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Silver Bay City Council Meeting; July 17, 2023 Community Radio Station KTWH Looks to Expand Broadcast Reach

Chris Belfield, Board member of Two Harbors Community Radio Station KTWH, spoke to the Silver Bay City Council on Monday to inform them of the station’s plan to expand from a low to a full power station. KTWH (99.5 FM) is a listener supported station and has been in service for around 8 years. They currently operate at 100 watts which gives the station a broadcast radius of 7 to 10 miles. The plan is to expand to 20,000 watts which will greatly increase their broad­cast reach along the North Shore including Silver Bay and beyond. Belfield stated that KTWH encourages intergenerational, grass­roots participation and provides its listeners with local news coverage, information about community and school events, emergency management information and opportunities for creative arts expression. The Station also offers training for people interested in learn­ing about broadcast production and has had students from Two Harbors High School in­volved in production and broadcast activities. As KTWH is listener supported and funded, Belfield simply asked council members to help get information out to the communi­ty. KTWH will continue to operate in their current capacity while staff are researching grants to help with the costs of the expansion. When the expansion is complete the station will move from their current dial location of 99.5 FM, to 88.3 FM. Folks who live outside the station’s current broadcast area can listen in at ktwh.org.

A public informational meeting is sched­uled for July 25th at 6:30 at City Hall. Devel­opment for Silver Bay’s downtown projects will be on the agenda. Some residents have questioned the degree to which development plans are geared toward tourism and are con­cerned about how that emphasis may impact property taxes and the cost of living in the area. Be that as it may, residents of Silver Bay are encouraged to be at the meeting on the 25th. Your understanding of and involve­ment in development projects is important.

Like cities all across the state, Silver Bay has aging sanitary sewers that likely need maintenance and may need replacement. The Council accepted a recommendation from Bolton & Menk to have Great Lakes Pipe Services inspect sewer lines. This will be done by video inspection which will allow for locating any damaged lines and will also help with cleaning roots and other obstruc­tions from the system. Lead service lines are also going to be assessed. The Department of Health has ordered that all public water ser­vices in the state take inventory of their water systems. A grant from the Federal DNR will help cover the cost of this assessment.

The Silver Bay Library has received a $10,000 grant to aid in the current renovation project. The $1 million project will be funded almost entirely by grants and, when complet­ed, will feature improved ADA accessibility, a new entrance and roof, improved parking and the addition of meeting rooms.

City Attorney Timothy Costley would like to have an attorney from the Twin Cities look over the documents pertaining to TIF funding for the Boathouse Bay development. Costley said that having an attorney who has exper­tise in TIF funding will help give clarity to city administrators moving forward. The Council approved Costley’s request.

Finally, Mayor Wade LeBlanc commended all of the city staff and volunteers for their ef­forts to make Bay Days a rousing success. He also commented on the great turnout for last week’s Music In The Park event. The next concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 21st and will feature the Tommy Bentz Band.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 7th at 7:00 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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