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Silverpoint II and Library Easement on Silver Bay Council Agenda

Matthew Johnson, Executive Di­rector for the Lake County Hous­ing and Redevelopment Authori­ty, appeared before the Silver Bay City Council on Monday night to speak about funding options for the Silverpoint II apartment devel­opment. Though land acquisition efforts are still under discussion, Johnson reiterated that Silverpoint II planning will move forward “re­gardless of the land issue”. Because issues around land availability for the development are unresolved, Johnson indicated that developer D.W. Jones can begin designing a 24 unit apartment building. If more land becomes available soon, that design plan could jump to a 36 unit facility.

The various funding options to be considered for Silverpoint II are somewhat complicated because there are different grant opportuni­ties that can be applied for depend­ing on the type of housing that is being built. Johnson showed the Council an application form from the Minnesota Workforce Housing Development Plan. This applica­tion would be for grant funding to build market rate workforce hous­ing units and can include housing for Seniors at market rates. Differ­ent funding sources will need to be pursued if the plan is to build units that are subsidized for low income occupancy. Since market rates se­nior and subsidized housing are all needed in Silver Bay, the Coun­cil and the Lake County HRA are trying to maximize their funding options and are working against deadlines for submitting grant ap­plications. This process has been delayed because questions about available land for the project have not been fully resolved. Johnson pointed out that under the current plan, a good share of the units will have two bedrooms, and 5% will be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

There is clearly some concern about the needs of senior citizens and some community members who attended Monday night’s meeting stressed the need for a Citizen’s Ad­visory Board. Mayor Wade LeBlanc and the Council are supportive of increased input from city residents. The Mayor encouraged folks who want to have more of a voice in de­cision making to attend any of the seven committees that are at work making decisions to better meet the needs of Silver Bay residents.

The Council voted to pass a reso­lution that will allow a vacation of easement so that the library addi­tion can move forward. They also passed a resolution to accept a $100,000 Otto Bremer Grant agree­ment for Library construction.

A number of Silver Bay City Com­mittees are looking for community members who want to serve. Inter­ested parties should contact City Hall for more information at (218) 226-4408.

The next Silver Bay City Council meeting is scheduled for February 20th at 7:00.

Rick Evans
Rick Evans
My wife, Marsha Kinzer (a proud DEHS Greyhound, class of ‘77) introduced me to the North Shore on vacation in 2012. It became our regular escape when the stress of our careers in education became overwhelming, and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the breathtaking scenery, the nice people, and “salad” containing Jell-o and marshmallows. So you can either blame or thank my loving wife for my being here, because when we needed to choose a retirement hometown, Marsha advocated hard for her beloved Duluth, and here we are, six months later. Yes, this will be my first northern Minnesota winter. Yes, I welcome thoughts and prayers. Government, public policy, and social justice weighed heavily in the curriculums I taught at the high school level over a thirty-eight year career. In addition, we were a laboratory school focused on critical thinking in conjunction with technical and scientific writing. So when I found myself adrift on the great ocean of retirement and spied a raft, I jumped at the chance to take up what I’d left behind…minus the bad teachers’ lounge coffee. My position at the NSJ allows me to combine my passions for government and writing, and it’s helping me to feel less out of touch in new surroundings. When I’m not being “Cubby” (Marsha’s favorite new nickname for this green reporter) I enjoy pointing at eagles and saying, “Look, honey. There’s an eagle.” I’ve had an active side hustle as a professional musician for almost as many years as Charlie Parr. As a guitarist/singer/songwriter, I graced the stages of clubs and festivals around southern Wisconsin, including an appearance on A Prairie Home Companion. Should I even mention A Prairie Home Companion, or am I the only one here old enough to remember what that is? Look! An eagle!
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