Regular Meeting Ely City Council March 1, 2022

Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall,
Council Chambers
March 1, 2022

CALL TO ORDER:
The regular meeting of the Ely City Council was called to order by Mayor Skraba at 5:31pm in the Council Chambers.

PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Callen, and Mayor Skraba
ABSENT: Council Members Omerza and Campbell

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the minutes from the February 15, 2022 Public Hearing and the February 15, 2022 Regular Council Meeting. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Addition 13.F. Resolution 2022-010 Resolution requesting Support and Funding for a New Facility for the Ely Area Ambulance Service
B. Addition 11.B. Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc Invoice No. 421234 for $5000.00, Invoice No. 419952 for $2511.00, and Invoice No. 420211for $6992.86 for the Prospector ATV Trail.
C. Addition 11. C. Partial Pay Estimate No. 3 for the Prospector ATV –Phase 6 Beaver River Crossing for $264,587.26 to Northland Constructors.
Callen/Kess moved to approve the additions A-C. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

MAYOR’S REPORT:
Swearing in Ceremony for Assistant Police Chief Mike Lorenz and Police Officer Zachary Ward and a Lifesaver Award for Christian Deinhammer for an incident that happened on October 30, 2021.
Mayor Skraba recessed the meeting at 5:45pm
Mayor Skraba reconvened the meeting at 5:49pm

CONSENT AGENDA:
A. Motion to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda.
B. Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting on April 28, 2022 from 5:00pm-6:00pm in the council chambers at Ely City Hall.
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the consent agenda items A and B. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

REQUESTS TO APPEAR: None

COMMITTEE REPORTS:
Standing/Special
Library Board: Minutes included in the Council Packet
Kess asked about masks in the library till the end of the school year since the school lifted their mask mandate. Kess asked if this is something the library will reconsider. Kess stated that the Library is our facility, as the virus fades in the community everyone is anticipating that services open up fully.
Langowski indicated he was not sure where the policy currently stands, but we can get an update from them.

Planning and Zoning Commission
Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from Planning and Zoning Commission to approve the issuance of a 5 year Interim Use Permit for the Annual Jake Forsman Memorial/ Fundraiser & Car Show-Burnout Competition. The permit request is to close a portion of 2nd & 3rd Avenue between Harvey and Sheridan St East leaving access to and from the fire dept. and to close that portion of Chapman Street between 2nd & 3rd and 3rd and 4th Avenue East with the Ely Public Library lot being closed from 8am-6pm. The event will be held on the first Saturday in October from 10am-4pm including setup the day before and clean up the day after. The permit will be on a 5 year term with the event taking place on the following dates: 10/1/2022, 10/7/2023, 10/5/2024, 10/4/2025, and 10/3/2026.
A.Forsman stated that the event brings attention to and a desire to the youth regarding building and mechanical trades. This event brings interest in these service positions that are lacking in our community; there is a shortage of electricians, plumbers, mechanics, etc. There is a lack of employees in so many of these fields right now; we need to try to drive that desire within our youth.
Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Budget Committee
A.Forsman/Kess moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee to approve a fund balance transfer from the general fund to TIF #1 for $17,998.16 and a payment to St. Louis County for $59,749.46 from the TIF #3 fund to close out both funds.
Langowski indicated the debt service is paid up for the Business Park and the Grand Ely Lodge area. The small transfer that is required is from a previous deficiency in the fund that we couldn’t correct with an extension; the overage that is getting paid back to SLC is a good thing, that money will get redistributed to all the taxing entities in the area.
A.Forsman stated that the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts are a tool used by Cities to raise money for infrastructure to make a project like this work. The developer or property owner will end up paying the taxes to pay back the loan overtime, and then you get to this point in time where the TIF district is paid off. The properties that were paying into the TIF District will be paying the property taxes like normal and the money will be going to the county, city, and school. From now on everyone benefits from what was empty lots is now contributing to the tax rolls.
Kess stated that there is a time and place for these TIF Districts, he is glad they were available at the time for these areas.
Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve the recommendation from Budget Committee to add a John Deer Lawn Tractor to the Public Works Equipment Replacement list for 2022. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Budget Committee to approve the 2022 Fee Schedule as presented and the Proposed 2022 Utility Rates, contingent on a public hearing for the utility rates.
Langowski indicated that one item that came up was to look at the Planning and Zoning fees.
Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Ely Utilities Commission
A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from EUC and the EUC Budget and Rates Committee to increase the Water fixed fee rate by $0.50, the Sewer fixed fee rate by $1.00 and no change to the current Electric rates and to schedule a Public Hearing for the proposed 2022 EUC rates for March 15, 2022 at 5:00pm, the rates will be approved after the public hearing. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve payment of EUC January Bills for $516,680.83. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve payment to Lake States Construction for Fiber Installation for $146,146.80. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the Grand Ely Lodge CIP rebate for $224.13.
A.Forsman reminded everyone when energy efficient improvements are made there are potentially rebates that are offered, contact Clerk Langowski.
Langowski also stated that if anyone makes energy star purchases we have rebates available on our website.
Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Telecommunications Advisory Board
Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve the recommendation from TAB to have Attorney Klun review the draft franchise agreement from Midco.
Langowski indicated that there are a couple changes that Midco are proposing; we have had the same franchise agreement for quiet sometime. This is the point in time when the city can decide what they want to set the franchise agreement at, there is a limit and we are currently at the maximum allowed by the FCC. The franchise fee is passed on to Midco’s cable customers, and that franchise fee is what we use to run our Public Access TV Stations. The changes they are requesting is removing the bond requirement, this is typically needed for new franchises not long standing. Also removing the annual report requirement, on customer count, etc, we get this on a monthly basis as our franchise agreements come through. The last thing to look at are the facilities in town that we currently have service provided for in our franchise agreement; they are now allowed to reduce that service fee from our franchise payments. Nothing major for changes, but we would like Attorney Klun to review it to make sure we are going in the correct direction.
Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Housing & Redevelopment Authority of Ely: Minutes included in agenda packet

Kess indicated that the RAMS minutes will be coming. RAMS had a legislative meeting last Tuesday, some highlights included they focused on improved services for Mental Health, improvements to the LGA and PILT. Kess stated that Ecklund is supportive of the West End and Trailhead project.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
ClerkTreasurer
Langowski stated that there have been approximately 5-7 water freeze ups per day. If your water temperature gets to be 37° and falling you should run your water a pencil lead size in one of your sinks. If your water freezes during business hours you can call the Utility office if it is after hours or on the weekend you can call the Utility Emergency Number which is on your utility bill and on the city website, the city will thaw the water line for $100 during business hours or $200 on weekends or evenings.

Fire Chief:
Chief Marshall discussed the recent calls for the fire department. Last month’s training was on firefighter down training, which a lot of the members of the department had never had, it was a very well received training by the department.
Marshall stated that the Snowmobile Safety Class was last Saturday and several of the firefighters helped out -19 young people went through the training course.

Library Director:
Mayor Skraba discussed the current programming at the library which can be found on the Library Website.

Police Chief:
Nothing to report – swearing in ceremony was earlier for the 2 new officers and lifesaver award was given to Chirstian Deinhammer.

City Attorney
A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the 1st Reading – Ordinance 352 An Ordinance of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Amending Chapter 20, Section 20.2.41, of the Ely City Code Regarding the Sale of Lots in the Plat of East Spaulding First Addition (Sibley Court).
Attorney Klun indicated that this is the new development on Sibley Court in the Spaulding Area. We are making a small change to the ordinance that each property will need to hook up to the electrical grid. In the conversations prior to the meeting some additional changes to the ordinance may be needed. We are about to contract with Keller Williams Classic Realty NW for the sale of these lots, the purchase price is set in ordinance for these lots, now would be the time to change these prices if the council chooses. The other item that has been in conversation is the #7 in the ordinance that all primary structures have a minimum ground floor living area of 1200 square feet, Attorney Klun indicated that might not be doable for everyone. These items will be looked at before the 2nd reading of the ordinance.
A.Forsman suggested a realtor should look at the current market values of the lots. Forsman also suggested that the connection to the electrical grid state that they remain connected to the electrical grid. A.Forsman indicated that we need to find out what the fair price is for these lots, and what is viable for us to do this project.
Mayor Skraba stated to drill a well and to put a septic system on a property it is around 50-60,000, and we are talking about bringing water, sewer, and electric to these properties, the costs of the lots are less than that, we need to discuss it and see where it comes out.
Langowski indicated that the covenants were put in place by Planning and Zoning back then. 768 square footage is the minimum city requirement. The intent of the1200 square foot minimum ground floor requirement back in 2009 was to have larger homes built, the cost per square foot right now has risen compared to back then. The square footage of a house doesn’t dictate its value as much as it used to.
Kess indicated that these are fairly large lots, if we sell every one of these at the listed price, we will just barely cover our utility cost, if we learned anything from the Spaulding Lots we are not going to sell them all and it may take a long time to sell these lots. Kess indicated that he would like to increase the price of these lots so we have some margin built into these.
Mayor Skraba indicated that if anyone has any thoughts on this to bring it up to Clerk Langowski and we will bring it to the projects committee.
Kess indicated that he would hope that the minimum square foot would be bigger than the minimum in our code book of 768 square foot.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Debeltz/Kess moved to approve the 1st Reading of Ordinance 354 An Ordinance of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Adding Chapter 20, Section 20.2.57 Sales of Land City Code of the City of Ely (40 N Klondike Dr.) Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to schedule a Public Hearing regarding the sale of land in Ordinance 354 - 40 N Klondike Dr. for March 15, 2022 at 4:30pm in the Council Chambers at Ely City Hall. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Kess/Debeltz moved to approve the 1st Reading of Ordinance 355 An Ordinance of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Adding Chapter 20, Section 20.2.58 Sales of Land City Code of the City of Ely. (Zup’s Parking Lot) Lot 3, Block 1, Echo Property.
A.Forsman asked if this was only for the one lot. Attorney Klun indicated it is for only one lot, Lot 3, Block 1, Echo Property.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Debeltz/Callen moved to schedule a Public Hearing regarding the sale of land in Ordinance 355 – Zups Parking Lot for March 15, 2022 at 4:45pm in the Council Chambers at Ely City Hall. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Kess/Callen moved to OMIT - Listing Contract Agreement Exclusive Right to Sell for Keller Williams Classic Realty NW and Brokerage Disclosures.
Attorney Klun indicated that we will bring this back up after the prices of each lot in Sibley Court are looked at and potentially adjusted.
Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2022-006 Resolution Establishing the City of Ely’s intent to vacate a portion of City-Owned Property and to schedule a public hearing for April 5, 2022 at 5:15pm in the Council Chambers at Ely City Hall.
Attorney Klun discussed the process for a vacation, first the resolution will be passed, then we will send out mailings to the adjacent land owners, a public hearing will be held on April 5th, the 1st reading of the ordinance will be on April 5th, and tentatively the 2nd reading of ordinance will be on April 19th.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

City Engineer

COMMUNICATIONS: Matter of Information
A. Correspondence from Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital regarding their 2021 Annual Report.
B. Correspondence from Habitat for Humanity – Habitat Highlights Newsletter Winter 2022
C. League of Minnesota Cities 2022 City of Excellence Award Application
D. League of Minnesota Cities 2022 Individual Awards Honoring Outstanding Service Nomination Application

CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT:
A. City and EUC claims for March 1, 2022 - $90,082.86
B. Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc Invoice No. 421234 for $5000.00, Invoice No. 419952 for $2511.00, and Invoice No. 420211for $6992.86 for the Prospector ATV Trail.
C. Partial Pay Estimate No. 3 for the Prospector ATV –Phase 6 Beaver River Crossing for $264,587.26 to Northland Constructors.
Callen/A.Forsman moved to approve the Claims for Payment items A-C. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

OLD BUSINESS:
Committee Seat Applications
Projects Committee
1 Seat Open – Term Expiring 1/31/2024 – New Applicants resident or Non-Resident
Kris Winkelman – Resident
Debeltz/Callen moved to appoint Kris Winkelman to the Projects Committee with her term expiring January 31, 2024. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

NEW BUSINESS:
A. Kess/Callen moved to approve Resolution 2022-007 Resolution Reestablishing Precincts and Polling Place.
Mayor Skraba questioned if we need a resolution to establish the absentee precinct.
Deputy Clerk Velcheff will check with the county to see, but we have not had to in the past.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

B. Debeltz/Kess moved to approve Resolution 2022-008 Resolution Authorizing to Execute Minnesota Department of Transportation Agency Agreement for Federal Airport Expenses Reimbursement. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

C. Kess/Debeltz moved to approve Resolution 2022-009 Resolution Authorizing to Execute USA Forest Service, East Zone Procurement & Property Services Lease Amendment
Langowski indicated that this is for the space they rent from us at the Airport for the CPI adjustments. They owe us for previous years of CPI adjustments that were not paid.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

D. Debeltz/Callen moved to approve the Development Agreement between Eagle Wolf Development and City of Ely for the renovation and conversion of the property at 303 E Sheridan St Ely, MN into a retail and rental store. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

E. Kess/Debeltz moved to OMIT - Post the Part-Time Planning and Zoning Position Externally. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

F. Debeltz/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2022-010 Resolution requesting Support and Funding for a New Facility for the Ely Area Ambulance Service.
A.Forsman stated that this shows the legislators that we are all unified in supporting the Ely Area Ambulance Service.
Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman – Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Absent, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Absent, Mayor Skraba- Yes. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

OPEN FORUM: None

ADJOURN:
Callen/Debeltz moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:50pm. Motion Carried 5-0-2 with Omerza and Campbell Absent.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Ely Echo March 19, 2022