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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Cook Fire hopes to partner with training group

E.M. Schultz
Posted 10/29/19

COOK - The Cook Fire Department will be starting a new training process for 2020. Shane Johnson presented the proposed plan to the council at their regular meeting here on Thursday, Oct. 24, as well …

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Cook Fire hopes to partner with training group

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COOK - The Cook Fire Department will be starting a new training process for 2020. Shane Johnson presented the proposed plan to the council at their regular meeting here on Thursday, Oct. 24, as well as this month’s report. The new training, which would be provided by the Minnesota Public Safety Group, would help remove liability from individual training officers, as well as the department and the city. It will also help bring the department up to spec and hopefully drop the city’s fire rating by one point. 

The council strongly supported the plan, which would cost $850 per month, saying they would budget accordingly. They emphasized how much the city appreciates the work the fire department does, and noted that this is a rare request. As Johnson put it, “They’re not asking for a raise, they’re asking for training." The council also approved the purchase of new turnout gear, the money for which will come from a 50/50 grant the fire department received, and the current gear funds.

Training was a concern for Cook Area Ambulance Director Tina Rothleutner, as well. She asked the council to approve a $150 per month stipend for a training officer, telling the council that she would open the position up to anyone who wanted to apply. The stipend would cover the time required for training prep work, as well as computer work following the trainings. The officer currently puts in 6-10 unpaid hours doing this work. The council approved both the stipend and gave the ambulance director authority to establish the job description for the position.

The city also has plans in the works to purchase the old St. Louis County public works garage for the maintenance department, which is in need of a new water treatment facility. The money for the purchase, which will total $190,673, will come from the designated sales fund. This will be a larger building capable of housing the department and will even have room for offices and a restroom. The council is not yet sure what will happen with the current public works building after the sale is complete. 

A special council meeting was set to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 30 regarding the Zup’s project. Bids for the remaining portions of parts two and three of the project were slated to be opened on Oct. 28, and the council was expected to award bids on Wednesday evening, after the Timberjay’s weekly presstime. The next regular council meeting will take place on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.

In other business, the council: 

Heard from Councilor Karen Hollanitsch regarding the Cook Airport. A handful of trees will need to be removed by January, as they are above the current height limit. 

 Approved three payments to JPJ Engineering: One in the amount of $11,340 for the TH 53 commercial corridor (Zup’s rebuild), a second in the amount of $700 for the library site plan, and a third in the amount of $1,404.90 for the River Street bridge.

 Approved the designation of the community center as the city’s 2020 polling place.

Approved the hiring of Walker, Giroux, and Hahne for the 2019 audit, which will be conducted in January.

Approved the use of designated funds for sealing cracks in the concrete, beginning with the downtown areas. 

Approved a request to apply on behalf of the city to CDBG for work on the community center. The center needs work done on the doors, the ramp, and the sidewalk.

cook council

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