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

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Francise fee coming for infrastructure improvements


October 17, 2019

The Moose Lake City Council discussed the franchise fee that will be added to electric bills to cover the cost of street and water and sewer replacements instead of assessments at the meeting of the council on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

“That fee is actually a PILOT, Payment in Lieu of Taxes fee,” City Administrator Tim Peterson explained. “The fee will be negotiated between the Moose Lake Water and Light Commission and the city. With an increase of .006, the city would get $50,000 a year.”

A motion that the city renegotiate the fee with the commission was passed.

The council discussed the Tobacco 21 ordinance, which would change the minimum age of people being able to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

There was discussion about banning flavored tobacco projects, including e-cigarettes, but Peterson said that all that he needed to bring to a meeting the following week was whether the city is in favor of banning tobacco sales to people under the age of 21. All of the councilors agreed.

Moose Lake, Fond du Lac Reservation, the City of Cloquet, and Carlton County are the only entities in the area that issue licenses for tobacco sales, it was said. The ordinance to raise the age of tobacco purchases has been proposed by the American Lung Association.

The council reviewed the first reading of the proposed lodging tax ordinance.

Peterson explained that a 3 percent lodging tax, for example, would be charged to people that rent rooms at the motel and spaces at the City’s and the Red Fox Campgrounds. The tax would not be charged if people were going to stay more than 30 days. He added that 95 percent of the tax would go to the Moose Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and used to promote tourism and the lodging facilities. Five percent would be retained by the city for administration costs.

The first reading was approved. The ordinance will be published in the Star Gazette.

There will be a second reading of the ordinance and a public hearing before it is approved.

Public Works Supervisor Phil Entner reported to the council that there is a tremendous amount of inflow and infiltration into the city’s sewer system.

“All three pumps pumped six times as much water to the lift station the day that we got five inches of rain,” he told the council. “I am looking at discharging the ponds next month and once more in December so there is enough storage for winter. There is lots of I (inflow) and I (infiltration). When it is raining, all three pumps are running at one time. Usually they run one at a time.”

No decisions were made.

In other business, the council approved a contract for prosecution services from the county attorney’s office in the amount of $16,000. The charges will be paid by the city quarterly.

The next meeting of the council will be Wednesday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m.


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