In compliance with Gov. Tim Walz’s recently announced stay at home order, the City of Cloquet announced it would close its offices beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday, March 27, and would remain closed until the order is rescinded.
In a press release, City Administrator Tim Peterson acknowledged the closure would cause some inconvenience for citizens, but said the city officials supported the governor’s decision and believed it was in the best interest of the state and community to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. During the closure, staff will respond to emails and emergency situations.
The city anticipates no interruption of core services for public safety and public works, including law enforcement, as well as drinking water, sanitary sewer operation and emergency infrastructure maintenance, the news release said.
A complete staff directory is available on the city website at cloquetmn.gov. For general inquiries, send an email to email@example.com or call the centralized phone line at 218-879-3347 and leave a message.
The public will be provided with a phone number to call in to listen City Council meetings, and the meetings will be streamed on the city’s website. Peterson said he hopes to postpone all other public meetings until the order is rescinded unless pressing business requires a meeting.
The Cloquet Police Department will continue patrolling and responding to emergency calls for service, the news release said. Lower level offenses that do not require an officer to respond will be handled via telephone. People can contact the department's dispatchers directly by using the phone in the parking lot side entryway of the City Hall/Police Department building.
Cloquet Public Library staff will continue to monitor its email account at firstname.lastname@example.org and attempt to answer any questions. Patrons do not need to return borrowed materials at this time, and overdue and lost fines will be waived until further notice. The library also has an extensive collection of online services including e-books, audiobooks and magazines available for download at cloquetlibrary.org.
Public Works will continue to respond to emergency street and utility situations. All calls for emergency services must be routed to the public works dispatcher at 218-624-0391. Examples of emergency services include sewer back-ups, suspected water leaks, snow plowing and street obstruction removal/remediation. Staff cannot be dispatched for non-emergency or routine maintenance operations.
The Finance Department will continue to accept payments by mail and will process online payments for utility bills only at cloquetmn.gov. Those wishing to make a utility bill payment by phone can call 877-885-7968. Drop boxes will not be monitored during the shutdown. Penalties will be waived until further notice. Payments to vendors, assessment searches, invoices and utility bills are expected to be delayed depending on the length of the shutdown. The Finance Department is available weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. by voicemail or email.
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