Around Cook County
The Cook County North Shore Hospital Board held a special meeting on July 31 to meet with two representatives of Boldt Construction of Cloquet, Kirk Ilenda, director of business development, and Shelly Peterson, vice president and general manager of Minnesota operations, to ask some final questions before making a decision on what firm to hire to serve as construction manager of the proposed $20 million renovation of the North Shore Hospital and Care Center.
Rebecca Lewis and John Geisler of DSGW architects will work with Boldt on the remodel of the 16-bed critical access hospital and 37-bed skilled nursing center.
Boldt will pick a project manager to oversee the project, and the hospital board was very concerned that any project manager selected would come with a lot of experience. The project manager will work to set up the preconstruction phase with Rory Smith, the hospital/care center maintenance facilities manager. Once construction begins he or she will be on site one to two days per week.
AgStar Financial Services representative Bob Madsen was also at the meeting. AgStar has been assisting the board and administration in finding bonding for this project. When asked by Hospital/Care Center Administrator Kimber Wraalstad if his company had any experience working with Boldt, Madsen responded, “We have had a lot of experience working with them, and every experience we have had with Boldt has been good.”
Hospital board members Sharon Bloomquist, Justin Mueller, Howard Abrahamson, Kay Olson and Tom Spence Sr. voted to hire Boldt.
The Senior Center will be taking a trip to Chik Wauk Museum and Nature Center on Thursday, August 13. We’ll leave the Senior Center at 9:00 a.m. Cost is $15 which includes transportation and museum tour. In town pickups are available for a $1 fee. Enjoy stories with Harriet Boostrom (formerly of Clearwater Lodge) and Bill Boissenin (owned Forest Lodge on Clearwater in the 1940s).
Lunch will be at Trail Center at 12:45 p.m., at your own expense.
You may register for any of the senior center events by stopping by or calling the center at (218) 387-2660.
Before a highway made the North Shore accessible to automobiles, people came to Cook County by boat. To highlight those bygone days, "By Way of Water: Our History with Lake Superior" is the latest exhibit at the Cook County Historical Museum.
It shares the story of how the lake shaped the people and communities of this region. Come to the museum starting the week of Fisherman’s Picnic to learn about Grand Marais Harbor and East Bay as ideal locations for settlement, the docks that steamships visited regularly, the shipwrecks America and Stranger, the United States Coast Guard, and the people and boats that passed through Cook County.
Featured in the exhibit are the Fresnel lens from the Grand Marais lighthouse; the wheel from the S.S. America; multimedia stories about Isle Royale, heroic fishermen, and the lighthouse keeper’s family; and wonderful local art depicting a time when life depended on the Big Lake.
The museum is located at 8 S. Broadway in Grand Marais, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call (218) 387-2883.
With more and more people on bikes in our North Shore communities, it is important to protect ourselves and our children from injury with bike helmets.
Bicycle accidents only account for a very small number (2 percent) of motor vehicle crashes. Children are more at risk for head injuries than adults, which is why in public health and in the bicycling community all agree that children need bike helmets.
In Cook County, low or no cost children’s helmets are available thanks to generous grants from the North Shore Health Care Foundation.
Contact Kristin Wharton or Maren Webb at 387-2330 ext. 150 for information to obtain a bike helmet.
Grand Marais city councilors approved an agreement with the Cook County Soil & Water Conservation District that will lead to the creation of a third privately maintained rain garden—this one in the city right of way on East Second Avenue.
City Administrator Mike Roth told council July 30 that the maintenance agreement contains clauses meant to provide protection for the city, which were added since the last two contracts were signed. Notably, the clauses stipulate that the city will be liable to the state for an amount of up to 150 percent of the financial assistance received to install and establish the rain garden if it is not maintained to standards during its 10-year effective life.
Councilors said they believed it was worth taking the risk, especially since the two existing privately maintained rain gardens are actually nicer than those cared for by the city.
Councilor Bill Lenz noted that there are now five rain gardens throughout the city. “The two on private property look good–they really do–and the others do not and they are ours,” said Lenz. “I don’t think this will be a problem.”
Councilor Jan Sivertson wondered who–if anybody–would inspect the rain gardens anyway. Roth said he “severely doubts” that anybody from the state office was going to come up to Grand Marais to inspect the rain gardens. He added that the agreement represents about a $15,000 commitment on the part of the city, which will have to pay the state back if the rain garden is removed or found to be deficient within 10 years.