After a September quote for insulation came in too high, Backus City Council members sought additional quotes and landed on a lower price during its Monday, Oct. 4, regular meeting.

The quote in September was just over $5,000 for the fire hall and council chambers. The new quote is technically more at $6,180 for the fire hall and council chambers; however, the second quote, from Mid-State Insulation, was for nearly double the amount of insulation.

In addition, the council was unsure whether the fire hall needs new insulation and decided to accept the quote for only the city council chambers at a price of $3,040 for 10 to 12 inches of insulation.

The council will discuss the possibility of insulating the fire hall with the fire department. That insulation would be paid for from the fire department budget.

The city will incur approximately half the cost of insulating the council chambers; the remainder will be paid for by insurance. The insulation is meant to replace insulation damaged by or removed following the Feb. 2 fire at city hall. The fire did not damage the fire hall so that cost would not be reimbursable by insurance.

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In other business Monday, the council:

  • Decided to have Sourcewell review the city zoning regulations pertaining to a trailer recently moved into the city. There are concerns that the structure might not meet city or state requirements.
  • Waived a building permit fee for construction of a monitor site and remediation equipment near the source of the plume of old leaded gasoline from a long gone Skelly gas station, which was discovered in 2016 after fuel-tainted water was discovered in a deep well just outside city limits. The equipment will be designed to extract the pollutant from its point of origin over time.
  • Accepted a $250 donation from the Sanborn Lake Association and $7,500 donation from Maxson Van Eps American Legion Post #368 for the Backus First Responders. Identical donations were also made and accepted for the Backus Fire Department.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or