City of Carlton revokes intent to annex Twin Lakes TownshipThe City of Carlton has rescinded their intent to initiate a contested annexation of Twin Lakes Township after more than 300 residents of Twin Lakes Township filled the Transportation Building on Hwy. 61 Wednesday evening.
By: June Kallestad, Pine Journal
More than 300 residents of Twin Lakes Township filled the Carlton County Transportation Building on Highway 61 Wednesday evening because of concerns that their township would be annexed to the city of Carlton.
The township board received a letter of intent to annex the township with the city of Carlton at its Jan. 6 meeting.
By midday Thursday, however, councilors for the city of Carlton passed a motion to revoke their intent to initiate a contested annexation and will form a six-person working committee of city and township representatives to discuss the pros and cons of initiating an orderly annexation.
“This is a fact-finding committee to see what makes sense for both communities,” said Twin Lakes Township Clerk Diane Felde-Finke.
An agreement between the city and township is also being drafted to seek grant funding and begin design of the new water line to the Highway 210 corridor.
At the Wednesday night meeting, attorney Tony Gilchrist of Kennedy and Graven, Minneapolis, explained the two methods of annexation.
In a contested case annexation, Gilchrist said the final decision is made by a judge who goes through a factual process based on 16 criteria to determine whether or not the annexation makes sense for the communities. He said in some cases, the judge rules against the annexation if it’s clear the city cannot meet the needs of the community being annexed.
The second method is called an orderly annexation in which the two parties come to an agreement about how much land and in what increments to annex to the city without judicial procedures.
“The orderly annex is a much more civil, thoughtful way of annexation. It’s a very flexible tool,” said Gilchrist.
Township residents’ concerns about annexation were the probability of a property tax increase, city ordinances on the use of fire arms, and livestock and pet ordinances that may affect their lifestyle.
“Change is going to happen,” said township resident Cliff Tanner. “Let’s guide the change instead of letting it happen to us.”
At the start of the meeting, Felde-Finke explained the board’s opinion about why Carlton wants to annex the township. She said they think it’s related to the water tower built by the city with the capacity to provide water for future development along the Highway 210 corridor.
The city, Carlton County and the township board had a joint powers agreement to develop a 200-acre parcel along Highway 61, off Highway 210 (within the township boundary) which began with the transportation building. Plans changed, including the relocation of the new county Human Services facility to Cloquet, and development of the site slowed.
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