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Farmers Market will move to new location

The Carlton County Farmers Market is moving downtown, after months of debate that came down to a close vote over the choice of the city’s new municipal parking lot at Cloquet Avenue and 11th Street (between the Royal Building and the Carlton County Community Services building) or the Premiere Theatres parking lot.

The market vendors were forced to leave their longtime Scanlon location because a Kwik Trip gas station is building on the lots which formerly housed the Sugar Daddies strip club, The Pantry restaurant and the farmers market.

“Our location is changing, but the day and time will still be the same,” said Elise Rieschl, Farmers Market vice president and webmaster. “Hopefully, we will get lots of business because most of our customers were from Cloquet.”

The Cloquet City Council and Mayor Bruce Ahlgren unanimously approved a cooperative agreement with the market, and waived the annual license fee at the Council meeting Tuesday night.

The market will start the first Saturday after Memorial Day, May 31, and run through Oct. 18. Hours are 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning, rain or shine, “unless there’s a tornado,” Rieschl said, laughing.

Market vendors sell everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to fresh cut flowers, freshly baked bread, jams and jellies, pottery, crafts, frozen chicken and more.

Rieschl recommends people come early to scope out the selection, which varies from week to week and is very seasonal. She compared the first 15 minutes of the market -- sales begin when the cow bell rings -- to a “sharks’ feeding frenzy.”

“The first 15 minutes are pretty hectic,” she said.

In other matters Tuesday, Cloquet City Councilors and the mayor took the following actions:

  •  Appointed Andrew Korby to the Citizens Advisory Board, which works with the Cloquet Police Department;
  •  Appointed Tim Krohn to the Parks Commission. Krohn replaces Pat Kiminski, who had served on the Commission since 1988 and whose term would have expired at the end of 2015.
  •  Approved the one-year probationary appointment of Cody Crawford to the Parks Maintenance position in the Public Works department. Crawford replaces Dean Levinski, who retired. Wages and benefits for the position add up to approximately $58,000 a year.
  • Set final special assessment rates for last summer’s reconstruction of Skyline Boulevard from Highway 33 to Pearl Street at $36,380 total, to be paid by Raiter Clinic and Community Memorial Hospital. The total cost of the final improvements to Skyline was approximately $507,300. Homeowners who live adjacent to Arthur Street will not be assessed, City Engineer Jim Prusak said, because the city doesn’t assess for simple mill and overlay. No citizens attended the public hearing on the assessments.
  •  Accepted a proposal by Short Elliot and Hendrickson to assist with updating the city’s Wellhead Protection Plan, which aims to protect the water quality in public water supply wells.
  •  Approved plans by Carlton County to construct a bicycle and pedestrian trail along Big Lake Road from University Road to Whispering Pines Drive.