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Silver Bay Library Board Special Meeting Votes on Contractors

On February 13th, the Silver Bay Public Library held a special board meeting to de­termine which contractors to contact for a bid for the library renovation. The library is working with Sourcewell, a service cooper­ative created by the Minnesota legislature. Sourcewell offers contract purchasing solu­tions, technology solutions, and regional pro­grams and services to all governmental and educational entities. The City of Silver Bay has also looked into Sourcewell for various city projects.

Seven contractors are available for con­struction in Silver Bay, three of which are regional or have Duluth offices. The library can contact any and all of the seven for a bid. So, who are the seven contractors the library could contact?

Baratto Brothers Construction is located in Crosslake. Founded in 2002 by Jim Barat­to, Baratto once stated, “it is the company’s responsibility to make a lifetime commitment to projects no matter how big or small they are.” The company is a general contractor, custom home, and commercial builder. Two projects Baratto Brothers has worked on are the Crow Wing County Historical Society and the Isanti Sheriff’s Office.

Kraus-Anderson is located in Minneapolis, with an office in Duluth. Founded in 1897, Kraus-Anderson is consistently ranked in the U.S. Top 20 Construction Firms in the Mid­west by Engineering News-Record. They are an “integrated development, construction, and real estate leasing and management en­terprise.” Two of Kraus-Anderson’s projects have been the Duluth International Airport Terminal and the Spirit Mountain Chalet in Duluth.

The Jamar Company is located in Duluth. Founded in 1913, they are a “solution-focused specialty-services provider”, and provide a number of construction-related services.

Nor-Son Inc. is located in Baxter. They have a construction branch and a “custom builders” branch of the company. Nor-Son Construction has done work for healthcare, commercial, and hospitality-related properties. Nor-Son Cus­tom Builders has done custom homes, renova­tions, additions, and lake homes as well.

RAK Construction is located in East Beth­el. Founded in 1989, RAK is a family-owned business. They offer many construction ser­vices, including remodeling and renovations, and have done work for many property types, including schools, police stations, and govern­ment facilities.

RJM Construction is located in Golden Val­ley. Founded in 1997, RJM is one of the largest contractors in Minnesota. Two of RJM’s proj­ects were renovations for Metro Deaf School and renovations for the Minneapolis City Coun­cil Chambers.

VSI Construction is located in Maple Grove. Founded in 1987, their name stands for “Val­ue, Service, and Integrity.” VSI worked on the Perpich Center for Arts Education and the Elk River Aldi, among many other projects.

At the library meeting, the question was raised whether to contact all seven contrac­tors or just the ones located outside the Twin Cities area. Another question was raised as to whether any of the contractors specialize in or have done remodels.

It was decided that the library would con­tact all seven contractors to ask for a bid. The architects designing the renovations will be asked for their opinion on contractors as well. It will be exciting to see which company gets to work on the Silver Bay Public Library, and to see the library grow to meet the needs of current and future patrons.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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