Around Cook County
JLG Architects, the Cook County Family YMCA construction project’s architectural and engineering firm, is considering litigation against the county related to reimbursement issues.
Commissioner Bruce Martinson told the Cook County News-Herald that he and Commissioner Sue Hakes had been part of a meeting that included Dan Miller of JLG Architects before the county board meeting on April 9, but he was not free to disclose what they discussed with Miller.
Budget figures presented to the board that day by Project Manager Wade Cole of ORB Management show that the original amount budgeted for JLG’s services, not including expenses, was $705,558.96, but that figure was lowered to $580,232.77 when the project cost was reduced from $11,885,134.68 to $9,484,757.58.
In the process of reducing the scope of the project to bring costs down, JLG was involved in producing new design specifications, but since it would be reimbursed according to a percentage of the costs, the amount of its compensation was reduced.
The county board tabled a discussion of the potential litigation by JLG.
ORB Management’s compensation for the community center project was also reduced—from $557,835.18 to $421,000.08 (not including expenses)—when the scope of the project was reduced.
If you think the snow is over, think again. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Gohde about more snow on the way.
The Lutsen Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 19 was fairly quick, as the township had just held its annual meeting the week before. As it was the last meeting for Supervisor Joe Buttweiler, who did not run for re-election, the board of supervisors wished him well. Tim Goettl will be sworn in as supervisor at the next town meeting.
At past meetings, changes to the town hall parking lot had been discussed, but supervisors decided to hold off on decisions about the parking area until the snow is gone and they can better assess the
parking situation. There was also discussion about landscaping around the town hall and a few minor interior things to be done.
Treasurer John Groth once again said, “We are really happy to be under budget.”
Lutsen Fire Chief Paul Goettl said there will be a wildland firefighting course in May and June with the classroom portion of the training taking place at the Lutsen Fire Hall.
Groth said the township had received three checks for the Lutsen Fire Department, each for $1,000 from the three Caribou Highlands property owners associations. The town board gratefully accepted the donation.
The next Lutsen Town Meeting will be Tuesday, April 16 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall at 116 Caribou Trail.
Plans for construction of a zip line on the Gunflint Trail
were green-lighted April 3 when the city’s planning commission
unanimously approved the developer’s request for both a variance and
conditional use permit.
The requests went to the Grand Marais City Council, at the April 10
for final approval and was approved unanimously.
The proposals comes from Matt Geretschlaeger of Superior Ziplines LLC,
who last year purchased a 20-plus-acre parcel of land from the city
off the Gunflint Trail east of the water tower on the hill overlooking
There were also several neighboring landowners in attendance, all of
whom spoke in favor. Only one letter in opposition to the project was
received –the letter writer said he believed the zipline towers would
negatively impact the landscape and natural beauty of the area.
There was some discussion about the visibility of the towers, but
Geretschlaeger presented a series of photos and maps which illustrated
that the towers would be only minimally visible; the new structures
will blend in and not be nearly as tall as other towers already in the
area, and there will be no lighting or nighttime use of the facility,
Geretschlaeger’s engineers said a stormwater runoff plan is not yet
fully developed, but when it is, it must be submitted to the Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency for its approval. Because of that and the
concern for the surrounding area, the planning commission granted the
conditional use permit, but with an added condition that the city be
sent copies of all the permits, plans and applications relevant to
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
encourages homeowners to complete necessary open burning now, as
restrictions will take effect shortly after snowmelt occurs.
"Warm temperatures will continue to erode the snowpack in the next few
weeks," said Larry Himanga, DNR fire prevention coordinator. "This
will expose last year's leaves and other yard waste. The safest way to
dispose of this vegetation is to recycle or compost it."
Homeowners who choose to burn should do so under the safest
conditions, which is when snow is still on the ground. In addition, a
DNR burning permit is not required when there are three or more inches
of continuous snow cover. This cover drastically reduces the chance a
fire will escape and burn unintended areas. Check local city and
municipal regulations as many are more stringent.
Spring fire restrictions will soon take effect and will severely limit
open burning until summer green-up occurs. Traditionally, most
wildfires occur in April and May. More than 95 percent of these fires
are caused by human error. Due to the high fire incidence during this
period, the DNR initiates burning restrictions to coincide with this
annual "fire season."
The restrictions are weather dependent, but normally last from four to
six weeks until sufficient green vegetative growth occurs.
Historically, spring fire restrictions dramatically decrease the
number and size of accidental fires.
By burning prior to snowmelt, homeowners can reduce the potential for
an escaped fire, which could endanger homes and property. And, if the
DNR or a fire department has to respond to an escaped fire, the