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HomeCommunitySilver Bay City Council: The Year In Review. December 21, 2023

Silver Bay City Council: The Year In Review. December 21, 2023

Anyone who has ever served as an elected official in a government position, be it at the local, state, or national level, will likely say that making decisions as a representative of the people is a challenging, frustrating, and sometimes thankless job. The old adage that “You can’t please all of the people all of the time” surely weighs on the minds of local elected of­ficials. That being said, it was appropriate for the Council to give time at last week’s council meeting for reviewing the work that has been done over the past year to solve problems, fix infrastructure and find funding for needed im­provements in Silver Bay. As someone who has observed and reported on the City Council for over a year, I think this review is worth a read.

Like all small towns in Minnesota, Silver Bay has aging infrastructure that either needs to be upgraded or replaced. A short list of projects that are underway or are in the planning stage include the Water Treatment Facility Upgrade, the Stormwater Management Plan, the City­wide Street Improvement Program, the Library Addition and Roofing Project, and the work done to upgrade the Outdoor Rink and Recre­ation Park.

Tourism is a vital part of the local econo­my. Projects that are ongoing and are designed to enhance and grow the tourist industry in­clude the East Lakeview Drive project which will improve access to Black Beach and the Multi-Modal Trailhead Center, which will im­prove access to the Gitchi Gami and Lake Su­perior Trails for both residents and tourists.

The Master Sign Plan and the Downtown Vi­sion Plan, as they are implemented, will bring needed upgrades and revitalization to the Sil­ver Bay business district and there are several ongoing projects to address housing needs in town as the City continues to work on the de­velopment of the Penn Boulevard and Silver­point II projects.

With regard to managing finances, the City Administration received yet another clean end-of-year audit. There are 23 full-time city employees and a number of part-time and tempo­rary employees who work for Silver Bay. Much of the work mentioned above was done outside of city staff’s typical everyday tasks.

In other business, the Council voted to re­new the contracts for Economic Development Director David Drown and Fire Administrator Michael Rowlee and approved the hiring of Tracy Thun as the new Library Clerk Techni­cian.

Finally, Storybook Theater will be staging a production of Repunzel this coming August. Storybook Theater is picking up the mantle of Prairie Fire Theater which ceased operations due to the Covid epidemic. Stay tuned for more information on community theater.

A public hearing has been scheduled for Feb­ruary 25th at 7:00 p.m. to consider the Vacation of Library Easement. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 2nd 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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