6 apply for at-large council seat
Six people applied to fill the At-Large Cloquet City Council position vacated by Adam Bailey in April.
Cloquet City Administrator Aaron Reeves said the council will interview the candidates starting at 5 p.m. May 15, prior to the next scheduled council meeting. The six candidates are Randy Flynn, Elizabeth Jaakola, Andrew Korby, Les Riess, Lara Wilkinson and Barbara Wyman.
Reeves said ideally the council would have time after the interviews to discuss the candidates in the work session and vote on an appointee to serve out the rest of the year during that night's formal meeting. According to state law, it is up to the entire council to select an appointee, but the mayor would decide in case of a tie. Including Mayor Dave Hallback, there are six people on the Cloquet City Council, so a tie vote is a distinct possibility.
Voters will decide in November who will finish the last two years of Bailey's term; Bailey moved outside city limits so had to relinquish his seat last month. Other city elected positions up for election in November include the position of mayor as well as Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 3 councilors — all four-year terms — and the at-large position for two years. The filing period for the city of Cloquet elected officials runs from May 22 through June 5. Affidavits will be accepted at Cloquet City Hall, 1307 Cloquet Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The last day to file will be June 5, and City Hall will remain open until 5 p.m. that day.
Animal Allies submits contract
During the council work session Tuesday, Reeves reported that he received a short-term contract proposal from Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth, to take the city's stray animals in addition to dangerous animals for quarantine because the city and the local humane society, Friends of Animals, are no longer under contract and negotiations for a new contract have not gone smoothly.
Reeves said Animal Allies wants to give the city time to work out an agreement with FOA, which gave a 30-day notice that FOA would no longer be fulfilling the terms of its contract with the city at the end of March.
A letter to councilors from FOA Interim Director Mary Nelson said FOA moved some expenses to reach a per animal cost of $43 per day. The council will likely vote on the contract with Animal Allies at its May 15 meeting, but the Duluth group said it would charge the city $25 a day for dogs, $20 a day for cats and $90 if they have to alter any animals.
The council took the following actions without discussion:
• Approved the terms of a purchase agreement for the Members Cooperative Credit Union building at 101 14th St. The city will not take possession of the building until probably January, Reeves said, giving MCCU time to construct its new facility on Highway 33 in the wooded lot next to Dollar Tree. The purchase price is $1.8 million. The city plans to move the police department and City Hall into the building.
• Awarded bids for the Arch Street area reconstruction project to George Bougalis and Sons of Hibbing for $1.97 million.