Around Cook County
Each week the WTIP news staff puts together a roundup of the news over the past five days. More waters are on the impaired list. The White Earth Band changes its constitution. News about Great Lakes levels, toxins and shipping as well as a down deer harvest …all in this week’s news.
Travelers along the North Shore’s Highway 61 in Cook County will soon have an improved rest stop available to them, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Ray Berglund State Wayside, located at the Onion River, is undergoing significant improvements including the addition of public restroom and visitor orientation facilities.
The Ray Berglund State Wayside was established in 1951 when a group of associates purchased the land as a memorial to their friend who died as the result of an industrial accident. Over the years, donations from the R.R.W. and Florence Berglund Family Foundation have funded improvements to the wayside, but restroom facilities have been an unmet need.
“There has been a definite need for these improvements, but neither the DNR nor MnDOT had funding for restrooms at this location,” said Phil Leversedge, Tettegouche State Park manager. “The Berglund Family Foundation has been incredibly generous and the facilities will be a much welcomed amenity for highway travelers, bicyclists, hikers and anglers who use the site.”
The wayside is 53 acres in size and includes approximately 1,400 feet of Lake Superior shoreline and about 1,800 feet of the Onion River.
In 2009, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reconstructed Highway 61 in the Onion River area, which included redesign and rebuilding the wayside’s parking area and construction of a section of the Gitchi Gami State trail – a paved multipurpose recreation trail – traversing along the Lake Superior shore through the wayside.
At least two of seven property owners along Rosebush Hill Road attended a public hearing during the county board meeting on November 12, 2013 to discuss the possibility of the county overseeing summer and winter maintenance of the road through a subordinate government service district (SGSD).
The estimated cost per property owner would be about $817 the first year and $743 the next three years, after which most of the extra gravel and work needed to get the road into shape would be done.
The board postponed a decision on creating the SGSD so the other property owners could be informed of the estimated costs. The public hearing will be continued at 10 a.m. November 26.
Cook County supports Gitchi Gami Trail Association request to Mn/DOT for wider shoulders to allow bike travel on Highway 61 in LutsenFri, 11/22/2013 - 9:18am
Gitchi-Gami Trail Association Vice President Bill Blank and President Mark Sandbo went before the county board on November 11, 2013, requesting that the board send a letter to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) asking that they widen the shoulders to at least five feet when they resurface a portion of Highway 61 next year. The portion lies between County Road 34 in Lutsen and County Road 7 east of Cascade, where the current shoulders are 18 inches wide. They also requested that the board lend support to a state bonding bill that would include $809,000 to extend the Gitchi-Gami State Trail from Cascade to the Cutface wayside rest.
The community is invited to the American Legion on Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 4 - 8 p.m. for a Benefit for Donny Brazell. Donny was diagnosed this summer with stage 4 colon cancer that metastasized to his liver.
Rural counties in Minnesota are being asked to adopt resolutions prohibiting backyard garbage burning, but doing so could shift financial responsibility for enforcement to the counties instead of the state.
This summer, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner John Linc Stine sent a letter to public health officials and solid waste administrators that said, “As you are aware, backyard garbage burning poses a significant risk to Minnesotans’ health and environmental quality. Garbage contains plastics and other synthetics that, when burned at low temperatures (such as in a burn barrel), release smoke containing harmful dioxins and particulates. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), backyard garbage burning is the largest source of dioxin emissions in the U.S.