Around Cook County
Township annual meetings and elections are on Tuesday, March 12. The polls will be open at all three townships from 5 – 8 p.m. and the annual meeting is at 8 p.m.
In Lutsen, the voting and annual meeting will take place in the new Lutsen town hall. Incumbent treasurer John Groth is running for reelection. Supervisor Joe Buttweiler has decided not to run again and Tim Goettl is running for the vacant seat. Both are unopposed.
In Tofte, voting and the annual meeting takes place at the Birch Grove Community Center.
On the ballot is incumbent Supervisor Jim King, who is running for reelection.
Tofte Treasurer Mary Jane Huggins is not running for reelection, but her husband, Bill Huggins is on the ballot. Both are unopposed.
In Schroeder, voting and the annual meeting will take place at the Schroeder Town Hall. Both incumbent Supervisor Tina McKeever and Treasurer Alicia Kangas are running for re-election. They are also unopposed.
Boaters who use the Grand Marais harbor will soon have an improved dock and launch, thanks to an agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources approved Feb. 27 by the city council.
City Administrator Mike Roth explained that the new agreement, which has been reviewed and sent back and forth between the city’s and DNR’s attorneys during the last few months, will replace the existing agreement with the state that governs the boat launch on the east side of the harbor near the Coast Guard building. The new agreement takes effect upon approval by both city council and the DNR; Roth said the DNR has expressed its satisfaction with the revised document.
Roth said the new agreement runs for 35 years and is very similar to the one in place for the boat launch near The Point. Plans call for the state to construct a boat launch and parking area in the vicinity of the boat ramp at the bottom of Eighth Avenue West in the Rec Park.
The improvements are based on a concept plan which has been reviewed and approved by the city’s park board, and is consistent with the park’s master plan.
The new launch is needed, Roth said, because the parking lot near the Coast Guard Station is often crowded and difficult for boaters to use, and the ramp itself is not very “friendly” for users with large boats. However, it is currently the only access available in Grand Marais.
The new ramp will extend farther out into Lake Superior and will provide access to deeper water.
Andrew Letzring slipped to 5th place as the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon mushers rested at the Devil Track checkpoint this morning.
Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm was in 1st place, Keith Aili of Ray was in 2nd. Amanda Vogel, also of Ray, moved into 3rd place, Grand Marais musher Odin Jorgenson was in 4th. Frank Moe of Hovland was in 6th.
Colleen Wallin of Two Harbors was in 7th place, distantly followed by Duluth’s Dave Gordon. Zoya DeNure of Delta Junction, Alaska and Blake Freking of Finland have scratched.
Andrew Letzring held on to his lead overnight as the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon enters day three. The Herbster Wisconsin musher left the Trail Center check point a little before 10 p.m. last night.
Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm was in 2nd place, Keith Aili of Ray was in 3rd. Amanda Vogel, also of Ray, moved into 4th place, Frank Moe of Hovland was in 5th followed by Grand Marais musher Odin Jorgenson. Blake Freking of Finland was in 7th place.
Colleen Wallin of Two Harbors left Trail center in 8th place followed by Duluth’s Dave Gordon. Zoya DeNure of Delta Junction, Alaska has scratched.
Although there is currently ice bobbing in the Grand Marais harbor, it is time to make plans to be on the water under sunny skies on July 26-28, for the 10th annual North Shore Dragon Boat Festival.
Whether you are part of a team or an individual who wants to experience the excitement of pulling your paddle to the beat of the drum, it’s time to register. Early registration by March 15 gives your team a $200 savings.
Organizers note that the festival has come a long way since the first contest in 2003, and this year’s event promises to be the best ever.
See www.northshoredragonboat.com to sign up or for more details
With the deadline for a grant application to the Minnesota Historical Society due on March 15, Carrie McHugh, Gene Erickson, and Hal Greenwood of the Cook County Historical Society again met with the county board on March 5 to discuss a partnership that would allow the historical society to purchase the Bally Blacksmith Shop in Grand Marais, probably the oldest commercial building in Grand Marais.
On February 26, the historical society had requested the partnership after hearing of Legacy funds left over in the Minnesota Historical Society’s biennial budget. The historical society’s annual budget was not sufficient to allow it to apply for the grant alone.
At that meeting, the county board discussed concerns over potential liability if any environmental contaminants were found on the property and authorized Planning & Zoning Director Tim Nelson to find a consultant to evaluate the property with a “Phase I” study, an initial evaluation conducted through visual observation, record searches, and interviews.
Environmental Troubleshooters Inc. conducted the study, and Director Nelson accompanied them when they looked at the property. He told the county board on March 5 that he was more comfortable with the site after visiting it.
Commissioner Sue Hakes said she has received some complaints about the building potentially being taken off the tax rolls. She asked the historical society if they could move the building off the property so that the sellers could sell it as commercial space. Museum Director Carrie McHugh said the Minnesota Historical Society would not support moving the building off its historic location.
More people would probably be upset about moving it than about taking it off the tax rolls, Commissioner Jan Hall said.
“I really think it would contribute to the community,” said McHugh.