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Petite appointed to Police Citizens Advisory Board

Patty Petite is the newest member of the Police Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) for the Cloquet Police Department.

Petite was appointed after several applicants were interviewed by Cloquet City Council members during the work session before the regular council meeting Tuesday night.

After passionate back-and-forth discussion among a few council members and the mayor, Ward 4 Councilor Kerry Kolodge nominated Laurie Ketola during the regular meeting. Ketola has served on the board for 10 years and needed to reapply for the position when her current term ended.

Councilors Dave Bjerkness, Ward 2, and Roger Maki, Ward 3, voted yes, while Mayor Dave Hallback, At Large Councilor Adam Bailey, Ward 5 Councilor, Steve Langley and Jeff Rock, Ward 1, voted against.

Bailey then nominated Petite which passed unanimously without any discussion.

Petite has been involved in numerous community activities over the years, she has served on the Cloquet School Board, Blandin Leadership Committee, on the Ojibwe School Board and more.

She said she would be able to attend the meetings when needed and did not anticipate any conflicts.

When asked why she wanted to serve on CAB, she said: "I feel my administration experience and understanding of union contracts, education and familiarity with Cloquet and the Fond du Lac Reservation communities would be an asset to this board and the city government as well."

Petite told council members she believes diversity should be reflected on city boards and explained that she holds a doctorate degree in policy and administration, which has provided her with several skill sets that could benefit CAB.

Staff requests City Hall summer hours

In other council news, city staff has requested summer hours this year. The current hours at City Hall are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The proposal would change the hours between Memorial Day and Labor Day to 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday 7:30-11:30 a.m. Friday.

Residents can now pay city bills online

Beginning May 1, residents will have more options for paying city bills. They will be able to pay online, on the phone and at Walmart, as well as in-person at City Hall.

Police to purchase new vehicles

The consent agenda containing a request for two new police department vehicles passed. The request stated there have been several additions to the department causing a shortage of vehicles available, especially when one is in for repairs. In 2012-13, there were 13 vehicles. Eight were used by patrol, leaving five for administration and detectives.

The department is requesting to purchase the two new vehicles due to the changes in lease rates. Under the changes the department would save less than $400 per vehicle.

The request for a 2018 all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger at $24,004 and 2018 Dodge 1500 Truck for $26,719 for a total cost of $50,723. An additional cost of $39,277 will be added on for the purchase and installation of equipment.

Cloquet Avenue to be repaved

The council addressed a request for authorization to bid mill and overlay for Cloquet Avenue. The bid advertisement will go out April 19, with the bid opening May 10. The council will award a company the bid at the May 15 meeting. The project is scheduled for completion Nov. 1 for a total of $3.11 million, including landscaping the following spring.

The next city council meeting is April 17 at 7 p.m.