Welcome to CivFanatics. I don't think there is a way to stop growth except by fiddling with the tile outputs of food. Between irrigating or not and railing or not you can usually get to an even amount of food per turn. It doesn't really hurt to let a town grow and starve, though. I wish there were a way to keep citizens working polluted tiles, but I don't think there is. You can manually put them back on a polluted tile, and they will stay there, but they still quit working any newly polluted tiles. Unless a tundra town has a food bonus, just set the first citizen to be a scientist or tax man and forget about it (or civil engineer if you have replaceable parts and need a cultural expansion for whatever reason). I think that all the resources appear in every game, but sometimes it is not easy to locate them. CivAssist II will tell you where they are, once they are visible to you. CRp MapStat will tell you where they are if they are inside your borders.