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City gets report on energy and space efficiency of aging city hall

Fri, 09/25/2015 - 12:38pm

At the September 9 Grand Marais City Council meeting, councilors heard a detailed report from registered architect Nancy Schultz of CR-BPS, a firm hired to conduct an energy and space efficiency survey of City Hall. As expected, Schultz said the 12,148-square-foot municipal building on Broadway, which has had a lot of additions and alterations over the years since the early 1970s, has many deficiencies and shortcomings. The building, which currently houses the city’s administrative offices, public restrooms, liquor store and council chambers, has previously served also as a jail, fire station and visitor information center.

Schultz said the building uses about $30,000 annually on utilities including propane and electricity and has many “air tightness issues,” owing mainly to its age and the fact that it was built on a swamp and therefore experiences a lot of shifting and destabilization. Schultz said the building also is “way underutilized,” is out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, shifts and has many cracks, and experiences frequent water problems. “It’s not a healthy condition,” she said.

It is up to council to decide whether the building is worth repairing, or to come up with a plan to replace it – that was the reason for commissioning the survey. Schultz said a replacement building to meet the city’s needs would likely cost about $2 million; the price tag for the needed repairs and renovations is estimated at $1.7 million over the next 10 years, but that amount still would not address many of the bigger issues such as the building’s constant shifting and water-caused “hydro-thermal” problems.

WTIP seeks your feedback!

Fri, 09/25/2015 - 11:19am

Autumn is here, and with it the busyness of summertime is beginning to wind down, providing the opportunity to step back and reflect on the arts and culture programming and events that WTIP has offered so far this year.
Do you tune in to WTIP, or did you attend WTIP’s recent Radio Waves Music Festival?  If so, we invite you to take a few minutes to respond to our 2015 WTIP Arts & Culture Survey.  The survey focuses on programs, features and events that highlight the arts, culture and history of our region.  We value your input and feedback, and will use the information when completing grant reports and making decisions regarding future arts and culture programming and services.
The survey is available online through Wednesday, September 30, at the following link:
If you’re unable to complete the survey online and would like a paper copy instead, please stop by the station at 1712 West Highway 61.
Thanks so much for sharing your time and thoughts, and for considering how WTIP brings arts and culture into your life.

Pleasant fall weather in store for weekend

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 12:36pm

A little more rain, but by Saturday we should have warm fall weather. WTIP’s Jay Andersen spoke with National Weather Service meteorologist Carol Christenson.


City passes preliminary levy increase of 12 percent

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 11:01am

Grand Marais city residents can expect to see an increase in their tax levies of up to 12 percent next year following city council’s decision to pass a preliminary levy of $924,767.76 at their Sept. 9 meeting.

The unanimous 3-0 vote – Mayor Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux and Councilor Anton Moody were absent – means the proposed levy cannot increase, but could go down before final approval and certification at year’s end. The increase would be the first in three years, when the levy was raised from $815,057.51 to the current $824,152.44 in 2013.

City Administrator Mike Roth explained that the $100,000 increase is necessitated by an already-approved 16 percent increase ($44,129) in the library’s 2016 budget, bigger-than-expected health care costs, rises in wages and energy costs and higher debt service payments. “It’s a lot of things we don’t have control over, but there are a lot of things we can still talk about,” said Roth, singling out revenue-generating areas in the budget that can be adjusted such as income from the municipal liquor store and the city’s Rec Park and campground.

And despite the proposed increase, Roth said the added income “doesn’t even get us to doing what we’ve talked about” – projects such as a new public works facility, City Hall improvements including public restrooms, First Street rehab, safety improvements along Highway 61 that are now in the planning stages, and possible office and boat launch/marina upgrades at the Rec Park. “We know we’ll have to do most of these things over the next 20 years,” Roth said, “but we can’t do them all at once.”

Bethlehem Lutheran invites people to Harvest Dinner

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 10:59am

Bethlehem Lutheran Church will host its annual Harvest Dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 25.

This meal, all homemade by the Bethlehem Lutheran Church Women, is a fundraiser to support service in local, regional and worldwide needs.

This year’s menu will consist of Nancy Lindquist’s fish cakes, fresh-baked bone-in ham, parsley buttered red potatoes, fresh garden carrots, home-canned beets, pickles and fresh baked rye bread. Dolly Quaife’s wonderful coleslaw dressing is a refreshing addition to homegrown cabbage slaw. And finally, Mary McElevey’s wonderful carrot cake will be served for dessert. This is truly a special meal created and served with love!

In addition to the fabulous meal, quilts will be for sale. The quilts continue to be a source of joy for the quilting crew. Every Thursday morning there is a great group of women meeting and helping to create the warm and colorful quilts for the quilt ministry. Interested persons are invited to join the group – they will find a job for all, and the coffee is always on!

Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $5 for children. Call Laura at the church office at (218) 387-2227 Monday through Thursday with questions or for more information, or to reserve a meal to go.


This local news is provided by Cook County News-Herald. Visit the community newspaper at

Wednesdays: Open House for WTIP Volunteer Producers

Wed, 09/23/2015 - 12:43pm

 WTIP is proud to introduce "Office Hours:  Become a community producer."  

Starting Wednesday, September 23 and continuing every Wednesday through October 28, 2015, WTIP welcomes volunteer producers to stop by the station between 5:30 and 7:30 pm to talk through ideas, troubleshoot or learn to use equipment with Patrick and other contributors.

Everyone is welcome!

Each session provides a great opportunity to:

  • Learn to use editing software and portable recording equipment
  • Generate story ideas
  • Learn how to prep your work for radio or online distribution
  • Gather new techniques to use in your feature
  • Stop by for 2 minutes... or 2 hours...

Want to learn more?  Click here for more information