Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed 

Carlton County timber sale nets $289,311

County board sets full schedule for summer projects


Land Commissioner Greg Bernu reported $289,311 in total timber auction sales to the Carlton County Board of Commissioners at their June 22 meeting. He put 8,290 cords of wood of numerous species on Tax-Forfeit Managed County lands. Oral bids doubled the initial appraised price.

Timber sales are used to cover personnel salaries in the Land Department but also pay for spring tree planting, projected site improvement projects, road access needs, etc.

Two timber sales occur each year, in the spring and the fall. Excess funds are divided between the state, the county, the school districts, and the townships on a percentage designated by state statute.

Paper companies bought 30 percent of the sales offered. Remaining timber was available for private, smaller loggers.

More federal money is being invested in the Moose Lake Airport. J & L Steel & Electrical of Hudson, Wisconsin, was the low bid at $204,005.75 to replace and upgrade the runway lights. The work is to be completed this summer.

Two county bridge projects are scheduled. Funding comes from state bridge bonding and federal funding.

A bridge on County Road 8 east of Holyoke is estimated to cost $1,500,000 with half the money coming from federal funds.

Bids will be opened in mid July for a deck replacement on the Kettle River bridge on CR 131 which is being paid for in large part by State Bridge Bonding. The Kettle River bridge was first estimated to cost $200,000 but price estimates have been rising.

Economic Development Director Connie Christenson reported that Lohse Transfer is moving their operations with 39 full-time jobs from Duluth to the Esko Industrial Park.

Total cost of the project is $515,000 with a Carlton County Economic Development loan of $150,000.

Lohse Transfer provides trucking services from four locations–Rochester, Minneapolis, Maple Lake, and Duluth. Their firm has 40 trucks and 60 trailers.

Lohse purchased the Duluth operations in 2014. Quick access to Interstate 35 was of prime concern as it would save the company operating expenses.

The plan calls for erecting a 60-by-120 foot freight terminal building with an office and shop area on two Esko Park lots. The 39 company jobs will pay $17 to $21 per hour with a full benefit package.

Assessor Marci Moreland estimates this new business venture will bring in $13,160 in new property taxes.


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