By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Barnum approves project for County garage hook up


August 22, 2019

The Barnum City Council agreed to allow Carlton County to hook water and sewer lines from the county garage, located a mile south of Barnum, to the city’s sewer and water system at the meeting of the council on Monday, August 12.

“The well is bad and so is the septic system,” county engineer JinYeene Newmann told the council. “We will pay for the construction of one mile of pipes to connect to your water and sewer.”

Newmann also explained that the plans for remodeling and constructing an addition to the garage haven’t been drawn up yet but the new addition will add twice again as much space as the existing 30,000 square foot garage. The final plans will be brought to the council for approval before the project begins in the spring.

Tom Simi spoke to the council about AirFiber, an Internet provider, coming to Barnum.

“We are in Mahtowa now,” he told the council. “We have been advertising in Barnum and there is a lot of interest.”

Mayor Jason Goodwin explained that a contract had been sent to the city in the past.

“We signed the contract and Bernadine (Reed, the city clerk) sent it in but it was returned,” he told Simi.

Goodwin and Councilor Dale Riihiluoma told Simi that they were open to another contract and asked for more information.

The plans are moving ahead for the new city hall/liquor store building, said Goodwin. The bids will be let on August 26. The council set a special meeting on Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. to review the bids.

Steve Witzel, owner of the Sherwood Forest Mobile Home Park, met with the council to hear about the shelter plan that had been presented. The residents of the mobile home park would go to the Northwoods Motel in the event of a tornado or severe storm.

Wizel explained that he is making improvements to the park slowly and plans to move better homes to the park.

“I want a place where families with kids are comfortable living there,” he said. “I have a plan to add another 20 units to the park. Some will be owner-occupied, some will be rentals.”

Witzel explained that he has a housing construction company and that he is a hands-on person.

“There are five or six homes that I would like to see gone,” he said. “I would bring in larger used mobile homes. The smallest will be 14 feet by 70 feet. I would put in new thermopane windows, re-side the exterior of the homes and work on the inside of the homes during the winter. Within five years, I’ll have 40 units in there.”

Witzel said that he also bought a corner by Park Street and plans to have a monument there at some point.

The council approved his plan.

The council has been considering an ordinance change to allow storage containers on commercial property. Charles Young had approached the council about allowing him to bring in storage containers to his storage space rental property in the past but was not at this meeting.

The ordinance change will be discussed at the next meeting of the council on Monday, Sept. 9.

Linda Langness met with the council to request a $500 donation to the senior citizens group.

The council approved the request.

Langness also asked that a plaque be installed on the pavilion in the park noting that the funds for the pavilion were originally provided by the Fire Belles, an auxiliary of the Barnum Fire Department.

“They raised the money to pay for the pavilion,” she said. “We need a plaque to honor them and let people know who raised the money for the pavilion.”

Goodwin suggested that funds from the fire department’s relief association maybe could be used to purchase the plaque. Langness, Beverly Nelson, and Reed will write the wording for the plaque.

In other business, the council approved a beer and wine license for Chickadee Coffeehouse and Deli.


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