By Beth Bily
The Nashwauk City Council opted to add five new firefighters to the city’s department at its meeting last week.
The council approved the new members at the request of Chief John Calaguire, who noted that the department has been working with five applicants for the past two and one-half months.
The city currently has 19 firefighters – with one expected to leave soon. The five additional members will still keep the department well within its cap of 26 members.
Calaguire told the council that the new members would be subject to background checks and successful completion of a physical prior to final instatement with the fire department.
In another significant development, Mayor Bill Hendricks announced at the conclusion of council business that he would not seek another term. The filing period for city offices opens on July 29 and concludes on Aug. 12.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the minutes of the June 24 council meeting.
• Passed a motion to check on the presence of asbestos in a house that would potentially be used for firefighter training.
• Approved a beautification project to be taken on by the fire department.
• Thanked all the volunteers who helped make the city’s annual Fourth of July festival a success.
• Approved adding two officers to the city’s part-time police officer list, pending successful completion of background checks and evaluations.
• Approved costs associated with training for Tiffany Bodin – EMT ambulance. The training will take place on Oct. 10-11.
• Agreed to send a letter setting a deadline date of the next council meeting for removal of pumps at the former Spur station.
• Approved a partial payment to Mesabi Bituminous in the amount of $73,949.66 for 2013 street improvements.
• Approved a partial payment to Casper Construction for $166,661.87 for the city’s Fourth Street project.
• Tabled a decision on making a donation to the Itasca County Historical Society until the city’s next budget meeting in the fall.
• Passed a motion directing the city clerk to keep unresolved business items on the council agenda until the issues are resolved.
• Canceled the council meeting slated for Aug. 12 due to primary elections.
• Directed Karen Calaguire to proceed with obtaining bids for a new ambulance. Calaguire hopes to equip this one with a power lift cot as a safety issue. It will, however, impact final cost. Preliminary estimates indicate a cost between $63,000 and $69,000, not including the power lift cot, she told the council.
• Accepted a resignation from Dave Savolainen from the city’s zoning committee.