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

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Carlton County offices find new homes at Cloquet City Hall

County offices maintain limited access

 


After more than a year’s wait Carlton County departments are being moved to the old Cloquet City Hall. The departments being moved are the County Coordinator/HR/Property Management office led by County Coordinator Dennis Genereau and the Economic Development office.

The Carlton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the move at their May 26 meeting.

“This is a first step,” said Genereau. “This move would take little renovation and minimal county funds. We are making every dollar count as we see how much the the future county budget is affected by the continuing COVID 19 pandemic.”

The space freed up with the move would give new needed office areas for the courthouse public defenders and the court administrative staff. The possibility of conference space for the courts, probation and general government functions is also a goal.

Other departments using the Old City Hall space are still being discussed. Costly renovations for the ACT team to use the building came in higher than expected. The federal government had originally provided funding for the upgrade work in the present rental property the ACT team uses. The County Board approved another year for the present building lease.

Limited access

The courthouse continues to have limited access with a deputy at the east entrance. The public is encouraged to make an appointment by phone for the department concerned before coming to the courthouse. Face masks are encouraged within the courthouse.

Hiring freeze

Carlton County will have a limited hiring freeze on a case by case basis with all refills requiring Board approval. Major funding comes from federal and state sources and the impact on next year’s budget is unknown.

In other County Board actions:

The Brillion seeder and the interseeder, once under the local Minnesota Extension umbrella, are now temporarily transferred to the Soil and Water Conservation District. It is the plan to have a local qualified vendor, after a bidding process, act as a rental agent for the equipment. Reasonable efforts will be made to ensure Carlton County residents have first option to rent the equipment. The transfer is for a five year period with annual reports given by the SWCD.

Marlyn Halvorson is hired as the new emergency management director. Coming from Itasca County, Halvorson has 22 years in law enforcement, 11 years as a paramedic, and 20 years as a firefighter.

Land Commissioner Greg Bernu got permission for a public hearing on June 22 for changes in the Soo Line Ordinance No.14 and a new ordinance of the Soo Pit in Moose Lake. Use of the pit will be restricted from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The public is encouraged to see the proposed ordinances and changes on the Carlton County website under the Tax-Forfeit Land subsection.

The Land Department has participated in two certification programs for the County forest land: the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The participating loggers that buy county wood were for dropping both certification programs.

Bernu explained that the mills were interested in some certification because it helped them compete on the international markets. The County Board gave Bernu authority to negotiate with the mills to see if they were willing to cover the cost of certification and he will come back with a recommendation.

Another hangar is being constructed at the Cloquet Airport. The building is being constructed by a private individual and will not only be paying $1,680 for leasing the spot but will also pay property taxes on the building constructed.

 

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