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Badger letter claims council broke city code

As the issue of a proposed industrial landfill continues to languish in the wake of a possibly incomplete "no" vote by the Cloquet City Council on the required conditional use permit, stakeholders on both sides of the issue continue to exert pressure on the city.

At the conclusion of Tuesday's council meeting, resident Clarence Badger read a letter to councilors essentially stating that the city ignored its own city code by voting to reopen the landfill permit request after voting 4-3 against approval Sept. 21 (then stating the reasons for that vote on the record at its Oct. 5 meeting).

"The city council's Oct. 5, 2010 vote should have ended this issue," Badger read. "There is no rule that allows the city council to reconsider an application after it has been denied."

Offering copies of his letter, Badger said the city should consult with its legal team on the issues raised. His son, John Badger, also stated that he supported "making sure everything is followed correctly per city code."

The day after the meeting, Bill Keegan of Dem-Con Companies submitted a response letter drafted by attorney Bruce Malkerson rebutting Badger's arguments.

The Dem-Con letter claimed that because council members failed to state their reasons for denying the conditional use permit (a second time) on Dec. 21, the application is still legally under consideration.

Mayor Bruce Ahlgren declined to comment on the issue, noting that the claims need be evaluated by legal staff and the city will likely issue a response in the next week or two.

The full version of both letters are attached to this story.

Past stories on this issue can be accessed free on the news page under "landfill proposal."