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HomeNewsTwo Harbors Committee of the Whole/City Council Meeting; June 12, 2023

Two Harbors Committee of the Whole/City Council Meeting; June 12, 2023

One of the top priorities that the Two Har­bors City Council has identified for the im­mediate future is addressing the need for affordable housing. To that end, the council has asked Mayor Lew Conner and Council Vice President Cathy Erickson to focus on developing plans to address this need. They will likely begin to look at potential funding sources and possible locations where housing can be built. Now that the State Legislature has provided funds for local projects, the council is anxious to move beyond the dis­cussion stage, to actually start the process of meeting this important need.

Jeff Anderson, Government and Public Af­fairs Consultant at the Costin Group, was on hand to give the Council a legislative update. He summarized the work that was done during the last legislative session and highlighted the various ways that Two Harbors and Lake County will be benefiting from the work of Senator Grant Hauschild and Representative Natalie Zelenikar. There will be an increase in government aid for the city that includes $8 million for the school construction proj­ects that Lake Superior School District has undertaken, $11 million for the Highway 61 project, money to help support area nursing homes, and to continue to develop the Git­chiGami Trail. Additionally, Anderson said a rail road development project that had been scrapped when Republicans controlled the legislature, is back on the table. While de­tails of this project are still being discussed, it appears that the overall plan is to improve public access to rail transportation across the state including between Duluth and Two Harbors.

Tara Solem, District Manager for the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, spoke with the Council about concerns over storm water runoff into Agate Bay, Burling-ton Bay and Skunk Creek. There is evidence that e coli bacteria is present in each of these waterways. Solem outlined a number of mitigation methods that can be employed to address this concern and the Council will be in discussion with Lake County Soil and Water on how best to proceed. This issue will be discussed again at the next Council meeting on June 26th.

The Council authorized the execution of a grant agreement between the City and MND-OT for maintenance and operational expenditures at the Airport.

Finally, the Council approved the recommendation of the Planning Commission to approve the request of Burlington Express Hospitality LLC (BEH) for a variance from the building height standards as outlined in City Code Section 11.40. BEH is planning on building a 94 unit hotel on a 1.80 acre site along the B-1 Highway Business District.

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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