Saturday, May 25, 2024
HomeUncategorizedLake County Chamber Hosts Congressman Pete Stauber

Lake County Chamber Hosts Congressman Pete Stauber

Janelle Jones, Lake County Chamber of Com­merce President, likes getting people together. When Congressman Pete Stauber reached out, Janelle was happy to get ahold of local leaders to facilitate a meeting. “It’s support for the en­tire region to bring the local leaders together and help each other out,” she said. “They’re just always very grateful when officials come to town and want to hear what we need, and have open ears, and listen.”

It was Two Harbors Mayor Lew Connor’s first time meeting with the Congressman and echoed Janelle’s sentiment. He was impressed with the Congressman’s “willingness to listen to the needs of the folks up here.”

The conversation ranged from infrastructure to the opioid crisis (there has been an uptick in overdoses in the area), and to the trail systems along the shore. According to Commissioner Rick Hogenson, who was also in attendance at the meeting, Congressman Stauber “likes to go on his mountain bike on the trails and knows how important bringing people to Lake County is.”

On the forefront of Congressman Stauber’s mind, however, was the Thye-Blatnik reap­praisal.

The Thye-Blatnik Act was passed by con­gress in 1948. The Secretary of Agriculture ac­quired lands amounting to 256,640 acres that we now call the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The counties bordering the BWCAW have received annual payments to compensate for lost property taxes and potential revenue streams. The funds go to critical pro­grams such as law enforcement and infrastruc­ture.

The act requires an appraisal conducted ev­ery ten years to determine market value of the BWCAW. In 2018, the appraisal indicated the market value had gone down significantly.

The decision has since been appealed. Through the work of Congressman Stauber, Senator Tina Smith, Senator Amy Klo­buchar, and others, the payments resume while the reappraisal is completed. “It’s a lot of money, so it would have been a burden on the taxpayer,” said Commissioner Hogenson. “I think Lake Coun­ty had the biggest reduction.”

As counties await the reappraisal decision, we can count on Congressman Stauber to con­tinue to think of the needs of the district he serves.

“He’s very supportive and he’s working hard in Washington,” assured Mayor Connor.

Feel free to reach out to me at sarahwritesnsj@yahoo.com  with any news we should news about!

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