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Boreal Community Media

North House Seeks Path Forward Following City Council Decision Not to Pursue Sale of Leased Property

Jul 29, 2022 12:19PM ● By Laura Durenberger
Photo: North House Folk School 

From North House Folk School - July 29, 2022

Following a closed session at the July 27th meeting of the Grand Marais City Council, the City issued a press release stating that “The City Council has decided not to move forward with a North House Folk School request to purchase the City-owned property that North House leases for a portion of their campus. The Council seeks to continue the partnership with North House and will resume discussion of the relationship on a future Council agenda.”

“North House thanks the Council for promptly taking this proposal into consideration and engaging the community in this important conversation,” North House’s Executive Director, Greg Wright shared following the announcement. “We have been clear throughout this process that North House’s goal is to find a way forward in partnership with the community and the City. We look forward to the next steps in the discussion.” 

North House’s proposal to purchase the lot currently leased from the City also included efforts to expand public parking, increase harbor access, restore the Scott Fish House, and extend a long-term lease to North Superior Fishery on the dock they utilize for their operations. “We have worked hard over the past several months to listen to the community, sort through options and shape ideas that will work. We know a potential purchase was only one of several different strategies for defining a future building site for replacing our two no-longer-functional classrooms. Our need for this space has not gone away, nor have these other important community needs,” Wright added, “A purchase would have been one way to do that, but we will continue listening and applying creative energy to find solutions that benefit the community.”

Even as the City Council and North House engage in these discussions regarding next steps, the current lease agreement between North House and the City remains in effect. Presently, six years remain in the lease, which renews automatically for another 25 years based upon key metrics. “We met all of the metrics in 2019,” noted Wright, “but of course the pandemic made an impact. After almost twenty years, we understand there are parts of the lease that can be improved upon and anticipate engaging some of these ideas is what the City may envision as next steps.”

Comments and questions can be directed to Greg Wright [email protected] or Tom Morse [email protected], the school can also be reached at 218-387-9762

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