2021-046 Resolution 2021-046 and Order of the City of Ely A Resolution and Order of the City of Ely, Minnesota Declaring the Real Property at 1061 East Madison Street Blight Pursuant to the Ely City Code
D. Addition 13. F. Resolution 2021-050 Resolution Authorizing City Of Ely To Make Application To And Accept Funds From Us Economic Development Administration Under The FY 2021 American Rescue Plan Act Travel, Tourism And Outdoor Recreation Notice Of Funding Opportunity
E. Addition 13. G Resolution 2021-051 Resolution Authorizing the Application of the Knights of Columbus Council 3238 to Conduct Bingo
F. Addition 13.F Schedule an interview with the one qualified applicant for Equipment Operator II Position
Callen/Kess moved to approve the additions and omissions A-F. Motion Carried Unanimously.

5. MAYOR’S REPORT
Mayor Skraba indicated that he did the half marathon in Ashland, Wisconsin the other weekend; Mayor Skraba encourages everyone to exercise and to use the great trail systems we have around the Ely area. The VA Clinic ribbon cutting was well attended by local representatives and it is a state of the art building.

6. CONSENT AGENDA:
Kess/Omerza moved to waive 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
Park and Recreation Committee
Omerza/A.Forsman moved to approve the recommendation from the Park and Recreation Committee to place the two bronze sculptures that are being donated by Bill and Holly Rom in the flower beds at Whiteside Park.
Mayor Skraba indicated that he would like to see the smaller one at a different location, maybe Semer’s Park.
Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Mayor Skraba voting No.

Year-end report from the Garden Club –Matter of Information
Omerza indicated that next year we will try to help them to get the word out to get more members. Park and Recreation will work on sending the Garden Club a Thank You for all their hard work on the gardens.

Projects Committee:
Callen/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from the Projects Committee to start the process to sell the city owned property next to 1906 Savoy Road N to Pat and Brielle Loe. Motion Carried Unanimously

Airport Commission:
Kess indicated that the Airport Commission continues to update their CIP. We have currently tasked the Airport Manger to try to find a new tanker truck, which is not covered by FAA money; we would need to use capital funds from the Airport. With the demands from the recent fires it is imperative that we have a better system. There has also been some interest in private hangers with living quarters at the airport. We are looking at some land acquisition on the north side of the airport for these hangers.
Langowski indicated that we have an opportunity with some property coming for sale; we have talked with the FAA in updating our CIP to look at acquisition, this would be one of the intended uses of our entitlement money.

Assistant Police Chief Hiring Committee:
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Assistant Police Chief Hiring Committee to interview all three applicants and allow for Zoom interview if needed.
Chief Houde indicated that one applicant is working that day and asked if we could do a Zoom interview.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Kess/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from the Assistant Police Chief Hiring Committee to have the full council interview all three applicants on November 4, 2021 at 4pm, 4:45pm, and 5:30pm and use the interview questions presented at the subcommittee meeting. The interviews on November 4th will be a Special Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Budget Committee
A.Forsman/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee to order and purchase a new Ford Interceptor Squad vehicle from Lundgren’s Ford for $33,031.38 plus taxes and fees and the outfitting of the squad by EATI for $13,967.91.
A.Forsman thanked Chief Houde for the research he did on this. The Dodge vehicles are approximately 6 months out and the Ford is around 4 months out.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Kess moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee to give the scrap fire items from the old 1957 American LaFrance to Tom Erchull with the expectation the 1957 American LaFrance Fire Truck will be used in community events such as parades.
A.Forsman indicated that former Chief Erchull had acquired the truck and has brought it back to Ely. Forsman stated that he is glad we will be able to enjoy this truck in our parades and community events.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Housing and Redevelopment Authority: Minutes included in the additions council packet.

Omerza gave an update on the Childcare group meeting; they are in the process of revamping the survey and trying to get it out between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Northspan is having a Childcare summit on November 10th via zoom. The childcare group is meeting the 2nd Thursday of the month at 5:30pm. The city’s roll is to help with the rules and regulations and to help with the funding part of it by being the pass through.
Mayor Skraba indicated that the community needs to talk about childcare and we need to work together, if anyone wants to join the group let Omerza or the clerk’s office know.

9. DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
A. Clerk-Treasurer
Langowski indicated that the Ely Arts and Heritage Center (EAHC) group received an estimate to put a new roof on the Captain’s Dry Building for $24,000. The EAHC has $12,000 to put towards the roof and are looking at doing fundraising for the additional amount. During the Blueberry Arts Strom another portion of the rolled roofing blew off of the building and the gutters blew off the building. The building is not insured for damage being it is a vacant building that we are unable to get coverage on. The EAHC is committed to try to save the building and they have ideas for a reuse for the building. They are looking at funding the roof project on their own, if the city would allow them to continue down that route.
Kess asked if the building is structurally sound. Langowski indicated that it is structurally sound but it does need some repairs.
A.Forsman/Omerza moved to allow the Ely Arts and Heritage Center group to continue to put a roof on the Captain’s Dry Building. Motion Carried Unanimously.
Mayor Skraba asked if there is any way the city can help with funding for the Captain’s dry roof, if the group does not get enough funding.
Langowski indicated that he had discussed maybe going to the IRRR and asking for funds, the problem is they do not fund projects after the fact. Currently we have a request into the IRRR for the Miners Memorial. Langowski indicated that discussion was had on the potential of possibly doing a loan with the EAHC. We can discuss it again at the next budget meeting.
Kess indicated that we have had the Miner’s Dry rehabbed under similar circumstances, so there is a level of trust that they can get this done. The city has looked at the costs of rehabbing the Captain’s Dry and without a specific use in mind, it is hard to commit city money to something we are not sure how it is going to be used, this has been problematic in the past.
Mayor Skraba indicated that last time he was mayor there was discussion on tearing down the old state theater, and now look at it. Hopefully a benefactor will step in to help with the roof on the Captains Dry.
A.Forsman stated that he is thankful that there is a group that wants to step forward to help save the building from any further deterioration, until there is a plan for reuse the city does not have any business stepping in to save it. A.Forsman stated he is all for history and saving the building, and is glad they have stepped up to work on saving the building.

Langowski indicated that this week 2 former city employees passed away, Jake Jacobson who was a Police and Fire Dispatcher and Fire Truck Driver and Grace (Leoni) Thureen who was the City Assessor.
Debeltz/Campbell moved to send a condolence letter of thanks for their service to the City of Ely to the families. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Fire Chief
Chief Marshall indicated that ladder #1 is back in service, thanks to Kevin Mattila, Jeremy Moen, and Scott Polyner for helping to get it back in service. The Fire Department will be handing out candy on Halloween night for Trick and Treating.

C. Library Director
Library Director Heinrich stated that the library will be closed Wednesday – Friday this week so the Library workers can attend a conference. The fall hours will continue on next week, Monday – Friday 9am-6:30pm. Trick or Treating at the library will be on Friday October 29th.

D. Police Chief
Chief Houde thanked the council for the approval of the new squad car. Chief Houde reminded everyone that calendar parking starts on November 1st, park your vehicles for calendar parking on Halloween night October 31st. The school patrol kids are out again which is great to see, always remember to drive with care around the school.

E. City Attorney
i. Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve the note and mortgage for the Commercial Renovation Loan for Ely Portage, LLC at 18 E Sheridan St to insulate roof and re-roof for $17,500. Motion Carried Unanimously.
ii. A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve the mortgage satisfaction for James and Ronda Reed dated July 24, 2019 a Recorded as Document No 1012794.0. Motion Carried Unanimously

iii. Option to Purchase the Former Ely Community Center
Attorney Klun stated that Clerk Langowski, Omerza, Kess, Attorney Klun and Matt Stupnik met regarding his proposal for the Community Center. The option to purchase the Community Center allows him 6 month time and the council 6 month time to determine if we can come to a fair market value and to also look at a hazardous material assessment on the building, and to look at the buyer’s architectural plans, budget and cost assessments. In this agreement we will do a hazardous material assessment at the cost of a couple thousand dollars and in return we are looking for the buyer to show us his architectural plans and budget and cost assessments, from there we would move forward with determining a purchase price if the council is willing to move forward. The purchase price would be based on fair market value and reduced or amended on the economic value the project would have for the city. By signing this we are locking into one potential buyer for the next 6 months with the obligation to do a hazardous material assessment and intern we are going to receive the proposal and plans.
Mayor Skraba asked if we can get out of the agreement before 6 months if needed. Attorney Klun stated the city would not be able to get out of the agreement we would be bound for 6 months.
Mayor Skraba asked how long the hazardous material assessment is good for. Langowski indicated he would have to look at how long they are good for; they do have a “shelf life.”
Callen asked if it could be less than 6 months. Attorney Klun stated that Stupnik requested 6 month timeframe for time to get the architectural plans completed.
Kess indicated that Stupnik needs us to do the hazardous material assessment to be able to work his numbers and then he needs to work with professional architects also. What is simply a concept will then become more firmly based in construction and financial reality and that is what we expect to see in 6 months.
A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve the Option to Purchase the Former Community Center to Matthew Stupnik as presented.
A.Forsman stated that the potential buyer needs time to make sure he gets everything together and to know we are not going to sell it out from under him, the 6 months is important. Forsman indicated he would like to see what Stupnik is proposing and in reality the 6 month turnaround is quite quick when you are talking about something of this nature. Forsman stated he is in full support of what Stupnik is asking for.
Langowski indicated that the City still has control of the building; we can still show the building with the stipulation that there is an Option to Purchase on the table.
Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Campbell abstaining. Campbell stated she sees a better use of the building as the reason for her abstaining.

iv. OMITTED Resolution 2021-046 and Order of the City of Ely A Resolution and Order of the City of Ely, Minnesota Declaring the Real Property at 1061 East Madison Street Blight Pursuant to the Ely City Code. (Updated Inspection Report – 3 October 18, 2021.)

F. City Engineer

10. COMMUNICATIONS:
A. Correspondence from the Minnesota State Demographic Center- annual population and household estimates.
April 1, 2020 US Census Bureau counts: Total population: 3,268 Household Population: 3,016, Group Quarters Population: 252, Total Housing Units: 1,961, Occupied Housing Units (Households): 1,615, and Vacant Housing Units: 346.
Discussion was had on the number of Vacant Housing Units and how this number is probably much lower now with the housing market taking off since April 1, 2020.
B. Correspondence from St Louis Count Environmental Services Department regarding an increase to St. Louis County’s Municipal Solid Waste Tipping Fee for 2022.
C. Ely Community Resource Quarterly Progress Report Quarter 3
Mayor Skraba stated that this is a great organization and it helps out our community greatly.
Kess indicated that it is hard to overestimate the amount of quality that Ely Community Resources brings to our community it is a great organization.
Mayor Skraba stated that many years ago we discussed the effect of what does ECR does for our community, what would happen if we took it away, what some of these kids would do. The roll of ECR has been to help our youth and point them in a positive direction; Skraba stated he cannot say enough positive comments of what ECR does for the community.

11. CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT
Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve the City and EUC claims for October 19, 2021 for $647,868.05. Motion Carried Unanimously.

12. OLD BUSINESS:
A. Debeltz/Omerza moved to approve the Utility Billing Clerk Job Description and to post the position externally.
Langowski indicated that we posted the position internally and we did not receive any applicants.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Meeting with Pam Turnbull regarding requesting Rummage Sale to the Classification list of Permissible/Conditional uses.
Attorney Klun indicated that Clerk Langowski, Mayor Skraba, Campbell, and Attorney Klun met with Pam Turnbull to discuss the occasional sale and the zoning in the M – Industrial Zone. Attorney Klun indicated that the city has a 2nd hand goods license that could be used for the 3rd party items that Pam is selling. The council would need to allow for the 2nd hand goods license to be as an allowable use in the M-Industrial Zone.
Kess/Campbell moved to allow for an ordinance revision to allow a 2nd hand goods license be permissible in M-Industrial zone.
Langowski indicated that this does not make the off premise signs allowable. Off premise signs are not allowed in the Sheridan Street Corridor, but we did offer up a couple solutions as to how signage could be allowed on other commercial businesses directing people towards her business. This is not allowing the sandwich boards as permissible, they are not allowed.
Kess stated that in the future this could become an issue if it becomes more than an occasional sale.
Motion Carried Unanimously

13. NEW BUSINESS:
A. Omerza/Callen moved to approve Resolution 2021-047 Resolution Authorizing to Execute Agreement for the Prospector Loop ATV – Phase 6, Beaver River Crossing. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Callen/Omerza moved to approve Lease Amendment No: 1256A109L0901PLA003 with the USDA Forest Service at the Ely Municipal Airport for the 2021 CPI Adjustment/CPI Catch Up. Motion Carried Unanimously.

C. Omerza/Campbell moved to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with the Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital 340B Drug Pricing Program. Motion Carried Unanimously.

D. A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve Resolution 2021-048 Resolution Appointing City Attorney Kelly M. Klun as Agency Account Manager with the Ability to Execute the Master Subscriber Agreement for New Minnesota Government Access for Governmental Agencies with the Minnesota Judicial Branch on Behalf of the 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.

E. Omerza/Campbell moved to approve Resolution 2021-049 Resolution Making Levy and Assessment Against Taxable Properties for Delinquent Water, Sewer And Electric Accounts.
Langowski indicated that this is for past due Utility Bills; we sent notices to the property owners giving them until today to pay their bills or the bills would be going on their property taxes.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

F. A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve Resolution 2021-050 Resolution Authorizing City Of Ely To Make Application To And Accept Funds From Us Economic Development Administration Under The FY 2021 American Rescue Plan Act Travel, Tourism And Outdoor Recreation Notice Of Funding Opportunity. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

G. Callen/Omerza moved to approve Resolution 2021-051 Resolution Authorizing the Application of the Knights of Columbus Council 3238 to Conduct Bingo. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

H. Debeltz/Omerza moved to schedule an interview with the one qualified applicant for Equipment Operator II.
Langowski indicated that we will need an interview committee, AFSCME Union President Troy Oelke, Mayor Skraba, Clerk Langowski, Public Works Foreman Mike Popesh, and one other council member/employee relations member.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

14. OPEN FORUM: None

15. ADJOURN
Campbell/Debeltz moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:54pm. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo November 6, 2021