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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Township planning recreation improvement projects

Stephanie Ukkola
Posted 3/1/23

SOUDAN- The town board here is working on several projects to improve the safety, beauty, and enjoyment of outdoor recreation in Breitung Township. At their regular meeting on Feb. 23, the board …

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Township planning recreation improvement projects


SOUDAN- The town board here is working on several projects to improve the safety, beauty, and enjoyment of outdoor recreation in Breitung Township.
At their regular meeting on Feb. 23, the board discussed a proposed Culture and Tourism Grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board which includes dock replacement at Stuntz Bay, replacing dock decking at McKinley Park, updates to the McKinley Park playground, which is currently in poor condition, the installation of a sound system and bullhorn, a large capacity canopy to replace the canopy that was destroyed last year, and replacing serving tables and picnic tables that are in poor condition.
The Stuntz Bay Association has committed $7,500 towards the project. All together the estimated cost for these projects is $60,000. The most expensive item on the ticket is $23,000 to replace the playground, followed by $14,800 for the Stuntz Bay dock, $9,000 for picnic tables, $7,200 for the large canopy, $3,000 for the McKinley Park dock decking, $2,000 for the sound system and bullhorn, and $1,000 for serving tables. The project is to be completed by September 2023.
A $30,000 match is required from the township, part of which is covered by the $7,500 commitment from the Stuntz Bay Association. The Old Settlers Association, Stuntz Bay Association, Tower-Soudan Civic Club, and the Tower Soudan Events Board have written letters of support. The board passed a resolution to apply for the funding at the January meeting. IRRR should make a decision on the application in March or April.
Also in recreation
• The board passed a resolution to apply for a DNR Outdoor Recreation Grant for improvements to the Soudan Park and Recreation Area including installing lighting from the hockey rink to the baseball field, replacing a damaged water line, planting trees at the wayside rest area, installing a disc golf course, updating playground equipment, and replacing the chain link fencing. Cost estimates are being updated.
• The McKinley Park bike trail project funding was approved to be extended until June 2024. Mesabi Bituminous is contracted to complete the project in September 2023. This project was $61,000 over budget. The board made a resolution to apply to IRRR Regional Trails Grant Program for another grant to make up for the shortfall.
Thompson Farm Road
Chairman Tomsich stated that he contacted Commissioner Paul McDonald to help mediate a land purchase from the county that has been in the works for years.
A small parcel of land near the Thompson Farm Road and the township’s gravel pit is needed to move the Thompson Farm Road. The board had moved to purchase the lot in June 2021 after having the parcel surveyed and given a legal description. Since then, changes in staffing at the county have made the purchase difficult to complete.
• The board discussed a potential land trade with Wayne Kultala. Kultala owns a small triangular parcel of land located between the township’s gravel pit and Highway 169. The land owned by Kultala is located near the planned Thompson Farm Road relocation and where an ATV trail will be built. The lot up for potential trade is on 4th Ave. between Gordon St. and Main St.
Other news
In other news, the Breitung Town Board:
• Heard that $75,000 was granted from CDBG for road work on Church St.
• Started a conversation about extending broadband fiber lines to McKinley Park and residential areas.
• Approved a request by Club Mesabi for use of the Breitung Community Center facilities on Saturday, Aug. 5 as a gathering place for the annual Great River Energy Mesabi Trail Tour.
• Accepted a road and bridge report that stated extreme temperature conditions have made the skating rink difficult to maintain. The John Deere 1025, used to snowplow sidewalks, needed extensive repairs. The sewer laterals on Poplar St. have been inspected with cameras in preparation for an upcoming project. New hockey boards have been installed.
• Passed a motion authorizing refinancing of wastewater board’s $258,000 obligation needed to get specs on water filtration plant.
• The township election will be held at the Breitung Community Center on Tuesday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Erin Peitso is challenging incumbent Tim Tomsich for the two-year term for supervisor. Matt Tuchel is running unopposed for the three-year supervisor term. Incumbent Jorgine Gornick is running unopposed for treasurer.
Board of Canvas will be held Tuesday, March 14 at 8 p.m., immediately following the election.
• The Township Annual meeting will be held Tuesday, March 14, immediately following the board of canvas.
The next regular board meeting will be Thursday, March 23 at noon.
The reorganizational meeting will be Thursday, March 23 immediately after the regular board meeting.
• Heard that the Fireman’s Relief Association secretary Doug Carter stepped down from his position and Chris Suihkonen will take his place. Supervisor Chuck Tekautz gave thanks to the fire department. “For a small community we have a terrific fire department,” he said.


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