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News and other information from Cook County

Poplar River Management Board continues to work to reduce sediment

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 2:22pm

The Poplar River Management Board (PRMB) continues to make progress on large-scale projects to reduce sediment from the lower segment of the Poplar River in Lutsen. 
Ten contractors submitted bids for the next project, the Caribou Highlands Flowpath.  According to PRMB President Tom Rider, the three lowest bidders were all very qualified companies.  The contract went to Reuben Johnson & Sons of Superior, Wisconsin with a bid of $157,000. 
The Caribou Highlands Flowpath project will involve the installation of erosion control measures along the strip of land between Caribou Highlands, which sits on a bluff, and the river.  It will capture all the storm water originating on the Caribou Highlands property.  The land directly adjacent to the river is owned by Lutsen Mountains and includes a ski trail and an access road. 
“It’s a pretty important project due to the proximity of this resort to the river and the scale of land and storm water involved,” Rider said.  The work will start this spring and is expected to be completed in June or July.
“We also have two other smaller conservation projects that will be carried out this summer – the Mystery Mountain Flowpath Project and the Lower Eagle Mountain Road Project,” said Rider.  A request for bids will go out later this winter with construction to take place this summer.
At the February 4 bimonthly PRMB meeting, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) reported on data trends regarding sediment levels in the Poplar River.  Measurements gathered from 2009 to 2011 show a 35 percent reduction from previous levels. Rider said this reduction is expected to grow as completed projects mature on the landscape, such as the Ullr Tightline that was completed in 2012, and as additional projects are added, such as the ones to be completed this summer. 

New Findings Show Poplar River Sediment Reduced by 35%

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 1:07pm

Lutsen, MN – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) provided updated data trends on sediment in the Poplar River to the Poplar River Management Board in February. MPCA has estimated that total suspended solid (sediment) loads have been reduced by about 35% since 2006. 

The sediment loads from 2002 to 2006 was about 1,000 tons per year, while the average load for the years 2009 through 2011 was about 660 tons per year.

Tom Rider, President of the Poplar River Management Board said the report was good news.  “We have worked since 2005 identifying the most significant sources of sediment and implementing best management practices and conservation projects.”

The MPCA analysis suggests continued decrease in sediment loading should be expected from projects implemented in 2012 and planned for 2013. This includes the Ullr Tightline project that was completed in November of 2012 with estimated sediment reductions of 90 tons/year.

 

Grand Marais Park Board continues planning for Community Connection

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 4:47pm

The snow may be piled up all over Grand Marais, but that didn’t stop the Grand Marais Park Board from discussing plans for the Community Connections walkway into the Grand Marais Recreation Area at its February 5 meeting.
North House Folk School Executive Director Greg Wright was on hand to discuss plans that timber frame designer and instructor Peter Henrikson had drawn up for a pedestrian bridge on the Community Connections walkway.  The Community Connections project will lead pedestrians from the highway down into the northeast section of the park next to North House.  Wright had designs for a covered bridge and an uncovered bridge. 
Wright said North House never uses treated lumber and recommended that they use large tamarack beams from International Falls if the bridge were uncovered because tamarack is more resistant to rotting from moisture.  A covered bridge would lengthen the life of the bridge because it would provide more protection from moisture.
“The covered is more expensive, but the covered is more beautiful,” said Bill Lenz. 
The board talked about how a covered timber frame bridge would look and how it would affect views of the lake.  “I don’t see it as an obstruction as much as an invitation,” said Sally Berg. 
Park Manager Dave Tersteeg, who formerly worked in the landscaping field, said he sees the bridge as a piece of landscape furniture.  Board Chair Walt Mianowski said it would blend in well with the architecture of the North House.  Berg said it would enhance the area like an architectural feature in a Chinese garden.

World Championship Joke Telling Contest at Sven & Ole's Feb. 20

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 4:46pm

You didn’t know it, but you have training your whole life. Anytime you told a Sven & Ole joke at home or school or to your dog, you were sharpening your skills. And now it’s time to show the world just how good you have become at delivering a punch line.
On February 20 the first world championship Sven & Ole joke-telling competition will be held at Sven & Oles pizzeria at 7 p.m. Competitors should get there a little bit before 7 p.m. to warm up their gums and loosen their tongues.
First prize is a $50 gift certificate and the right to call yourself a World Champion. A $25 gift certificate will be given to the contestant judged to have the best Scandinavian accent.
All participants will get a prize of some sort.
There is a strong rumor that two young Norwegian journalists will be on hand to take pictures and use some of the film for their interactive documentary project. At least that’s what Sven said. Ole couldn’t be reached because he was busy cutting lutefisk into heart shapes to give to Lena for Valentine’s Day.
Uffdah, won’t she be happy?

It's Girl Scout cookie time!

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 8:39pm

Have you been wishing for those one-of-a-kind cookies that 
you can only purchase at a certain time of the year? Have you been 
thinking of Thin Mints? Craving Caramel Delights? Longing for 
Lemonades? Well, you are in luck because Cook County Girl Scouts have 
cookies and they are selling!
Cook County Girl Scouts now offer direct sales, which means you don’t 
have to order your cookies and wait weeks to get them. The cookies are
here in Cook County, so most of the time when you buy, you receive 
your cookies immediately if they are in stock.
So find your favorite Girl Scout and buy cookies for yourself, your 
relatives, and your friends.  Cookies are a great way to say “Thank 
you” or “I’m thinking of you!”
And whether you enjoy them all yourselves or whether you share, buying 
cookies from a Girl Scout is more than just handing over money for a 
treat. For the girls, selling cookies teaches goal setting, decision-
making, money management, people skills and business ethics. All 
things essential to leadership, to success and to life.
For nearly 100 years, Girl Scouts have been selling cookies, earning 
money to help support their troops’ activities and to contribute to 
their communities. And Cook County Girl Scouts are happy to carry on 
the tradition.
So, look for your favorite scout to buy some Peanut Butter Patties, 
Thanks-A-Lots or, new this year, Mango Cremes.
 

Lutsen prepared for activities in renovated fire hall

Sun, 02/17/2013 - 8:22pm

There were a few finishing touches to be done on the newly 
renovated Lutsen Town Hall, so Lutsen supervisors convened the 
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 meeting one last time in town’s old meeting 
space. Along with usual monthly business, the town board talked about 
parking and considered rental prices and policies for the new town 
hall space.
It was noted that with more space for people, more space for vehicles 
is needed. Treasurer John Groth said a citizen had asked if the ball 
field fence could be removed and parking extended to the east. The 
cost to extend the parking lot would be $21,000 for an area 80’x90.’ 
To add an additional space of 24’x50’ for overflow would be $27,000. 
It was agreed to discuss this at the upcoming annual meeting, on March
12.
Supervisor Ginny Storlie shared a draft rental policy, but said she 
had heard from current users of the hall, asking if their rate could 
stay the same. The board agreed to give the group that currently meets 
at the hall the same rate for a year, to be reconsidered after that. 
Otherwise, the town board is considering charging $50 for a group of 
25-50 people or $100 for 51- 100 people.
The next town meeting will be held in the newly expanded town hall 
space on February 19 at 7 p.m. Prior to the regular monthly meeting, 
the town board will hold its annual board of audit at 5:30 p.m. and 
then a budget meeting at 6 p.m.