Last week’s Calumet City Council, Nashwauk Police Chief Joe Dasovich joined the meeting bringing the number of people in the council chambers to 10, which is the legal limit for April 2020. Chief Dasovich described the procedure they use in Nashwauk to condemn hazardous buildings as the City of Calumet struggles to take legal action to be able to raze three hazardous buildings in town.
Chief Dasovich represents the law enforcement component of Calumet since the City of Nashwauk has contracted to provide police presence seven miles west of the Nashwauk City Limits. In an interview, Calumet Mayor John Tuorila told the Scenic Range NewsForum that the Nashwauk Police have been doing about 20 hours per month patrolling the cities of Calumet and neighboring Marble.
Nashwauk officers have full authority to write traffic tickets or blight tickets as would a municipal police officer, said Mayor Tuorila. Chief Dasovich indicated that everything is working fine on Nashwauk’s end. For several years, the City of Calumet has been trying to find dedicated law enforcement because the Itasca County Sheriff does not normally patrol the town, with exception of highway 169, or are they allowed to enforce the Calumet city ordinances.
Public Works Supervisor Dogger Serich reported a possible public health threat with the Waste Management Truck being the source. Serich claims that for several months, the garbage truck has been leaving a puddle of “diaper juice” along with various artifacts on the streets and alleys every time it makes a stop. Serich said the truck driver has been notified and Waste Management has not yet fixed the leak. Serich reported a broken spring on the red dump truck and had quotes of $1,200 and $1,500 to replace the spring. Also, the archway over the Mesabi Bike Trail is scheduled to be painted and the city sign on 169 is at the end of its life.
Council member Dan Strand had little to report from Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board or Greenway Joint Recreation as both meetings were cancelled for the month. However, Strand did announce his retirement from the Cemetery Board, and by coincidence, mentioned that the Cemetery Board is actively seeking one new member to sit on the board. Strand said the meetings are usually 15 minutes long and meet every other month.
A new resident approached the council asking about any property available to build a storage shed. City officials offered to rent a city-owned garage to the new resident until he can locate a permanent storage building.
Mayor John Tuorila has spent one whole day, so far, drafting resolutions to be sent to four area lawmakers. Some of the issues that Mayor Tuorila is fighting for are the usual pit water mitigation, funding for Hill Annex State Park and for the completion of the Cross-Range Expressway. Tuorila said alternate routes for the last eight miles of four-lane are being investigated.
The City Council has proposed making some changes to the Employee Handbook and specifically to put the kibosh on cigarette smoking in city-owned vehicles and buildings. Also, city employees would have to quit taking 15-minute coffee breaks at home because it seems the practice is not very professional or efficient. Dogger Serich took a moment to inform councilors that he has not had a cigarette since Easter.
In other business, the council:
• Made the disclosure that the Hill Annex State Park will be open this summer, however visitors might not have access to the park buildings.
• Approved a zoning permit for Jim Olson.
• Allocated $1,295 to Plackner Tree Care Inc. to take down four big trees that are in bad shape.
• Voted to give 72-hours’ notice for people living in camping trailers and RV’s to vacate.
• Learned that the DNR will probably sink another well in Calumet in order to monitor the water table that is affected by rising pit water.
• Agreed to demo the hockey rink because it would need to be rebuilt anyway.
• Learned that the Old Spur Station should be leveled by June.
• Announced that on May 13, 2020 the Executive Order will be lifted and utility shut-offs could occur.
• Informed the public that the National Night Out has been cancelled for this year.