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TH to extend utilities to new development

Update Sept. 3, 10:50 p.m.: A previous version of this article stated that it would cost the City of Two Harbors more than a quarter million dollars to extend utilities to a new business on County Road 26. While the project will cost over $300,000, the City of Two Harbors has received a grant of $276,000 from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board to help cover the costs. The story has been updated to reflect this. The News-Chronicle regrets the error.

It will cost over a quarter million dollars to get utilities to a new business on County Road 26 in Two Harbors.

The bike rental/retail shop and coffee shop, which is being developed by Granite Gear co-founder Dan Cruikshank, has been months in the making. Cruikshank is the first to bite on plots of land the city owns on County Road 26, just north of Super One and Shopko.

Now, the city has to get utility lines out to the property. A consultant from LHB, an engineering, architecture and planning firm in Duluth, said the project will cost about $317,000. The Two Harbors City Council approved going out to bid for the project at its Monday meeting, and the work should start by the end of September. The city has secured a grant of $276,000 from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation board to help cover the costs, according to Dan's husband Kirsten.

Cruikshank said he hopes to open his shop next spring.

"I wanna just say thanks ... for supporting me during this development here," Cruikshank told the city council Monday.

Council asks county for airport funding

At the meeting, Councilor Seth McDonald put forth a formal request to the Lake County Board of Commissioners that asks them to provide $20,000 in annual funding to the Richard B. Helgeson Airport in rural Two Harbors.

McDonald said the county had provided that support for the airport for 15 years before it abruptly cut it out of its budget last year. The county board later voted to offer half the normal funding, $10,000, for the 2014 budget.

Now, McDonald is urging the county to fund the airport at its previous level of $20,000 for 2015 and beyond. That amount is 13 percent of the airport's budget.

"(The airport) serves the entire county," he said Monday. "I think it's important that Lake County looks at this."

City will restrict dumping hours

After continued misuse of a waste disposal zone on 20th Avenue in Two Harbors, the city council approved putting up a gate and limiting hours of access.

The zone is intended only for branch clippings, leaves and grass, but the public works department has reported that other trash, including railroad ties, garage doors and mattresses, has been dumped in the area.

City workers posted better signage indicating what could be put in the disposal zone, but Councilor Jerry Norberg said the misuse has increased.

Now, the zone will be gated and open only on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. City officials also will ask for a camera to be mounted and aimed at the property.

"It's out of hand," Norberg said.

Other council actions

- The council voted to hire two temporary workers to help pick up slack in the public works department. A couple of the full-time workers are on long term leaves of absence.

- Officials at Frontier Communications promised a new draft of a pole attachment agreement from the 1920s within 30 days, City Attorney Steve Overom said. The pole issue came to light when the Lake County-owned broadband company Lake Connections started stringing fiber for its new broadband network. Two Harbors and Frontier officials were unsure who owned which poles within city limits. Two Harbors sent a revised draft of the only existing agreement to Frontier in February. It was an improvement on the only previous version, which was drawn up in the 1920s between Two Harbors and a predecessor of Frontier. Two Harbors has been waiting for more than six months for a response from Frontier.

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
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