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News and other information from Cook County

City and county reach agreement on community center project

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 9:58am

The full County Board met with the full Grand Marais City 
Council at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18 in the county 
commissioners’ room. The meeting began with the city presenting a list 
of its parameters for participating in the project. The city said it 
would participate in the community center operating loss based on a 
percentage split of 50%--capped at a firm number such as $100,000.
City Councilor Tim Kennedy explained that the city wanted a plan in 
place in case operating costs accelerated. The city learned, said 
Kennedy, from the current Grand Marais pool. There was an agreement 
when the pool was constructed in 1977 that the expenses would be 
shared between the city, the county and the school, however there was 
no plan for inflation. “Costs kept going up,” said Kennedy. “There was 
no review and the city absorbed the cost.”
Commissioner Bruce Martinson said he was opposed to the $100,000 cap. 
He said past recommendations called for the city to contribute what it 
was currently spending to maintain the swimming pool, approximately 
$150,000. “Going from $150,000 to $100,000 is a big difference. The 
county is taking all the risk. If we have a deficit of $300,000, the 
county takes the entire hit,” said Martinson.
Kennedy replied, “Believe me, we know. We’ve been covering pool 
expenses for 30 years.”
The $100,000 cap, Kennedy said, was based on the financial estimates 
provided by Chris Francis of the YMCA, which show a deficit budget of 
Commissioner Sobanja said he felt the YMCA’s budget numbers were “very 

Rep. Dill: Wolf season will go on as scheduled

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 9:17am

Wolf season is scheduled to open in just over a month, but there’s s lawsuit pending that could stop it.   WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with the bill’s sponsor Rep. David Dill on “Daybreak.” The complete interview is also posted, wherein Rep. Dill talks about the expanded District 3A.

Attached file

County and School negotiations for use of west end of school continue

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 3:26pm

On Sept. 18, Commissioners Hakes and Sobanja headed to School District 166 for discussion on the proposed Cook County Community Center and its connection to the west end of the school building. That discussion, with school board members Jeanne Anderson and Leonard Sobanja, was civil, but an agreement was not reached. At the end of two hours, the county and school negotiators agreed to go back to their respective boards for more direction.
The meeting started with a review of the appraisal completed by Dawn Cole of Cole Appraisal and Consulting, Eveleth. (No relation to the county’s consultant Wade Cole of ORB Management). The appraisal valued the building and the .98 acre of land around at $160,000.
There was some debate then, of the condition and value of the building, of zoning issues and of what the county could—and could not—afford to pay. Finally, School Board Member Jeanne Anderson said, “I think everyone at this table is acting in good faith. I think we just need to go back to our boards and get everyone up to speed.”
The rest of the group concurred and agreed to meet again after their next board meetings. They agreed to meet on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 4 p.m. at the Jane Mianowski Conference Room at the school.

Remember the food shelf this fall

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 2:11pm

The Cook County Food Shelf, like many other community food programs, sees increased usage in winter months. A thoughtful West End resident offered a tip for snowbirds who don't want to haul their non-perishable foodstuffs south. Instead of boxing up those groceries, donate them to the food shelf!

It's very easy to do. Donations can be dropped off at the Cook County Food Shelf at the First Congregational Church at Third Avenue and Second Street in Grand Marais. The Food Shelf is open 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. every Monday.

The Food Shelf is also in need of cash donations to purchase milk and fresh fruit and vegetables. For information on how to donate, call (218) 387-2113. Checks may also be mailed to: Cook County Food Shelf, P.O. Box 95, Grand Marais, MN 55604.

Residents invited to REEP

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 1:44pm

REEP is a residential energy efficiency program, a pilot program aimed at reducing energy consumption in existing Cook County homes.  The program is designed to give homeowners the tools required to learn about their home and make sound economic decisions about where and how to spend funds to improve their building.
The pilot program will upgrade up to 10 homes by using home performance energy audits pre and post improvement work. Homeowners pay for the audits and improvements but audit rebates will be available with completion of selected improvements.  The program is open to all income levels.
Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) kicks off this pilot program in September with a homeowner workshop Thursday September 27 at 6:00 p.m. at Cook County Higher Education. The workshop will be lead by Dean Talbott who has over 30 years experience in energy efficiency. $5.00 per person and students free.
CCLEP is partnering with Cook County Higher Education, Grand Marais PUC, Arrowhead Electric Coop, Como Fuel and Propane, CC EDA Housing Authority, DEEP (Duluth Energy Efficiency Program) and the list continues to grow. Consider donating to CCLEP for energy programs.
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Autumn brings change outdoors

Tue, 09/25/2012 - 10:02am

The trees and birds and everything are getting ready for winter. In this edition of North Woods Naturalist, Jay Andersen of WTIP North Shore Community Radio spoke to local naturalist Chel Anderson about autumn.

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