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

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Carlton Co. Board will buy current Cloquet City Hall

 

October 25, 2018



The Carlton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved to buy the present Cloquet City Hall for $750,000 paid over six years with no interest at their Regular Meeting on Monday, October 9.

“Opportunities to find space at a reasonable price has been our goal,” explained County Coordinator Dennis Genereau. “This building is adjacent to the Health and Human Services complex and its parking area. We first hoped to sign an agreement at the $600,000 figure but several private parties were interested in the building. Fond Du Lac Band was eager to buy because of a shortage of space. The price went up.”

Genereau went on to say, “Building the same square footage would have cost $2 1/2 to 3 million. We are renting space now for other county departments. Part of the cost of this building’s payment will be made from rental payments we are now committed to. Departments that are now in rental spaces will be relocated in this new county space. The building was constructed in 1991 and is new enough to help with energy savings per square foot.”

Members Co-op Credit Union is building a new center on Highway 33 across the highway from Walmart. The Cloquet City Hall will be moving to the old credit union building next summer after a wing is built for the Cloquet Police. The present City Hall should be available next summer if everything goes as planned.

In other county building news, the Shaw building, now housing the Carlton County Historical Society, continues to be scheduled for sale to an architectural firm by next summer. Genereau reported that a deal had been reached between the Historical Society’s Attorney Plowright but had been turned down by the Historical Society’s Board. Plowright, who had been representing the Historical Society in a lawsuit they had against the county board claiming they had a five-year lease, was shortly let go by the society.

Commissioner Dick Brenner commented, “Trying to find an answer for a space for the Historical Society has been very frustrating. I found out that the Historical Society Board had never been informed by their director that they could have the Shaw Building for one dollar. Not only have we paid the society since about 2001 roughly $750,000 for their program, but other maintenance costs have been high during the same period. This cannot continue.”

At the Committee of the Whole on October 2 a motion passed unanimously to not make any payments to the Historical Society after the first of the year until an agreement was made on space needs and moving costs for the archives.

Maintenance of aging County buildings continues. Coordinator Genereau got approval for repair of the radiant heating system in the Barnum County Garage at a quoted cost of $53,582. Approval was given for a leaking heating system in the Courthouse basement for $6,280.

The Health and Human Services building, although relatively new, needs an updated control system for heating and cooling which will be done by Johnson Controls with costs $28,900 coming from the Health and Human Services budget.

 

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