Janel Jones, from Loving Lake County, presented a proposal to the Two Harbors Committee of the Whole at Monday night’s meeting for a revamp of holiday lighting in the city from 4th Avenue to 1st Avenue, including Waterfront Street. The proposal calls for “more of a Hallmark Movie feel,” according to Jones, and would replace the lighting scheme that has been used in past years. The goal is to help create a more appealing, memorable aesthetic for residents and visitors alike. The plan includes a 16-foot lighted moose and 10-foot lighted deer to be placed near the Bandshell in Thomas Owens Park. New decorations would also be placed on city light poles. Area businesses are encouraged to participate and Loving Lake County will offer matching funds to help businesses get their own decorations. Jones stated that she has had near 100% buy-in from businesses along 1st Avenue. Some details of the plan are still being worked out, but the Council reacted enthusiastically to the proposal. Volunteers will be needed to help with setup when the time comes. Stay tuned for more information.
The City HRA Board is continuing to make headway with their efforts to address housing needs in Two Harbors. There are a number of administrative and logistical issues that need to be resolved like the need for funds for insurance, attorneys and monies for actual projects. Currently, the HRA doesn’t have funding of its own for new projects. While there are HUD funds available, the HRA is only authorized to use those monies for the Bayview Apartments. Lake County HRA has earmarked some funds for the City HRA, but Board members will be talking with Habitat for Humanity and One Roof to learn how those organizations access different funding sources.
Much of the City Council Meeting was given to a presentation on the 2024 – 2025 Street Project.
Readers may remember that this project was originally covered in a Council meeting in October of 2022. At that time, the decision was made to push the project back to 2024 due to the fact that no one knew, at the time, what kind of funding would come from the State. The scope of the 2024 – 2025 project includes water, sewer, storm sewer and street replacement along 6th Avenue from 4th Street to 7th Street and 5th Avenue from 6th Street to 5th Street. This work will coincide with work that Lake County will be doing along 4th Avenue and 5th Street. The water and sewer systems in this area are up to 100 years old and are in need of replacement due to pipes that are worn out, collapsing and leaking. Details on the plan are available on the City website, including cost estimates and estimated assessments for property owners. Sidewalks will be replaced in the City portion of the plan on both sides of 5th Street and 4th Avenue. The County’s segment of the project will also include sidewalk replacement. Prior to the beginning of construction, there will be a neighborhood meeting with property owners so that folks can learn how to access their driveways and how water and sewer services will be delivered to their properties.This meeting will be scheduled for the Spring of 2024. Estimated assessments for impacted properties are available on the City’s site as are property owners rights. The improvements from this project will increase the property values, but under Minnesota Statute Chapter 429, property owners do have a right to object to assessment. Objections must be filed in writing and may then proceed to District Court. People who are considering objections should know that there are applicable deadlines that must be met. Again, details on the objection process are available on the City website.
The next Two Harbors City Council meeting is scheduled for November 13th at 6:00 p.m.