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To the Editor: Council needs to vote ‘no’ on landfill proposals

To the Editor: My thanks to Cloquet Planning Commissioner John Sanders who did the necessary research on the landfill issue and had his information prepared in a logical, organized manner. John gave the necessary background information and asked ...

To the Editor:

My thanks to Cloquet Planning Commissioner John Sanders who did the necessary research on the landfill issue and had his information prepared in a logical, organized manner. John gave the necessary background information and asked the important questions at the Jan. 10 meeting.

A couple of the commissioners acted like power-mad willful children under the guidance of what I see as foolish city staff who were either not involved in the original agreements, did not and/or do not live in Cloquet. I say “shame on you” to both staff and to those commissioners who voted “yes.” It was obvious to me that you did not do your homework and don’t keep in mind the best interests or protection of the adjacent neighborhood and the residents of the city of Cloquet. That is your job and you work for us, not the landfill owners.

The Planning Commission vote reflected the rubber stamping of the recommendation by city staff to approve the 24-hour hauling and the 40 percent volume cap of paper sludge. The increase in paper sludge (from 20 percent to 40 percent) requires the installation of a gas venting system for methane and hydrogen sulfide gases, both of which are harmful to living creatures. A passive venting system would release the gas to the surrounding air, making the area smell like rotten eggs. With the right prevailing wind, the smell could be at the soccer fields and the college as well as the adjoining homes. If more gas is released, the vents become flares or burning torches. How does that fit into the end use of this land?

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The city stands to receive no extra monies for the increase in paper sludge to the landfill, the landfill will just fill up faster. At the meeting, I heard someone say “The money has to be going somewhere.” Follow the money, folks. Follow the money.

The landfill issue now goes before the Cloquet City Council at the Feb. 7 meeting. Call Mayor Dave Hallback and your councilors to let them know the landfill changes are not what the Hilltop neighbors want, and it is not in the best interests of Cloquet. Let’s hope the landfill owners haven’t otherwise influenced them, on the golf course or at the local tavern.

Barb Wyman, Cloquet

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