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City facing propane tank problems

Propane tanks in Grand Marais
Propane tanks in Grand Marais

A complaint about a propane tank too close to a building in downtown Grand Marais opened a can of worms for the city of Grand Marais.

After receiving a call from a citizen expressing concern about a new addition to a downtown building and its proximity to a neighboring propane tank, Fire Chief Ben Silence contacted the State Fire Marshall Dan Beeson for advice.

The Fire Marshall visited Grand Marais and toured the area. He and the Fire Chief found five or six tanks situated too close to buildings in the Wisconsin Street/First Avenue West area.    

Change needs to be made for public safety reasons. Beeson described some possible remedies.

The fix may not be cheap for some local businesses. However, the council recognized that something had to be done. They asked Fire Chief Silence to contact the businesses with propane tanks that are not in compliance.

The council questioned why the propane company allowed this to happen and asked Silence to also work with the providers to seek remedy.

Fire Marshall Beeson said enforcement action could be taken and his office would work with the city or county attorney if needed. However, he said, most of the time people comply when they understand the danger.

The fire officials noted that the propane tank situation had been this way for many years – one of the tanks has been on its site since the 1930s. However, that doesn’t mean it is safe.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence shares this report from the Grand Marais City Council meeting where the topic was discussed. 
 

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