Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers May 3, 2022

Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers
May 3, 2022

The regular meeting of the Ely City Council was called to order by Mayor Skraba at 5:30pm in the Council Chambers.
PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell, and Mayor Skraba

Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve the minutes from the April 19, 2022 Regular Council Meeting. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A. Addition 9.A Annual Tree Removal and Trimming
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve Addition item A to the agenda. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Mayor Skraba indicated that both papers did a story on the REDress Project in remembrance of missing and murdered indigenous women. Skraba indicated that as a society we need to be aware of what is going on.
Skraba indicated that May 5th is National Day of Prayer at the Senior Center.
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, Thanks to Heidi Omerza and former teacher Paul Kess and we would like to recognize all teachers for their hard work in teaching our next generations.

A. Motion to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda.
B. Coalition of Greater MN Cities Summer Conference 2022 in Red Wing July 27-29, 2022
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the consent agenda items A & B. Motion Carried Unanimously.


Board of Adjustment / Planning & Zoning
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Board of Adjustment to rezone 233, 243, and 247 E Chapman St from R2 to RT. Direct Attorney Klun to move forward with the Ordinance process for rezoning.
Kess asked about the minutes and the concerns that Mattson at 247 E Chapman brought up being not in favor of the rezone.
Langowski explained at first the proposal was to rezone these properties to C-1, but after discussion at the meeting it was decided that it would be better to rezone these properties as RT. The existing business owners at 243 and 247 would rather see the properties be RT in case their business ever moves or closes the “houses” could be turned back to a residential house. Both of the current businesses will be able to apply for a Conditional Use Permit to meet the zoning requirements, we have offered them to waive the fee for the Conditional Use Permit since they have been in business for many decades, this is just a zoning change as requested by another property.
Motion carried 6-0-1 with Campbell abstaining since she owns 233 E Chapman St.

Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from Planning and Zoning that the food truck location at 820 E Sheridan is one location not two per the City Code and Statutes that Food trucks may not operate more than 21 days annual at any one location.
Langowski indicated at this particular parcel they were looking at splitting it in half and operating on one side for 21 days and then moving to the other side and operating for 21 days, this is one parcel.
Callen asked if we could make the clarification to any one parcel rather than any one location.
Attorney Klun indicated that the ordinance and code states location and that is why it is indicated as one location, it is an item of discretion for the council as to what you mean by one location.
Motion Carried Unanimously

Kess indicated in the minutes that Building Official Whitney and Planning & Zoning Administrator Huberty are working on the rental ordinance, if anyone has any concerns they should talk to Whitney or Huberty. Kess asked if commercial properties are included in the number of Short Term Rentals allowed.
Attorney Klun stated that they are not included.
Langowski stated that Huberty has put together a list of Short Term Rentals and will distribute the list to the Police Department and to the St Louis County Assessor’s Office for their information. One thing we have learned so far is the parking issue in residential neighborhoods is much the same in the commercial areas. Currently we have 27 short term rentals including Commercial properties.
Mayor Skraba indicated that St Louis County Planning and Zoning decided when they passed their ordinance they would look at it again after a year.
Langowski indicated that when we originally implemented this ordinance we knew it would need to be looked at in the future, and that is what Whitney and Huberty are doing now.
Building Official Whitney indicated that we the number of Short Term Rentals is by resolution with a total of 35 in Residential areas, so that could be changed without going through the ordinance process.

Langowski indicated that Planning and Zoning has also been working on the blight and civil enforcement committee, so it could be reviewed by the committee prior to coming to the council. It would be nice to have a committee to include the Police Chief, Building Official, Planning and Zoning Administrator and a couple from the council.

Kess stated that in the P&Z minutes they also discussed how to expand housing for the summer with RV trailers. This might be something the council should discuss due to sanitation and the refuse.
Langowski indicated that people have to look at some creative solutions for work force housing. The RV Park on the east end of town is closed and the previous owner is willing to potentially sell if anyone is interested.

Ely Utilities Commission
Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the EUC to schedule a public meeting prior to the May EUC meeting to provide information regarding bio solid applications on the Lahtonen property located on the 904 Road. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Omerza moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the payment to Ferguson for booster pump materials. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve the proposal from InControl for WWTF VFD replacements on Lift Pump 3 and RAS Pump 2 for $24,739.00. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve payment for WWTF project to AE2S for $7,821.50. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve payment estimate #1 for the WWTF to Rice Lake Construction Group for $116,256.13. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the recommendation from EUC to approve payment of March EUC bills for $592,407.97. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Employee Relations
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from ER to offer the position of Emergency Manager to Police Officer Bradley Roy.
Chief Houde stated that Officer Roy was going to come to the meeting tonight, but he is on a call right now.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Omerza/Campbell moved to approve the recommendation from ER to put together a committee to start negotiating with LELS – City Attorney Klun, Police Chief, Mayor and a couple members from the ER Committee. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Chief Houde is requesting the council post an anticipated open patrolperson position, with emphasis on attracting a lateral officer with at least two years’ experience.
Omerza/Debeltz moved to post for a police officer position.
Omerza indicated that there are shortages everywhere right now, in the world of police officers that is no exception.
Chief Houde explained that right now there are major shortages of people graduating with a degree in law enforcement, with that it is harder to get the younger people to stay, they want more action and more calls, but it is a good thing for our community that we have less calls. We are hoping to get an experienced officer like himself who would be interested in a long term position with the Ely Police Department.
Motion Carried Unanimously.

Housing & Redevelopment Authority: Minutes included in the Council Packet

Annual Tree Removal and Trimming
Langowski indicated that we are planning on the removal of 7 trees this season due to their potential hazard. We are also working on pruning other trees and we may find issues that require others to be removed due to public safety concerns.
Langowski also mentioned if you have a newly planted tree by your house, please water them.

Fire Chief
Chief Marshall discussed the recent calls for the fire department.
The Vermilion Community College fire class is doing a prescribed burn on Savoy Road on Thursday Morning; we will have a truck their and a couple firefighters on scene.
Chief Marshall stated they interviewed Alex Povhe and he would like to rejoin as a probationary firefighter. Marshall indicated that his schedule did not work out previously with the training, but it will this time.
Debeltz/Campbell moved to approve hiring Alex Povhe as a probationary firefighter. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Library Director
Library Director Heinrich discussed the current programming at the library which can be found on the Library Website. Heinrich also indicated that they changed the Story Stroll along the Trezona Trail today.

Police Chief
Chief Houde stated that the Ely Police Department and Ely Community Education are working together on a presentation on “Don’t get scammed” at the Senior Center next Wednesday at 4pm.
Houde indicated that they are looking for a parking enforcement person for the summer if anyone is interested.
Houde stated that the new car is ready; we are just waiting on the decals.
Calendar parking is still on and will be on until May 31st, the City Crew is working on sweeping the streets yet after our long winter.

City Attorney
Omerza/Debeltz moved to approve the Note and Mortgage to Alayna and Thomas Geisler at 121 E Boundary St to replace brick work, chimney flashing, and to update plumbing in the amount of $10,000.
Klun disclosed that Alayna Geisler is an employee of Klun Law Firm, these are standard documents that all loan recipients receive.
Motion Carried Unanimously

City Engineer

COMMUNICATIONS: Matter of Information
A. Correspondence from St Louis County regarding the Hazardous Waste Collection Days: Household Hazardous Waste at Ely Public Works Facility June 9, 2022 from 10am-2pm, Household Hazardous Waste at Northwoods Transfer Station on September 1, 2022 from 10am-2pm, Business Hazardous Waste Collection at Northwoods Transfer Station on June 1, 2022 from 12:00pm-3pm.
The Old Dump at Look out Ridge will be open on Saturdays for brush, leaves, compost. Please do not bring your Dog Waste.
B. Ely Community Resource Inc Quarterly Progress Report Quarter 1 – January 1-March 31, 2022.

Omerza/Callen moved to approve the City and EUC claims for May 3, 2022 - $914,982.76. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Committee Seat Applications
Cemetery Committee:
(1 Seat Open – Term Expiring 1/31/2025) New Applicants- *resident or non-resident
Len Groom- Resident
Tree Board
(3 Seats Open – Terms Expiring 1/31/2025) New Applicants *resident or non-resident
Laura Butterfield – Resident
Kess/Campbell moved to approve Len Groom to the Cemetery Committee and Laura Butterfield to the Tree Board with terms expiring 1/31/2025. Motion Carried Unanimously.

A. Campbell/Debeltz moved to approve the Franchise Agreement between the City of Ely and Midcontinent Communications Investor LLC. Motion Carried Unanimously.


Community Center Purchase Agreement (Closed Meeting per MN Statute 13D.05)
Attorney Klun indicated that the meeting will be closed to discuss the community center purchase agreement per MN statute 13D.05.

Omerza/Kess moved to recess for 5 minutes to then close the council meeting for discussion on the Community Center Purchase Agreement. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Closed meeting was called to order at 6:46pm
PRESENT: PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Mayor Skraba, Attorney Klun, and Clerk/Treasurer Langowski
ABSENT: Council Member Campbell

Meeting was opened at 7:19pm

Omerza/Kess moved to accept the proposed Community Center Purchase Agreement with the following changes: Purchase Price of $2 and under Exhibit B Milestones add 6. All Permits, Inspections, and Licenses shall be required by State Law. Motion Carried Unanimously.

Mayor Skraba adjourned the meeting at 7:20pm

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk