At the June meeting of the Taconite City Council, officials were provided with the Shamrock Dr. geotechnical evaluation report and a cost estimate of $222,102.60 to repair Shamrock Dr. The city would be responsible for 40 percent of the cost, which is approximately $89,000, and the property owners would be assessed the rest. Mayor James Camilli requested a letter advising residents of the potential assessments be drafted for review at next month’s meeting.
City Engineer Jeremy Schwartz also advised that both the water tower environmental and engineer reports are almost complete and will be ready by next month’s meeting. He requested council determine the new water tower option to go with so the reports can be completed. The council approved Alternative No. 4, which includes a new water tower, new location and ground reservoir repairs to complete the engineer reports.
Fire Department minutes were distributed to council. Chief Dusty Sipe updated council via email stating that the summer bash is postponed, 10 license renewals are due and permission has been obtained from the Land Department to burn a tax-forfeited house.
Councilor Lee Finke also requested the following: approval to purchase three pagers at regular price or five at a discount; approval to use upstairs fire hall for meetings and practices; and approval for Eric Venema, Jerel Markovich and Ron Mjolsness to be on the auxiliary. The use of upstairs for fire hall meetings and approval for three fire department auxiliary members were approved by the council. The pager issue will be revisited at a later meeting. Councilors also authorized Eric Venema and Jerel Markovich to attend five-day training at Camp Ripley beginning June 17.
A number of items were addressed by Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly. The following items were discussed: City staff would like to start riding in the same vehicle; The post office air conditioner is malfunctioning and city crews are unable to repair; This is part of the lease agreement so a new air conditioner can be purchased; Gibb’s Park was vandalized with offensive graffiti and the street commissioner advised that it would take a minimum of a week to repair if council decides to re-open this summer; A resident on Cherokee Road requested via email that the road be graded more frequently. Troumbly noted that the road was graded and dust-be gone would be applied as soon as the weather permits; City staff requested permission to purchase a Tommy-lift as they encountered several heavy items during clean-up week. Councilors opted to wait until a new vehicle is purchased and to have the new vehicle be equipped with a Tommy-lift; The city’s Snapper mower is 18 years old and unrepairable. Mayor Camilli requested the street commissioner obtain quotes for a new mower and present them at next month’s meeting.
Motions were passed by the council to allow city staff to ride in the same vehicle and to purchase the paint needed to repair Gibb’s Park.
City officials mulled current closures of city facilities because preschool staff have asked to use the gym and residents have asked when the hall and beach would open. Councilors determined that the gym will remain closed so city staff doesn’t have to sanitize it daily. Because preschool staff is currently only allowing their students to enter the building, city hall will remain closed and both these will be re-evaluated at next month’s meeting. The beach will be opened as soon as it is ready.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the minutes of the May 11 regular meeting.
• Approved payment of $300 to Rural Water Association for annual dues.
• Accepted the State Demographer’s 2019 household estimate of 271 and 2019 population estimate of 634.
• Approved payment of $45 to Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association of Minnesota for annual dues.
• Noted that the Joint Waste Water May minutes and monthly report were distributed. Mike Troumbly advised that the city’s percentages dropped to 11.36 percent.
• Approved applying late fees to delinquent water/sewer accounts beginning June 16.
• Approved Kootasca’s yearly lease in the amount of $19,519.53 for the period of July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021and Invest Early’s yearly lease in the amount of $16,996.00 for the period of July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.
• Approved the appointment of Aaron Troumbly to the zoning board.
• Accepted the monthly financial report with a month-end balance of $121,659.24.
• Approved payment of claims totaling $45,169.64.
• Approved three building permits.