Nashwauk City Council

October 22, 2020

    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council meeting, the regular meeting minutes from Sept. 22 and special meeting minutes from Sept. 15 and 17 were approved. The council also approved payment of claims in the amounts of $70,675 and $34,458. 

    Officials noted that the state bonding bill proposal had started and the Minnesota House planned to vote on the bill on Wednesday Oct. 13 to send the bill to the Senate. (Note to readers: The state bonding bill did pass later in the week. The East Itasca Joint Powers Sewer Board was allocated $750,000 for a joint wastewater treatment facility.) Councilors anticipated working on the joint power agreement by the end of the week.

    Resolution 2020-29 was passed which allows the city to pay off outstanding general obligation maturities and utility revenue bonds, resulting in savings of about $3,800 in interest. 

    The capital financial plan was reviewed which includes the sewer operation cost of which a large portion is depreciation. The sewer connection project is approximately a $10.7 million project, which could impact utility costs.

    In other business, the council:

    • Authorized payment of annual dues to the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities at a rate of $1,409. 

    • Passed a resolution designating Nashwauk City Hall as a polling place for 2021. 

    • Authorized the Nashwauk Ambulance Service to purchase a Power Pro-XT and Power-LOAD cot at a cost of $38,385 which is a critical piece of equipment to purchase due to COVID-19. Funding will come from Itasca County Coronavirus Relief Funding and CARES Act funding.

    • Accepted the resignation of from Brenden Johnson from the Nashwauk Fire Department effective Oct. 31. And, authorized the start of a firefighter eligibility list and posting for auxiliary firefighter members.

Nashwauk City Council

September 17, 2020

By Katie Bily


    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council meeting School district Consultant Craig Menozzi gave an update on the ISD 319 referendum, which will be on the November general election ballot. The district is asking voters to approve an operating levy which would raise an estimated $350,000 each year over a five year period. 

    Clare Dulong provided an update on the Nashwauk Food Shelf. The food shelf only allows two people at a time to shop. They are also setting times on how long people are allowed to shop to prevent people from roaming around. The food shelf is working on several grants to provide funding. 

    In other business, the board:

    • Discussed resolution 2020-24 - the Itasca Clean Water Commitment. This resolution would raise awareness for the importance of clean water. No action was taken.

    • Approved the Aug. 25, 2020 meeting minutes. 

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount of $15,760.01. 

    • Noted that the East Itasca Sewer Board would be meeting on Tuesday Sept. 15, 2020.

    • Noted that city would be removing a garage on 401 Central Avenue. 

    • Approved the purchase of a Turnout Gear Dryer from Jefferson Fire and Safety in the amount of $9,215. This will be purchased with CARES Act funding. 

    • Passed a resolution allowing the State of Minnesota Joint Powers Agreements with the city of Nashwauk on behalf of its city attorney and police department. 

    • Noted that the Nashwauk Police Department responded to 130 service calls last month, which is considered a high number of calls for one calendar month. 

Nashwauk City Council

July 23, 2020

    At the July 14 Nashwauk City Council meeting, the council discussed possible uses of money they received through CARES funding. The CARES act established the $150 billion Coronavirus relief fund. The Department of Treasury has made payments to states and eligible units of local government to assist in offsetting additional costs incurred by COVID-19. 

    The city of Nashwauk received $72,000 from this fund and it is stipulated that the money can only be used to cover expenditures not budgeted for as a result of COVID-19. The council concluded that the city received a large amount of money, and it is unknown at this time precisely how the funds will be used. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Adopted an ordinance amending Nashwauk City Ordinances Chapter 153 entitled Rental Housing Standards to change owner definition, capping the number of licenses issued, and changing compliance timeframe from 90 to 45 days.

    • Approved request from Nashwauk Fire Department to list the 1984 Chevrolet Rescue Truck on MNBid for auction.

    • Accepted the resignations of Cody Kasper and John Ketola from the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

    • Discussed the possibility of starting an internship program to assist in recreation center facilitation.

Nashwauk City Council

July 02, 2020

    The city of Nashwauk held its regular city council meeting on Tuesday, June 23 with a zoom online viewing option available. 

    The council listened to concerns from landlord and resident Bruce Conway, who urged the city not to enforce ‘third instance’ rental ordinance provisions after the Governor’s Executive order on evictions is terminated.

    Furthermore, Conway requested that the citations he received at the properties of 117 3rd Street and 114 1st Street be cancelled. With regard to his citations, Conway argued he had the power to evict renters, but had no control over their preceding behaviors leading to the eviction, and thus, the fees should not fall on his lap. However, the council asserted the citations were justified, and that the same rules applied to all landlords. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the COVID-19 preparedness plan for the City of Nashwauk.

    • Approved the amended and restated Joint Powers Agreement relating to the East Itasca Joint Sewer Board.

    • Approved the hiring of Amber Applebee and Troy Boettcher as EMT’s on the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

    • Approved the purchase of batteries and pagers to be purchased in the amount of $6,217.50 to be split between the Fire Department and Ambulance Service.

    • Approved the purchase of a Firetech headlight for a cost of $1,215.00.

Nashwauk delays fireworks decision

June 04, 2020

    The city of Nashwauk has opted to not cancel its Fourth of July fireworks display this year - at least not for now.

    At last week’s council meeting, it was noted that the fireworks display company with which the city had contracted for its 2020 fourth celebration was willing to wait on a decision regarding whether to have the annual display.

    Several ideas were put forth by councilors, including delaying the fireworks until Labor Day weekend or seeking input from businesses and residents on how a Fourth celebration might take place given the current social distancing requirements prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    The city will lose a $600 deposit if the celebration is canceled altogether, but the fireworks company has indicated a delay would be possible without additional cost. Ultimately, the council decided to place the matter on the June 9 council meeting for further discussion.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of May 12 council meeting.

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount of $73,125.44.

    • Noted that the Recreation Center renovation project is still in survey phase. Councilors expect a report on survey results at a June council meeting.

    • Denied a request from a local landlord regarding a payment plan for two properties.

    • Approved the hire of three casual laborers for the summer at a cost of $10 per hour.

    • Delayed action on a decision regarding camping at LaRue Pit Access.

    • Approved opening the city’s RV campground, in compliance with any guidelines issued by the state, effective June 1. Bathroom facilities will remain closed.

    • Approved reimbursement for the purchase of tanks for the Community Garden, pending submission of proper paperwork. 

Nashwauk City Council

May 21, 2020

    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council meeting, the minutes of the April 28 council meeting were approved as was the consent agenda. 

    The council encouraged the city residents to complete the surveys regarding the recreation center renovations. It also was noted that an East Itasca Joint Sewer Board meeting was scheduled for May 19.

    Councilors accepted the resignation of Ashley Nelson from the Nashwauk Fire Department. The council adopted resolution 2020-15, authorizing the city to make application to and accept funds from the IRRRB Commercial Redevelopment Program. 

    Officials adopted a policy allowing the city to remove any vulgar language from their social media pages. There was no action taken on the Brownfield Program Grant Application made by the city of Virginia on behalf of the Iron Range Brownfields Program Coalition. Also, no action was taken on the tax-forfeited parcels on Central Ave. 

    After several years of planning, the city will launch the disc golf project in July of 2020. 

    The council has decided to wait until early June to make a decision regarding the annual Fourth of July celebration. The city will have to pay $600 if the 4th celebration is cancelled. 

    The next meeting is scheduled for May 26. 

Nashwauk City Council

March 19, 2020

    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council, minutes from the Feb. 24 council meeting were approved. The council also approved payment of claims in the amounts of $25,328.89, $8,465.82 and $6,330.60. A ride-along request on the Nashwauk Ambulance Service for Lydia Thole and Matthew Grossell was approved and the council authorized Tiffany Bodin to attend 2020 UnderOneRoof Conference in Duluth on May 19 and 20, with a course fee $85.00. 

    An individual from Range Riders ATV Club presented the council with a letter of support for the Len Hardy Memorial Trail and all members of the council were in favor. 

    The council approved a measure to donate one lot within the Bozich Addition to Itasca County Habitat for Humanity. The council passed a motion to pursue legal actions on landlords who are not paying their fees or taxes. And, a motion and a support were made to purchase two AEDs from Bound Tree Medical at a total cost of $3,499.98. 

Nashwauk City Council approves annual appointments

January 01, 2020

By Katie Bily


    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council meeting, the first regular meeting of the new year, councilors made a number of annual appointments. 

    Appointments/designations were approved as follows:

    • Sellman Borland, and Simon will continue to handle the city’s civil legal matters, while John Dimich was appointed as attorney for criminal and prosecution matters. 

    • The Scenic Range NewsForum was designated as the official newspaper and American Bank will be the official depository for 2020. 

    • Council meetings will take place the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. 

    • Counselor Greg Heyblom was appointed to be acting mayor in the case of an absence of Mayor Calvin Saari. 

    • JPJ will be the city engineering firm for 2020. 

    The council authorized the mayor to serve on the ARDC board. He also will represent the city on the Mesabi Mine Planning Board, while Councilor Heyblom will be the alternate. The mayor was appointed to the library board. Councilor David Holmbeck was approved to be an alternate on the RAMS Board. 

    Caden Westphal was hired as a rink attendant for the 2019-20 season at a rate of $10 per hour. 

    The council authorized the transfer of $42,491 from fire truck fund 206 to the general fund 100 to cover the purchase of the 2019 brush truck chassis. Officials also approved the transfer of $1,302 from fund 650 to general fund 100 to cover the cost of the Nashwauk Fire providing assistance to Nashwauk Ambulance Service. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount of $72,252.41.

    • Authorized Riley Savolainen, Matthew Grossell, and Hunter Brooks to attend the Reid Interviewing Technique training Grand Rapids on Sept. 9-11 with a course fee of $425.

Nashwauk City Council

October 17, 2019

By Katie Bily


    At last week’s meeting of the Nashwauk City Council, it was noted that the East Itasca Joint Sewer Board will be having a meeting on Tuesday Oct. 15.

    Items involving the city’s public safety departments also were addressed. The council approved the hire of Hunter Brooks as a full-time patrol officer, effective immediately and appointed Riley Savolainen as the assistant police chief, effective immediately. Officials also approved a law enforcement services agreement between the cities and Nashwauk and Calumet. Under the terms of the 14-month contract, Nashwauk will provide up to 20 hours per month of law enforcement services to Calumet at a rate of $100 per hour. 

    The council approved signing off on a letter of understanding with AFSCME union employees dated Sept. 25. The letter addresses contract language changes made regarding employee health insurance benefits in the wake of the demise of the Arrowhead Procare Pool.

    Officials authorized a $983 annual donation to the Itasca County Historical Society. 

    The council also approved the resignations of six individuals from the Nashwauk Ambulance Service. 

    A motion was passed to approve the relocation of three charging cords to overhead drops within the Nashwauk Safety Complex from Iron Country Electric in the amount of $1,436.81. 

    The council rescinded a motion from the Aug. 13 council meeting for the purchase of a 2019 Silverado from Grand Rapids General Motors in the amount of $54,899. The council then authorized the purchase of a 2019 Silverado 3500 from Rosedale Chevrolet in the amount of $56,283.57 and authorized revision of the loan with American Bank from $54,899 to $56,283.57 to reflect the change.

Nashwauk sets preliminary levy

October 10, 2019

By Katie Bily


    At the Sept. 24 meeting of the Nashwauk City Council, a brief update was given about the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Shelf. Councilors were informed that two air conditioning units will be added in order to protect the fresh fruits and vegetables housed at the food shelf.


    The council accepted the resignation of Joe Odell as rental inspector and appointed Lance Hopke as building inspector. Officials also approved a document outlining the duties of the building inspector. 

    An annual transfer from Fund 660 to OPEB Fund 400 in the amount of $15,000 was authorized by city officials and they approved the resignation of Joe DeNucci from the city’s recreation board and the zoning commission. 

    As is required by law, the council adopted a proposed levy for 2020 to be collected in 2019. The proposed levy was set a $406,271.00, an approximate 10 percent increase year-over-year. However, the preliminary levy may be lowered when final numbers are set by the city in December.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Sept. 10 council meeting.

    • Approved payment of claims in the amounts of $29,605.75, $1,781.07 and $2,152.33.

    • Approved equipment purchases for the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

Nashwauk police chief resigns

August 22, 2019

    The city of Nashwauk has several official positions changing hands. 

    At last week’s council meeting, long-time Nashwauk City Police Chief Jim Maddern resigned from his position. His resignation was effective Aug. 15. Mayor Calvin Saari directed the city administrator to send a letter to Maddern thanking him for his 23 years of service. The city also approved internally posting for the position of police chief, on the recommendation of the city’s police commission. Joe Dasovich is serving as acting chief in the interim.

    The council accepted the resignations of three Ambulance Service personnel. Shane Peterson resigned effective July 25, Rachel Graf resigned effective Aug. 1 and Jennifer Slatten resigned as of Aug. 2. Following acceptance of those three resignations, the council approved the hire of Brandon Svoboda and Jaime Williams as EMTs.

    The council also hired Lance Hopke as public works operator on the recommendation of the Street and Utilities Lead Worker. The hire is effective when he becomes available.

    Councilors followed through on a presentation which took place at a previous council meeting. Officials approved a $5,000 contract with Michael Bubany of David Drown and Associates to draft a capital improvements financial plan for the city. Bubany presented an overview of his services to councilors in July.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the July 23 council meeting and the July 17 and 23 special council meetings.

    • Approved claims as presented for payment.

    • Approved an amended rental housing standards ordinance to clarify enforcement language.

    • Changed language in the fire protection ordinance fee schedule to read: “within the Nashwauk Fire Service Area.”

    • Accepted the resignation of Greg Williams as Pony League football coach, effective July 25.

    • Approved the purchase of 2019 Silverado 3500 from Grand Rapids GM in the amount of $54,899.00.

    • Approved the purchase of a 2019 John Deere Compact Track Loader with snowblower and brush mower from McCoy Construction & Forestry in the amount of $57,680.

    • Approved quarterly training for ambulance service personnel in amount of $1,200 plus $220 for CPR training.

    • Approved a rescue tool inspection and maintenance agreement with Genesis Rescue Systems for the fire department in the amount of $1,080.

    • Approved a fire department grant writing contract with Karen Anderson Grant Writing in the amount of $1,200 to apply for FEMA protection equipment.

    • Approved the purchase of six sets of turnout gear for the fire department from Emergency Response Solutions in the amount of $16,291.98.

Nashwauk hires new school resource officer

July 22, 2019

    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council meeting a resolution was passed authorizing the city of Nashwauk to submit an application to apply for and receive grant money from the IRRRB 2020 community infrastructure grant program.

    The city also approved Matthew Grossell as a new hire to the police department. He will serve as the new school resource officer at the Nashwauk-Keewatin High School and a regular patrol officer during the summer months. The council authorized Grossell to attend the Basic SRO Training Aug. 5-9 in Shakopee.

    Numerous comments were made from the public and from the mayor regarding the success of the city’s annual 4th of July celebration. The city reduced its fireworks budget but still ran a great show. 

    A special meeting was scheduled for July 17 with the City of Keewatin. The goal of this meeting is to discuss ways to collaborate to cut costs for both cities.

Nashwauk City Council

March 07, 2019

   At last week’s meeting of the Nashwauk City Council, officials opted to contract for the city’s criminal legal services through the county attorney’s office.

    The city received two bids for criminal legal services – one from the county and the other from the John Dimich law firm. Both bids came in at the same cost for services - $150 per hour.

    While the city has used the Dimich firm in the past for legal services, councilors noted the higher number of personnel available through the county attorney’s office would be advantageous to the city. Councilors unanimously approved the county attorney’s office bid for criminal legal services as presented.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Feb. 12 regular council meeting.

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount $29,410.45.

    • Authorized Joe Dasovich to attend taser instructor recertification in Hibbing on May 7 and 8 at a cost of $495.

    • Approved on-sale liquor licenses for Wizard’s Sports Bar & Grill; DeNucci’s Saloon and Mucho Si.

    • Approved Sunday liquor licenses for Wizard’s Sports Bar & Grill; DeNucci’s Saloon; Mucho Si.

    • Approved off-sale liquor licenses for Wizard’s Sports Bar & Grill; DeNucci’s Saloon and Little Brown Jug.

    • Approved a 3.2 off-sale license for Sinclair Express Mart.

    • Authorized EMT refresher course training for 16 personnel at a cost of $320, after reimbursement.

    • Rescheduled the Dec. 24 council meeting to Dec. 23.

    • Acknowledged a county historical society project that seeks to identify all county veterans.

Nashwauk City Council

February 05, 2019

By Katie Bily


    At last week’s city council meeting all items on the consent agenda were approved, including payment of claims in the amount of $31,664.15. 

    The city has an overlook budget to track its expenses on the project and the council voted to transfer $50,000 from the Mining Effects Fund to the Overlook Project. There were no new updates on the Highway 65 or East Itasca Joint Sewer Board projects. 

    The council approved the sale of a 2002 Arctic Cat at a bid of $200. Councilor Brian Gangl abstained. The council also authorized the police department to dispose of the 1993 Chevrolet pickup and 2003 Jaguar X-Type. These items were not put out for bid. 

    The council appointed John Dimich as the interim prosecuting attorney at a rate of $150.00 per hour. The council is, however, calling for bids for a criminal prosecuting attorney and will determine if they want to go with a different attorney based on the bids received.

    The Fourth of July Committee will now have its own budget and raise money for this year’s Fourth celebration rather than taking it out of the city of Nashwauk’s budget. The city will advertise for volunteers for the Fourth of July committee. The budget is $20,000 including fireworks and the city’s goal is to make this committee self-sufficient. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Appointed David Holmbeck to the personnel committee.     

    • Hired Connor Grigsby as an Emergency Medical Technician contingent upon passing a background check. 

    • Noted that the recreation committee is going to meet with the council regarding aligning goals with the city’s five-year plan. A meeting date has not yet been set. 

    • Noted Mayor Calvin Saari attended the RAMS dinner. The city nominated Saari to serve on the RAMS Board of Directors. 

Nashwauk welcomes new mayor

January 17, 2019

    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council meeting newly elected members of the council were sworn in. 

    Mayor Calvin Saari has numerous goals set for the city of Nashwauk for the upcoming year. This year the city will have meetings with the city of Keewatin once a month to discuss ways in which the two cities can collaborate to cut back on costs. 

    The public utilities commission paid off its temporary financing loan early, saving more than $2,000 in interest. 

    The council named the Scenic Range NewsForum to be the official newspaper and approved Sellman, Borland, and Simon to be the city’s official attorney for civil matters. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Dec. 27 regular council meeting and Dec. 27 Truth-in-Taxation meeting.

    • American Bank was approved as the city’s official depository. 

    • Scheduled council meetings for the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m.

     • Appointed Michael Ross and Tim Dasovich to the Zoning commission for three-year terms. 

    • Named Dynamic Insurance as the city’s insurance agent.

    • Named Greg Heyblom as acting mayor in the absence of the mayor. 

    • Named JPJ Engineering the city’s official engineering firm.

    • Appointed Calvin Saari and Greg Heyblom as the city’s representatives for the Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board.

    • Appointed David Holmbeck as the RAMS representative alternative.

    • Appointed interested applicants to the 4th of July committee.

    • Appointed Calvin Saari and April Kurtock to the Nashwauk Volunteer Fire Relief Association.

Nashwauk City Council

September 20, 2018

    At last week’s meeting of the Nashwauk City Council, officials discussed the status of the Mesabi Metallics mining project.

    Mayor Greg Heyblom noted that he and other council members met with Gov. Mark Dayton, Department of Natural Resources personnel and city officials from across the Iron Range to gather information on the state’s perspective on the project, which has experienced numerous delays in development.

    Heyblom said city officials were apprised that progress is being made, albeit slowly. “Obviously things aren’t progressing as we’d hoped, but things are slowly progressing behind the scenes,” Heyblom said. “It’s still alive it’s not dead.”

    In other business, the council:

    • Listened to an update on the community center project. The council will be pursuing capital investment avenues for potential funding. 

    • Approved a change order in the amount of $106,792 for the Hawkins Mine Pit overlook project. 

    • Discussed funding for league baseball coaching. The council tabled action on payment until funding can be designated within the city’s budget. 

    • Approved a $2,700 bid from JPJ Engineering for site development work and topography for the Nashwauk baseball field artificial turf project.

    • Approved claims in the amount of $23,421.09.

Nashwauk City Council

August 23, 2018

    At the Aug. 13 Nashwauk City Council meeting, a number of routine items of business were handled. The council: 

    • Accepted the resignation of William Williams from both the city council and the fire department. Letters of interest to serve on the Nashwauk City Council are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24. 

    • Approved advertising for volunteer firefighters for the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

    • Listened to members of the Nashwauk Legion express their frustrations on wrestlers practicing upstairs and causing damages to the ceilings as a result. The council is reaching out to the school district to resolve this issue.

    • Listened to an update from Kelly DeNucci of the July 4 committee, who told the council there were 17 arrests at the festivities. The arrests were higher than previous years, however the Nashwauk Police Department decided to arrest more than they had in previous years instead of handing out warnings. 

Nashwauk City Council

July 19, 2018

    At last week’s Nashwauk City Council meeting, Coordinator Kim Johnson came to present information on the Towards Zero Death (TZD) initiative. 

    TZD is funded through a traffic grant that promotes the education on safe driving practices. The vision of the program is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on Minnesota’s roads to zero. Johnson reported that as of July 9 there were 164 deaths on Minnesota roads. These numbers are in line with last year’s fatality totals at the same time of the year. 

    Overall, the state of Minnesota is experiencing a downward trend in traffic fatalities, Johnson reported. Traffic-related deaths have decreased 43 percent from 2003 to 2017. TZD focuses on getting out in the schools and communities to talk to both young people and adults about the dangers of impairment, distraction, not using seat belts and speeding. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Accepted a $13,000 grant from IRRRB to bring disc golf to Nashwauk.

    • Mulled the possibility of a roundtable discussion regarding the use of the upstairs American Legion building for wrestling practice. This comes after members of American Legion Post 307 signed a petition opposing the use of the upstairs area of the memorial building for athletic activities.

    • Approved an administrator request to increase the one-day permit to sell fee from $30 to $75.

    • Approved a donation request from Itasca County Historical Society in the amount of $983.

    • Approved the hire of Matthew Grossel Jr. as a part-time police officer. 

    • Approved the purchase of $1,500 of softball equipment for the city’s summer program. 

Nashwuak City Council

July 05, 2018

   The Nashwauk City Council handled a number of routine items of business at the June 26 meeting. The council:

    • Moved forward on applying for leftover IRRRB funds to fund the 9-hole disc golf course to be built in Nashwauk. 

    • Determined that Councilor Calvin Saari will be the alternate attendant for the Western Mesabi Planning Board and will be the city’s representative for the Joint Powers Agreement for the Waste Waters treatment facility. 

    • Passed a resolution accepting funds from the LVP Minescapes Grant program to receive additional funding on disc golf course.

    • Approved the hire of Gale Gould to the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

Nashwauk City Council

June 20, 2018

     The Nashwauk City Council handled a number of routine items of business at the June 12 regular meeting. The council: 

    • Accepted the resignation of James Armstrong from the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

    • Approved a donation of $250 to Nashwauk Keewatin Fastpitch in exchange for cleaning entrance ditches. 

    • Discussed talking with summer workers about needed city hall repairs. 

    • Approved a training reimbursement agreement with Travis Tammi to complete EMT training. 

    • Agreed to further look into the land purchase proposal from Joe and Alexis Martire for a 100-foot portion of a parcel to put up a garage.  Councilors unanimously agreed to check on any legal issues that may arise.

Nashwauk updated on disc golf course progress

May 16, 2018

    In the past two years, the Nashwauk City Council has been assessing the level of local interest of building a disc golf course for the community. 

    Officials assert that the addition of a disc golf course has the potential to be a fun recreational activity as well as a potential revenue stream for the city. If constructed, the city could host disc golf tournaments like those taking place across the state.

    Former mayor, Ben DeNucci had reached out to disc golf experts, but with little success. 

    At last week’s city council meeting, Deputy Clerk Amber Goss updated the council on communications with disc golf course designer Bob Leiviska, who provided several options for how to proceed. 

    Goss and Leiviska came to the conclusion that the best option would be to build a 9-hole course with the potential to expand later. Leiviska quoted the price of the course at $10,000. 

    While currently no grants are currently available for this type of project, the intent would be for the city of Nashwauk to get funding for this course from IRRRB. The next cycle of IRRRB grants opens in September, which would mean construction could begin as early as the spring of 2019, if funding is obtained.

    In other business, the council: 

    • Discussed the possibility of a fire danger sign (cost: $4,500) to be placed by the fire hall, however, there are issues with who would change the sign, which may have the need to be done daily depending on fire/weather conditions

    • Approved hire of Ryan Patton for EMT ambulance service.

    • Approved sending a local resident a final warning letter to remedy blight issues on his property.

Nashwauk will incorporate recording systems into police work

March 22, 2018

The city of Nashwauk conducted a public hearing and adopted an ordinance at its regular meeting last week authorizing the use of a portable recording system by the city’s police department. 

The city will now implement the use of both body worn cameras and in squad cameras to record information that has “evidentiary value.”

Although the public was invited to provide input during the hearing, no one chose to do so. Following the very brief hearing, the city also adopted policies for the use of both body worn and in squad cameras.

In other business, the council:

• Listened to a presentation from consultant Ed Zabinski who apprised the council of possible funding sources for the city’s proposed community center project.

• Listened to an informational presentation from First Call for Help on what the organization does in Itasca County.

• Noted that a new city attorney would be attending the next council meeting.

• Passed a resolution authorizing the acceptance of funds from the IRRRB Community Infrastructure Grant Program.

• Passed a resolution authorizing the acceptance of funds from the IRRRB Culture and Tourism Grant Program.

• Hired Nicholas O’Toole as a part-time police officer.

Nashwauk approves EMS training compensation

March 08, 2018

By Beth Bily


After several months of contemplation, the Nashwauk City Council voted last week at its regular meeting to pay EMS staff for training in accordance with city policy.

The matter first came to the attention of the council, when it was revealed that fire fighters were paid for training but EMS personnel were not. 

According to city policy, the EMS staff would be paid for training and attendance at professional conferences if attendance is pre-authorized by the city. Out-of-state travel would only be approved if similar training is not available locally. 

Councilors noted that since firefighters were being compensated for their time at training sessions it was “only fair” to extend the same policy to EMS staff.

Following approval, EMS Coordinator Karen Calaguire thanked city officials for their action on the matter. 

In other business, the council:

• Authorized Peggy Hagen to begin the process of forming a committee to organize and plan for Heritage Days.

• Awarded a bid to Joe Dasovich for a dock owned by the city in the amount of $30.

• Accepted proposed changes to the building maintenance and occupancy code as well as the fee schedule.

• Accepted the rental inspection agreement with Benchmark Building and Renovators.

• Discussed a locked office for the fire department at the safety complex. No action was taken on the matter.

• Adopted a resolution outlining rules for public comment.

• Approved a cooperative construction agreement between the city and the state of Minnesota Department of Transportation for grading and bituminous mill and overlay on Highway 65 between Highway 169 and 180 feet north of Hawkins Ave.

• Approved the in-car camera policy for the city’s police department.

• Tabled adoption of a joint powers agreement regarding a joint wastewater treatment facility pending review by the city’s attorney.

Nashwauk City Council throws support behind PolyMet project

February 22, 2018

At last week’s meeting of the Nashwauk City Council, officials signed off on a resolution in support of permitting the PolyMet nonferrous mining project.

The project, planned for the Hoyt Lakes area, has been under environmental review for the past 14 years. That process is now nearing completion with permits expected to be issued within the coming months.

The resolution notes that the city is confident that the “exhaustive” review by federal and state agencies had determined that the project “can be operated in an environmentally safe and secure manner.”

The resolution further states that officials believe the project will positively contribute to the region. “PolyMet will be poised to play a significant role in contributing to the sustainability of our region’s economy by mining the metals we need every day without harming our region’s air and water quality.”

The resolution passed unanimously.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the minutes of the Jan. 23 council meeting, the Jan. 29 special council meeting, Dec. 13, 2017 Truth in Taxation meeting and Jan. 22 special city council meeting.

• Approved a request from Peggy Hagen to conduct a walk-a-thon fundraiser on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to noon, with the option to use the city’s recreation center in case of rain.

• Authorized any council member to attend the League of Minnesota Cities Legislative Conference in St. Paul on March 21-22, with a course fee of $99 plus mileage, meals and lodging.

• Authorized Jaime Williams and Eva Turner to attend the Long Hot Summer EMS training conference in Brooklyn Park on March 2-4, with a $249 course fee, plus mileage, meals and lodging.

• Established a three-hour time block on Saturdays for recreation center youth hockey time. Helmet use is mandatory.

• Tabled a decision on a donation to First Call for Help, pending a presentation to the council.

• Changed the names on accounts 910, 920 and 930 from Essar Steel to Mesabi Metallics.

Nashwauk moving forward with community center business plan

January 18, 2018

The city of Nashwauk is moving forward with development plans for an enhanced community center.

At last week’s meeting of the city council, consultant Ed Zabinski asked officials for direction in light of the fact that his research had indicated little feasibility for artificial ice as part of a community center project.

Acting Mayor Greg Heyblom and the council instructed Zabinski to move forward with developing a business plan for the community center only. “I’m not in favor of putting this on the back burner,” Heyblom said. “The city of Nashwauk needs to move this forward.”

Zabinski told councilors that he would establish time lines and schedules for gathering community input as a first step in the process.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the annual reorganization designations/appointments for 2018.

• Approved minutes from the December council meeting and special council meeting.

• Approved bills as presented for payment.

• Tabled a decision on a purchase offer by Joe Dasovich for a dock owned by the city. The council needs to obtain more information on procedures that should be followed for such a sale.

Heyblom appointed Nashwauk mayor

January 04, 2018

SRNF Report


At last week’s meeting of the Nashwauk City Council, Councilor Greg Heyblom was appointed to finish the remainder of the term for mayor. 

The position became vacant with the resignation former Mayor Ben DeNucci, who stepped down after winning a special election for the District 5 county commissioner seat. 

After some discussion, the council unanimously decided to appoint Heyblom to finish DeNucci’s term, which extends through the end of 2018. Councilors noted that they were better off appointing a mayor internally, stating that the learning curve would be significant for an outsider. 

Current state law stipulates that a city does not have to hold a special election if the remaining term on a vacated seat is less than two years. Councilors stated that the city does not want to pay the additional costs for a special election with only one year left of the mayor’s term. 

With Heyblom taking on the role of mayor, the council will be seeking to fill the vacancy that leaves on the city council. Officials will be accepting applications through Jan. 12 for the vacant seat.

Nashwauk discusses rental inspections

November 23, 2017

The city of Nashwauk may enlist some help in dealing with the issue of ensuring that local rental properties are safe and in compliance with city regulations.

At last week’s meeting of the city council, Joe Odell of Benchmark Building Inspections addressed the council about his building inspection services. Contacted by the city several months ago, Odell said he had several ideas that could help the city reach its goals.

Benchmark charges $100 for single family dwelling inspections; $150 for each building in a duplex dwelling; $200 for each building in a triplex dwelling; and $50 for additional units. The company charges $50 per hour for other inspection services.

Although city officials didn’t report any rental units currently in need of inspection, councilors told Odell they looked forward to working with him in the future.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the minutes of the Oct. 24 council meeting and joint council and PUC meeting.

• Listened to concerns from resident John Bourman regarding the city’s police commission. Councilors directed the city’s attorney to research options for redressing the situation. 

• Approved an ordinance with regard to sexual offenders’ and predators’ residency.

• Accepted a recommendation from Nashwauk Ambulance Service regarding training reimbursement.

• Approved an EMS purchase of 24 winter parkas in the amount of $225/each.

• Passed a resolution allowing the city to apply for and accept IRRRB funds from the residential grant development program.

• Approved quote from Ryhti Construction for demolition of a structure on Third St. in the amount of $8,200.

• Discussed a contribution to the city of Keewatin for the O’Brien Reservoir Playground project. City officials anticipate a donation but will send a representative to Keewatin to obtain more information.

• Approved the hire of Christopher Nelson and Joshua Hoshal to the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

• Approved termination of Bernadette Renskers from the Nashwauk Ambulance Service.

• Approved the hire of two rink attendants.

• Listened to an update of construction activities at the Mesabi Metallics site from Mitch Brunfelt, who noted that all company personnel have been relocated from offices in Hibbing to the construction site.

Nashwauk tables chickens

August 17, 2017

    At the Aug. 10 Nashwauk City Council meeting the council had a discussion on the possibility of allowing the keeping of hen chickens within city limits. 

    Councilors advocated on both sides of the issue. The proposed ordinance, if passed, would allow a person(s) to maintain a chicken coop if granted a permit by the city, which would expire every other year, and a maximum of six chicken coops could be kept on properties within the city. The council was divided on this issue, and ultimately Mayor Ben DeNucci decided to table this issue until the next meeting and urged his fellow council members to talk to their constituents and get more input before making a decision. 

    In other business, the council: 

    • Approved Officer Savolainen to attend BCA search warrant training in Grand Rapids this fall 

    • Approved the rescheduling of the Dec. 12 council meeting to Dec. 13 to accommodate for the county commissioner special election. 

•    Accepted donations from community members to sponsor an overlook area of the Hawkins Mine Pit that the city is developing. The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2018.

Nashwauk City Council

August 03, 2017

    At the July 25 Nashwauk City Council meeting the council listened to a presentation from Joe DeNucci from the recreation committee who talked about some of the present recreation needs in the Nashwauk area. 

    One concern is purchasing first aid traveling kits for pony league football. Another is that the pony league football helmets need to be inspected to check their age and condition and determine if the helmets are still safe. The last concern DeNucci raised was some safety training for local coaches. One training session was on concussion protocol, and another was on best practices for safe tackling, both of those are online courses. 

    After DeNucci presented the council came to the conclusion that they would like coaches to do an inventory of their equipment to see what needs to be replaced and to have coaches’ start pricing out the costs of various equipment. 

    In other business, the council: 

    • Approved a partial payment for the 2016 improvements of York Alley Avenue project in the amount of $5,111. 

    • Approved USA Electric as the low bidder on LED lighting upgrades for the city garage. 

    • Approved performance contract for the Steele River Band to perform on July 4, 2018.

    • Hired Greg Williams as pony league football coach.

Bozich Addition has prospective buyer

July 20, 2017

    The city of Nashwauk has a prospective buyer for one of the lots in the city’s Bozich addition.

    In a letter addressed to the council, Rebecca and Jeffrey Jensen noted their plan to build a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with an estimated 1,600 to 1,800 square feet on Lot No. 6. An attached garage also is included in the plan. The couple is in the process of getting cost estimates with Verndale Custom Builders for the proposed construction, the letter, which was reviewed at last week’s council meeting, stated.

    The council referred review of the plan and sale of one of the Bozich lots to the city’s planning commission, with the city’s previously established parameters as guidelines. Any sale would be brought back to the council for final approval.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the June 27 special meeting and June 27 regular council meeting.

    • Authorized the mayor, council and clerk to attend the Business Energy Retrofit Program on July 13 in Chisholm.

    • Approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department to access the codeRED Emergency Notification System.

    • Approved the Itasca County Emergency Operations Plan

    • Discussed participation in the FireWise program. 

    • Approved a revised ordinance for neglected grass, weeds and trees, which will now include a fee schedule. The council included a seven-day notification timeline from the date of mailing. In a separate action item, the council also approved a fee schedule for property assessments related to mowing grass.

    • Awarded a bid to George Bougalis and Sons Inc., for the demolition of a garage located at 212 Third Street. 

    • Approved the hire of Clarissa Spicer to the Ambulance Service.

    • Approved a budgeted donation of $983 to the Itasca County Historical Society.

    • Approved the hire of Paul Brown, Peter Johnson and Tony Crow as part-time police officers.

Nashwauk mulls e-cigarette ordinance

July 06, 2017

SRNF Report

    At last week’s meeting of the Nashwauk City Council, officials listened to a report by Kelly Chandler of Itasca Public Health who was advocating for a proposed county-wide ordinance with regard to e-cigarettes. If the ordinance were to be adopted, the use of e-cigarettes would be prohibited indoors in the same way and the same places traditional tobacco products are prohibited. These locations would include: bars, hotels, restaurants, work sites, private schools, etc.

    Chandler noted that the youth of this generation are used to not having to deal with any type of smoking taking place indoors, and the use of e-cigarettes indoors sends the wrong message about the safety of the product to children. 

    Chandler also stated that the vapor that comes from e-cigarettes can be difficult for some people to breathe, especially seniors and those with pre-existing pulmonary conditions.                 

     After the council listened to the presentation they said they would take the proposal under consideration. Chandler said she had a few more councils to address before a county-wide ordinance would potentially be adopted. 

    In other business, the council: 

    • Updated the public that the “boneyard” would have its gate shut and would no longer be open to the general public because people have been using the brush pile as a dumping ground. 

    • Approved performance contracts with Brian Carlson Talent Agency to perform at July 3 festivities. 

    • Approved contracts with George Bougalis and Sons, Co. for the demolition of structures at 212 3rd Street in the amount of $14,000.

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