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Two Harbors Council gets update on projects

Two Harbors City Administrator Dan Walker gave the City Council an update on ongoing projects in the city during a meeting Monday.

The council held a strategic planning meeting on Jan. 30 to list the top priority projects in the city. Walker gave an update on those projects in order of priority. The first priority he gave an update on was the Capital Improvement Plan. According to Walker, bids and specifications on the 2017 projects should be approved by May with advertisement for bids going out in April. The construction on this summer's projects will begin shortly thereafter and an assessment hearing should be held in October.

With the CIP going forward, an infrastructure survey will be done this spring to determine if any new projects should be added for the following summer. Budgeting process for departmental CIP items will start in May and June this year for 2018, and the 2018 CIP will be approved in the fall.

"Each year we'll start this process all over again and the CIP will be updated on an annual basis," Walker said. "I'm hoping we can keep to this schedule."

Walker also informed the council that things are moving forward with removing the Edna G. from the water. Edna G. Committee member Tom Koehler has been making headway with some investigated work and has come up with some contacts, according to Walker.

"We're hoping to get the council something in mid-April," he said.

The council put "waterfront development" as a top priority for the city, which includes the entire waterfront along Agate Bay and not just a transient dock. Walker said he's been talking with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and city planner Justin Otsea about the project. The DNR owns a large portion of waterfront property that Walker said would need to be cleaned up first.

As for the transient dock, until the city can secure funding for the 25 percent match needed to for a possible nationally competitive Tier II Boating Infrastructure Grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program, the dock is on hold. The city was in the governor's bonding bill last year and again this year, but wasn't in the bill that failed in the final minutes last year. Both Walker and council president Cathy Erickson said there doesn't seem to be any traction for pushing a bonding bill through this year.

Other projects Walker touched on were the possibility of a new liquor store, the Minnesota Department of Transportation Highway 61 project slated for 2018 and the Castle Danger Brewery-Willamette Valley Watermain Relocation Project.

Walker said he is hoping to have a proposal brought forward to the council at the April 10 meeting for the liquor store.

Adelle Whitefoot

Adelle Whitefoot is a Michigan native who moved to Minnesota in Sept. 2014 when she started as a reporter for the News-Chronicle. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., in 2012 with a bachelor's in English writing and has been a professional photographer since 2011. Whitefoot is the beat writer for the Two Harbors City Council.

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