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Two Harbors Committee of the Whole and City Council Meeting: August 14, 2023 Hauschild Meets With Two Harbors City Council

Senator Grant Hauschild made an appearance before the Two Harbors City Council to talk about the investments that legislators were able to make in the Third District during the last leg­islative session. Those investments include re­storing 26 weeks of unemployment benefits for 410 workers laid off at Northshore Mining, pro­viding gap funding for the Highway 61 construc­tion project ($11 million), relieving construction price inflation for the Lake Superior and Ely school districts ($12.4 million), improving wa­ter and sewer utilities in Babbitt and Rice Lake ($4 million) and allocating $300 million to sup­port struggling Nursing Homes and Healthcare centers. Other priorities include tax relief for 85% of Minnesota’s Social Security recipients, and $2.2 billion for Minnesota schools includ­ing increased funding for Special Education. In total, working with Representatives Natalie Zelenikar and Roger Skraba, Hauschild stated that communities in the Third District received $131,618,079 in much needed aid.

Hauschild acknowledged a strong, bipartisan working relationship with Zelenikar and Sk­raba. It is nice to see Democrats and Republi­cans working together on behalf of all of their constituents regardless of party affiliation. That is, afterall, how our government is supposed to work. One hopes that our elected officials in Washington D.C. can perhaps learn something from the work of our local representatives.

Phil Arnold, of the Two Harbors Housing and Redevelopment Authority, made a request for funds so that HRA can expand their efforts to pro­vide affordable housing in Two Harbors beyond the Bayview Apartments facility. The funds in question originally came from taxes collected by Lake County and were given to the city as seed money so the City HRA could begin to purchase building materials and, under an agreement with the Industrial Arts Program from the Lake Superior School District, could begin the construction of timber framing for use in housing units. There is some confusion in the understanding between city officials and the HRA on how best to use those dollars. City officials would like to try to grow that amount by putting the money in a trust and seeking matching funds from the State, thereby increasing the overall amount that would be available to the HRA. Matthew Johnson, Executive Di­rector of the Lake County HRA was also on hand at the meeting. He agreed to pro­vide money from the County so that the City HRA can move ahead with their ar­rangement with industrial arts students at the high school. In the meantime, the city and county will work to coordinate their efforts to look at possible ways to fund and build needed housing in the area. Ar­nold said that though there has been mis­communication and frustration in how best to move forward, Monday night’s meeting has actually opened the door for better collaboration between the county and city when it comes to providing affordable housing.

Tara Solem, District Manager of the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, addressed the problem of stormwater sediment and e coli bacteria that is flowing into both Bur­lington and Agate Bays. Solem has proposed the installation of debris baffle boxes and hydrody­namic separators to filter stormwater before it enters each bay and is suggesting planting native plants, trees and shrubs along Skunk Creek to act as a natural filtration system. She encouraged the Council to sign on to a grant request for this project.

Monday night’s City Council meeting was well attended by area residents. There is a lot go­ing on in Two Harbors and civic engagement is encouraged. The next Council meeting is sched­uled for August 28th at 6:00.

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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