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Grand Marais finetunes budget, reduces levy increase

Sat, 11/21/2015 - 10:09am

Grand Marais City Councilors met Nov. 13 to make some adjustments to next year’s budget, in hopes of reducing the proposed levy increase of 12.2 percent. They were successful, finishing their discussion with a lower levy increase of 6.87 percent.

The new draft budget sets the property tax levy at $880,746–down from the original $924,767 amount set in September.

Councilors have until the end of the year to finalize the budget, and may be able to make even further cuts before then.

City Administrator Mike Roth reviewed the proposed budget and presented the latest revision. The key changes were adjustments downward in administrative expenses due to benefit changes; a lower allocation to the Grand Marais Public Library of $160,564 (an 8.2 percent increase rather than a previously approved 16 percent increase); and an increase in anticipated income from the Rec Park (up from an original $835,000 to $860,000).

There was some discussion about adjusting the numbers even more to reflect a lower tax increase with further cuts or increased use of the city’s reserves, but in the end the council decided the added revenues would be needed to fund future projects, such as a liquor store study; purchase of an electric service truck, construction of a public works facility and relocation of the existing structures in the Rec Park; Highway 61 safety improvements project; and more.

Roth said those projects will obviously not all be done within the next five, 10, or even 20 years, but now is the time for council to begin considering how they – and any currently unforeseen and thus unscheduled projects – will be paid for and to start putting away some of that money. There was general agreement with that sentiment.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

Brighten the holidays with poinsettias from Cook County Girl Scouts

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 5:23pm

Cook County Girl Scouts are once again giving the opportunity to add some holiday flair to your home with a poinsettia sale. Pre-orders are being taken now.

There are five poinsettia color choices—red, white, burgundy, pink and marble. The cost is $15 per plant.

The poinsettias will be available for pick up at the Annual Community and Craft Sale on Saturday, November 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Cook County Community Center. Special delivery arrangements can be made if that date doesn’t work.

For more information, email Laura LaFavor at or call (218) 370-1245.

Proceeds from the sale benefit local Girl Scouts, who are planning a trip to Seattle in 2017.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

"Cozy in Red" quilt to be raffled at Cross River Heritage Center Nov. 21

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 5:20pm

The Cross River Quilters  “Cozy in Red” quilt project for 2015 will be raffled at the Cross River Heritage Center on November 21 at 2:00 p.m. 

Polly Erickson worked through the winter of 2015 creating the lion’s share of the quilt. Finishing touches were added by the rest of the Cross River Quilters and the quilt has been brightening the lobby of the Cross River Heritage Center this fall.

To purchase raffle tickets come to the Cross River Heritage on November 21.  From 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. there will be a gift shop sale and Krumkake and Lefse demonstration and a surprise visit from Mrs. Claus.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

ISD166 starts serious budget discussions

Fri, 11/20/2015 - 11:18am

The ISD166 school board is beginning a $700,000 quest to come up with a budget that will negatively affect students as little as possible. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with Superintendent Beth Schwarz.


Climate change meeting to focus on solutions

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 2:20pm

There will be a public meeting held Saturday, Nov. 21, to discuss climate change, with a strong emphasis on local solutions to address the issue. WTIP News Reporter Joe Friedrichs previews the meeting.


Winter snows on the way

Thu, 11/19/2015 - 12:00pm

Measurable snowfall is in the forecast for the next few days. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.