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HomeCommunityTwo Harbors City Council Meeting; October 23, 2023

Two Harbors City Council Meeting; October 23, 2023

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.

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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