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Cloquet Area Fire District board chair resigns

Bob DeCaigny submitted his letter of resignation after being asked by the city of Cloquet to resign.

Cloquet Area Fire District headquarters
Cloquet Area Fire District Headquarters. Jamey Malcomb / 2020 file / Pine Journal
Jamey Malcomb / 2020 file / Pine Journal
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Cloquet Area Fire District Board Chair Bob DeCaigny submitted his letter of resignation, effective immediately, to the city of Cloquet on Tuesday, Dec. 14.

In his email to city officials, DeCaigny said the Cloquet City Council wanted to see new leadership on the board and requested he resign. DeCaigny represented Cloquet on the board.

City administrator Tim Peterson confirmed the council requested that DeCaigny resign.

"(It is) just a good time for some change in leadership," he said.

Peterson also wanted to thank DeCaigny for his service and years of experience on the board.

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DeCaigny's resignation comes after the resignation of board member Jason Paulson in October and former fire chief Matthew Ashmore on Dec. 6.

The fire district board has garnered the attention of the public after proposing increased levies for cities and townships in its public service area, which only receive emergency medical services and not fire.

After a cap removal on EMS tax levies by the the legislature this year, the fire district planned to increase the levies for those in EMS-only areas. According to the district, EMS services make up a majority of its calls and costs.

At the fire district's truth in taxation meeting, representatives from the district said up until now the tax burden had been put on those who live in communities with both fire and EMS services.

The district's planned levy resulted in some homeowners in EMS-only areas, like Esko or Culver, seeing 322% increases on their tax statements. The most recent estimates for taxes on a $200,000 home show an increase from $44.98 to $125.70, a hike of $80.72.

The fire district will hold its next regular meeting on Dec. 15, where it is expected to vote on the proposed tax levies.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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