Cloquet ward boundaries to stay the same
The Cloquet City Council voted to keep wards in the city the same after examining 2020 census data.
CLOQUET — The Cloquet City Council voted unanimously to keep the city's ward boundaries the same during its meeting Tuesday, March 1.
The 2020 census data gave officials the opportunity to evaluate the wards and determine if redistricting is necessary.
The city’s population has increased by 444 people since the last census in 2010, according to the city.
City Administrator Tim Peterson said he played around with the data and his recommendation to the council was not to change the districts that are currently in place.
Working with the boundaries, Peterson said if any change was made in one ward, it would affect each of the other wards as well.
“It becomes quite complicated very, very quickly,” he said.
If the council had voted to change the districts, or even go to a fully councilor at-large system, Peterson said it could cause confusion to residents on where their polling locations would be.
“(We) came to the conclusion that it was a huge waste of time, because in the end we would cause a whole bunch of people to be confused about where they are going to vote,” he said.
As Cloquet makes up two districts for the Carlton County Board of Commissioners, Peterson said county officials were pleased when he told county officials his recommendation to the council would be to keep the boundaries the same.
Mayor Roger Maki said with the wards staying the same, it won’t be hard to follow for residents.
In other business, after a public hearing, in which there was no public comment, the council approved a resolution to apply for a grant for the small cities development funding.
Community Development Director Holly Hansen said the grant would be used for street scaping in the West End Business District, and will cover replacing 21 street lights and adding five additional lights.
“Back in 2017, we did renew a lot of the streets and infrastructure in the West End, however that funding did not allow us to go beyond that scope of work,” she said.
The current streetlights were installed in 1986 and have been experiencing some issues and are not energy efficient.
The total funding Hansen said the city is looking to secure from the grant, including leveraged funds, is $496,144.
The grant would also include the replacement of the Wentworth sign and become more consistent with the city's park signage.
USG Interiors LLC has also offered to make a business district sign at no cost to the city for the area.
Construction on the project would begin in the summer of 2023.