Around Cook County
George Wilkes and Paul Nelson of the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) appeared before the Cook County-Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) a second time on Tuesday, March 12 to ask about the possible purchase of a business park lot. As suggested at a previous meeting, the CCLEP representatives looked at Lot 7, but have determined that Lot 6 better meets their needs. “We feel Lot 6 is the best location for a biomass district heating plant,” said Wilkes.
Wilkes asked if the EDA would consider “holding” Lot 6 for the biomass project.
Nelson said they understood that there were concerns that the biomass facility would look too industrial for the lot at the entrance to the business park. He shared photos of some biomass heating plants that were aesthetically pleasing. Nelson said a great example is a district heating plant in downtown St. Paul. Board Member Don Davison reiterated that he was still very concerned about the aesthetics. He reminded his colleagues that the EDA is still trying to get Como Oil & Propane to install the screening it said it would erect on its lot.
Are you interested in map use, analysis and interpretation? Are you thinking about enhancing your career with technical skills found in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)? On Monday, April 8 at 6:00 p.m., Cook County Higher Education is hosting an information session on Itasca Community College’s online GIS program scheduled to begin this fall. The GIS Certificate program at Itasca Community College provides students with a fundamental background and hands-on training in geospatial technologies and computer mapping applications.
The information session at the North Shore Campus in Grand Marais is for people who are interested in learning more about the 16-credit GIS certificate program, as well as a chance to meet instructor Timothy Fox. Fox will cover the specific details about the program, the course prerequisites, and the recommended course sequence and credit load. He will also discuss the online delivery format and the computer software requirements for the program.
Have a wonderful Easter Sunday!
For the second year Thrivent Financial, North Shore Chapter 31313 has invited willing Cook County churches to take a supplemental food shelf offering on a designated Sunday in March.
Though all area churches already have planned regular means of contributing to the local food shelf, six area congregations agreed to join the special offering effort with Thrivent offering supplemental funding of $600.
On, Sunday, March 17, $2,110 was collected among these six churches: Bethlehem Lutheran, Lutsen Lutheran, Trinity Lutheran, Cornerstone Community, Evangelical Free and Life in Christ Lutheran, Missouri Synod. Adding the $600 additional funding from Thrivent Financial, a total of $2,710 will be contributed to Cook County Food Shelf this month.
A similar effort was made in Silver Bay and Two Harbors through cash donations made at local grocery stores on March 16. The campaign totals for all three North Shore food shelves was $5,692!
The State of Minnesota recently welcomed 24 new D.A.R.E. officers. Among them was Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Hallberg, who is taking over the drug and alcohol resistance program from Chief Deputy Leif Lunde.
Chief Deputy Lunde has been the D.A.R.E. officer since 2001, taking over from Deputy Tim Weitz who started the D.A.R.E. program under the late Sheriff John Lyght. Lunde said he enjoyed his time as D.A.R.E. officer, but felt with the graduation of his son from the D.A.R.E. program last year it was a good time to step down.
Lunde is an impassioned advocate of the D.A.R.E. program, noting that there are some who say the program is not effective at stopping youth drug use. To that, Lunde replies, “You can find statistics to say just about anything.”
Lunde said he thinks D.A.R.E. is important not only for the drug resistence education, but because it provides an opportunity for police officers to interact with students in a positive way.
After several weeks of discussing Assessor Betty Schultz’s request to add a technical clerk position to her department, the county board voted on March 12, 2013 to create a 35-hour-a-week position that will be reviewed in five years and terminated within six years.
With the help of her staff, Schultz is implementing a new computer system that will track property information in a more detailed way and is working to comply with the state’s requirement that they assess all properties at least once every five years, something the county has not been able to do in recent years.
Commissioner Garry Gamble said, “I think Betty has a good handle on the problem and a good solution to the problem,” but added that government spending needs to be kept in check.