City contributes to restoration of Gunflint Trail welcome signs

 John Schloot, representing the Gunflint Trail Historical Society, spoke to the Grand Marais city council on Wednesday, May 8 about the attempt to re-paint and restore the Gunflint Trail welcome signs on Second Avenue West near the Grand Marais Public Library. The organization asked that the city commit $1,500 toward the project, which is estimated to cost about $7,500 ($6,000 of which is for actual sign restoration).

City Administrator Mike Roth said that the latest request is “a little different from where we started,” referring to the original request made last year which asked for no money from the city, only permission to remove the bear and voyageur signs from their pedestals for indoor re-painting during the winter, and some assistance from the city street department in removing and re-installing the metal figures. Nevertheless, Roth recommended that the council grant the request because the city does own the historic signs, the signs definitely need refinishing, and the Gunflint Trail Association will manage the details.

Council granted the request for $1,500. It is hoped work on the signs can begin soon, with completion at or before the end of summer. The project is already behind its original schedule due to the unseasonably cold and damp spring weather.