October 17, 2019
U.S.A. receives the Zup's infrastructure bid from the City of Cook
The Cook City Council held a special meeting last Thursday at 10 a.m. in City Hall. The purpose of the meeting was to award the bid for the city's share of the new Zup's store infrastructure. Also on the agenda was approving new Sunday hours for the Old Muni.
There were five bids for the City of Cook's share of the infrastructure work for the new store that included new waterlines. Utility Systems of America was awarded the job with a bid of $295,534.25.
A request from the Old Muni to have new hours from Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday was also approved. The meeting, which was short, adjourned 10 minutes later.
$24 Million Dave Skelton Transportation Building Dedicated
The HUGE $24 million Dave Skelton Transportation Building for St. Louis County was dedicated on Tuesday of this week at 1:15 p.m. before a packed house of County Commissioners, State Rep. Bob Ecklund, State Sen. Tom Bakk, County Attorney Mark Rubin and, especially, Dave Skelton, for whom this massive compound is named. This building is dedicated for the Future (75 years or more), Progress, Labor (Northeast Minnesota workers built it to come in on time and a budget of $24 million), and a Commitment to the Taxpayers. Part of the complex is within the city limits of Cook.
The St. Louis County Transportation Dept. crews serve a more than 2,000 square mile area of the county. This facility is now the center for St. Louis County's Transportation Dept. for the northern part of the county and will have a huge impact on the economy here.
County Commissioner Keith Nelson was the Master of Ceremonies at Tuesday's ribbon-cutting. He paid particular attention to former County Commissioner for the 4th District, Mike Forsman.
See next week's paper for the full story of this momentous event.
Greenwood Board of Supervisors appoints Janelle Swenson new Deputy Treasurer
by ANTHONY SIKORA
The full slate of the Greenwood Township Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday, October 8 to conduct all business which came before the township.
Pam Rodgers, Greenwood Township Treasurer, reported, that although Belinda Fazio has served as an efficient Deputy Treasurer, her schedule did not permit her much time to complete her duties over the upcoming winter.
Rodgers then asked the board of supervisors to appoint Janelle Swenson as the township's new Deputy Treasurer. By motion, support, and with the unanimous approval of the town board, Swenson was appointed as the new Greenwood Township Deputy Treasurer.
"Welcome aboard," Town-ship Chairman Carmen DeLuca greeted Swenson, who was in the audience, and has routinely attended many recent meetings of the township.
Supervisors reviewed two bids to furnish snowplowing services and unanimously approved entering into a three-year contract with Vermilion Snow Management, LLC to plow the town hall and fire hall parking areas and driveways.
The board of supervisors again discussed placing the question of hiring a township clerk and a treasurer, rather than the township's current practice of electing these positions, before township voters.
Following conversation with township attorney, Mike Couri, "there are some pitfalls, and there are some good points" Supervisor Mike Ralston reported.
"It really depends on the needs of the township," Ralston said. Noting that to move forward, the town board needs to decide if it wants to put the question on the ballot, Ralston said, making a motion to have the township do exactly that. His motion quickly found support and was unanimously approved. Township voters will see this ballot question when they vote on March 10, 2020, and can decide for themselves if Greenwood will continue to elect a clerk and a treasurer, or instead vote to limit the vagaries of politics for these positions.
Greenwood Township Clerk Sue Drobac reported that following an assessment of township insurance it will cost the township $736 additional, for better insurance coverage. Current costs are around $11,000 Drobac reported.
Chairman DeLuca reported that the Minnesota Association of Townships (MAT) will again offer insurance to the township-but only for 25 percent coverage. Consulting with the township attorney, DeLuca reported that it is believed that the best option would be for the township to continue the township's Western World Insurance Group policy and, in addition, purchase the MAT policy.
It was reported that another five years would likely pass before MAT will fully insure Greenwood Township again-providing that the township does not experience the number of expensive lawsuits, as it has during the recent past.
Supervisor Ralston suggested that the township contact Western World to let them know that MAT would now supply 25 percent of the township's insurance and see if a reduction in price for its Western World policy is possible.
The town board set Tuesday, October 29, as the date and time of a public meeting to discuss, and hear from area internet access suppliers. Advertisements will be placed in local newspapers alerting everyone about the upcoming meeting.
In other action, the Greenwood Township Board of Supervisors:
· Supervisor Mike Ralston asked the fire department to establish a policy for reimbursement of gasoline utilized in private vehicles
· Approved the September 10 minutes of the regular September 10 meeting
· Approved the minutes of a Special September 17 meeting
· Approved the September ending Treasurer's report:
Beginning Fund Balance: $658,576.78
Earnings on Investments: 80.72
Ending fund Balance: $654,305.50
· Paid $18,240.52 in township bills
· Approved, by motion, second, and unanimous vote, the monthly payroll, and taxes of the township-$10,023.81
· Voted to increase the price of township 911 fire number signs to $20
· Tabled any discussion on raising the township subsidy to the Tower Ambulance Service until November
· Accepted a $25 donation to the fire department in honor of Mel Hintz
· Approved spending up to $2,500 to acquire a computer, for public use, at the town hall
· Established a policy to make the town hall unavailable for use or meetings on Wednesday mornings to allow the cleaning of the facility.
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