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Blackduck Planning Commission holds regular meeting

The City of Blackduck Planning Commission met for the first time since October on Wednesday, February 26 at City Hall.

Several items were on the agenda including an update on an uninhabited downtown building and Anderson Fabrics’ request that the city vacate Carl Avenue.

The Planning Commission wants the downtown building, previously known as Snustad Funeral Home located at 73 Main St. NW, demolished.

Arthur Snustad, owner of the funeral home, passed away in August and his estate is being managed by family members.

“They’re going to say ‘Blackduck can have it,’”  commission member Kurt Benson said of the deserted space.  

The building has passed several inspections in order for it to be demolished, according to Benson. Other than a funeral home, the location has previously been used as a furniture store and a book store.

“I think it got put on the backburner previous to this,” Benson said. “We need to expedite this process.”

The commission agreed that if action isn’t taken by spring their lawyer would have to be involved.

Carl Avenue

Steve Cochems, President of Anderson Fabrics, was present at the meeting after making a request for the city to vacate Carl Avenue in Blackduck.

The 66 foot stretch runs between Anderson Fabrics and the building that the American Legion used to occupy, which was recently purchased by Anderson Fabrics.

The commission asked what they would get in return.

“Our thoughts were as the largest employer and largest taxpayer in the city of Blackduck, that you guys would give that to us,” Cochems said. “Then you would be rid of it.”

Benson expressed concern that if anyone purchased the building that the American Legion used to occupy, it would come without a parking lot.

“We had a good relationship with the Legion for many many years” Cochems said. “If Anderson Fabrics was ever to sell that building if there was an opportunity for a restaurant, or a bar and grill type thing to go in there, we would invite that possibility.”

The commission passed a motion that they will recommend to the Blackduck City Council that they will vacate the avenue. The matter will likely be on the City Council’s agenda during its regular meeting on March 10.

Jillian Gandsey

Jillian Gandsey is the Multimedia Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is an Iron Range native and a 2013 graduate of Bemidji State University. Follow Jillian on Twitter and Instagram @jilliangandsey. Contact her at 218-333-9786, 218-996-1216 or at 

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