City and county come together for TIGER grantThe Two Harbors City Council has voted unanimously to work with SEH Inc., a firm of architects, engineers, scientists and planners, to complete a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant application.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
The Two Harbors City Council has voted unanimously to work with SEH Inc., a firm of architects, engineers, scientists and planners, to complete a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant application.
The Lake County Board also supported the move at its meeting this week.
If the area receives the grant, funds could go to many different transportation projects including one that would improve Highway 61 between Two Harbors and the Silver Creek Cliff Tunnel.
The grant money could also go toward a Silver Creek project that would provide the area with city sewer and water.
The paperwork for the grant, which would pay for 100 percent of a project, is due by Sept. 15.
Both City Councilor Chris Swanson and County Commissioner Brad Jones said they had received support from the Silver Creek Township.
Jones added that SEH would be looked at favorably if any of the projects come to fruition.
According to a volunteer study of sewer systems eight to 10 years ago many of the sewage systems were in sub-standard shape.
Commissioner Paul Bergman said the grant for the improvements to the systems were “a long shot, at best.”
At a previous Silver Creek Town Board meeting, township supervisor Mike Hoops said Silver Creek could create a collection area and treat its own sewage. The board is moving forward with a subordinate service district for the Silver Creek area.
According to Minnesota House of Representatives research department: “A subordinate service district is a geographic area within a county or town, smaller than the entire county or town, in which the county or town provides services at a higher level than are provided generally throughout the jurisdiction or provides services that are not provided at all in the jurisdiction.”
“We need that no matter what,” Hoops said at a previous meeting.
“I don’t think there’s any point in waiting for the highway to get done,” said Greg Hull, township board supervisor at a previous meeting. Hull added that if the sewer was completed first then maybe there would be a better chance of the Highway 61 project proceeding.
Among other possible projects mentioned include:
- A new road access to downtown Two Harbors from Highway 61 to Eighth Avenue which would be a connection for the marina;
- Various improvements to the Safe Routes to School program;
- A kayak center at Burlington Bay;
- Relocation of the welcome center and establishment of a trail center in Two Harbors on the west side of town;
- Building a Northern Lights Express rail station and maintenance facility;
Some board members and the city council will meet at 5 p.m. Monday to discuss the issue further.