News

Future of infrastructure considered at Lutsen annual meeting

Andy Butter

After coming in from the chill night air of March, roughly two dozen Lutsen residents settled into the town hall and elected Louis Abelon to moderate and lead them through the March 14 Lutsen annual town meeting.

After voting to waive the reading of previous meeting’s minutes and receipts, all gathered made a decision concerning donation requests made to Lutsen. $11,00 asked for by WE (West End) Connect was denied, $1,500 for Tofte township July 4 fireworks display was approved, and, though no request was made, $1,000 was earmarked for the Lutsen Junior Alpine Ski team.

Lutsen Fire Chief Larry McNeally then made a call for more firefighters to join the department.

“Our budget allows for 18 and we have 15 right now. We have room for three more and I would highly encourage any women to apply. Though they make up 50 percent of the population, women only are 14 percent of firefighting services,” McNeally said.

Concerning other Lutsen town infrastructure issues, Treasurer John Groth asked the crowd about the baseball field and park. A discussion followed about the possibility of turning the baseball field into more parking for Lutsen town events while maintaining part of it as a dog park. Concerning Lutsen town park, the possibility of adding a boat ramp and break wall for boat entry was brought up. Meeting attendants decided that there was a lot to discuss concerning these issues and decided to carry the conversation forward to a later meeting.

The preliminary election results were then announced. Andrew Beavers won the three-year town supervisor seat with 46 votes. Christine Ordemann won the one-year supervisor position with 29 votes. John Groth grabbed the treasurer position with a handy 41 votes.

Commissioner Ginny Storlie and Economic Development Authority (EDA) director Mary Somnis came fresh from the Schroeder township meeting to address the Lutsen residents. Storlie announced an informational meeting to be held at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts on April 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. This meeting is intended to educate Cook County citizens and businesses about the details of where and how their taxes are being allocated and spent.

Somnis announced that the workforce housing planned for Lutsen should be ready to have renters in it before this coming Thanksgiving. Somnis mentioned that this spate of housing is “phase 1” in a larger workforce housing plan headed by One Roof. Phase 2 entails apartment buildings in Grand Marais and phase 3 will include family-oriented houses in the county.

Finally it was decided to continue the annual meeting to decide the 2018 tax levy in August.


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