County hears bonding plans for citiesMembers of the Lake County Board of Commissioners were all ears last week as they listened to what Two Harbors and Silver Bay want out of the next year’s state bonding session.
Members of the Lake County Board of Commissioners were all ears last week as they listened to what Two Harbors and Silver Bay want out of the next year’s state bonding session.
No one knows whether the Legislature was going to have a small bonding bill or not, but council members and commissioners want to be prepared.
Two Harbors Mayor Ran-dy Bolen said the city is going to go after about $1 million for the campground expansion at Burlington Bay. The city has received $300,000 in taconite tax money from the state for the infrastructure (water, sewer, and possibly electric) for the expansion. A $1 million bonding request this past winter fell to the wayside after a line-item veto by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Bolen said the city is also working on getting money for the marina proposal in Agate Bay. He said the city has plans to meet with lawmakers in the next couple months for allocating money for the project. There is about $7 million in federal funding already slotted for the project, but Bolen said the city has not received the money.
Silver Bay City Administrator Lana Fralich said the city needs about $750,000 to fix a leaking roof at the Mary MacDonald Center and $150, 000-$200,000 for repairing brickwork. “It’s more of an emergency need,” Fralich said. “We are still having issues of water coming in.”
Commissioner Paul Berg-man suggested talking with Iron Range Resources to get more funding in Silver Bay. The city received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Commerce to install energy-efficient boilers at the Mary MacDonald Center. Money will also go toward new windows and doors.
“That’s job retention up there,” Fralich said. “For the most part, that building is full.”
Among the employers there are Wilderness Family Naturals which sells everything from coconut oil to soaps to almonds — all organic and imported from around the world. It has almost 30 employees. If water seeps into the building, it could end up causing a problem with the Food and Drug Administration.