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Minnesota Legislature

Boiler bill helps Duluth's bottom line

Published (2/20/2009)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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A Duluth-specific bill relating to maintenance of steam-producing boilers passed 127-1 by the House Feb. 16 could help the city’s bottom line.

Minnesota statute lays out licensing requirements for boiler operations and exemptions to the requirements. Sponsored by Rep. Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon (DFL-Duluth), HF329/SF212* would add to the list of exemptions a situation faced by the city.

For several years, the city has owned and operated a boiler in a building owned by Minnesota Power. Steam generated from the boiler provides power for a nearby paper mill, which employs approximately 300 people. Selling the boiler will bring $2 million to the city, which is selling some assets in order to balance an $8.5 million deficit, Reinert explained.

However, for the boiler to be sold, the exemption from licensing requirements needs to be changed to apply to the new owner.

The bill was passed 59-0 by the Senate Feb. 5. It now awaits action by the governor.

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