Winter work continues at Superior National at Lutsen despite layoffs

Superior National at Lutsen (SNL) Grounds Superintendent Mike Davies gave an update on SNL activities at the January 14 meeting of the Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA). Davies was laid off in December 2013, but has been working on equipment along with Maintenance Worker Jim Zunker. Davies said winter maintenance is very important. “Any success we have in the summer is directly tied to the work we do in the winter,” said Davies.

An example of savings because of winter maintenance is work sharpening wheels. Davies said if Zunker didn’t do that job over the winter, the golf course would be looking at a $6,000 bill for that alone. He said because of that, Davies said, “I’m working with my ‘new supervisor’ Jim.”

Davies also responded to the EDA board’s inquiry about recycling at the golf course. He said he had brought his own trailer to the golf course to use for recycling cardboard in the past, but he needed his trailer for something else. He said Zunker is building a trailer to be used for recycling next season. “It will take a little more work, but we’ll do it,” said Davies.

Harrison asked about greens conditions. Davies said chemicals were put down in late October. The ground froze and then there was snow coverage, which he said was great. He said he was concerned on a day when freezing rain fell, but added, “I was nervous, but it wasn’t too bad.”

However, he cautioned, “Things can change.”

The board thanked Davies for coming in to give a report and after he left, Sandbo said the EDA needs to find a way to keep people like Davies on staff. “Mike has very graciously continued working. He is an ‘essential person.’”

“We really need to scratch our heads and get creative here,” he said.

The next meeting of the Cook County – Grand Marais Economic Development Authority is 4 p.m. Tuesday, February 11 at the Grand Marais City Hall council chambers.