March city council meeting minutes

Council Minutes - March 20, 2018
Regular Meeting Ely City Council – City Hall, Council Chambers

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Novak called the meeting to order at 5:30pm.

PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Callen, D.Forsman and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: Council member Omerza

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Debeltz/D.Forsman moved to approve the minutes from the March 6, 2018 Regular Council Meeting. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA
Addition 8.A. Events Coordinator Bureau
Addition 9.B.iii. Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement Between the City of Ely and the USDA, Forest Service Superior National Forest
Addition 10.D. Correspondence from the Ely Area Development Association
Addition 10.E. Correspondence from the Minneapolis Police Department regarding the officers that helped at the Super Bowl.
Addition 13. D. Municipal Advisory Service Agreement by and between the City of Ely, Minnesota and Northland Securities, Inc.
Items A-E added without objection.

MAYOR’S REPORT
Mayor Novak was in St. Paul last week attending the CGMC Legislative Action Day. The handouts from the meeting are in the Mayors Conference Room if anyone would like look at them.
Mayor Novak also attended the State of the State address last week.

CONSENT AGENDA
Motion to waive readings in entirety of all ordinances and resolutions on tonight’s agenda
Approve Council and Staff to attend the 2018 League of Minnesota Cities 2018 Annual Conference at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, MN, June 20-22.
Debeltz/D.Forsman moved to approve the consent agenda items A and B. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

REQUESTS TO APPEAR
Dayna Mase – “March for our Lives” March 24, 2018 at Whiteside Park
Mase has been a resident of Ely for 18 years. The students of Parkland, Florida started a movement “enough is enough.” Mase said she wants to protect Ely and keep Ely Safe. Mase stated that over 820 cities around the globe are participating in the “March for Our Lives” on March 24, 2018. Mase has organized a march in Ely and encourages people to participate on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 11am-2pm at Whiteside Park. Mase stated that a Keep Ely Safe task force will be initiated after the march. Mase stated that we have a moral obligation to protect the children and our community.

COMMITTEE REPORTS
Standing/Special
Ely Projects Committee
D.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve the recommendation from the Projects Committee to award the proposal from Louis Leustek and Sons for crushing of recycled bituminous and concrete for $4.25 per ton and a $7,500 lump sum mobilization charge. They also propose to take our recycled material in the future and sell it back to us processed for $7.00/LV. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

Ely Tree Board
Kess stated that there is a concern with the tapping the maple trees on the boulevards. In the tree board minutes the board agreed that tapping the city trees was not a good idea despite the abundance of material to be found online that tapping “doesn’t hurt trees.”  This information all relates to sugar maples tapped in the bush. Ely’s silver maples do not compartmentalize wounds as efficiently as sugar maples. Also, tapping is not advised on stressed trees even in more natural settings, and the boulevard provides a continually stressed condition.  The Tree Board is concerned also that the energy that a tree requires to heal from tapping is energy taken from other activities those stressed trees need to perform to survive.
Mayor Novak stated that the blue bags on the maple trees are possibly a commercial operation. The local Maple Syrup Gang would give the syrup away to friends, if a commercial operation is going to profit from the City Trees that is not acceptable.
Kess stated he would like to have something on the next council agenda addressing this.

Ely Utilities Commission
EUC CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS: The following items of business were recommended for approval at the regular EUC meeting of Wednesday, March 14, 2018.
Approved moving forward with $710,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificate Series 2018A from Northland Securities for planned AMI metering project.
Approved moving forward with the evaluation of the Waste Water Treatment operations to meet the MPCA’s mercury limit with the proposal from JPJ Engineering for $14,200.
Approved payment of the January EUC Bills List of $431,786.36.
A.Forsman/D.Forsman moved to approve the EUC Consent Agenda items 1-3. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

Kess/Debeltz moved to require competitive bids for the Waste Water Treatment Plant for the mercury standards on future engineering contracts which must meet federal, state, and Ely City Charter requirements for the bidding process and that the Ely City Council reserves final authority. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS:
Clerk-Treasurer

Fire Chief
Debeltz/D.Forsmen moved to hire Steven Renneberg as a firefighter pending drug testing and background check. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

Purchase portable radios: up to 6 for Ely Fire Department and 1 for the Ely Police Department
Chief Lahtonen stated he would like to bring the Police Department Radio up at the Budget meeting.
Chief Erchull stated that the Fire Department would like to purchase 3 radios from a neighboring county for $400 per radio.
Mayor Novak asked where the money would come from for these since they are not budgeted for.
A.Forsman asked why we would purchase used radios. Chief Erchull stated that the county has deep pockets and can replace radios more often than we can.
Kess/Debeltz moved to table purchasing the radios and bring it up at the next budget meeting. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the Cooperative Fire Protection Agreement Between the City of Ely and the USDA, Forest Service Superior National Forest with the addition of the Pierce Engine and added the pumps separated on the equipment list and the have the Mayor, Clerk and Fire Chief sign the agreement. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

Chief Erchull stated that five active firefighters have taken the First Responder Course and will be starting on Sunday as First Responders.

Library Director
A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve Library Director Heinrich to attend the Arrowhead Library Systems Facing the Future Summit on April 24, 2018 in Mt. Iron, MN. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

Library Director Heinrich gave an update of the upcoming events at the library which can be located on the Library Website.

Police Chief

City Attorney
Kess/Debeltz moved to approve the Amended Ely Airport Facilities Operations Services Agreement (OSP).
Attorney Klun stated that the auditors found a clerical error in #2 so this is an amendment to #2.
Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza absent.

Callen/A.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2018-008 Resolution Establishing the City of Ely’s Intent to vacate a portion of City-Owned Property.
Attorney Klun stated that the intent from the council is that the city will not utilize this portion of Vermilion Street in the future and with the current topography.
A.Forsman stated that the topography prohibits future road development.
Roll Called: A.Forsman – Yes, Kess – Yes, Debeltz – Yes, Callen – Yes, D.Forsman – Yes, and Mayor Novak – Yes. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

A.Forsman/Callen moved to approve the 1st Reading of Ordinance No. 323 An Ordinance of the City of Ely, Minnesota, Adding to the Ely City Code, Chapter 20, Section 20.13.20, Entitled Vacation of a Portion of City-Owned Property. Roll Called: A.Forsman – Yes, Kess – Yes, Debeltz – Yes, Callen – Yes, D.Forsman – Yes, and Mayor Novak – Yes. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

Debeltz/Callen moved to schedule a Public Hearing for Ordinance 323 for April 3, 2018 at 5:00pm. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

City Engineer

COMMUNICATIONS:
MN Employment and Economic Development – BDPI grant award of $750,000 for the 17th Ave Project.
Board of Adjustment Public Hearing, Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 5:30pm in council chambers to consider issuance of a variance to the City of Ely to construct a picnic pavilion with a reduced shoreline setback at Semer’s Park on Shagawa Lake.
Thank you to the Fire Department from the Northland 300
Correspondence from the Ely Area Development Association
Correspondence from the Minneapolis Police Department regarding the officers that helped at the Super Bowl.

CLAIMS FOR PAYMENT:
Debeltz/D.Forsman moved to approve the City and EUC claims for March 20, 2018 for $534,893.70. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

OLD BUSINESS:

NEW BUSINESS:
A.Forsman/Debeltz moved to approve Resolution 2018-009 Resolution Determining the necessity to issue a $710,000 General Obligation Equipment Certificate of Indebtedness, Series 2018A. Roll Called: A.Forsman – Yes, Kess – Yes, Debeltz – Yes, Callen – Yes, D.Forsman – Yes, and Mayor Novak – Yes. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

Debeltz/D.Forsman moved to approve Resolution 2018-010 Resolution Authorizing City of Ely to Make Application to and Accept Funds from IRRRB FY18 Community Infrastructure Grant Program. Roll Called: A.Forsman – Yes, Kess – Yes, Debeltz – Yes, Callen – Yes, D.Forsman – Yes, and Mayor Novak – Yes. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

Debletz/Callen moved to schedule a Special Council meeting for May 17, 2018 at 5pm for the Local Board of Appeal & Equalization Meeting. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

Kess/Callen moved to approve the Municipal Advisory Service Agreement by and between the City of Ely, Minnesota and Northland Securities, Inc. Motion Carried 6-0-1 with Omerza Absent.

OPEN FORUM

ADJOURN
Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting at 6:36pm without objection.

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk

Study Session Meeting – Council Chambers, Ely City Hall
March 27, 2018

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Novak called the study session to order at 5:30pm.

Present: Council Members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, D.Forsman and Mayor Novak
Absent: None

Council Member A.Forsman stated that March 29th is Vietnam Veterans Day; Forsman took a moment to thank the veterans.

ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS: None

REQUEST TO APPEAR: None

OLD BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS: None

OPEN FORUM:
Discussion/Brainstorming on Tourism
Mayor Novak opened the meeting by discussing what the City of Ely does for tourism. The city provides in kind services for events in Ely that can equal more than $10,000. The city is working on a Trailhead project where 3 trails will come into Ely. The City is working on a Mountain Bike Trail at Hidden Valley. The city is also working on a joint marketing project to attract visitors from Giants Ridge and Fortune Bay to promote Ely Area attractions.

Mayor Novak asked what draws people to Ely: the Economy – government, St. Louis County, Ely Bloomenson Community Hospital, Schools, Department of Revenue, Vermilion Community College, etc. and Tourism – Events like the Blueberry Arts Festival, Harvest Moon, Marathon, Winterfest, Baseball, etc.
Mayor Novak asked what else can be done and how can we coordinate our efforts. Mayor Novak stated after this meeting we will potentially form a task force with a representative from each group.

Open Discussion was held and the following ideas were brought forward, approximately 35 people were in attendance.

Ely Watercolor Club (Ely Arts Groups) working together with other groups for events
Common place to collect brochures for events
Kite Flying Group
Ski Club – Fat Tire Bike Race
Hidden Valley a destination in the summer – Disk Golf Course
Longwood International Tourism Study
Additional Baseball Field with Artificial Turf- more teams for tournaments and with artificial turf could get college teams in early spring.
Appeal to the younger visitor with more attractions
Trying to get the Millennial generation more involved
Broadband High-speed internet and Internet Expansion – Elyite website will be coming soon with a positive vibe of Ely
Arts and Culture huge drive in Ely
Need more new volunteers to help with events
New and Improved – not doing the same thing year after year or event after event – What’s new to the event or new to Ely? What’s New and Updated?
Advertising – Simpler the better – People remember simple
Coordinating another event same weekend as a different event. Example: Car Show and Art Show? Bring more people to town with different preferences. Event coordinators work together with events to promote together.
Trolley System from Giants Ridge or from other tourism areas (Northshore) to spend the day in Ely – Regional Transit Transportation to Attractions
People need a reason to come to Ely – Woods, Water, and Snow
Promoting Ely to different Segments of people : Retired, Families, College aged, etc
How to get people to Ely on busy weekends when hotels may be full? Bus Trips from Duluth, Cities, Northshore, etc.
Kindness and welcoming is also what brings people to Ely and back to Ely
Trailhead Project
Getting people from the Iron Range to Ely for a weekend or a day
Cross Marketing

Mayor Novak stated that if anyone has any additional ideas to call, email, or text him and he will put together a list. If anyone is interested in participating in a future meeting to let him know.

ADJOURN
Mayor Novak adjourned the meeting at 7:01pm

Casey Velcheff
Deputy Clerk
Ely Echo 4/7/2018