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City Council mtg March 19 2024

Regular scheduled City Council meeting held Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Ely. MN.

Ryan Callen was acting City Mayor in Heidi Omerza’s absence.

Council packet is posted on City website. Check later for changes & additions.

YouTube link at the bottom. Highlights of meeting with time markers:

FM side note regarding all Council meetings (not picking on tonight’s meeting): Council Members and City Hall are assuming viewers are able to access, want to log online ahead of time, and read the whole packet posted online. They cannot access and/or don’t (have time). As the public is watching from home, let them know more about what’s going on. Maybe this is the first time they tuned in and know nothing. Engage them as they listen on their couches, get them to chat with neighbors, inspire them to get more involved in commissions, etc. Saying something like, “Minutes are in the packet” and not relaying more doesn’t really pique public interest. If YOU are excited about YOUR job and YOUR commissions, show it! Harold Langowski shows enthusiasm, humor and gives detailed info.

2:55 – 4:39 Projects Committee: Passed 2 motions as recommended: (1) Commit property needed for work force housing to HRA and direct City Atty work up ordinance. (2) Pay $2000 housing study invoice from Maxfield Research.

There was no discussion nor mention of the many other development projects in the draft minutes submitted by the Projects Committee (pages 16-17 in Council packet). Some of the updates included (1) Ambulance & Fire Garage; (2) Old Community Center/Hotel demolition, parking lot, old Ford Garage; (3) 37-unit work force housing apartment complex. See discussion under HRA; (4) Ott redevelopment of Train Depot property; land swap of Ford Garage to use for hotel parking.

4:40 – 7:10 Housing & Redevelopment Authority (HRA) reports given by Angela Campbell and Harold Langowski. 5:52 Zoning “P” is used for public housing projects.

7:18 City Clerk-Treasurer report

8:25 Fire Chief updated on trainings and physicals. No fire calls, 9 medical calls.

10:30 – 12:55 Library updates. Solar Eclipse program is April 8th. Starting April 1st (not a joke), the Library will give out solar eclipse glasses, 2/person while quantities last.

No Police Dept or City Engineer reports

13:06 – 25:36 City Attorney report:
13:06 (1) First reading of Conditional Uses changes to Ordinance 376. Atty thinks public’s main issues of concern would be apartment rentals and housing. No mention about formal motion from P&Z to proceed to reading. (FM side note: check P&Z minutes and our YouTube recordings of P&Z meetings for the last several months.) Additional items were provided just before tonight’s meeting. These changes require a public hearing. Public Hearing will be April 16th at 4:45 pm.
(2) City Atty said changes can still be made. First reading of Ordinance approved.
22:13 (3) Public Hearing on April 16th at 5:15 pm re 45 Boundary St.
24:54 (4) Spaulding purchase

25:36 Communications: Ely Lodging Tax comparison through January (page 45 in Council packet). Fall Lake is not included.

26:35 Claims

27:13 Old Business: Council appointed Paul Dunnom to Police Commission

New Business: Approved license for Frisky Otter pending necessary items done.

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