Taconite sets preliminary budget

September 19, 2019

    At last week’s Taconite City Council meeting, Joan Beech presented council with petition signed by 20 residents of Shamrock Drive requesting that the city develop a comprehensive plan to repair, maintain and resurface Shamrock Drive. Beech said she is willing to apply for grants on the city’s behalf in order to get the road repaired. Mayor James Camilli requested that discussing a plan for prioritizing road repair be put on city council’s October agenda. 

    City Engineer Jeremy Schwarze provided council with a status update on the city’s revolving fund application stating that the PFA has denied funding for the water tower project. He will begin the process of applying for a Small Cities Development grant and an IRRRB grant and will update council at next month’s meeting. 

    Lee Finke stated the pavilion project is almost complete. He requested council accept a $500 donation from TBI to help fund the pavilion project. The council accepted the donation.

    Hydrant flushing will take place sometime in September. Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly also reported that the smoke detector in the community center building has malfunctioned four times in two weeks. He will obtain quotes on the cost of repair.

    Joint Waste Water lines are complete and the lift station is back in service and pumping at 400 gallons per minute, city officials reported. If everything keeps operating as it has been, the city should be clear of bypasses. 

    The 2020 proposed budget and levy was approved by the council as follows: General Fund - $100,660; FD Equipment - $65,800; FD Relief - 0; Water - $5,000; Sewer- $4,000; Road/Bridge - $19,540; Capital - $25,000; Total- $220,000. Final budget and levy numbers will be approved by the council in December.

    Council was advised that Waste Management’s sign up meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 1, 2019 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the MECCC Gym. Camilli requested all council members attend. 

    After last month’s public hearing on regulating blight, Attorney John Dimich was contacted and asked to review and provide suggestions for the proposed blight ordinance. Council was provided with a copy of Attorney Dimich’s email and a revised draft of the proposed blight ordinance which included the changes he suggested. Adoption of the ordinance was passed.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Aug. 12 regular council meeting and public hearing.

    • Accepted the monthly financial report with a month-end balance of $154,275.77. 

    • Approved payment of claims totaling $61,630.05.

    • Approve the 2020 Lawrence Lake Township fire service contract and authorized forwarding to Lawrence Lake Township for review and approval. 

    • Passed a motion to prohibit the rental of the MECCC building gym for the purpose of conducting a rummage sale.

    • Approved a pay increase for general laborers to $8.65 starting Jan. 1 to meet legal requirements.

Taconite City Council

July 22, 2019

    At last week’s Taconite City Council meeting, fire department minutes were distributed, noting Terry Trboyevich’s retirement had been approved.  Mike Waseleski was put on the axillary and Jeremiah Hoey was voted by the fire department as an official member. It also was noted that the city picnic is scheduled for Aug. 3 at the baseball field. The council passed a motion approving Hoey as an official member of the fire department. 

    Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly updated council stating curbs have been painted. A handicapped sign has been hung outside the post office. North Reilly Beach Road and Holman Road have recently been repaired with cold patch and there have been issues with the number of geese at Gibb’s Park. 

    Officials noted that a public hearing to address the city’s blight ordinance will be held  Monday, Aug. 12, at 4 p.m. in the community center building. 

    City officials accepted Waste Management’s quote for exclusive garbage service at a rate of $12.25 before tax. The company’s quote also included a fuel surcharge clause, should fuel prices rise above $4 per gallon. 

    It was noted that the Wellhead Plan Amendment extension was granted. An extension implementation strategy form and work plan must be completed by Aug. 27.

    In other business, the council:

    • Accepted the minutes from the June 10 regular meeting and the June 10 public hearing on vacating a portion of Bluebill Bay.

    • Approved a city donation to the Itasca County Historical Society.

    • Accepted treasurer Hanson’s report with a month-end balance of  $51,280.68.

    • Approved payment of claims totaling $57,953.74.

    • Passed a motion to allow Century Link to place, construct and maintain telephone utility infrastructure along or across Reilly Beach Road.  

    • Noted that the Minnesota State Demographer provided the city with an April 1, 2018  population estimate of 635 and an April 1, 2018 household estimate of 271. The council passed a motion accepting the state’s figures.

    • Noted that work will soon begin on the 2020 budget and levy.  

    • Passed a resolution designating the community center as the city’s official polling place for the year 2020.

    • Accepted a raft donation from Cavour Johnson for use at Reilly Beach.

Taconite City Council

May 23, 2019

    At the May 13 Taconite City Council meeting, resident Judy Ryser presented council with concerns about the number of dogs occupying her neighboring rental property. Councilors are in the process of adopting a blight ordinance and advised that these issues will be addressed once a blight ordinance takes effect. 

    City Engineer Jeremy Schwarze updated the council on his efforts to obtain water tower funding. He requested a cover letter for a grant submission and noted other grants the city is eligible to apply for and the application deadlines. 

    Fire Chief Dusty Sipe informed councilors that Al Troumbly’s request for a leave of absence was granted. The fire department will soon be applying for a grant for new gear.

    The fire department was recently awarded $1,000 from Minnesota Power and $1,000 from Enbridge Energy to fund the pavilion project. Sipe presented council with a $1,000 check from Enbridge funds which he requested the council accept. 

    Mike Troumbly and Jaimey Troumbly stated the sewer pipes are set out and the crews are waiting for road restrictions to be lifted before starting construction on the joint wastewater project. Construction update meetings will be held the first Monday of each month in Coleraine. The city’s intake and infiltration has recently increased substantially. The council was advised that this problem will eventually need to be addressed because of the costs incurred to treat clear water due to many older homes not having proper drainage systems. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Accepted the minutes of the April 8 meeting. 

    • Accepted the consent agenda, which included two liquor license approvals and two community center rentals.

    • Accepted $1,000 from Enbridge Energy to fund the pavilion project.

    • Passed a motion to allow the Hub Hook and Ladder to use the Relief Association’s tax ID. 

    • Granted permission for the fire department to begin dirt work on the pavilion project. 

    • Accepted the treasurer’s Financial Report with a month-end balance of $52,601.74. 

    • Approved payment of claims totaling $35,134.34. 

    Greenway Day of Caring requested a donation to help fund supplies. 

    • Approved a $200 donation to the Day of Caring. 

    • Passed a motion for a resident located at 35 S. Haynes St. to install a culvert in the driveway in front of their residence at no cost to the city.

    • Passed a motion to vacate a portion of Bluebill Road and scheduled a public hearing on the matter for June 10.

    • Approved transferring $50,000 from general fund investments to the city’s checking account.

    • Passed a motion to insure the MECCC rebuild amount at $2.8 million, with no change from the previous year. 

    • Approved two building permits - one for a car port and the other for a garage.

Taconite City Council

January 24, 2019

    At last week’s city council meeting, the city of Taconite welcomed a slate of new officials. 

    James Camilli presided over his first meeting as mayor and newly sworn in councilors Tim Kilpatrick and Ryan Troumbly also were present for a first meeting as city officials. 

    As is customary, annual appointments were approved as follows:

    • Tim Kilpatrick as council liaison to the zoning board for 1 year, with Lee Hemphill, Randy Mattfield, Justin Hron and Lloyd Cogswell.

    • Jaimey Troumbly and Mike Troumbly  and appoint Jestine Casey to the Joint Waste Water Board for 2019.

    • Bill Guyer as Taconite’s Recreational Board member with Lee Finke as alternate for 2019.

    • James Camilli as the city’s representative to the Lakeview Cemetery Board with Councilperson Ryan Troumbly as alternate for 2019. 

    • Jestine Casey, Ryan Troumbly, Lee Finke Jr., TG Schwartz, Tyler Erickson, and Kent Demarias as FD Relief board member and James Camilli as council liaison for FD Relief Association for 2019.

    • Lauri Camilli as Well Head Protection Chair, Jaimey Troumbly as Well Head Protection Manager, and appoint Tim Kilpatrick as Well Head Protection board member for 2019.

    • Benchmark Engineering will serve as the city’s engineering firm for 2019

    • Kent Nyberg will serve as city attorney for civil matters and John Dimich will serve as the city’s criminal attorney for 2019

    • The Scenic Range NewsForum will be the official city publication and print its legal ads for 2019.

    • The First National Bank of Coleraine was set as official city depository for 2019. 

    • Lee Finke, Jr. is acting mayor for 2019.

    • Mike Troumbly will serve as deputy clerk.

    The council also approved a five-year lease agreement with the USPS at a rate of $7,690 per year and approved the fire department by-laws.

    The council discussed changes to the joint waste water treatment project with regard to the Taconite lift station. If the suggested changes are accepted by Rural Development, it could result in $150,000 in savings to the city.

The council accepted the treasurer’s report, which noted a $133,780.71 year-end balance. Claims totaling $32,053.22 were approved for payment and Enterprise Fund Transfers of  $26,904.66 from Sewage Fund to the CBT Joint Waste Water Fund were also approved.

Taconite plans for water tower, approves small levy increase

September 13, 2018

    The city of Taconite is developing a possible plan to replace the city’s water tower.

    At Monday’s city council meeting, officials voted to start the process to replace the water tower and get on to the state’s Public Facilities Authority point system, which would help defray costs for the project. The council action followed an update by the city’s engineer, Jeremy Schwarze during which he noted several options for replacement.

    Cost estimates for towers are: $640,000 for a 50,000 gallon tank, $730,000 for a 100,000 gallon tank. Additional costs also would be incurred for other related equipment. The city has opted to hire KLM Engineering to inspect the current tower.

    The council also adopted a preliminary levy for 2019, with a .48 percent increase year-over-year. The total levy is being proposed at $220,000. An initial public meeting on the city’s budget and levy will take place on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. in the city hall meeting room.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Aug. 13 council meeting.

    • Approved use of the community center for a track team feed on Sept. 12, a garage sale on Aug. 24 and for volleyball and basketball practice by Foundation Christian School beginning in late August.

    • Approved fire fighter training for two department members.

    • Noted that the city hydrants would be flushed soon.

    • Authorized the city clerk to obtain legal advice from the city’s attorney regarding the potential sale of city property.

    • Accepted the city treasurer’s report with a Aug. 31, 2018 balance of $120,490.85.

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount of $54,983.26.

    • Approved opening the labor agreement with Local 49 for the purpose of negotiating a three-year contract.

    • Noted that community center renter, Kootasca, would like to install a washer and dryer at their cost. The city will work with the organization to see if a suitable location can be found.

Taconite City Council

August 23, 2018

    At the Aug. 13 meeting of the Taconite City Council, officials: 

    • Listened to a report from Shawn Mulhern of KLM Engineering who reported that the current water tower in Taconite is in poor condition, and has a three to five year life span left. The cost of repairing the water tower is approximately $480,000, the cost of replacing it is around $640,000. 

    • Listened to a report from Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly who said that the board replacement at the skating rink was progressing nicely.

    • Approved a proposed levy of $219,000 that would allow the city to keep the same tax rate as that of 2017. 

    • Resolved the utility payment issue at 8 Nelson Street. The occupant will pay $150 every two weeks until caught up on past utility bills.

Taconite City Council

July 19, 2018

    At the July 9 regular Taconite City Council meeting the council took care of a number of routine items of business. The council: 

    • Approved the fire department’s request to hold the city picnic at the baseball field this year instead of at the community center

    • Listened to an update from Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly who recently installed new radios to remedy water tower control issues. Troumbly also informed the council that there will be an update on the water tower inspection ready for the city’s August meeting. 

    • Authorized discontinuing water service at 8 Nelson Street due to lack of payment.

Taconite City Council

June 20, 2018

     The Taconite City Council approved several noncontroversial agenda items at the regular June 11 meeting. The council:

    • Listened to a report from Fire Chief Sipe who requested permission to purchase tools totaling an amount less than $250. The request was approved.

    • Received an update from Joint Waste Water, which informed the council that employees lost medical insurance through ProCare. Negotiations decided that the commission would receive a lower level of coverage through PEIP.

    • Listened to a report from Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly, who informed the council that cold patching has been done Hodgins/Haynes curb stop, and Reilly Beach Road. 

    • Accepted a $1,830,50 donation from the Beefy Lawson Memorial Fund to be used to replace the ice rink boards.

Taconite City Council

April 19, 2018

The city of Taconite will be switching companies for its water tower inspection services.

At last week’s city council meeting, officials accepted a bid from KLM Engineering in the amount of $3,000 for water tower inspection services. The move came on the recommendation of Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly, who told councilors he’s heard good things about the firm’s services.

The council also scheduled the city’s annual clean-up days for the week of May 14-18, with items to be ready for pickup by 7 a.m. on May 14.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a $100 donation to the Greenway Post Prom event.

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

• Renewed liquor licenses for American Legion Post 301 and Lawrence Lake Liquor.

• Approved lease agreements with Invest Early and KOOTASCA/Head Start.

• Authorized street department personnel to attend OSHA training in Cohasset on May 17.

• Authorized the use of the community center by Mike Troumbly on June 30 for a graduation party. 

• Authorized use of the community center by Willa Weber on March 19 for a child’s birthday party.

• Approved application for renewal of worker’s compensation coverage.

• Accepted the treasurer’s report with a March 31 balance of $149,254.15.

• Approved payment of claims in the amount of $26,170.89.

• Approved the spring newsletter for distribution to city residents.

Taconite City Council

March 29, 2018

At the March 12 meeting of the Taconite City Council, it was reported by City Engineer Jeremy Schwarze that the city would not receive a MnDOT grant for Reilly Beach Road. DNR grants will be awarded in April.

The council approved a fire department request to hold the annual summer bash from June 29 to July 1. The council authorized temporary street closure for live music and other activities. Food will be sold at both the Fire Hall and Ball field on June 30. The council also authorized the fire department to hold the city picnic on Aug. 4. 

Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly reported that he will be seeking bids for water tower maintenance. He also said he had found rubber gym mats on a state surplus auction site, which he would try to purchase at a reasonable price for use in the warming house.

The Joint Wastewater Commission met on Feb. 14 and had received a bill from SEH Engineering for design services for the new forcemain line. Taconite’s portion of the cost is $5,518.52. The commission hopes to bid the project in April.

In other business, the council:

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

• Accepted the city treasurer’s financial report with a year-end balance of $168,945.67.

• Approved payment of claims in the amount of $34,596.91.

Taconite City Council

February 22, 2018

At last week’s meeting of the Taconite City Council, residents of Diamond Lake approached officials in reference of the road used to access their properties. 

The city clerk presented the council with a copy of the Diamond Lake land owners covenant that was approved by the council in 1995, which states that the owners agree that they will maintain the private road in such a manner to provide access for emergency vehicles. Any costs associated with maintenance would, therefore, be assessed to the property owners.

The council also received a request to maintain the road in June of 1999 which was denied because of mining issues. Owners of property are willing to pay for maintenance of the road but are asking for city’s help with snow removal and grading. 

The council stated that the city would snowplow Diamond Lake Road for $1,000 a season. The residents also paid $500 on a delinquent plowing bill from 2015, which council decided would go toward this plow season. 

The city’s possible budget shortfall will not be covered by a loan from the county. It has been determined that Itasca County cannot provide the city with a loan to offset the $146,000 levy shortage. Former City Clerk Lauri Camilli provided the council with a sample informational letter to residents to inform them of the issue. The council approved informing residents via the city’s spring and fall newsletters and will use savings to cover any shortfall that might occur. 

In other business, the council:

• Committed to sell by quit claim deed a purposed lot east of parcel 97-455-0165, provided that buyer, Kim Schmidt has all legal documents prepared and the southeast corner of the parcel does not interfere with the Bluebill Bay Road right-of-way.

• Accepted the minutes of the Jan. 8 regular council meeting.

• Noted that the Joint Wastewater Commission met on Jan. 10. Taconite Clerk Mike Troumbly was elected treasurer and Rep. Hanson was re-elected secretary. Taconite will be paying 13.67 percent of the operation and maintenance costs for February, March, and April.

• Accepted the city’s financial report with a year-end balance of $196,212.12.

• Approved payment of claims in the amount of $32,545.88.

• Tabled a donation request from First Call for Help.

• Noted that improvements are needed at the city’s ice rink. Officials will seek out possible grants and other sources for funding.

Taconite City Council

January 25, 2018

At the Jan. 8 meeting of the Taconite City Council, discussion took place on the city’s anticipated revenue shortfall.

Due to miscommunication between the city and county, it appears that the city will fall about $146,000 short in revenues this year. Because the final levy has already been set, the city cannot increase the amount under state law. 

To offset the shortfall, the city will seek a $146,000 no-interest loan from Itasca County for 2018. Councilors voted unanimously in favor of pursuing this option.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a 10-year mutual aid fire agreement.

• Noted that the street department received a state Department of Health award for excellence in fluoridation.

• Authorized the purchase of 12 LED light fixtures for the community center.

• Updated the snowbird water and sewer rate policy.

• Accepted the treasurer’s report with a year-end balance of $213,100.93.

• Approved payment of claims in the amount of $23,438.60.

• Authorized fund transfers and the sale of investments.

• Approved the city’s financial statement as of Dec. 31, 2017.

• Made several appointments and designations as part of the city’s annual reorganization.

• Set the city council meeting dates for 2018 as the second Monday of each month at 4:30, with the exception of October and November when meetings will be held on Oct. 15 and Nov. 19.

  • Authorized the purchase of a coffee maker for the community center.

• Increased the cost of Lawrence Township Fire Service from $1,000 to $1,200 annually.

Taconite City Council

December 21, 2017

At last week’s meeting of the Taconite City Council, officials approved the hire of a new deputy clerk.

The city received one application for the part-time position from Jestine Casey. 

Officials hope that Casey can be trained for clerk duties then will successfully be elected clerk in the fall of next year. Officials acknowledged, however, that there is no guarantee she will win the election for clerk. Current city clerk Mike Troumbly hopes to retire from the position in July of next year.

After approving Casey’s hire, councilors opted to set her training salary at $13/hour.

In other business, the council:

• Authorized the use of the ice rink for PeeWee practice on Mondays from 4 to 5 p.m.

• Approved the minutes of the Nov. 20 council meeting.

• Authorized use of the community center by Vee Troumbly for bridal shower on Jan. 6

  • Approved a $50 donation to ElderCircle for residents to receive groceries and a $100 donation to the Greenway Recreation Fifth Annual Fishing Tournament. 

• Approved the release of HUD funds for CASA Tranquilla.

• Discussed the willingness of the city to take on financial administration duties for the Joint Waste Water commission. The council approved accepting those duties, if approved by CBT Joint Powers Board.

• Approved purchase of a replacement head for the city’s sander at a cost of $6,000 if the current one fails. 

• Approved payment of claims in the amount of $27,654.95.

• Approved the treasurer’s report with a Nov. 30 balance of $32,654.95.

Taconite raises water, sewer rates

September 21, 2017

    Residents of Taconite will see their water and sewer rates inch up beginning in January of next year.

    Action taken by the Taconite City Council at last week’s regular meeting will boost monthly water rates from $20 to $22.50 and monthly sewer service from $30 to $37.50.

    The increase, councilors noted, was necessary to keep the city’s water and sewer utilities in sound financial condition.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Aug. 14 council meeting.

    • Renewed memberships in the League of Minnesota Cities and Minnesota Mayors Association.

    • Appointed Jeremy Finke as a volunteer fireman with the stipulation that the department will be kept to 15 members following the next department opening.

    • Authorized execution of a fire department contract with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

    • Accepted the treasurer’s report with an Aug. 30 balance of $138,311.46

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount of $54,315.13.

Taconite City Council

August 24, 2017

    At the Aug. 14 meeting of the Taconite City Council, a local resident expressed concern about dirt bikes and 4-wheelers driven by young persons in a nearby alley. The city agreed to ask County Sheriff Vic Williams and his staff to patrol the area more. The city also will call for law enforcement help when needed.

    The council was invited to a Kids Night, which will take place on Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. in Phillips Dustin Memorial Park. 

    City Engineer Jeremy Schwarze updated the council on the progress of the casing project. The second half of the casings will be installed in early September. 

    Soil borings will help engineers in making an estimate on costs for Reilly Beach Road repairs. Schwarze is working with the Itasca County engineer to apply for funding and will also apply to the DNR soon to fit their granting cycle. It was noted that footings have been installed for new garage, with work on slab soon to follow. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved renting the MECCC gym Aug. 24-25 to Nicole Houle for a rummage sale.

    • Noted that the city engineer is working on easements for a line from Taconite to the wastewater treatment plant. 

    • Noted that improvements to the community center as requested by Kootasca, which uses the facilities for early childhood programming, are nearly completed.

    • Approved the purchase of a water wagon from the city of Calumet for a cost of $1,000. 

    • Adopted ordinance No. 87, regulating the length of lawn and grasses within a residential area. 

    • Accepted the treasurer’s report with a July 31 balance of $198,763.54. 

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount of $137,004.19.

    • Accepted the minutes of the July 19 regular and July 31 special meetings.

Taconite City Council

July 27, 2017

    At the July 10 meeting of the Taconite City Council, officials heard from two visitors.

    Bill Guyer addressed the council regarding the recent issue with the city of Grand Rapids contemplating removing annexed areas of the city from the Greenway Joint Recreation participation fee. Through a number of joint meetings, the issue was resolved and there will be no change to the recreation board’s revenue stream.

    Rep. Sandy Layman also attended the council meeting and provided an update on last year’s legislative session. Discussion items included wi-fi and small city roads.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the June 12 council meeting.

    • Passed a motion to pay Benchmark Engineering for pre-engineering work completed on Riley Beach Rd.

    • Noted that improvements to the community center, which had been requested by renters, were underway. 

    • Approved the treasurer’s report with a balance of $89,637.54 as of June 30.

    • Approved payment of claims totaling $64,893.10.

    • Passed a motion to hold a public hearing to discuss the allowable length of grass within the city limits.

    • Passed a motion to allow the sale of off-sale liquor, following the laws of the State of Minnesota and provided that the vendor has an off-sale license.

    • Discussed the 2018 budget and levy. The city has the goal of keeping next year’s levy at $98,000.

Taconite will place safety signs at beach

June 22, 2017

By Alli Bily

    

    At the June 12 Taconite City Council meeting the council discussed the abundant use of Riley Beach since maintenance had been done earlier in the year. 

    The council decided that because there were many kids swimming and playing on the beach that “swim at your own risk” and “no trespassing after dark” signs would be a good safety precaution to help prevent injuries. Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly will be in charge of acquiring and putting up those signs. 

    In other business, the council: 

    • Passed a motion prohibiting alcohol purchased by the city from being given away at city functions.

    • Approved the community center lease agreements with Invest Early and Kootasca

    • Accepted treasurer’s report with a May 31 balance of $90,730.52.

    • Authorized payment of claims totaling $40,842.99

    • Awarded the bid for the construction of a new city garage to Maasch Construction in the amount of $70,525. There were four bids submitted for the project to the city and Maasch was the low bidder.

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