Around Cook County
Although there have been setbacks, the Tofte Town board continues to seek affordable senior housing options that will allow older residents the chance to stay in the community when they are no longer able to take care of their homes.
Dick Grabko of Community Resource Development came before the Tofte Town board on November 14 with an update on financing for the estimated $1.9 million project.
Grabko has been hired to help the township develop 10 senior housing units. Whether they turn out to be small homes or townhomes or apartments or a combination of those remains to be seen. The developer is working with Dynamic Homes on the project.
Grabko said he and several others met with the Northland Foundation’s Director of Business Finance, John Elden to discuss gap-financing alternatives for the senior housing project.
The Cook County - Grand Marais Economic Development Authority took steps at the November 12 board meeting to meet what its members believe is the need for “safe, decent, affordable rental units” in Cook County. The first step was a commitment to donate up to 4.03 acres of land in the Cedar Grove Business Park (CGBP) if funding is found to construct 24 units of affordable rental housing.
Leah Hall of the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA) returned to the board with more information on the concept she introduced to the EDA in May 2013. AEOA proposes to develop and become owners of an affordable housing complex on two lots on the southern end of the business park for low to moderate income households in Cook County.
Hall said that the rental units would be in a lodge-style apartment complex, consisting of two floors with walk-up entry options or a townhome-style complex. She said, “We won’t know what the design will look like until further down the road.”
Also to be determined is the combination of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments, but Hall said, “The goal is to have at least 75 percent of the units targeted toward families.”
Cook County’s Danna MacKenzie moves on to a new state position, good news from the YMCA, and new long-term residential housing were discussed at this week’s County Board meeting. WTIP’s Tracy Benson spoke with District 4 County Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk about this week’s meeting.
The 2013 deer harvest in northeastern Minnesota declined from last year. WTIP’s Tracy Benson spoke with Jeff Lightfoot with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about the details from this year’s firearms hunt.
Minnesota has a new boss of broadband.
Governor Mark Dayton's administration told the Associated Press on Tuesday that Cook County's Danna MacKenzie is the first executive director for the Office of Broadband Development, a division created last spring. MacKenzie has directed the northern Minnesota county's information systems and served on a state broadband task force.
The new office has a central role as Minnesota stretches toward a goal of ultra-fast broadband in every corner of the state. Minnesota's goal is 2015, but most people involved say that will be tough.
About three-quarters of the state's households now have access to Internet service that meets or exceeds minimum speed standards.
The director will provide assistance to local governments and other partners in broadband deployment projects.
The First Congregational Church in Grand Marais is once again hosting a Community Thanksgiving Dinner. A small gathering of friends in 1974 has grown to a wonderful community tradition with 145 people served last year. One of the original organizers, Mary Igoe, representing “the dinner crew” recalled the humble beginnings and said, “The spirit of the day remains the same as at that initial gathering—the sharing of a homemade, lovingly created meal, complete with the fellowship of friends, old and new.”
Anyone interested in donating food items or helping prepare the meal is encouraged to call the church at (218) 387-2113. Igoe said, “To those of you who participate year after year, a huge ‘thanks!’ If you’ve never given it a try, please consider joining in on the fun of preparing and sharing this feast.”