Council takes first step to public building needs assessmentOn Tuesday, Councilors unanimously approved a “request for proposal,” the first step toward hiring a firm to complete a public buildings assessment.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
With the local option sales tax referendum passed – and collections of the new revenue coming as soon as April – Cloquet officials are turning their attention to items on the back burner.
First in line at Tuesday’s Cloquet City Council meeting was a proposed needs assessment of all city facilities, including the library, senior center, public works garage, the combined police and fire department building, City Hall and the city’s pump station No. 2.
Although the city initiated an analysis and reorganization of City Hall in 2008, City Administrator Brian Fritsinger explained that those changes were postponed when the economy took a turn for the worse. Then, at the council retreat earlier this year, councilors determined the city should develop a comprehensive infrastructure plan, including streets and utilities, a parks master plan and public buildings.
A task force is working on the parks plan (see related story on this page) and City Engineer Jim Prusak has completed an analysis of city streets and utilities. On Tuesday, Councilors unanimously approved a “request for proposal,” the first step toward hiring a firm to complete a public buildings assessment. Any study of the facilities would include an analysis of space needs, duplication of services, physical condition, mechanical systems and energy efficiency as well as building security and location. The preliminary city budget includes up to $30,000 for such a study.
Also Tuesday, Cloquet City Councilors and Mayor Bruce Ahlgren approved:
+ The sale of surplus equipment including several pick-up trucks, a dump truck and a mower tractor, along with other miscellaneous items.
+ The purchase of five new outdoor sirens to upgrade the early warning siren systems.