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Silver Bay gets $350,000, more jobs

Signs of a water main repair show near Banks Boulevard and William Kelley High School Tuesday. A broken pipe there meant school was closed in Silver Bay Friday. Matt Suoja

The Silver Bay City Council accepted a grant agreement Tuesday from Iron Range Resources for $350,000 that would go toward helping with the infrastructure of a new assisted living facility. Construction could begin in the spring.

"This is a milestone for this project that hasn't been on the discussion board that long," said Scott Johnson, Silver Bay mayor.

Spectrum Health Companies is looking at a site near the old Bell Circle Apartments on Banks Boulevard. "They are very satisfied with (the location)," said Lana Fralich, Silver Bay city administrator.

Johnson said the project looks viable and would create new jobs. Fralich said there have been projections of 7.5 full-time positions available.

The facility would have between 16 and 24 units and would also be used for memory care patients.

Another future project that could lead to more jobs would be developing an eco-industrial park. Johnson said the project would be developed for ecologically-friendly companies who could use energy sources such as wind power, excess steam energy produced at the Northshore Mining power plant, and biomass.

Fralich said some businesses have shown interest in the project and the city is trying to secure funding.

In other council news:

- The contract for Fralich was approved through 2012. "We have been very pleased with Lana's performance," Johnson said.

- The council approved receipt of a $100,000 grant from the Department of Commerce to install energy-efficient boilers at the Mary MacDonald Center. Funds would also go toward new windows and doors.

- The council passed a resolution to have a security system put in place at Silver Bay's municipal liquor store and bar at a cost of $4,300 - it was already budgeted for last year. There would be seven cameras in the interior with another one pointed outside. No figures were available about theft at the store.

- There was a discussion of having a live Rocky Taconite mascot for Silver-Beaver Bay Days. The council needs someone to design a costume.

- $7,100 was approved from the cable fund to help fix the problems with airing the public access channel in Silver Bay.