Around Cook County
The Lake Superior-Poplar River Water District received good news this week on its plan to construct an approximately 2-mile 20-inch diameter pipeline from Lake Superior to Lutsen Mountains Ski Hill. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued a decision on October 30, 2012 stating that the DNR had determined that the proposed Poplar River Water District project “does not have the potential for significant environmental effects.”
The DNR’s decision to not require an environmental impact statement allows the project to move forward to the construction phase. Tom Rider, co-owner at Lutsen Mountains Corporation (LMC) said, “We have been working hard on the engineering and costs to get the project to the bid stage for construction. The project protects and provides jobs in our community. We anticipate starting construction in the spring and using Cook County contractors.”
The pipeline will be used for snowmaking at the ski hill, but plans also call for the pipeline to be used as sustainable water source for irrigation at Superior National at Lutsen golf course, as well as for drinking water for resorts on the ski hill and fire protection via hydrants in the water district.
Agreements between the county and the city of Grand Marais, Cook County Schools, and the YMCA regarding the new community center are moving forward. On October 30, the county board approved a purchase agreement for the west wing of the school complex.
A joint powers agreement with the city called for both entities to share the cost of demolishing the Grand Marais Municipal Pool and settling with Burbach Aquatics, which the city had a pool contract with previously.
The joint powers agreement also called for each entity to put $10,000 a year into a capital improvement fund. The board spent some time discussing the wording of this part of the contract so that the fund would be used for repairs to the basic elements of the building such as the roof, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems but not for cosmetic maintenance such as new carpeting or paint.
Under the joint powers agreement, the city would initially pay the county half of the annual operating loss up to a total of $100,000. If the loss went over $200,000 in a year (with each entity paying half of that), the city’s contribution could increase 5 percent a year or a percentage equal to the Consumer Price Index for the preceding year, whichever was lower. Increases greater than that would need to be approved by the city.
City residents will not be taxed by both the city and the county for community center operating losses. For the loss that is paid in equal amounts by both the city and the county, the city will levy residents within the city for its half and the county will levy residents outside the city for its half. If the county needs to pay more than the city in a given year, all county property owners will share that cost.
Fifty wolves were killed in the opening weekend of Minnesota's first managed wolf hunt.
About 32 were killed on opening day, Saturday. On Sunday, 18 more were killed in three sections in the northern part of the state where the hunt was allowed.
In the northeast, 22 wolves were killed, 20 in the northwest, and eight in the east-central zone. The east central zone was closed after Sunday to limit the number of wolves harvested.
The quota of wolves was set at 400, with 200 for the early season from Nov. 3 to Nov. 18. Another 200 were set for the trapping season, from Nov. 24 to Jan. 31.
The hunt has been contentious: Billboards in the metro area call the hunt unjust; other groups said that the DNR did not offer enough opportunity for public comment on the wolf season.
Department of Natural Resources acting wildlife chief Steve Merchant says the numbers are close to what officials expected.
The local Arrowhead Chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association is collecting deer hides again this year during the rifle hunting season. Money raised from the sale of hides is used for youth hunter Forkhorn Camp scholarships and local habitat improvement projects.
This year bright orange collection boxes are located at the Holiday Station Store in Tofte, Runningen’s Retail Store in Hovland and Buck’s Hardware in Grand Marais.
Hunters are reminded to be sure to remove the head and legs from the hides they donate. Do not leave hides in plastic bags. Hides will spoil if left in plastic bags.
Hide boxes will be removed after Thanksgiving. Thanks to all of the hunters who donate their deer hides to this worthy project.
For more information call (218) 387-1868.
Doo-Wop Wed Widing Hood was loved by the sell-out crowd on opening night, Friday, Saturday, November 3. This play, full of poodle skirts and ‘50s era music, has a cast of 60-plus talented kids and community members. The show continues next weekend on November 10 – 11. Don’t miss this great Playhouse and school collaboration. Visit www.GrandMaraisPlayhouse.com and click on tickets or call (218) 387-1284 for information.