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Crosslake City Council approves shared fire grant

The Crosslake City Council on Monday, Aug. 11, unanimously approved a shared services grant application for shared services amongst Crow Wing County fire departments.

Fire chiefs from throughout the county met Wednesday, July 30, to discuss this grant opportunity, with all fire departments but Crosby's expressing interest in sharing services.

The grant has the potential for the departments to increase purchasing power, eliminate duplicate resources and staffing concerns and put a stop to departmental fights over territory. It also would benefit homeowners and business owners throughout the county.

According to the public safety committee, there should be no cost to the city to participate in the grant application.

The city must write a formal letter of support for the study, which must be included in the grant application, by Aug. 20.

The complete application must be submitted to the State Fire Marshal Division by Sept. 1.

In other action Monday, the council unanimously agreed to allow the Crosslake Chamber to hold its annual chili cook-off during Crosslake Days on Saturday, Sept. 27.

Cindy Myogeto of the chamber informed the council that the theme of this year's festivities is the "Year of the Chili," and will include a city-wide search for a missing chili pepper.

"In past years, we have had a pirates theme," Myogeto said. "We are doing away with that this year, and we are celebrating the recent legislative passing of the Chili Bill."

The Chili Bill passed state legislation in April, specifying how food samples and cooking demonstrations are to be regulated. Through this bill, an organization hosting a chili cook-off is exempt from food inspections and licensing requirements, provided they receive the approval of their local government, develop and enforce rules to ensure participant safety and place labels by homemade food noting that the food is not subject to a state inspection.

"Safety is first and foremost," Myogeto said. "We were successful in creating rules that were eased in their restriction, but that doesn't mean, by any means, that we are not going to have a safe cook-off."

Department of Health guidelines will be handed to everyone preparing food, and the event itself will be insured under the chamber's umbrella policy.

Dan Determan
Staff Writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper