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REGIONAL- The Ely school district received $2 million worth of good news coming out of the Dec. 21 Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation board’s quarterly meeting. The funding will help the …
REGIONAL- The Ely school district received $2 million worth of good news coming out of the Dec. 21 Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation board’s quarterly meeting. The funding will help the district cover cost overruns on the district’s $20 million 21st Century School building renovation project.
The district had lobbied the state Legislature last spring for assistance and was hopeful a projected $9 billion surplus would work in their favor to secure the needed funds. But the session adjourned without a deal on how to spend the surplus, leaving the funding shortage issue unresolved.
The $2 million the IRRR authorized for Ely, along with another $4.7 million for the new Rock Ridge school district to cover their school construction cost overruns, are intended to be short-term cash infusions as opposed to outright grants. The IRRR specified that both school districts will work collaboratively with legislators to pass bills to reimburse the agency’s school account in the amount of the short-term infusion.
The city of Cook will receive $238,000 to put toward an estimated $2.1 million project for road reconstruction and storm sewer improvements for Vermilion Drive and North River Street. St. Louis County will fund $1.5 million of the project, with the city expected to kick in $212,000. A $150,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will cover the remainder of the projected cost.
The City of Winton was awarded $65,000 to upgrade a water storage tower, construct a new underground vault structure and operations building, upgrade the water tower control system and install a backup generator connection. The total estimated cost of the project is $156,000.
The Northeast Regional ATV Trail Joint Powers Board will receive $1.96 million for upgrades and connector trail construction on the following trails: Prospector ATV, Voyageur Country ATV, Ranger ATV, Northern Traxx, and Quad Cities ATV.
The regional project will extend trails, fill gaps and connect ATV trails in northern Minnesota in a 1,500-mile-plus system that will eventually run from International Falls to the Iron Range, and from Ely to Grand Marais on the North Shore.
The project will also assist in funding an economic impact study, to be conducted by the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Currently, Giants Ridge is exclusively an outdoor recreational facility, but that will be changing after the IRRRB awarded $8.2 million for construction of a 12,000-square-foot indoor facility that will house a swimming pool, sports court, indoor spa, and more. The award includes funding for site work, a parking lot, and landscaping. The project is expected to go out for bid next fall.
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