Regular Meeting Ely City Council December 21, 2021

Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall,
Council Chambers
December 21, 2021

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

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Omerza/Callen moved to approve the minutes from the December 7, 2021 Public Hearing on the Sale of Land to the Loe’s, the Hearing regarding 726 E Camp St, the Hearing regarding 1811 E Chapman St, and the Hearing regarding 1945 E Harvey St., the December 7, 2021 Regular Council Meeting and December 7, 2021 Truth in Taxation Public Hearing. Motion Carried Unanimously.

ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Addition 8.A. Budget Committee
B. Addition 9.A. MN Public Facilities Authority Bond Purchase and Project Loan Agreement with Water Infrastructure Funding Grant and Point Source Implementation Grant DRAFT
C. Additions 13.I IRRRB Grant Agreement for the WWTF Improvement Project for PO ID 3000008777
Debeltz/Campbell moved to accept the additions A-C. Motion Carried Unanimously.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
The Legislative Joint Powers Meeting was at the Grand Ely Lodge Yesterday.

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

REQUESTS TO APPEAR: None

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Standing/Special
Library Board: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Projects Committee
Callen/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from the Projects Committee to draft an agreement for a ten year period with extension option to allow the Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club to use the north side of Main Street in front of 1140 E Main St to use this area for parking of groomer drags.

A.Forsman asked for clarification as to how much area would be used.
Mayor Skraba indicated it would be the same area as the lot at 1140 E Main St (150 feet) and approximately 20-30 feet into that lot.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Callen/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from the Projects Committee to proceed with planning the development of the additional housing lots in Spaulding on Sibley Court.

Mayor Skraba stated that this is the right step to move forward.

A.Forsman indicated that the timing is right for this now with the high demand for housing. We have seen the need in our housing study and in the recent demand in the housing market.
Kess stated that we need to be aware that we did not sell all of the original Spaulding lots; we need to proceed cautiously and plan carefully.
Langowski indicated that he has talked to the IRRR and they indicated they might be able to help with the infrastructure to the area. The realtor that has been showing the property has had at least 2-3 interested parties.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Callen/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from Projects Committee to work with the owner of 357 W Harvey St to get an easement for alley access in exchange for the property he is occupying to the west of his platted lots.
Langowski indicated that this is the area on the very far end of West Harvey Street; there are actually 2 houses that are on this lot. What makes this unique is the access to the alleyway is through their property. The owner’s interest is to divide the lot into 2 separate houses. The concern is this is how we and all the residents access the alley. The property owner is utilizing some city land to the west, which is flat, but then is a ledge rock drop off; this land would not be useable for any other use. Planning and Zoning and Projects have looked at this and have felt if the property owner would give the City easement for the alley it would be a fair trade for the land to the west, this is the way the alley has functioned forever.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Callen/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from Projects Committee to work with the interested party on the potential purchase of 40 N Klondike.
Langowski indicated that the lot across from 40 N Klondike at 21 Klondike is the Loushin’s which is the parents of the party that is interested in 40 N Klondike. There was a home on 40 N Klondike that was tore down approximately 10 years ago, at that time we realized that it was actually city owned property.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Ely Utilities Commission
A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the AE2S Construction Amendment No. 1 for $582,000.00 for the WWTF Improvement Project.
Langowski indicated that we were under budget on the design phase by approximately $150,000.
A.Forsman indicated that we have worked with them in the design phase since the beginning of this project, they have done a very thorough job and the bids for the project came in under bid in a very tough construction time. A.Forsman stated he is very thankful for the work they have done.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the payment to Hydro Klean for sanitary sewer cleaning and televising for $9,310.00. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the payment of the EUC November Bills for $312,272.36. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the payment of the NEMMPA 2022 dues for $2,000.00.
A.Forsman stated that this is the group that was responsible for reducing the fees and negotiating a new contract with MN Power.
Motion Carried Unanimously

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the payment of the AE2S invoice for $13,435.78. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the payment for Energy Rebates for Curt Miles for $120.00 and Zup’s Foods for $15,941.15.
A.Forsman indicated that a resident did some home improvements and is getting a rebate back, and Zups did the big project at the new store and is getting a significant amount back.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Budget Committee
A.Forsman/Kess moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee to approve the proposed levy of $1,977,900 and the proposed 2022 budget. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from Budget Committee to combine the alcohol and drug forfeiture funds.
Chief Houde explained that when we take a motor vehicle from DWI forfeiture or a controlled substance for forfeiture or cash forfeiture from a person, we currently have 2 separate funds these go into. There are some laws that are being changed as of January 1st with more reporting requirements that police departments will be responsible for, it will be easier to have just the one account. We will have to report where the money coming in is being spent.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
Clerk-Treasurer
MN Public Facilities Authority Bond Purchase and Project Loan Agreement with Water Infrastructure Funding Grant and Point Source Implementation Grant DRAFT
Langowski indicated that we will have a resolution on the next council agenda for this project. Langowski indicated that the City will be receiving $5,592,217 from the Point Source Implementation Grant Program (PSIG), $2,198,242 from the Water Infrastructure Fund Grant Clean Water (WIF), and will be taking out $549,561 as a loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan for a total of $8,340,020.

Langowski indicated that the outdoor skating rink at the Rec Center is open as of yesterday. The hours are Monday – Friday from 3pm-8pm, Saturdays from 12pm-8pm, and Sundays from 1pm-6pm.

Fire Chief
Fire Department Meeting Minutes included in the council agenda packet.
Chief Marshall discussed the recent calls for the department.
Chief Marshall indicated that at the last officers meeting they discussed how to approve a new apparatus for the fire department. First it will get approved by the officers then it will be brought to the whole fire department membership for approval, then it will be brought to the council with the full fire department backing the purchase.

Library Director
Library Director Heinrich discussed the current programming at the library which can be found on the Library Website, next year is the 100th Anniversary of the Library. Heinrich indicated that the American Library Journal has awarded its annual star libraries again and the Ely Library received a 5-star rating this year, only 5 other cities in Minnesota received star ratings this year.
The Library will be closed Thursday and Friday December 30 and 31 for the New Year holiday.

Police Chief
Chief Houde stated that Assistant Chief Lorenz first day was today.

City Attorney
Omerza/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2021-058 A Resolution and Order of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Declaring the Real Property at 726 East Camp Street Blight Pursuant to the Ely City Code.
Attorney Klun went through the items A-L on page 5 of the resolution/order that will need to be completed by June 30, 2022. Klun indicated that St. Louis County now owns the property so we will be forwarding this resolution/order to the County after approval.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2021-059 A Resolution and Order of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Declaring the Real Property at 1811 E Chapman Street Blight Pursuant to the Ely City Code.
Attorney Klun went through items A-L on page 5 of the resolution/order that will need to be completed by June 30, 2022. Langowski will work with Korpela to accomplish this.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Campbell/Callen moved to approve Resolution 2021-060 A Resolution and Order of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Declaring the Real Property at 1945 E Harvey Street Blight Pursuant to the Ely City Code.
Attorney Klun went through items A-H on page 4 and 5 of the resolution/order that will need to be completed by June 30, 2022, which included removing the house, but the garage, can remain.
Kess was surprised that the dwelling will be removed.
Langowski indicated that the current owner wanted it demolished; if their plans have changed we will let the council know and work with the owner.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

City Engineer

COMMUNICATIONS: Matter of Information
Correspondence from the International Wolf Center.

CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT:
Callen/Debeltz moved to approve the City and EUC claims for December 21, 2021 for $581,408.75. Motion Carried Unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS:
A. RAMS Official Ballot Recommendation to bring to the Annual Dinner (The City of Ely receives ONE ballot) – Vote for 11 Board of Directors and 1 Board of Directors (Superintendents Association)
Omerza/Callen moved to authorize Paul Kess to mark the RAMS Official ballot for submission. Motion Carried Unanimously.

NEW BUSINESS:
A. Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the Certificate of Substantial Completion for the 2021 City Infrastructure Improvements Project. Motion Carried Unanimously.

B. Omerza/Callen moved to approve Resolution 2021-061 Resolution Authorizing to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Grant Agreement For Federal Airport Expenses Reimbursement. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

C. Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2021-062 A Resolution To Accept The Redistribution Of Unrequested Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund Established Under The American Rescue Plan Act. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

D. A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the request from the Ely Chamber of Commerce for in kind services. The City of Ely’s assistance to plow the road, parking area by the softball fields and Aaron Leustek’s lots. Request for barricades and traffic cones and requesting for the Recycling Area to be closed Sunday, February 27, 2022 for the Wolf Track Classic Sled Dog Race.
A.Forsman indicated that it is good for the public to know that the City of Ely is diverse in the events/activities that we support.
Ellen Cashman, Ely Chamber of Commerce Events Director stated that they are excited to go back to a more normal race this year with spectators. Last year there were only 2 sled dog races, the John Beargrease in Duluth and the Wolf Track Classic in Ely. Last year the Wolf Track Classic had 40 racers, this year they are hoping for 60 racers, they already have 46 signed up. Everyone is really excited to have the race back to normal. Thanks to the City of Ely, we couldn’t do this race without your help.
Motion Carried Unanimously

E. Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve Resolution 2021-063 Resolution of The City of Ely, Minnesota, Decertifying Tax Increment Financing District No. 3.
Langowski indicated that this is the retirement of debt service on TIF District No. 3.
We had to get special legislation to extend the TIF District to pay for the deficiencies of the other TIF District. The debt service is paid off so we cannot collect it anymore to pay off debt, so now the taxes will come in to the school district, county and city like any other property in Ely. This is a good tool to get these projects developed and it is nice to see at the end when it comes back into everyone’s levy.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

F. Omerza/Campbell moved to approve the Job Descriptions for Equipment Operator Trainee, Equipment Operator I, and Equipment Operator II. Motion Carried Unanimously.

G. A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve Resolution 2021-064 Resolution Approving the City of Ely Budget for the Fiscal Year 2022.
Mayor Skraba indicated that compared to other cities on the range we had the lowest increase in our levy.
A.Forsman stated that a lot of work has been done by city staff to keep this number as low as possible.
Omerza indicated that we are keeping our budget low without cutting services. Omerza appreciates the hard work of the budget committee and staff.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

H. A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve Resolution 2021-065 Resolution Approving and Adopting Final Tax Levy Collectible in 2022. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

I. Campbell/Omerza moved to approve the IRRRB Grant Agreement for the WWTF Improvement Project for PO ID 3000008777. Motion Carried Unanimously.

OPEN FORUM: None

ADJOURN:
Omerza/Debeltz moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:32pm. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo January 8, 2022