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Boreal Community Media

Cook County accepts mountain bike trail building bid

Mar 16, 2018 07:09AM ● By Editor

By Brian Larsen from The Cook County News Herald - March 16, 2018

Only one bid was received to build the 16-mile connector mountain bike trail from Tofte to Lutsen.

That bid came from Rock Solid Trail Contracting, LLC, (RSTC) and was higher than anticipated.

But as Tim Kennedy, Superior Cycling Association president explained, there are only a few single track building companies and most are busy with all of the mountain bike trail building occurring on the Iron Range and across central Minnesota. And, he added, fewer still that are big enough to take on a 16-mile trail building project.

Funding to build the connector route comes from two sources, one from the state Legacy program and a second grant coming from the Federal Recreation Trail program. Together, those grants total $445,967.50. The county will administer both grants with the Superior Cycling Association overseeing the work and acting as the county’s agent.

Kennedy suggested accepting the bid but only having RSTC build as much of the trail as the current grants can pay for. Those funds will cover the expense of adding a new spur from Britton Peak to just west of the Onion River Road, about 8 miles. Work will begin this coming August.

“I hope we can build the trail so it connects to the North Shore state snowmobile trail so we can make a loop,” said Kennedy after the meeting was over. The contractor, Aaron Rogers, plans on hiring the local experienced mountain bike trail builder team of husband and wife Adam and Mika Harju to help build the single track trail, and also bring in another smaller contractor who worked earlier on the Britton mountain bike trail, said Kennedy. 

“We will now be out looking for additional funds to complete the trail,” added Kennedy. “I talked to Representative Rob Ecklund (DFL state legislator), and he said there are a couple of grant possibilities for us to explore.” 

Public meeting for bonding set

On Monday, April 9 there will be a public meeting about the proposed bonding projects at 6 p.m. at the commissioners’ room. Commissioners are looking at securing bonding to fix the courthouse roof, replace windows at the courthouse and Cook County Law Enforcement Center, and several projects at the Cook County Community Center. 

In other matters commissioners approved the following:

. At the request of the Cook County sheriff, Cook County commissioners passed a motion to set a public hearing to consider changes and additions to the miscellaneous county fee schedule.

The hearing will be held on April 10, 2018, at 10 a.m. in the commissioner’s room. . A permit to hold a raffle was granted to the Grand Marais Lioness Club for a raffle to be held on August 1, 2018, at St. John’s Catholic Church. . Commissioners approved the purchase of two new multi-functional printers costing a total of $15,790.31. One printer ($7,740.70) will be for the Sheriff ’s Office, and the other printer ($8,049.61) will go the Public Health and Human Services Department. . Cook County Highway Engineer Krysten Foster discussed soliciting bids for approximately 100,000 gallons of 38 percent liquid calcium chloride (LCC) solution, which is used to keep dust down on gravel roads. Foster told commissioners that she and her staff were going to look at which roads were receiving calcium chloride and might make some changes to make the best use of funds for the LCC. . Foster said four companies were asked to submit quotes for architectural and engineering services for the Hovland garage, but only two companies sent back bids. LHB, Inc.’s proposed fee for design and construction administration was $86,400 while Meyer Group bid $77,000. Foster asked the board to approve the quote from Meyer Group.

Cook County administrator Jeff Cadwell will execute the contract with Meyer and pending approval of the contract by county attorney Molly Hicken, Meyer Group will begin work on the plans. . A quote for $7,690 (plus some electrical work that will be extra) by Chuck’s heating-air conditioning to install air conditioning in the dispatch area was granted. Because of the added computer equipment in the dispatch area, the current system can’t cool the space enough. . Commissioners approved a grant of $76,300 from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) that will be used to redevelop the outdoor hockey ice rink at the Cook County Community Center.

The money will be used to cover the cost of removing 300 yards of cubic concrete (the current surface), and pulverizing the concrete onsite so it can be used as fill for the proposed back parking lot area. Bolt Construction came up with the estimate and will do the work. . Next, commissioners approved spending $43,567.75 to pay Becker Arena Products (BAP) to take down the hockey rink boards, reface them, and remount them once the curbs on the new rink are installed. Cook County Community Center Director Diane Booth said BAP would not warranty the boards unless they take them down and remount them later. Booth noted BAP had to do the work for the warranty to be valid. 

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