Taconite City Council

August 20, 2020

    At the August meeting of the Taconite City Council, Rob Sjostrand from SBSC-IDS presented council with information on COVID grants his organization is administering to small businesses. The grants awarded will be used to supplement lost revenues due to COVID. He advised that the application period is Aug. 25-27. Grants will be awarded utilizing a lottery system. He estimated that the amount awarded would be no less than $5,000 per business and more information can be obtained at Itascadv.org.

    Tim and Jestine Casey requested council review the use of a plotted alley between their house at 18 Haynes St. and Renee Florek’s house at 61 Haynes St. They requested council divide the alley down the center line and lease half to them and the other half to Florek. The council approved the request.

    The 2021 Budget and Levy were discussed. Clerk Casey provided the council with a 2021 proposed budget as follows:

    General Fund - $101,860; FD Equipment - $64,600; Fire Department Relief - 0; Water - $5,000; Sewer - $4,000; Road/Bridge - $39,540; Capital- $25,000; Total - $240,000. The preliminary budget will be set at the September meeting.

    In other business, the council:

    • Accepted the minutes from the July 13, 2020 regular meeting. 

    • Authorized the fire department to resume its meetings.

    • Noted that the USDA and IRRRB applications for water tower funding. The city engineer stated that both applications have been submitted. The IRRRB pre-application was approved and the full application is ready to submit. He provided USDA with the additional information requested. 

    • Directed the street commissioner to get an estimate for Shamrock Drive road repairs and present it at next month’s meeting. 

    • Noted that the city received CARES grant funds in the amount of $47,841 to help alleviate COVID-related costs. The money can only be used for costs directly related to COVID and any leftover funds must be returned by the end of the year. The council discussed expenses already incurred and the anticipated future expenses.

    • Noted that the city can receive a $931.59 grant from the Itasca County to help pay for election expenses that are directly related to COVID. The council opted not to apply for the election funding and to use the CARES Grant funds already received to pay for COVID election expenses. 

    • Updated the city’s COVID-19 Preparedness Plan to include required masks and approved the employee leave policy.

    • Accepted the treasurer’s financial report with a month-end balance of $252,524.12. 

    • Scheduled the truth in taxation hearing for Dec. 14, 2020 at 6 p.m.

    • Authorized invoicing Diamond Lake Road $1,250 for the 2020- 2021 plow season. 

    • Approved the purchase of 21,000 gallons of pre-buy LP Gas from Range Bottle Gas at a price of $1.25 a gallon. 

    • Set the Lawrence Lake Fire service contract at $1,500 for 2021. 

    • Authorized raising the raise water/sewer rate for the year 2021 at a rate of $75 per month.

Taconite City Council

July 30, 2020

    At the July meeting of the Taconite City Council, Sheila Hart and Allison Butterfield presented council with a request to place a memorial sign at Reilly Beach in honor of Bob Hageman, who recently passed away. They noted that Bob was an asset to the community and taught many children to swim and water ski at Reilly Beach. The sign would be purchased through community donations and Hart will take responsibility for maintaining the sign. The council voted in support of the request.

    The recent Thein Well report was provided to council. Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly advised that both pumps are in poor condition and the Well No. 1 pump needs to be serviced in the very near future. He advised that it could cost up to $20,000 depending upon the recommended repairs. The council authorized the repairs.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the June 8 regular meeting. 

    • Approved a $200 contribution to the Itasca County Historical Society for 2021. 

    • Authorized the city clerk to apply for IRRRB infrastructure funding for its water tower replacement project.

    • Agreed that the annual city picnic should be canceled.

    • Approved the fire department’s purchase of five pagers at a rate not to exceed $1,905.

    • Noted that the city’s waste water usage increased to 11.99 percent and that intake and infiltration is still a problem.

    • Approved payment of the city’s portion of water/sewer line and curb stop construction for a new home in the amount of $4,725.

    • Authorized the continued closure of city hall with the exception of Aug. 11, 2020 election. 

    • Accepted the treasurer’s financial report with a month-end balance of $238,387.97. 

    • Approved payment of claims totaling $51,928.97.

    • Authorized the city clerk to apply for Cares Act funding.

    • Set wages for election judges at $11/hour and $12/hour for the head judge.

    • Appointed Patricia Fillbrandt as Head Judge, Patricia Baker, Nora Bellefy, Paula Lawson, Dianna Cogswell, Diane Meyer, Pauline Wirtz and Geraldine Kilpatrick as election judges for the Aug. 11 primary election.

    • Authorized sending blight notification letters to New Residential Investment & RTo2019IL LLC concerning parcels 97-440-0530 and 97-410-0126.

    • Approved the variance application form.

    • Noted that the budgeting process will soon begin for 2021.

Taconite City Council

June 18, 2020

    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.

Taconite City Council

March 19, 2020

    Boys & Girls Club Representatives Arlin Talley and Sandy Antonovich were present at the March Taconite City Council meeting. They explained the services offered and the number of youth served by the Boys & Girls Club. They also requested Mayor James Camilli sign a proclamation declaring March 30 – April 3, 2020 as Boys & Girls Club Week in the City. The council passed the proclamation.

    Greenway Recreation Board Representative Cotton Guyer presented council with information on CEDA and explained how this organization is helping small communities fund recreational projects. He also updated council on arena construction renovations and stated that the ski hill is doing well.

    City Engineer Jeremy Schwarze updated the council on the water tower USDA loan application, stating he was advised by a USDA representative that Taconite would be a good candidate. Concerning road repair, at next month’s meeting he is going to present council with an estimated cost to obtain Shamrock Road boring samples. With these samples, he will be able to determine the type of repair needed.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Feb. 10 regular meeting. 

    • Approved rental of the community center on Feb. 15 for a birthday party.

    • Approved a $300 donation to First Call for Help;

    • Approved a $100 donation to Greenway Post Prom.

    • Approved the following changes to fire department appointed offices: Frank Goulet as Assistant Fire Chief, Lee Finke as Relief President, Tyler Erickson as Relief Treasurer, Dave Mikulich as Training Officer.

    • Approved spending up to $5,000 on tree removal.

    • Discussed formation of a blight committee, which would tour the city and rural areas and determine which properties are in violation

    • Accepted the treasurer’s report with a month-end balance of $202,481.18 

    • Approved payment of claims totaling $25,002.90.

    • Contracted with Northland Portables for the 2020 season.

Taconite City Council

January 23, 2020

    At last week’s meeting, City Engineer Jeremy Schwarze updated the Taconite City Council on the USDA loan and grant application process advising that a loan application can be submitted at any time but it but must include an engineering report which is estimated to cost between $10,000 and $15,000. Schwarze also will reach out to the USDA representative for options. He also advised that there are federal requirements that come with a USDA loan. 

    Fire Department minutes were distributed to council. Chief Dusty Sipe stated that the Third Annual Chili Feed is scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Legion Club. The Fire Relief Association meeting is scheduled for Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. Tim Schwartz retired so Sipe requested that Mike Waseleski be approved as a member. Action was tabled until next month’s meeting due to a deficiency in council votes with Mayor Camilli abstaining. Sipe also requested approval for the annual payment to fire department for $1,000 for 2019 advertising funds. The request was approved by the council.

    Street Commissioner Jaimey Troumbly provided an update on the progress of city projects noting that the drinking fountains have been removed from the Community Center Building. Schwartz’s wing and grader may need to be hired to blow the snow banks if there is much more snow accumulation. He also reported that the sander has been repaired and the rink is up and running. 

    In other business, the council:

    • Accepted the distributed minutes of the Dec. 9, 2019 regular council meeting and Truth in Taxation meeting.

    • Authorized annual approval of routine monthly invoices.

    • Authorized use of a facsimile signature on checks and routine documents for the mayor.

    • Renewed the annual membership with RAMS.

    • Approved use of the community center on Dec. 14, 2019 for a birthday party and on Dec. 24, 2019 for a Christmas Party.

    • Approved payment of the 2020 makeup replacement fund invoice in the amount of $6518.52. 

    • Passed a resolution authorizing issuance of general obligation sewer bonds in an amount not to exceed $1.625 million at an interest rate not to exceed 1.375 percent.

    • Accepted the treasurer’s financial report with a year-end balance of $241,598.69. 

    • Approved payment of claims totaling $33,078.73. 

    • Authorized transfer of $4,000 from the general fund to the sick leave fund. 

    • Authorized Enterprise Fund transfers of $296,140.83 from the sewage fund to the CBT Joint Waste Water Fund. 

    • Accepted the city’s Financial Statement for the period ending Dec. 31, 2019.

    • Approved annual mayoral appointments and designations.

Taconite City Council

December 19, 2019

    At the Dec. 9 meeting of the Taconite City Council, Engineer Jeremy Schwarze updated the council by email stating that IRRRB representative Chris Ismil advised him that he would need to see the financing details on the city’s portion of the water tower project before proceeding with the grant application and advised that the project will likely not be funded this year. Other funding options, including a low-interest 40-year loan from the USDA, also were discussed. The council passed a motion requesting Schwarze submit an application to the USDA for the full amount of the project.

    Officials also approved the slate of fire department officers elected at the last fire department meeting. The slate of officers was approved as follows: Dusty Sipe, Chief; Ron Mjolsness, Assistant Chief; Kent Demarais, Captain; Frank Goulet, Relief President; Tyler Erickson, Training Officer; Lee Finke, Relief Treasurer; Perry Coyle, Secretary. 

    Election judges for the 2020 presidential primary election were approved through passage of a resolution as follows: Jestine Casey as Head Judge, Patricia Baker as Election Judge Trainee and Nora Bellefy, Paula Lawson and Dianna Cogswell. The election will take place on March 3.

    In other business, the council:

    • Approved the minutes of the Nov. 18 council meeting.

    • Approved purchase of a scrubber for the Community Center floors.

    • Approved reinvestment of a $200,000 certificate of deposit for a 12-month period.

    • Approved the treasurer’s report for November, with an ending balance of $143,770.93.

    • Approved payment of claims in the amount of $13,024.97.

    • Raised Community Center rental rates for non-residents to $100. The council also passed a motion to require a $50 refundable deposit for both residents and non-residents, with funerals exempt.

    • Authorized the city clerk to balance books for the year’s end and transfer funds as necessary. Formal approval of transfers will take place at the January council meeting.

    • Approved payment of any remaining 2019 bills, unless questionable, to finish accounting for 2019.

    • Adopted the levy, payable in 2020, at $220,000.

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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