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Cloquet Fire Hall looks for a facelift with the help of state legislators

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CLOQUET, MN--The fire hall in Cloquet has been around since the 1960's. Since then, Batallion Chief Jesse Buhs said the department has grown.

"Our staff has more than doubled. Our call volume has increased by at least 100%," said Buhs.

Buhs said since the department has grown space has become a major issue.

"We've packed every space that we have available for storage. We've taken over office spaces to make more living quarters for the fire-fighters," said Buhs.

But a new bill being put on the table in St.Paul aims to change that. Representative Mike Sundin, a DFL party member who represents District 11A, is one of the legislators pushing to get the bill passed.

"The ask is for 6.85 million dollars to enhance the funds for the department there," Sundin said.

The money would be used to combine station 1 with station 3. Station 3 is in Scanlon. The move is something that Cloquet Fire Chief, Matt Ashmore, said will help with response times given the proposed location of the new station.

"The new station is right in between Scanlon and Cloquet. So it would provide us with that extra staff that would be working out of the station. So that means we could have a better response," said Ashmore.

The bill was recently introduced. According to those involved, it is only a matter of time until the Cloquet Fire Department gets a facelift.

"We are going to push it and see if we can get it across this year. If not, there is always next year. We will push even harder," said Rep. Sundin.

The new station is expected to be located across from Sappi on 22nd street.

John Cardinale

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