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

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

New landfill hauling contract saves $92,000 this year, $184,000 next year


March 21, 2019

“Hauling costs for the Superior, Wisconsin landfill have been bid openly for several years,” explained Heather Cunningham, administrator for Zoning and Environmental Services, at the Carlton County Board of Commissioners meeting on March 12. “Our transfer station produces annually about 16,000 tons. SKB Environmental was the only bidder in 2017 and our costs went up.”

Cunningham continued, “Late last year we signed an agreement with WLSSD to bundle the costs of hauling solid waste to the Superior landfill. Bids went out. Current contractor SKB did not submit a new bid and along with two other new proposals Mahkata Trucking had the successful, qualified bid. The high tonnage that the Duluth facility hauls in annually made the cost of our trucking needs more cost effective. This year we save $92,000 and next budget year we save $184,000. Hopefully Mahkata Trucking gives us as good a service as SKB has done.”

Since 2017 SKB Environmental has contracted the work for $12.00 per ton. Mahkata Trucking came in at $6.96 per ton and will take over the hauling on July 1, 2019. SKB Environmental’s contract set an annual cost of the hauling at $504,932.39 and it is projected that Mahkata Trucking hauling will cost annually $320,950.92.

Cunningham gave her annual report on Zoning & Environmental Services. Of interest to the readers, permits for new homes from 2017 to 2018 dropped from 48 to 45, housing additions 55 down to 45, but cabins rose from 20 to 36. Carlton County operates zoning in all areas of the County except for the local city jurisdictions and Thomson Township. The County does have zoning authority over all shoreland and wetland areas within the County.

902 pounds of unwanted medication was collected in 2018. This year, up to this date, 4,511 pounds have been collected.

Three lakes have had Eurasian water milfoil – Chub Lake, Bear Lake and Little Hanging Horn Lake. About $16,672 is the cost of chemical treatment in Chub and Bear Lakes each year. A small amount of milfoil had been found in Little Hanging Horn Lake in 2017 and was manually removed. No milfoil was found there in 2018.

Plans are being implemented to use credit cards for permit fees and they are progressing in the auditor’s office. Online permitting is targeted for implementation in 2022. Creation of a new ordinance to regulate vacation rentals by owners is being considered or may be added to Zoning Ordinance #27. The goal is to protect the character of the surrounding neighborhood as well as environmental protection.

In other County news, Land Commissioner Greg Bernu had two tax-forfeited parcels, one in Wrenshall Township and the other in the City of Barnum, reappraised and put out for sealed bids. There were several bidders and both parcels were sold, one 165% over appraisal and the other 104% over appraisal respectively. The two parcels brought in $193,307.00.

Due to the success of this reappraisal process and resulting sale, several tax-forfeited parcels in the townships of Barnum and Mahtowa were ordered by the County Board to be reappraised and offered for sale to the public by sealed bid. For more details, contact Land Commissioner Greg Bernu.


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