> Engineer estimates for the skatepark and surrounding park improvements exceed $300,000, but the final dollar number won't be known until the bids are received and one approved by the council.
While a vote of no-confidence by his employees was sold to the public as a "last resort," allegations of unfit leadership were never addressed with former Cloquet Police Chief Steve Stracek prior to his being put on paid administrative leave by city officials at an emergency meeting in March. That fundamental lack of communication was just one of the revelations to come from an investigative report which exonerated Stracek and, in turn, pointed the finger at police department personnel and city councilors who, the report alleges, may have colluded to get rid of the now former police chief.
A total of 85 employees will lose their jobs when the mill shuts down.
Collectors will descend on the historic building from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday for the 17th annual Nordlager Club Show, a "huge sale" of beer signs, clocks, cans and beer memorabilia both old and new, held in the giant tent rain or shine.
Local Sappi officials work with Troy Salzer of the Carlton County Extension Agency and local farmers to take the mill's byproducts — lime mud and boiler ash — and put these materials on the farmers' fields to increase the soil pH to levels best suited for growing the kinds of crops they're trying to grow. Environmental Manager Rob Schilling compared it to watching his grandmother take the ash from her fireplace and dump it in her garden when he was a little boy. "I always thought that was the craziest thing," he said, "but we're doing the exact same thing. Our boilers are like big fireplaces. We're burning virtually all wood and the ashes at the bottom of our boiler are like the ashes at the bottom of my grandma's fireplace. And it's a really important nutrient for agriculture." <
Community member Richard Colsen was concerned by the deficit spending and asked about it in the open forum, but district officials played down the red ink.
< Fourth of July events in Cloquet start early on Tuesday, with the Sawdust 5K race at 8 a.m. (see sports for more on that), followed by a one-mile race down the parade route in downtown Cloquet at 10:40 a.m. The Veterans Celebration Parade starts at 11 a.m. and will feature numerous floats, military veterans (including Pearl Harbor vet and Barnum native Don Long), the Cloquet Community Band, the West Duluth Drum and Bugle Corps and many more. A few activities actually begin before the Fourth. <
> After extensive discussion at Tuesday's meeting, Cloquet City Councilors didn't second a motion by Ward 4 Councilor Kerry Kolodge to install an additional power source specifically targeted to provide power to a music and lighting control, needed for larger events such as the Wood City Music Festival.
Peterson, noting that the city's parks and streets supervisor was very careful to make sure the 41-year-old statue (dedicated in 1976) was placed on the semi-trailer the correct way. > "Les [Peterson] didn't want his kilt to blow up and alarm anyone," the engineer said with a chuckle.
Volunteers are needed for everything from set-up the evening before (Monday, July 3) to helping with the bouncy houses, kids games, face painting, garbage collection, pick up, parade helpers and more. To donate your time or money, contact Alyson Leno at the Cloquet Area Chamber of Commerce at 218-879-1551 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Or leave a message on the Cloquet Fourth of July Festival Facebook page.