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

By Sharon Zelazny
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

State of the city of Cromwell

From the Mayor of Cromwell


December 20, 2018

My second year as mayor has been just as busy and exciting as my first year. One big difference was that I didn’t have as much to learn, although there always is a lot to learn. I feel we have made a lot of progress and I want to share that with you.

I told you that my goal is to “enhance the quality of life for the people in this community”. I believe the council and I have accomplished a lot this year to that end.

Concerning our finances. This year we received a very favorable audit report for 2017. As I’ve told you before, we have a tax levy of about $110,000. From that money we pay our clerk’s and maintenance worker’s salaries and run the city. We do get money from our water and sewer bills and that pays for that operation. We operate on a tight budget. We also have our municipal liquor store and its purpose is to generate a profit to help run the city. Last year I reported that our liquor store had lost money for the previous two years. I’m pleased to tell you that last year we had a profit. The profit wasn’t huge, but we were content with it since they had to overcome a substantial deficit before they could show a profit. I’m very proud of our manager, Krysta Konieski, for her good work. We also remodeled the liquor store to include an office. The materials and labor to build the new office was donated.

Of course, I’m very proud of our new Dollar General store and I’m hoping you have had a chance to visit it to see the wide variety it offers.

Now we have a new restaurant coming next year.

Last year I told you that my first goal as mayor was to secure enough grant monies for a new Emergency Alert Siren for our city. A new one would be hooked in directly to the dispatch in Carlton County. For instance, if the weather bureau generated a tornado warning, the dispatch would set off the siren, saving precious time to alert the community. The siren cost is $20,000 and the grant monies I’ve secured so far are:

Lake Country Power - $4,500

Enbridge - $10,000

BNSF - $2,500

Northern Pine Riders - $2,000

TOTAL - $19,000

We are very close to reaching our goal and the new siren will be installed this coming spring.

The Highway 210 Project set for 2020 is still progressing. We continue to have meetings and make decisions. You’ve probably heard that they will not be doing the round-about. Our local committee has picked out some streetlights and benches. MnDot representatives will be at an upcoming council meeting with a more complete design. We are now getting serious about securing grant monies. At this time, we are planning to also redo the north and south alleys and that cost has to be covered totally by the city.

The highway project does not extend north on Highway 73. I think it’s very important to extend walkways north to Villa Vista and Lally Road. I’ve been working with Villa Vista to access some possible tax dollars and I’ve been working with the school to apply for a Safe Routes to School grant to hopefully generate enough money to put in a multi-purpose walking path (a paved path) to extend north from the four-way stop to Villa Vista. I believe there is a good chance to get some grant money for this since there is a day-care at the Villa Vista and there are nine school-age kids in the development off Lally Road.

Also, a few smaller things the city supported are:

- Pop machines at the Pavilion

- New ice cream machine here at the pavilion.

- Wrote a grant for the school to get some new signs for the walkway from the school to the convenience store. We haven’t heard back on that yet.

- Santa at City Hall

I’ve gotten involved with the Big Sandy Watershed and the Tamarack River Watershed. I’ve always felt that since we have a lake in our city limits, we should educate our children about good water stewardship. Most of the kids in our community either live by the lake or they use it. So, I worked with the Big Sandy Watershed people and we put together a program that we presented to the 4th graders here at school. It was very successful.

Also, with it being so difficult to get people interested in getting involved in local government, I feel that’s something we need to educate our children about and maybe spark an interest. I put together a program for the third graders that explained about the city council and how the city works. I took City Clerk Nikkie Johnson and City Maintenance Director Tom Johnson with me and then told a story about how their jobs work.

Both programs were a great success, but of course we ended the programs with a treat for the kids. I hope to do these programs every year.


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