Around Cook County
Burning restrictions will soon be lifted in several counties in northern Minnesota due to the green-up of fire fuels, which eases wildfire conditions, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
On May 16, burning restrictions will be lifted in Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Itasca, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Roseau and St. Louis counties.
On May 21, burning restrictions will be lifted in Lake and Cook counties.
This will remove the spring seasonal open burning restrictions throughout the state.
At the Tuesday, May 8 county board meeting, Lutsen Fire Chief Paul Goettl requested a loan from the county to help the county complete expansion and renovation of its fire hall. “Lutsen has basically outgrown its fire hall,” he said. More people are attending meetings than in the past, and larger fire hall and town hall meeting space is needed.
The township plans to remove an old garage (which will be given to the Lutsen Trailblazers Snowmobile Club) and put up a new one in its place, attached to the current building. A new meeting room will allow about 180 people to be seated at tables. A larger clerk’s office and an emergency services office space will provide more secure storage space as well. The new garage will have six stalls instead of four, allowing all of the fire vehicles to be inside at once.
The estimated cost of the project is $577,000, and the township already has $227,000 in hand. Goettl asked commissioners for a 20-year loan of $350,000 at 1 percent interest per county policy.
Lutsen will soon be done paying off a previous county loan used to buy a fire vehicle; this has required payments of about $8,500 a year. The township has been setting aside $10,000 a year for a new building for about the last 10 years, Goettl said. These two amounts combined come close to the $19,395 a year that will be needed to pay the new loan to the county.
The board approved this loan unanimously as well.
The next Lutsen Town Meeting will be held at the town hall on Tuesday, May 15 at 7 p.m.
The Cook County Community Center Steering Committee met on May 7, 2012 and discussed a potential layout for a community center attached to the west wing of Cook County High School. The preliminary design proposes remodeling and adding onto the existing building at an estimated cost of $8,350,000.
Outdoor and other amenities totaling $990,000 were also discussed, bringing the total project cost to $9,340,000, which is $340,000 over the amount authorized by the county board. Among other things such as ball fields and a lighted outdoor ice rink, the preliminary plan includes upgrades to two tennis courts and remodeling of the existing Community Center to include warming house amenities.
At the Tuesday, May 8 county board meeting, Commissioner Sue Hakes said the steering committee would be asking the county board to raise the project cost cap to $9,500,000.
Consultant Tom Wacholz of ORB Management later contacted the News-Herald and said, “…If the board authorizes moving forward with the project there will be additional public comment opportunities as the design process moves along.” He said a more updated plan and budget would be presented to the board on May 15.
The Cook County News-Herald wishes all the moms out there a very peaceful and happy Mother's Day!
Cook County Higher Education will feature Judy Siegle, who
will present Witnessing a dream become reality: Building houses in
Haiti at the first Guest Lecture Series of the season on Thursday, May
17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Cook County Higher Education North Shore
Campus in Grand Marais.
Siegle will share information about the cultures she has visited and
highlight her work in Haiti, where she plans to return in November 2012.
Siegle states, “I have always had an interest in international
travel, with the bottom line toward learning a lot about the cultures
I visit. So, I have been to Nicaragua and Honduras with the Center for
Global Education at Augsburg in 1991; Chiapas, Mexico to carry
monetary and spiritual support to our sister church in Amantenengo in
2008; and to Haiti with Habitat for Humanity’s Carter Work Project in
2011. Each one of those adventures has been transforming and filled
me with humility, sorrow, and joy. I look forward to sharing just a
portion of those experiences with the community on May 17.”
Siegle does not consider herself a “normal” higher education
student. For two years she worked her way through the University of
Minnesota, and took two quarters off to go to Europe with two other
women. She came back to go to school for another quarter and summer
session, got married, and became the mother of two daughters. As they
grew, Judy attended night courses until she had earned enough credits
to need only one more year of school when she finally returned in
Siegle retired in 2002, and she and her husband live in Grand Marais.