By LINDA LOBECK
IRON MOUNTAIN - Three easements and a developer's agreement were approved by Iron Mountain City Council Monday night for condominiums being built north of Ridge View Road.
The request for the easements and agreement came from Robert Forgette Jr. of Chapin LLC for the Timber Lake Condominiums, which are located above the Wells Fargo Bank at 1805 S. Stephenson Ave.
City Manager Jordan Stanchina noted that the first four condos are in the process of being constructed and Forgette came to the city to inquire about getting water service to them.
"Many options were discussed, but due to water pressure and rock ledge, the location just north of the condos was the most feasible. There are three items that need to be approved so the developer can install the water main," Stanchina told the council.
The council was asked to approve the developer's agreement, which states that the developer will install water main to the city's specifications and the utilities will then become a part of the city's system.
A second item needing approval was to give the city an easement for maintenance of the water main.
A third item dealt with an easement needed concerning something left over from the 2004 water bond project.
In 2004, Stanchina said the city installed a water main from the Millie Hill tank south to U.S. 2 through Forgette's property. A portion of that water main is not covered by an easement and needs to be done. Forgette will grant the easement for the existing water main.
Prior to the council meeting, the infrastructure committee had met to discuss the developer's plans and the necessary easements. The city attorney also drafted the needed documents, Stanchina said.
He added that the city water line comes over the hill to the right of the first condo. But for the project, the water main was needed to the west. On Ridge View Drive, it wasn't feasible for the water line to be located there even though there was a sanitary sewer line. The problem was that there wasn't enough water pressure - only 20 pounds. The best solution was to bring the water main down over the top side, which required a 30 foot easement from the developer to the city.
Stanchina said that the developer's agreement states that as long as they put everything in according to city's specifications, the city will eventually take over it and the developer grants a utility easement to the city.
At Monday's meeting, the council also discussed the resignation on April 12 from Mayor Bruce Rosen, which leaves a vacancy on the council.
The council agreed to have the city manager advertise for those interested in filling the vacant seat on the council. Letters of application would need to be submitted to the council by the next meeting, Monday, May 5.
The council, according to state law, must fill the position within 30 days and would need to have someone on the council by May 12.
Councilman Bill Revord said that they need to put together a process that they are going to use to fill the open seat. "There's got to be a better way to do it than what we did last time."
Council member Kay Villa agreed. "It was very confusing last time."
In December, the council had received a letter of resignation from Dave Farragh and had filled his seat after taking applications and conducting interviews. Rick Zolner was selected by the council to fill that open seat.
Between now and the next meeting, the council will decide how to handle the selection of a new council member. Those council members appointed to fill an unexpired term take the seat until the next election in 2015.
Rosen noted, in his letter to City Manager Jordan Stanchina, that he was resigning due to the purchase of another company that required a "greater amount of my time."
Rosen served an at-large seat on the council as well as serving as mayor for several years.
During the meeting, the council also took nominations for the position of mayor pro-tem. Dale Alessandrini is now serving as mayor and the council needed to fill this position. Mayor pro-tem assumes the position and duties of mayor whenever the mayor is not able to perform them.
Councilman Bill Revord was nominated and unanimously approved as mayor pro-tem of the council.
After much discussion at the April 7 meeting, the council had agreed to put the millage to support the school liaison before voters during the August election.
Stanchina, in his memo to the council, noted that some council members had expressed to him that they only wanted to have the ballot proposal question before the voters once and would prefer that it be for the November election.
"They said that if they were going to take one shot to bring it to the voters they would rather see it in November rather than in August," he added.
Council member Villa agreed. "It's a better place for it in November."
Voters will be asked whether to approve levying up to a half a mill for the school liaison officer during November general election. The millage would be for another five year period and start with the July 2015 summer tax bill.
According to the proposed ballot language, it is estimated that .5 mill would raise approximately $111,949 when first levied in 2015. But City Manager Jordan Stanchina said that under current costs for the position, only .334 mills would need to be levied to cover the cost of the position.
The current school liaison millage will be levied for the last time during this year's summer bill. The city had agreed to levy the maximum of .25 mills, which creates a funding split of 61 percent coming from the city and 39 percent from the school district. The council agreed to the change in the normal 50/50 split this year due to the current financial difficulties the school district is under - operating with a deficit budget.
The school district had requested that the city put the ballot proposal before the taxpayers looking for up to .5 mill to fully fund the position. The ballot proposal, Stanchina noted, must come from the city council since the school is only able to request a millage levy for debt or a sinking fund.
During Stanchina's report to the council, he noted that they have had a few water main breaks with a bad break on the 700 Block of East A Street. He noted that this has undercut the road and as a temporary fix they will be using a cold mix to fill it in.
Revord said he had been by that road and it was obviously undermined noting that there was only one cone there marking where the road had sunk.
Stanchina said he'd check on it and that there had been three cones there marking the area. "It's not settling anymore and we have slow signs there too."
He added that they have started to turn off some of the 'let runs' in residences and businesses. The let runs were in place from previous freeze-ups and many more that occurred during the winter.
"We think the frost is high enough up now and are letting them turn them off a little at a time. It will take awhile since we had 575 let runs this year," Stanchina said.
Alessandrini asked the city manager to send thank you letters to the neighbors of customers whose lines were unable to be thawed this winter. A hose had to be run from a neighbor's house so the residence had water.
Stanchina said that there were 17-20 instances where that had to happen this year.
Linda Lobeck's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.