Range Association of Municipalities and Schools Annual Board Meeting – Minutes Thursday, January 5, 2017-6: 30 P. M. Mt. Iron Community Center

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Range Association of Municipalities and Schools

Annual Board Meeting – Minutes

Thursday, January 5, 2017-6:30 P.M.

Mt. Iron Community Center

President Paul Kess called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M.


Paul Kess (City of Ely); Jim Fisher (McDavitt Township); Pat Medure (ISD 318-Grand Rapids); Gregg Allen (Supts Assn); Charlie Baribeau (City of Virginia); John Berklich (ISD 701-Hibbing); Bob Berrini (Morse Township); Ben DeNucci (City of Nashwauk); Mona Putzel (ISD 2154-Eveleth/Gilbert); Pat Garrity (City of Hibbing); Walt Hautala (ISD 2711-Mesabi East); Michael Jugovich (City of Chisholm); Ray Marsnik (ISD 696-Ely); Stu Lehman (City of Buhl); Carlene Perfetto (City of Silver Bay); Mark Skelton (City of Hoyt Lakes); Al Stanaway (City of Mt. Iron); Kim Stokes (ISD 706-Virginia)Dave Worshek, (City of Aurora); Ed Zabinski (City of Grand Rapids); Brad Johnson (Supts Assn)


ISD 2142-St Louis County; Great Scott Township; Nashwauk Township

President Paul Kess called the meeting to order at 6:30 P.M.
John Klarich, Superintendent, Mt. Iron/Buhl School District, welcomed everyone.
Ed Zabinski, RAMS Board Member, introduced the candidates for the following RAMS Board seats:

Ed Zabinski called for further nominations. There were no additional nominations for the board seats. Members were asked to mark their ballots and drop in the ballot box by 7:40 P.M.
Congressman Rick Nolan provided a video greeting, as he was unable to attend the meeting.
Jon Cherry, CEO, Polymet, presented a summary of Polymet Mining’s NorthMet Project to mine copper, nickel and other precious metals:

  • Once fully operational, Polymet will employ approximately 360 people and create more than 600 indirect jobs and two million hours of construction.

  • The project will generate an estimated $515 million annually in wages, benefits and spending for St. Louis County.

  • The project will create an estimated $15 million annually in state and local tax revenues and $45 million annually in federal tax revenue.

  • The State of Minnesota validated the Final Environmental impact statement on March 3, 2016.

  • Adequacy decision from State that validated the EIS has not been legally challenged.

  • Finished various permit applications with State, which are currently being reviewed. The draft permits will be available for public comments. Final permits are anticipated to be issued by the end of this year.

  • More than $200 million has been invested in the project since 2006.

  • Project cost is estimated between $600 - $700 million.

  • Decision from Forest Service on land exchange will be made within next few weeks.

Mr. Cherry expressed his appreciation for the overwhelming support they have received for Polymet Mining’s NorthMet project.
Representative Rob Ecklund provided an overview of the upcoming legislative session and thanked RAMS for their support.
Director Giorgi introduced the RAMS Board Members and honored guests. Certificates were presented to outgoing RAMS Board Members John Berklich and Mike Jugovich. Bob Larson was absent and his certificate was presented to the St. Louis County Board Members.
Pat Medure, RAMS Secretary/Treasurer, reviewed the financial information for the year 2016 and budget for 2017.
Representative Jason Metsa addressed the group and encouraged both parties to work together during the legislative session. Representative Metsa asked that any legislative issues be given to him by January 31, 2017.
Director Giorgi thanked Senator Tom Saxhaug and Representative Tom Anzelc for their efforts and support while serving their time in office.
Gary Cerkvenik, The Costin Group, stating he will be working as the lobbyist for RAMS in 2017 and will be focused on getting a tax bill passed and fixing the formula for Local Government Aid. He will also be working on the remaining legislative priorities that were approved by the RAMS Board. Gary Cerkvenik stated he will continue to update the RAMS Board on legislative issues and encouraged the members to contact himself or Director Giorgi if they have any questions.
Senator Amy Klobuchar provided a video greeting, as she was unable to attend the annual meeting.
Director Giorgi reviewed the proposed amendment to the RAMS Constitution and By-Laws to change the deadline to provide the annual audit, as follows:

Section 3: Audits – The accounts and finances of the Association shall be post-audited in a timely manner and the final audit report shall be submitted to the Board at the June monthly meeting.”

Moved by Medure and supported by Scaia to approve the amendment to the RAMS Constitution and By-Laws, as presented. Motion carried.
Ed Zabinski provided the results from the Election Committee:

  • One Year Term – 1/1/17-12/31/17 (3 seats): Milan Luziach, Kevin Scaia, Ione Tomasetti.

  • Two Year Term – 1/1/17-12/31/18 (11 seats): Glenn Anderson, Ben DeNucci, Jim Fisher, Stuart Lehman, Kim McLaughlin, Pat Medure, Carlene Perfetto, Mona Putzel, Mark Skelton, Warren Stolp, Stacey Sundquist.

  • One Year Term from Superintendents Association -1/1/17-12/31/17 (1 seat): David Pace.

  • Two Year Term from Superintendents Association – 1/1/17-12/31/18 (1seat): Gregg Allen.

Moved by Fisher and supported by Perfetto to accept the election results. Motion carried.
President Paul Kess stated RAMS had a remarkable year and encouraged the Board to work on a vision statement and develop partnerships in the upcoming year.
Meeting adjourned at 8:40 P.M.

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