City finds campground cash
Thank taconite for keeping the Two Harbors campground project going this construction season. Two Harbors City Council members heard the city will get $300,000 in taconite tax money from legislatures for the infrastructure (water, sewer, and possibly electric) for the campground expansion.
The city had asked the state for $1 million in this year's bonding bill but it was rejected on Gov. Tim Pawlenty's line item veto of the bonding bill passed in the legislature.
Council member Steve Detlefsen remains hopeful for bonding next year, depending on who the governor is.
Fifty-two public works projects across Minnesota, such as college building renovations and state trails, fell victim to Pawlenty's veto pen, and legislative leaders say there is little chance lawmakers will send any more projects to him before he leaves office early next year.
If the complete $1.5 million Burlington Bay Campground addition were to become a reality, the project would add 36 RV spots to the campground. The city will pay the remaining $500,000 itself.
If it were to be completed, the entire campground is expected to generate about $500,000 in revenue annually. This year, the campground is projected to bring in about $300,000.
The new grounds would be used for "big rigs," RVs, and would have the ability for 50 amp power. The 36 sites would be built on tiers, meaning each would offer a view of Lake Superior.
The expansion would include kiosks for serving the various trailheads in the area.
The council passed a second reading of a "no feeding deer" in city limits policy.
Mel Sando, administrator of the Lake County Historical Society, said deer feeding is a service provided by the Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast for guests and wanted consideration.
"It's never good when you have to make an exemption," council member Chris Swanson said.
"I think we have a substantial deer problem in this community," Mayor Randy Bolen said. He was concerned about more timberwolves coming into the area. Some have been spotted in the industrial park area.
Elaine Hansen, director for the Center for Economic Development at the University of Minnesota Duluth, discussed what it can do to help small businesses in Lake County.
The group offers workshops for people who are interested in starting a business along with a consulting service. It helps both current and future businesses.
The center once had an office in the area and discussed getting more involved in the community by returning. For more information about the group, visit www.umdced. com.
The council projected that the cost of new water meters would fall under the $2.26 million loan for the water tower project. It will cost homeowners to have meters installed which could start in 2011. The city is required by state statute to conserve water and the council expects water meters will help that cause. By reducing water, they city may not need to build a larger sewer plant.
The council discussed whether or it should seek a gap in strict billboard rules along Highway 61. It would mean the city limits would be exempt from national sign laws. Beaver Bay, Silver Bay, and Grand Marais have the distinction. The council passed a motion to look at the pros and cons of forming the gap that would allow the erection of new billboards pending state approval. When Highway 61 was designated a National Scenic Byway and then All American Highway, thus banning the erection of any new billboards, the city didn't ask for a gap. Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman John Bray said it was curious as to why the city never applied for a gap like other cities up the Shore.
The Two Harbors Area Chamber of Commerce sign on the west edge of town has been ordered to be removed by MnDOT because it doesn't have a permit. One more sign up the Shore, in Schroeder, has also been ordered removed.
New city logo
The city passed a resolution to give $250 to Silver Creek Signworks to come up with a new logo for the city. The funds come out of the art fund. There was also a discussion at the meeting of having a contest for who can draw the best logo.
Tree City USA
The city of Two Harbors has officially been named a Tree City USA.
Two Harbors met the four requirements to join 3,310 other communities across the nation. The city has a tree commission, adopted a tree protection ordinance, and established an annual tree budget equal to at least $2 per resident. The final requirement was to hold an annual Arbor Day Observance and issue a mayoral proclamation.