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Industrial Lane tops Blackduck Council agenda once again

Even though Industrial Lane has been paved, the Blackduck City Council received an application for land use permit from Anderson Fabrics regarding parking on the street.

Steve Cochems of Anderson Fabrics came before the council asking for permission to use Industrial Lane for parking for the company's employees.

Cochems began by explaining to the council that as of now, all of the employees park in the parking lot shared with the American Legion facility. While parking there isn't an issue, employees who use the lunchroom on the other side of the factory have to walk from the parking lot, through the workroom to get to their breakroom.

"Just to let you know," Cochems told the council, "We offered to pay for all the road assessment for Bi-Cap plus an additional $1,300 plus taking care of the grass if they would allow us (Anderson Fabrics) to purchase a third of their parking lot but that fell through."

"Part of me thinks this is a planning and zoning issue," said Councilman Daryl Lundberg.

"Isn't this a public street?" questioned Councilmember Scott Palmer.

"Yes, but you can restrict your parking on a public street," said City Maintenance Supervisor Bob Klug Jr..

"Why would we?" asked Palmer.

"Well, I would look at a couple of factors," explained Klug, "For one, the traffic flow at certain times of the day. You're down to 10 feet of driving lanes if you allow parking on both sides of the road. You have a school bus that comes in there. It would be a problem."

"But they're not all there at the same time," said Palmer.

Klug didn't respond but asked if anyone had talked with Bi-Cap about their feelings on this?

"They're a neighbor too, you know."

Palmer stated that in his opinion, he couldn't see what the problem was other than marking off the "No Parking" areas where people shouldn't park.

Councilman Cory Veasey then said that he felt that as long as those spots were marked as "No Parking" spots, that there shouldn't be an issue.

"Do we have a "No Parking" sign there now?" questioned Palmer.

The answer was no.

Cochems said that his employees could have been parking there all along but he felt they needed to get the approval of the council first.

"We are hoping in the future to be able to have a second shift," said Cochems. "When that happens, we will need those extra parking spaces because you will have an overlapping of time when the first shift leaves and the second one comes in. When this happens, then there will be a parking issue."

Klug brought up the fact that there would probably have to be a handicap parking spot on the street in order to allow parking as per MnDOT regulations.

A motion was then made to approve the application for land use permit for Anderson Fabrics.

Veasey asked who was going pay for marking off the spaces.

"The city will," said Klug. "We will just paint the curb. I don't know if they make it anymore though."

"Paint?" asked Palmer.

"No," Klug responded, "The company that makes the paint we use doesn't make it all year so I will have to order it in the spring. I may be able to get it out of Bemidji at Sherwin Williams but it is way more expensive."

Following another short discussion, the council voted to approve the permit request to allow parking on Industrial Lane.

Klug updated the council on the bids he had received for the wastewater irrigation system.

He had sent out requests for three bids but only received two back -- one for $51,029.37 from Ingleside Engineering and the other, was from Northern Irrigation, Inc. in the amount of $46,319.50.

Klug explained that the insurance company would be paying the city $47,500 minus $250 for the old system.

The council voted to approve awarding the wastewater bid to Northern Irrigation.

Police Chief Scott Wherley came before the council to update them on the two vehicles that would be put up for bid by the city.

The 1998 Pontiac will have a minimum bid of $300 and the 1989 Chevy pickup minimum bid will be $750. Anyone interested in putting in a bid on either vehicle can look at them at the city maintenance garage, located at 72 Railroad Ave SE.

Those interested in bidding shall receive a bid sheet from the city administrator's office or download the form from All bids must be delivered to Blackduck City Hall by 12 p.m. Nov. 7. The council will open and award the bid during the regular meeting that evening.

Wherley also mentioned that he had received information on the old Blackduck Telephone building, which is now owned by Paul Bunyan Communications out of Bemidji.

"They told me it would cost us $15,000 a year plus utilities to lease the building," Wherley said. "And they would still be occupying the back half of the building for their equipment."

He also informed the council that they were also looking into a "Plan B" which was the old Nenson Plumbing building on Main St.

"It's not a done deal, just something that is in the works for now," Wherley said.

He also mentioned that he was concerned over the state of the railroad trestle and asked who owned it or was in charge of maintaining it.

After some discussion, it was decided that MnDOT owned the trail and bridge but that the DNR leased it and that at times, the local snowmobile club did some work on it. Wherley said he would contact the president of the snowmobile club and get some information on it.

Lundberg then briefed the council on the youth coordinator position meeting that was held Sept. 30 with the Development Corporation.

This position would be funded three ways -- the school would pay part, the BDC would pay part and more than likely, the city would pay a part.

Lundberg said that nothing was decided on the issue as of yet and more information would be needed by all the entities involved.