Funding coming in for eco-parkEco-industrial park plans in Silver Bay, along with the jobs that come with it, may be one step closer to reality.
Eco-industrial park plans in Silver Bay, along with the jobs that come with it, may be one step closer to reality.
It was announced at the Silver Bay City Council meeting Monday that the city received $298,870 from the legislature as seed money for the park. That money would be used to help build a bio-energy facility. It is basically seed money that may help secure other grants.
“It could create jobs and opportunities here,” said city administrator Lana Fralich. She said the city hasn’t spent any of its own money yet on the project.
The facility could be used for producing algae for biofuel and food production and could also be used as an educational facility for burgeoning technologies for wind and solar power, Fralich said.
The project would likely be located at the business park in Silver Bay.
The city is applying for another $450,000 grant along with others to get the project going.
The city recently received $10,000 from the Lake Superior Coastal Program for land use and planning for the eco-industrial park. The program also granted money to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: $85,000 to improve the Ray Berglund State Wayside near Tofte; $32,000 to construct a floating fishing pier on Lax Lake; and $42,275 to replace the Superior Hiking Trail bridge on the Split Rock River.
With the news of possible new jobs, Silver Bay has also received good news from the legislature. It expected $158,000 in local government aid cuts added to the $110,000 already lost in 2010. Instead it will lose only about $55,000.
It appears the city won’t face any cuts in 2011 because it will already have hit the minimum a city could get in local government aid.
Lake Superior School District Board members discussed the upcoming operating levy with council members. They laid out the three different ballot questions and described why the district needs the money.
“Funding is flat,” Superintendent Phil Minkkinen said.
Ballots will be sent out at the end of April and are due back May 18.
Fralich said that the better the school system, the more your property is worth and vice versa.
Only about 10 percent of districts in the state have no operating levy on the books, including Lake Superior School District.
Audit results were given to council members and the city was basically given a clean bill of budget health. “[We got] the best audit we could get,” Fralich said.
Silver Bay has been tagged with the governor’s Fit City designation. The city is now looking at getting signs to show its physical fitness prowess. The program will be used in getting funds to increase fitness opportunities.