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Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeCommunitySilver Bay Council Embraces Silverpointe II Concept Plan

Silver Bay Council Embraces Silverpointe II Concept Plan

Much of last Monday night’s Silver Bay City Council meeting was focused on plans to address the need for affordable housing in the city. Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Director Matthew Johnson presented a concept plan that could see the construction of 40 workforce and senior apartments adjacent to the existing Silverpointe Apartment complex on Banks Boulevard. A portion of the land needed for the development, currently called Silverpointe II, is owned by the local HRA. An additional tract of land toward Outer Drive that is now vacant, would need to be acquired.

The concept proposal calls for the county and city HRAs to collaborate with DW Jones Management, to develop plans and secure appropriate funding sources for the project. In the wake of the recent legislative session, financing could come from the State of Minnesota, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRR), Lake County HRA and other sources.  DW Jones has been managing the Silverpointe Apartments and is positioned to put together a financing package and develop plans for the new complex “in about six months”, according to Johnson. Economic Development Director David Drown stated that he “100% supports” the concept plan. The Council voted to accept the plan as a first step toward meeting the demand for affordable housing. Local residents who are interested in learning about and having input in development plans are encouraged to attend the Silver Bay Economic Development Authority meetings which are typically held on Wednesdays during the first full week of the month. The November meeting is scheduled for the 8th, at 2:00 p.m.

A related issue involves a proposal to construct a road between Banks Boulevard and Outer Drive. Joe Rhein of Bolton & Menk presented a feasibility plan so that city leaders can begin to weigh out the variables related to building a road that brings accessibility to the proposed Silverpointe II project and allows for continued delivery access to the current shopping center. There are a number of factors that the Council will have to consider before they move forward with road construction at this site. These include a 20-foot drop in elevation from Banks Boulevard to Outer Drive and the need to replace the stormwater culverts that were installed 70 years ago, are undersized and are in need of replacement due to deterioration. Culvert replacement and road construction with modern sewer and water utilities will all need to be done at the same time. It was acknowledged that there may be a need to seek other options beyond what was laid out in the feasibility study. Stay tuned for further updates.

The Council voted to accept a proposed tax levy for 2024. The levy was deferred due to the closing of the Cliffs plant last year and has been set at a maximum of 9% for 2024. City officials will be looking at ways to lower that amount before the levy is finalized. The Council set a Truth in Taxation meeting for December 4th at 7:00 p.m.

The Library Board has recommended that the Council reject the bid that was submitted for the Library Addition and Rehabilitation project. The contract bid was over the funding that was available for the project and the contractor was not willing to work with the Board to reduce costs. The Council voted to reject the bid and authorized a number of resolutions to seek additional funding from the IRRRB, the Otto Bremer Foundation, and other sources to help get the project back on track.

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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