Landfill preparations, new Daqota building, move forwardCloquet City Council members unanimously approved everything on the agenda with very little discussion in a seven-minute council meeting Tuesday.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Cloquet City Council members unanimously approved everything on the agenda with very little discussion in a seven-minute council meeting Tuesday. (Councilor David Bjerkness was absent.)
In a follow-up to discussion at the council’s June 15 meeting, councilors approved a formal letter of understanding between the city of Cloquet and Dem-Con, the company seeking to significantly expand a Cloquet landfill site (south of Interstate 35, between Highway 45 and 14th Street in Cloquet) currently owned by Ulland Brothers.
In the letter, Dem-Con agrees not to submit a landfill application until city staff have hired (at Dem-Con’s expense) and worked with a consultant specializing in landfill issues, for an estimated period of 45 days from Tuesday’s council meeting.
After approving the letter, council members approved the hiring of R.W. Beck as the consulting company, with senior engineer Fred Doran and project manager Randall Sippel to serve as the primary consultants. Both have considerable experience with sold waste facilities in South Dakota and Minnesota.
Community Development Director Holly Butcher – who initially suggested the council enact a 120-moratorium on landfill permits – was pleased with the hire.
“We’re excited to have an expert on board,” Butcher said after the meeting, which was also attended by Dem-Con’s Bill Keegan and Mark Pahl.
Butcher said the city will waste no time in preparing for the landfill application. She has arranged for Dem-Con to give an overview of the proposed landfill project to the members of the Cloquet Planning Commission next week, and the following week she said the consultants will take over the process of educating the planning commission, city staff and members of the public on the primary concerns/issues to look for with landfill developments.
In other actions, the council:
• Approved a $300,000 loan to Daqota Systems Inc./Woodward Enterprises LLC to be used to assist with construction of a new building in the Cloquet Business Park off Highway 33 North, just past Stark Road. The loan money comes from the city’s existing revolving loan funds, and terms include a 19-year amortization (with a 12-month deferment on the initial payments) at 3 percent interest. Daqota designs and builds industrial control systems; they also provide engineering and programming services for several industries including forest products, water treatment, food processing and power generation in the United States and internationally. The project is expected to create an additional 10 to 15 new jobs.
• Set a public hearing for July 20 on proposed street, water and sewer improvements for Avenue D, west of Chestnut Street. Benefitted properties will likely be assessed for a portion of the project costs.
• Approved an agreement with the Northern Communities Land Trust for a city grant in the amount of $90,000, to come from the Community Development Loan Fund, to rehab and resell six homes in the Cloquet area for the purpose of providing affordable home ownership
• Approved the reappointment of
Dave Manderfeld to the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District Board, effective immediately.
• Approved the appointment of election judges for the primary election set for Aug. 10.
• Approved the appointment of
Charles Buscher to the Cloquet Planning Commission and Wanda Harris to the HRA Board.