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Cloquet City Council approves 2019 levy, budget

The Cloquet City Council unanimously approved its 2019 budget and levy during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4.

The Cloquet levy will drop by about $45,000 from its 2018 level to a total of $2.99 million in 2019, a decrease a of about 1.5 percent.

On average, Cloquet property owners with a house valued at $150,000 will pay $405.71 in 2019. However, residents of the Knife Falls service district, where city utilities have not been extended, pay only 25 percent of the rate of the rest of the city, meaning most residents of Cloquet with a $150,000 home will see a bill of $522.96 in 2019.

During the public meeting prior to the council votes, no residents spoke regarding the decision.

City Administrator Aaron Reeves explained that some residents could see a slight increase in their individual bill if the values of their homes went up in the past year. The Carlton County assessor re-evaluates properties every two to five years, Reeves said, and property owners should see updated home values when they get statements in April each year.

Residents who disagree with the county assessor's valuation can dispute it at a board of appeals meeting earlier in the year.

While the levy is dropping, the city budget still funds a number of projects in 2019 from its capital improvement plan, including a $1.3 million water loop project and the $4 million purchase and renovation of the Members Cooperative Credit Union, which will become the new City Hall and Cloquet Police Department headquarters.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb has been a reporter for the Pine Journal since October 2018. He previously worked as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle from 2015-2018. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. 

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