County board continues to field input on proposed building site
Input continues to pour in regarding the county's various site considerations for its proposed health and human services building. At Tuesday's regular session of the Carlton County Board, citizen Bill Larson (who also works for the county child ...
Input continues to pour in regarding the county's various site considerations for its proposed health and human services building.
At Tuesday's regular session of the Carlton County Board, citizen Bill Larson (who also works for the county child support office) presented facts and figures to commissioners in support of locating the new building in downtown Cloquet.
"Not only does downtown Cloquet have by far the highest concentration of population in the county," said Larson, "but it has the highest number of citizens who require services from public health and human services."
As documentation for his statement, Larson cited census statistics that show that 36 percent of the county's entire population resides in Cloquet, followed by Esko at 14 percent.
Further, he stated that according to the statistics he's gathered, the majority of those requiring services from public health and human services reside within half a mile of the downtown location.
He pointed to the fact that of the 98 vouchers issued to low income families funded through the Cloquet/Carlton Housing and Redevelopment Authority, only nine are located outside the city of Cloquet.
As an example, Larson said all of the residents of the 80-unit Aspen Arms apartments on 14th Street in Cloquet, comprised entirely of senior citizens and disabled adults, require services from public health and human services.
Of the 252 residents of Sahlman Townhouses in Cloquet, Larson reported 182 currently utilize health and human services.
Larson Commons, an assisted living facility in downtown Cloquet, houses 90 residents, according to Larson, nearly all of whom have some need for public health and human services through the county.
"There are approximately 622 residents of Section 8, low rent programs and HUD housing who reside within a half mile of downtown Cloquet and who receive services from public health and human services," Larson summed up.
Larson also pointed out that the greatest number of assisted living facilities exists in the community of Cloquet with a total of five, followed by Carlton and Moose Lake, each with two.
"May I also add that the distance of travel would be much shorter with a downtown [Cloquet] location for public health nurses, social workers and other employees of public health and human services who make home visits."
Board members thanked Larson for his input and stated that ongoing meetings of the site selection committee will address all facets of the proposed project.
At last week's meeting of the county's Committee of the Whole, commissioners and other department heads heard from John Fedo, a consultant representing the RE-Cor organization of Wayzata. Fedo provided input on the merits of locating the proposed county building on a portion of a retail site under development by RE-Cor along Highways 33 and I-35.
In other business to come before the board at Tuesday's meeting, commissioners approved a wetlands replacement plan proposed by David Anderson for the purpose of putting in a boat ramp into the adjacent Woodbury Lake.
A conditional use permit was approved at the request of Sharon Dirks, who is proposing to operate a home-based mini storage business on property in Blackhoof Township, currently zoned A-1 (agriculture/forest management district). Several conditions accompanied the permit, including the stipulations that storage only be provided during the winter season, no household items be stored at the business, and the facility shall not store more than 20 units at any one time.
Commissioners unanimously approved a preliminary plat for Evergreen Acres in Twin Lakes Township, to include 14 lots and two blocks of residential nature on 73.38 acres near Hay Lake and County Road 45.
Employee service awards were presented to Debora Zauhar, who has worked in the sheriff's department for 25 years, and Laura Gunderson, who has worked in the recorder's office for 10 years.
The board agreed to open a new bank account for the purpose of distributing funds for the county's Small Cities Development Grant Program. The program is administered through the Lakes and Pines Community Action Council on behalf of the county.
Approval was given for a member of the Carlton County Sheriff's Department to attend a training conference in Hoover, Geo., on computer forensics. There will be no cost to the county for this training.