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

By Bethany Helwig
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Snow and ice still hazardous on Moose Lake sidewalks


February 20, 2020

With Moose Lake covered in several layers of snow and ice, property and business owners were reminded to clear their sidewalks and fire hydrants at the regular meeting of the Moose Lake city council on February 12.

“I did have the police department send some letters to the businesses downtown here to remove the snow,” said Councilor Walt Lower, “but there’s also a lot of ice on sidewalks that should be taken care of. … You don’t really want to have people slipping and falling. I just wanted to get it out to the public … It is up to the owners of the property to shovel their sidewalks and get the ice off of them.”

As for fire hydrants, roughly half are still partially or completely buried which creates a serious hazard in the event of a fire since firefighters cannot access them.

“If you have a fire hydrant close to your property, on your property, you can do us a great favor by getting out there and trying to help us keep those fire hydrants open for quick access for the fire department,” said Lower.

At the last fire department meeting, it was suggested that the city put steel pole markers on all the hydrants so they can be more easily located in deep snow. Public Works Superintendent Phil Entner would be looking into the cost of doing so.

The council approved a 5-year financing option with First National Bank to pay for equipment and technology improvements for the City’s cable programming and distribution. The new system will help with broadcasting content, allow much more programming, messaging on channels, as well as online streaming capabilities. The funds to upgrade the system are from the Mediacom franchise fee (which can only be used for public access). The financing plan through First National Bank will allow them to pay off the equipment while having a cushion of funds in the public access account should unexpected expenses come up.

Bill Carlson, an advocate for seniors in the area, spoke about the importance of the cable system and local channels. A majority of the information many seniors get is through those cable channels. He also mentioned that the Historical Society currently doesn’t have the means to connect to the system and requested they received a free modem.

“We need to get the community involved,” Carlson said.

Mayor Ted Shaw said that the city had previously attempted to put together a community committee but they didn’t get any volunteers.

“If we had more community involvement, we could get more content on the channels,” said Councilor Walt Lower.

Shawna Smith, the administrator of Augustana, also voiced her willingness to help however she could to keep the seniors connected to the community through the cable broadcasts.

Interim Police Chief Mike McNulty reported the department had 192 calls for service in January. Of those calls, one involved a stolen vehicle from Minit Mart and another a burglary at a local business. The police have posted information on their Facebook page and ask that if the public has any additional information to contact them.

The council approved the job description for the police chief and have put out a notice seeking applicants to fill the position. The posting closes on March 6, 2020.

A garage currently sits at the site where the new wells will be constructed at the corner of Birch Ave and 4th Street. The City is looking for someone to purchase and remove the garage from the site. More information can be obtained from City Hall for those interested.

As for the well project itself, they are running tests to make sure the new wells will be able to provide as much water as the current wells before construction begins.

The council approved a bid to renovate the Moose Lake DMV office; it will be paid for using a refund issued by the state that can only be used for Motor Vehicle Services. The renovation will include new cabinets as well as painting and patching the entire office. They anticipate the DMV will be closed for a short time during March.

In other business, the council approved a donation of $300 to Moose Lake Post Prom and $800 to the Moose Lake Area Chamber of Commerce.

The council tabled the discussion of purchasing baseball nets for the Riverside Arena until they could talk to the school. “Allocating taxpayer funds for high school equipment is what it seems like,” said Councilor Doug Juntunen.

The library is going to stop hosting free movies because of low attendance.

The next regular meeting of the city council will be on March 11 at 4:00 p.m.


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