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Carlton County Board OKs more funding for justice center mailers

Commissioners approved spending up to $5,000 to fund additional mailers to be sent to registered voting households with information about the local option sales tax vote in November.

Carlton County Transportation Building
The Carlton County Transportation Building . Dylan Sherman / 2022 file / Pine Journal
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CARLTON — The Carlton County Board of Commissioners approved spending an additional $5,000 for a second round of mailers to be sent to county voters on the proposed local option sales tax ahead of the vote in November.

Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake explained to commissioners during their Tuesday, Sept. 13 meeting that the additional funding would allow officials to send out mailers before the election, as well as before people vote absentee or early.

Lake said the decision came from discussions with the justice center steering committee.

Should voters approve the referendum, the measure would add a half-cent increase in local sales tax to help cover the cost of the $65.8 million justice center project. If voters reject the measure, the justice center will instead be funded by property taxes.

Commissioners already approved a contract range from $24,800 to $26,300 with Swim Creative, a marketing agency, to create and disseminate informational materials on the project. However, Lake said the initial contract only included one mailer to registered voters.


County Coordinator Dennis Genereau said the referendum is a $60 million question and he thought spending an additional $5,000 should be done just to make sure people get a reminder closer to the vote.

"What we don't want to have happen is that the vote fails and we kick ourselves because we didn't send out a second mailer," he said.

Lake said the mailers are intended to help residents make the most educated vote.

A total of 106 residents signed a petition against Loving Earth Memorial Gardens, a new green cemetery located in Blackhoof Township.

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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