At last week’s Calumet City Council meeting, council members voted to set the final property tax levy at a three percent increase after the tax base was adjusted. The union contract was also approved by the council with wage increases of 3 percent.
Calumet Mayor John Tuorila traveled to Hoyt Lakes while studying different options for police protection. He spoke with the mayors of Hoyt Lakes and Gilbert and learned that the smaller communities band together with a larger towns to create an economical solution to police coverage.
Tuorila said the city of Biwabik contracts with Gilbert for police coverage and the cities of Hoyt Lakes and Aurora have combined forces to form the East Range Police Department which has nine officers and a budget of $900,000. The East Range Police Department has the police station and the fire hall housed in the same complex.
Councilor Dan Strand reported that the Greenway Joint Recreation Board told of a $63,000 grant from the James Metzen Mighty Ducks Program toward the purchase of an electric Zamboni, as all of the propane and gasoline powered Zambonis are slated to be rotated out of service by the year 2019. Strand also attended the Western Mesabi Mine Planning Board meeting to find that the Hill Annex Mine State Park is still a priority.
Public Works Supervisor Tom Serich gave an update on the water tower and the backup circulating pump is on line. Serich also expressed his frustration with respect to illegal parking during snow removal efforts as some residents block the alley way and/or the sidewalk during the snow plowing detail. Calumet has a 12 hour rule on street parking.
In other business, the council:
• Agreed to change the January council meeting date to the 24th.
• Passed a resolution to accept $2,350 in donations.
• Voted to not waive the monetary limits for insurance.
• Voted to pay $700 to an accountant.
• Agreed to pay dues on the Rural Water Association.
• Accepted the bid from the Scenic Range NewsForum for legal newspaper status.
• Approved a $75 pay increase for each pay period for the city clerk.
• Voted to approve paying Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) dues of $450.
• Agreed to let Sprint make equipment changes only if they pay for a structure analysis of the tower.
• Discussed the AT&T buy-out offer on it’s tower lease.
• Announced the court date for the Progressive lawsuit as July 2017.