Council amends CAHA’s reimbursement planCloquet city councilors on Tuesday unanimously approved an amended payment plan for the Cloquet Area Hockey Association’s debt.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Cloquet city councilors on Tuesday unanimously approved an amended payment plan for the Cloquet Area Hockey Association’s debt.
The association has struggled to pay back the city for debt incurred when the Cloquet Area Recreational Center was constructed and the city issued bonds to pay for it in 1996-1997. Even though the bonds were paid off in 2008, CAHA remains in arrears for their past obligations. The total amount owed to the city is $882,800 and beginning this year, CAHA was to begin payments to the city of some $80,000 under a revised agreement made last year.
“Technically, CAHA is in default of its existing agreement with the city,” said Brian Fritsinger, city administrator. “However, the city is neither staffed nor in its own financial position to … take back responsibility for the operation of the facility.”
City officials and CAHA officials have worked out a new deal with lower annual payments of some $52,000 for the next 17 years, which is the amount of time a lease of this nature can operate, Fritsinger said.
The lower payments will directly affect the city’s annual park operating budget.
“The purpose of the facility is to provide recreational opportunities to the residents of the community,” he said.
In other city business, councilors approved a bid for new signage to be constructed at the entrance of the Cloquet Business Park on Highway 33.
The city budgeted $50,000 for the signage and the three bids submitted came under that cap. A bid for $33,200 from Oscar J. Boldt Construction was unanimously approved. The sign will be made from alumacore with cap stone on the sides to match existing city entrance signs and will be large enough to read by motorists traveling up to 55 mph.
The city has not yet constructed any permanent signage identifying the park built several years ago. It will also help in marketing efforts, according to Fritsinger.