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

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Windows delayed for power plant, but new meters and fast charger on the way


April 25, 2019

The window removal project on the power plant was to have begun on April 15 but hadn’t been started yet, reported Superintendent Harlan Schmeling at the meeting of the Moose Lake Water and Light Commission on Tuesday, April 16.

The old windows will be removed, the asbestos insulation around the windows will also be removed with the proper abatement procedures, and then the window openings will be covered with plywood until the new windows are installed by St. Germain’s Glass, he explained.

The new meters for power users are expected to be installed in May, said Schmeling. Users will be notified when the meters will be installed in each neighborhood.

Schmeling also reported that he has begun ordering items for the fast charger that will be installed in the liquor store parking lot. The commissioners discussed the amount to charge per minute for charging electric vehicles but no decision was made.

Fifteen trees have been cut down on properties of the power company’s customers at no charge, Schmeling reported.

There was discussion about replanting trees to replace those that had been removed.

Commissioner Ted Shaw pointed out that there is a threat from the Emerald Ash Borer.

“We have a lot of ash trees in town,” he said. “When the ash borer hits, it will take out a lot of trees.”

It was suggested to work with the city gardener about replacing the trees that have been removed.

Schmeling reported that Century Link is setting up new booster stations for DSL service in the Martinson Addition and along County Road 12. The power company will run fiber optic cables to the stations as they are in the power company’s service territory.

A new policy about renewable energy was reviewed. Schmeling reported that the first programs about renewable energy started in 2001. It has changed over the years. The newest order will go into effect on June 17, 2019, he said.

Renewable energy is alternative sources of power such as solar and wind power. Currently, one customer in the City of Moose Lake has a solar panel and sells electricity that is generated over and above what is used to the water and light commission, said Schmeling.

“There has to be a tariff,” he told the commissioners. “If someone puts in solar and we buy from them, there has to be a tariff. We have to set the tariff rules and policies. We can be more stringent than the state. The tariff will cover the cost of maintaining the lines and other costs.”

The new policy has to be adopted before June 17, it was said.

The new information will be shared on the power company’s website. Any person that is planning to install renewable forms of energy must contact the power company in advance about regulations or restrictions on the type of equipment needed.

In other business, a quote from Region Air Light Power and Heating in the amount of $5,280 was approved to use Capital Improvement Funds for new LED lighting in the liquor store. The labor costs will be paid by the city.

The next monthly meeting of the commission was set for Tuesday, May 21, at 3 p.m. in the commission conference room.


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