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

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Community building and liquor store plans move ahead


The plans for a new community building and liquor store are moving ahead, it was reported at the meeting of the Barnum City Council on Monday, July 8.

In the absence of Mayor Jason Goodwin, Vice Mayor Dale Riihiluoma reported that the committee had met with the architect once again to refine the plans. The new community center, to be located on the site of the existing community center, would seat 250-300 people. The current building holds 130, such as for the steak fry, he said.

Bids will be called for soon, and those costs will be used when exploring bonding for the project.

A new liquor store is part of the building replacement project. Liquor Store Manager Eric Pellinen reported that the new liquor store would be back by the alley. The bandshell would be removed.

“We are dialing it in, getting on the same page with the architect,” he said. “We are fleshing out good ideas. There are a lot of neat things that we can do once the building is up. We will have a kitchen too.”

The capacity for the new liquor store would be 75-100 people. The current capacity is 40 people.

“We may have to shut down for two or three days while we are in transition from the old building to the new one to allow time for the move and staff training,” he told the council.

Riihiluoma added that the committee would meet with the architect again on July 17.

Charles Young, owner of a storage business on County Road 13, met with the council again to request that the council allow him to use storage containers for his business.

The city has an ordinance that bans the use of storage containers within the city limits.

He pointed out once again that the containers would be behind the existing storage building and not seen from the road. The containers would not be visible to nearby businesses because of brush and trees.

He had requested at an earlier meeting with the council that storage containers be allowed for commercial businesses in a C-2 zone.

“Businesses that are C-2 could benefit from having storage containers,” he told the council. “They wouldn’t have as much junk lying around.”

Young said that he already has storage containers at his business.

“Why would you have storage containers when they are not allowed?” asked Riihiluoma.

Young said that he had heavy equipment on site.

“I had to do some work on the site and had equipment to move them,” he told the council. “Time is an issue. The price of the containers is going up. If you say no, I will sell them and I may continue to sell them.”

Young explained that the ground where the containers would be placed is clay.

“As far as constructing another building on that site where the containers will be placed, the ground is clay and it is always wet,” he said. “There is a spring in that area. A huge concrete slab would crack. I was going to put concrete slabs between the containers but a contractor told me that I would never keep a roof even. The containers are brand new, bulletproof and look nice.”

Riihiluoma replied that the committee would have to meet to discuss making a change in the ordinance. He added that the committee may be able to meet that week.

Fire Chief Corey Hurst met with the council to request an automatic mutual aid agreement between the Barnum and Blackhoof Fire Departments.

He said that similar automatic mutual aid agreements exist for the Mahtowa and Wrenshall Fire Departments and the Moose Lake and Kettle River Fire Departments.

“Our departments will be automatically called by dispatch,” he said. “We reserve the right to not go if something else is going on or we may send less manpower. We will not be emptying the hall; we will reserve a crew here just in case. We are already doing mutual aid.”

The council voted to approve the automatic mutual aid. The proposal will be sent to the Blackhoof Fire Department for approval.

In other business, the council approved Age to Age using the park for National Night Out on Aug. 6, approved the funds for the purchase of a used pickup for the Public Works Department, and passed a motion to treat milfoil on the city’s shoreline of Bear Lake.

The next meeting of the Barnum City Council was set for Monday, August 12 at 6 p.m.


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