Around Cook County
The Cook County – Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) spent much of its July 10, 2012 meeting talking about the budget it would be presenting to the county board for approval. However, the EDA had some difficulty developing a budget as it is unsure when it will be hiring a new director and what is ahead for its housing program.
EDA personal committee member Bruce Martinson said the EDA had received 13 applications for the director position. However, he said because the amount the EDA will be able to levy is still up in the air, the board should wait to decide about who to hire. He said although the EDA must submit its budget to the county for approval by mid-July, the county does not complete its budget process until December, so the EDA will not know what it will be receiving until then. “At this point, I think we should not hire a director. We should hire at the end of the year,” said Martinson.
The EDA budget committee’s proposed budget of $148,566 for 2013 was reviewed. There was discussion regarding the success of the EDA housing program and how it has changed because it is no longer a joint Cook – Lake County entity. The board agreed that the housing program budget should be increased accordingly.
EDA Board Member Scott Harrison suggested seeking an increase in the housing administrative budget from the proposed $37,000 to $62,000. Harrison additionally proposed increasing the housing projects budget line from $20,000 to $40,000 for a total of $102,000 for the EDA housing program. He also suggested increasing the EDA’s budget contingency fee by $6,000 for a total overall budget of approximately $200,000. The EDA passed a motion to present that budget request to the county.
Cook County Higher Education will feature Dr. Karen Halbersleben, who will present Winston Churchill: the Man and the Myth at the July Guest Lecture Series event on Thursday, July 19, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the North Shore Campus in Grand Marais.
"We shall never surrender." "Their finest hour...". The words and the leadership of Winston Churchill continue to fascinate Americans nearly 50 years after his death. At the center of British and world politics for over half a century, Churchill was recently named the greatest Briton of all times by his countrymen.
What was the combination of personal and historical forces that combined to create this complex and forceful statesman? How did he rise from political exile in time to rally his country to stand alone against Hitler's Germany for one long and harrowing year, forever altering world history as he did so? Are there lessons from his life and legacy that can instruct us amidst the turmoil of our own century? Join us on July 19 for an examination of the life of Sir Winston Churchill and a conversation about the reasons that many of us continue to venerate his example so long after his death.
Halbersleben holds a Ph.D. in British history from the University of Buffalo. She was a professor of European history in the State University of New York system and published research in Victorian social reform movements, notably the British antislavery movement. Following retirement, she and her husband Jack Miller moved to Grand Marais.
The Minnesota Department of Health warned people to avoid contact with the water at two North Shore sites on Tuesday, July 17, 2012.
Water samples collected Monday at the Grand Marais downtown beach and the Grand Marais Campground Beach contained elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, indicating the possible presence of fecal contamination. Both areas were scheduled to be re-sampled sometime today.
Beach monitoring also took place at the following beaches in Cook County on July 16: Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill; Old Shore Road, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. All received water contact acceptable ratings.
A number of factors, such as dog, geese and other wildlife feces, dirty diapers, failing septic systems and sewer line breaks and overflows, can contribute to higher levels of illness-causing bacteria.
Anyone who becomes ill after contacting beach water is asked to contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.
To find the latest results of beach monitoring for North Shore beaches, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/water/beaches/.
As of Thursday, July 19, the Water Contact Not Recommended advisories issued this week for the Grand Marais Campground and Harbor Beaches have been lifted.
According to Cook County Soil and Water, sampling takes place weekly at 12 locations in Cook County, including the Grand Marais Harbor beaches, Chicago Bay boat launch in Hovland; Paradise Beach, Kadunce Creek, Durfee Creek in Colvill, Old Shore Road, Cutface Creek Wayside Rest; Temperance River State Park, Schroeder Town Park and Sugarloaf Cove Beach in Schroeder. Currently, there are no Water Contact Advisories in effect for Cook County.
For questions about safe water recreation or contact, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s web site at www.MNBeaches.org.
School board establishes committee to negotiate school, county agreement on community center facilityTue, 07/17/2012 - 11:59am
The School District 166 School Board had two topics on its agenda for the special meeting on Tuesday, July 10. The first was to look at preliminary drawings and to talk to Architect Dan Miller about what a community center and aquatics facility connected to the west end of the Grand Marais campus would look like. The second was to decide who would negotiate with the county and the YMCA on the agreements that need to be settled before the project moves ahead.
During the meeting, school board members and Superintendent Beth Schwarz considered sketches on paper and digital floor layouts on a large projection screen simultaneously reviewed by Miller at his JLG Architects office in Alexandria. There were a couple of breaks as the school board put Miller on hold and left the Jane Mianowski Conference Room to look at the actual spaces being discussed.
There was heated discussion regarding the possible expansion of the Industrial Arts area. Miller said that idea had not been fully developed, but gave a “very rough” cost estimate of $180 per square foot for a 2,000-square foot space or approximately $360,000. “But that conversation needs to take place between the steering committee and the county,” said Miller.
Steering Committee Chair Paul Sporn was in the audience and he spoke up, “The steering committee has decided that Industrial Arts is not part of the community center project. A couple of us came up with the idea of working on the industrial arts area, but this is really a school issue.”
School Board Member Leonard Sobanja cursed and expressed his frustration at what he said was another delay to improvements to the industrial arts program.
The Cook County Board of Commissioners has joined the City of Grand Marais in adopting an energy plan, but it didn’t come easy for the committee that has been working for months on the project.
At the July 10, 2012 county board meeting, George Wilkes of the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) reminded the board that the energy committee formed under a grant with the county’s blessing had presented the plan in June, telling the board it had wide acceptance, and then Arrowhead Electric Cooperative Inc. Member Services Director Joe Buttweiler spoke up with objections to the plan. “It was a bit embarrassing,” he said.
Buttweiler’s name had been on the energy plan committee roster, and he had emailed concerns to CCLEP before they went before the board. A face-to-face conversation didn’t happen, however. “It turned out to be mostly a communication failure,” said Wilkes. The committee met with Buttweiler and AECI Executive Director Jeanne Muntean and came to agreement on some wording changes.
The changes mostly involved acknowledging that an opinion survey of local residents was small and represented only a rough estimation of public opinion and changing some wording to say that local utility companies would be encouraged to “consider” rather than “adopt” policies encouraging energy efficiency and renewable energy development.