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City takes next step in moving Edna G.

The Edna G. has been taking on water for years. The commission in charge of taking care of the tugboat has asked the Two Harbors City Council to make it a priority to have the Edna G. removed from the water and placed on land. (Jan Swart / Special to the News-Chronicle)

The City of Two Harbors is searching for a consulting firm to examine moving the Edna G. tugboat from the water to land.

The Two Harbors City Council approved a resolution approving requests for proposals at the Dec. 19 meeting.

Once hired, the consultant will spend the first phase of the project furnishing a development plan and feasibility study.

"This is not a typical project that a city undertakes so the first phase of the project is going to try to identify if this is possible to do and what the cost is going to be," City Administrator Dan Walker said, adding that he has no idea how much the project will cost.

If the City Council chooses to move forward after reviewing those reports, the actual project management would take place in the second phase.

City Councilor Miles Woodruff, who also serves on the Edna G. commission, said the move to land is necessary because corrosion and scrapes from ice are thinning the tugboat's hull.

"I know it's kind of weird, but the worst place to store a boat is in the water," Woodruff said.

The final location of the Edna G. has not been finalized, but to maintain its status on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, it must remain near the water, Woodruff said. Woodruff said one possibility is near the gazebo in Paul Van Hoven Park, just on shore from where the Enda G. is currently docked.

There's no clear way to move the Edna G.; it could be removed by lifting it with a crane, sliding it out on rails or bringing it first to a dry dock. That's up to the consultant to figure out.

Funding for the project would first come from the Edna G. Fund—the City of Two Harbors has a 3 percent lodging tax split between the Edna G. Fund and tourism marketing outside the area. While the city will likely contribute as well, Woodruff said he would also like to see a group form to help fundraise private donations.

Woodruff expects the city will review bids by the end of February.

The 110-foot-long tugboat was built in 1896 by Cleveland Shipbuilding Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. It came to Two Harbors later that year.

Aside from November 1917 to August 1919, when the Navy used her on the East Coast during World War I, the Edna G. served Two Harbors from 1896 until its retirement in 1981.

The City of Two Harbors has owned the tugboat since 1984.

Jimmy Lovrien

Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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