Cloquet City Council members fine tune pond planCloquet’s revamped swim pond will not feature night lighting or include an irrigation system that would have watered nearby softball fields in Pinehurst Park. Cloquet City Council members rejected those options at their regular meeting last Wednesday.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Cloquet’s revamped swim pond will not feature night lighting or include an irrigation system that would have watered nearby softball fields in Pinehurst Park. Cloquet City Council members rejected those options at their regular meeting last Wednesday.
Councilors did unanimously approve approximately $200,000 of work on the existing parking lot at the site to include curb and gutter, bituminous paving and concrete sidewalks.
With an estimate of $70,000 for the night lighting, councilors overall felt it was just too expensive, according to Cloquet City Administrator Brian Fritsinger.
There will be security lights on the exterior of the restrooms and concession building, as well as the light on the band shelter, which will be enough to meet code requirements.
The irrigation system, with a base bid of $47,000, was rejected as well due to additional costs required with no payback to the city financially, Fritsinger said.
Hallbar Construction was awarded the pond project in late October and work at the site is ongoing. The total project cost with the previously-approved additional items of kiddie slides, a concessions building and seating area and the parking lot repair is approximately $1,378,500. The pond is tentatively set to open in July 2009.
In other city council action, councilors approved splitting an outstanding fee of $6,500 with Blackhoof Development regarding fees incurred while applying for tax increment financing (TIF) for a proposed housing development near Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.
Because the TIF was not approved by the council, David Chmielewski came to the meeting representing Blackhoof and asked the city to waive the fees. The Economic Development Authority discussed this request previously and recommended the city waive half the cost.
The motion carried 4-3 with council members David Bjerkness, Thomas Proulx and Neil Nemmers opposed.
Several members said they thought they should accept some responsibility for the TIF rejection as they initially had given encouragement for the application, Fritsinger said.
The council also unanimously approved a $34,920 proposal from Progressive Consulting Engineers for a city water system and water quality study. Their not-to-exceed budget was about $20,000 lower than the competing bid from MSA Professional Services.
Work will begin immediately and completion is anticipated at the end of January. The need for the study comes from a need for an updated plan as the last plan is 10 years old. The study will identify and address deficiencies in the current system and any needed capital improvements.
Additionally, the Cloquet Parks Commission will now operate under its first official bylaws after the council approved them last week. Recommended by the Parks Commission, the bylaws are fairly straightforward, Fritsinger said.
Lastly, the council approved transferring ownership of the city's ambulance license to the recently-established Cloquet Area Fire District. No changes to the primary service area, base of operations, expansion of operations or advanced life support are proposed.