Around Cook County

News and other information from Cook County

Tip of Trail property to be auctioned June 24

Sat, 06/22/2013 - 10:02am

Cook County will be holding a public sale of the Tip of the Trail property on Saganaga Lake on Monday, June 24 starting at 10 a.m. Cook County Auditor Braidy Powers will conduct the auction of the tax-forfeited property.

The former resort land being offered for sale is 4.61 acres and has been appraised at $350,000. That is the minimum bid that will be accepted. The assessed value of the property is $297,500 for the buildings on the site and $242,900 for the land for a  total of $537,400.

The property is zoned lakeshore residential.

The Planning & Zoning Department is in the process of finding a contractor to properly abandon three septic systems at the Tip of the Trail property. All three systems were failing and one tank cover was found to be a safety hazard.  The goal is to have the work done by the auction.  Seven other potential septic system sites have been identified on the property.

For details on the sale, contact Auditor Braidy Powers at (218) 387-3640.


Explore North House Folk School during Wooden Boat Festival

Fri, 06/21/2013 - 10:25am

The North House Folk School campus on the Grand Marais waterfront offers many opportunities to explore, dream and discover every day with classes ranging from basketry to blacksmithing, fiber arts to foods, traditional crafts to timber framing and much more. The weekend of June 21-23 has extra special offerings to those who want to throw off the bowlines to try something new. The 16th Wooden Boat Show & Summer Solstice Festival brings more boats and boat-related activities than ever before.

The campus will be buzzing with boating enthusiasts early on Friday, June 21, with boat builders and collectors hauling boats to the common area to proudly place them on display. Boats will be in place for review by noon—walk around the waterfront to see gleaming hulls and glistening brass fittings. Antique canoes and newly-crafted prams share the stage, all to be savored by boat lovers for the rest of the weekend.

Bring your appetite—on Friday there is the harborside barbecue hosted by the Grand Marais Lions Club on Saturday there is the Lake Superior Chowder Experience and on Sunday, the Steam-Bent Brunch. You’re certain to be hungry as wood-fired baking courses add tempting smells to campus all weekend.

There’s plenty to please the ear as well. In addition to the interesting sounds of boat-building hammers and blacksmith bellows, WTIP Community Radio will be on campus spinning tunes on Friday evening. The radio station will be followed by a community music circle called “Sea Shanties & Lumberjack Jam.” Friday evening ends with a dance to the ever-popular local group Over the Waterfall.

Strong winds to whip up Lake Superior

Fri, 06/21/2013 - 9:20am

The National Weather Service has issued a storm warning for the Northland waters of Lake Superior until noon Friday as powerful northeast winds in the wake of morning storms may gust to 60 knots.

Waves may quickly build to 12 to 18 feet before subsiding Friday afternoon.

Recreational boaters are advised to stay in port, or take shelter, until the winds subside.

Severed communications cable knocks WTIP off the air

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 8:16am
Just after 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 19, workers installing fiber optic cable along Highway 61 in West Grand Marais severed a communications cable.  Businesses in the vicinity lost phone and internet service for several hours.  WTIP North Shore Community Radio lost the ability to broadcast, and was off the air for nearly 12 hours.

View more news from WTIP

County discusses county administrator position with consultant

Tue, 06/18/2013 - 10:23am

On June 11, 2013, the county board passed a motion to enter into a contract (upon approval by the county attorney’s office) with Springsted, a public sector advisory firm, to help with the search process for a county administrator. 
The board had met by Skype (over the Internet) on June 7 with David Unmacht, senior vice president/director of organizational management & HR, to talk about how the process would go.
Unmacht had reviewed a job description Commissioners Bruce Martinson and Garry Gamble had compiled.  He said no one candidate would have all the qualifications they listed and that different candidates would have different strengths.  People who are good in finance, for example, are not always good in human resources (HR), he said.
Personality, management style, sensitivity to the county’s transition to having a county administrator, and understanding of local culture are all important considerations in evaluating candidates, Unmacht said.  Lots of people might be qualified, but not everyone would be a good fit.  He said he would help the county find the right fit.
Unmacht recommended that department heads be included in the process and have an opportunity to meet the candidates and give the board input.
How realistic is it that having an administrator would save the county money? Commissioner Garry Gamble asked.  Having an administrator will be like having a CEO of a company with a $17,000,000/year budget, Unmacht said.  A person in this position “should pay for him- or herself,” he said – county operations should improve when this is implemented for the first time.
Unmacht indicated that he hopes the county has a great candidate pool.  “I want the decision to be difficult,” he said.

New management, new name, for waste management company

Tue, 06/18/2013 - 10:20am

A casual conversation between friends last spring turned into a partnership when Barry Pederson and Dustin Hanson joined forces to purchase Pederson Disposal from Barry’s father, Ray “Punky” Pederson. The business officially changed hands on May 1.
With a fresh start came a new name: North Shore Waste Management. 
The business currently employees five people and the company’s routes run from Cascade River to Grand Portage and to the end of the Gunflint Trail.
“Our biggest expense is fuel,” said Hanson, noting his company sends about five trucks to the Duluth landfill in the winter and seven or eight trips in the summer.
Pederson and Hanson have known each other since kindergarten, and graduated from Cook County High School in 1998. Both headed off to college, but Pederson came home a couple of years later while Hanson moved from Duluth to the Twin Cities after taking a job with Upper Lakes Foods. After ten years he moved out of that job and bought a hotel, restaurant/bar in River Falls.
“I recently sold the hotel but kept the restaurant and bar,” said Hanson, who has a house in Grand Marais and in River Falls where his wife, Heidi and two kids Jacob, age 7, and Kaya, age 10, live.
“I’ve told the kids that they are future garbage men” Hanson said with a smile.
As far as the business, Pederson said, “We are interested in trying some new things. We’re positive and looking forward to the future.”
“We will be looking for feedback from the customers,” Hanson said. “We would like to make changes that will better help the customer and the business.”