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Cloquet removes fee for taxicab license

There will no longer be a $10 fee for taxicab operators to get a license.

Cloquet City Hall Winter.jpg
Cloquet City Hall (Jamey Malcomb / 2021 file / Pine Journal)

To increase the number of applicants for taxicab licenses, the Cloquet City Council voted to remove the $10 fee required for the license during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 21.

The council voted 4-1 to approve the change, with Councilor Kerry Kolodge voting against it. Mayor Roger Maki and Councilor Chris Swanson absent.

City Administrator Tim Peterson explained to the council the reason to remove the fee was to get more taxicab businesses to fill out the license paperwork.

"All we really want to do is have them fill out the paperwork, know who is driving in our community so that we can run a background check and just know who they are," he said.

Officials said some taxicab operators who have paid the license fee feel they might not again if the city doesn't take action against those who have not gotten the license.

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"I would like to take away both the arguments. Make it free, but still have the actual license," Peterson said. "It is not a money-maker for the city in any fashion."
Kolodge felt the council should table the issue and have the discussion with all members present. However, he did not make a motion to table the discussion.

"I have a little bit of an issue with having the fee go away because we have some people that come in and violate our ordinance and we aren't going to go after them," he said.

In other business, the council approved setting a public hearing for Feb. 1, on the potential to acquire a vacant and hazardous building.

Holly Hansen, the community development director for the city, told the council the property located at 915 Cloquet Ave. had been put under an order to repair by the city.

The location was the previous site of Pedro's Grill and Cantina.

Hansen said city staff have been monitoring the building since October and declared the building vacant and hazardous on Dec. 15.

"The conditions need a responsible owner," she said.

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The goal for the city would be to ultimately sell the building to a developer who is interested in repairing the building for use.

Related Topics: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICSCLOQUETCLOQUET CITY COUNCIL
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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