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Two Harbors Council Meets For Strategic Planning

Capital Days are coming up in Saint Paul and the Two Harbors City Council met on February 20th to plan for the discussions they will soon be having with State Legislators. Capital Days is a series of meetings that happen annually where local officials meet with State representatives to talk about their community’s upcoming im­provement projects and related funding needs. In addition, Representative Pete Stauber and Sena­tor Amy Klobuchar have been encouraging the Council to seek federal funding for infrastruc­ture projects. The Council’s efforts to set prior­ities and clarify plans on both of these fronts will likely increase the chances that the city will get the funding help it needs for the coming year.

There are a number of important projects either under way or on the drawing board for Two Har­bors. After fairly lengthy discussion, the Council decided to focus on the Odegaard Trail fencing project and refurbishing or rebuilding the band­shell in Thomas Owens Park. Both of these projects are lower ticket items and can actual­ly be made “shovel ready” fairly quickly which will help with attracting funding from the State. Bigger projects like Waterfront Development, Highway 61 and Water and Sewer infrastructure expansion on undeveloped property owned by the city are good candidates for federal dollars. Getting water and sewer services to city lots that don’t have it will have the added benefit of at­tracting developers to build housing which the city desperately needs.

Another topic up for discussion at the meeting was to help clarify the role that the Two Harbors Housing and Redevelopment Authority will play moving forward. Historically, the Two Harbors HRA has been tasked with managing the Bay­view Terrace complex. It has only recently been looking at expanding that role to the wider hous­ing needs within the city. The current thinking of the Council seems to be that it may be more useful and efficient to have the City HRA con­tinue to focus mainly on Bayview and hand the bigger housing development picture over to the County HRA. The LCHRA is actually set up to handle issues like obtaining funding, planning, and developing actual projects. If the decision is made to move forward with this plan, there will be a city council member that will sit on the County HRA board to give city officials a collaborative voice in the County HRA’s deci­sion making process.

The issues that were discussed at the Council’s strategic planning will be reviewed at the next Council meeting which will be held on February 26th.

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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