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Cloquet Area Fire District board chair clears the smoke surrounding new taxing district

In 2005-2006 Carlton County initiated an Ambulance, Rescue and Fire Study to be conducted by Emergency Services Consulting, Inc., based in Oregon. Basically, the study found that the number of events in Carlton County was increasing, that advance...

In 2005-2006 Carlton County initiated an Ambulance, Rescue and Fire Study to be conducted by Emergency Services Consulting, Inc., based in Oregon. Basically, the study found that the number of events in Carlton County was increasing, that advanced life support medical response was lacking and that public protection would continue to degrade if new funding sources were not implemented. The study provided the impetus for area communities to work together in developing options in response to the findings. That work led way to the recent birth of the Cloquet Area Fire District (CAFD).

Additionally in 2009, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill which established the Cloquet Area Fire and Ambulance Special Taxing District. The 2010 levy approved by the CAFD Board has gotten considerable press and TV coverage in the past month. The largest increase for 2010 will be seen by the rural residents of Cloquet (Perch Lake and former Knife Falls townships). This has occurred since the residents in those neighborhoods have received emergency services without fully supporting the cost since the 1970s. That has changed with the formation of the taxing district.

The CAFD is the right answer. For the near term, residents in the CAFD will see an increase in cost. However, that is changing with hard work among the members and CAFD employees. At this time Perch Lake Township and the city of Cloquet are the two member communities of the CAFD. Discussions and acceptance of additional member communities are progressing through various stages with Scanlon, Carlton, Thomson and Fond du Lac. As the CAFD grows, costs will be reduced by more effectively utilizing the resources we have; manpower, administration, buildings, engines and other infrastructure. The biggest advantages with the implementation of the CAFD include; improved emergency response services within the District, better trained CAFD personnel, the creation of career tracks and strength that will result from consistent procedures, coordinated response and protocol.

Communication is always something which can be improved. I would like to try and do that for you. Communication improvement is a 2010 objective for the CAFD. Hopefully, routine information sharing in this publication can occur over the upcoming year. And visit our Web site at www.cloquetareafiredistrict.com for a variety of information.

Bob DeCaigny is the chairman of the Cloquet Area Fire District Board.

Related Topics: CLOQUETFIRES
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