Silver Bay street repair talk growsThe Silver Bay City Council passed a resolution Monday to submit an application for the Minnesota Housing Partnership grant that could amount to $10,000 in matching money for a Banks Boulevard reconstruction project.
The Silver Bay City Council passed a resolution Monday to submit an application for the Minnesota Housing Partnership grant that could amount to $10,000 in matching money for a Banks Boulevard reconstruction project.
The money would be used for planning assistance. The city portion would come from in-kind services from the city, Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, and the Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. There would also be cash contributions from the city and the Housing and Redevelopment Authority for a total of $7,500 combined.
“It’s a very large, comprehensive project,” said city administrator Lana Fralich.
Among ideas thrown around were replacing the entire high pressure main that runs along the street and fixing the road while installing sidewalks and other amenities. The city is also looking at the housing in the area.
County highway engineer Al Goodman said “it’s probably time we spend some money in Silver Bay.” Banks is a state-aid highway, meaning its surface falls under the jurisdiction of the county. Silver Bay would be responsible for utilities under the street.
In January, the council accepted a grant agreement from Iron Range Resources for $350,000 that would go toward helping with the infrastructure of a new assisted living facility. Spectrum Health Companies is looking at a site near the old Bell Circle Apartments on Banks. Construction could begin in the spring.
Mayor Scott Johnson has heard residents in the area say they thought the water main was being replaced specifically for the proposed new assisted living facility on Banks. He said it doesn’t have a connection with the assisted living facility.
“[There have been] a lot of water breaks along Banks,” Fralich said as to why the work is needed.
Residents of Silver Bay have contacted the city about living in the facility but applications aren’t a-vailable. A list may be created and notice sent out when applications are available. The facility could create at least seven full-time jobs. Spectrum has facilities in Duluth, Virginia and Ely.
The council recently approved a temporary use easement for Spectrum so it can do site and soil testing for the project.
The council has also requested Lake County put Davis Drive, Banks Boulevard, and Horn Boulevard back on its priority road project list, which could make it easier to get funds for projects.
The council discussed the the Gitchi-Gami State Trail expansion connecting with Silver Bay. The city has met with the Department of Natural Resources about the expansion. No decision has been made yet.
Kevin Johnson, of the Minnesota DNR, gave an update on the Gitchi-Gami expansion from Beaver Bay through Silver Bay last week at a Lake County board meeting. Plans would connect the trail with Outer Drive in Silver Bay, which would require wider sidewalks.
The trail to Silver Bay had been stymied by the need for an underpass at the Northshore Mining trail line. That work should be completed this summer.