REGIONAL – The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board will have 13 infrastructure grants, totaling more than $2.3 million, on their agenda when they meet June 7 at the agency’s …
REGIONAL – The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board will have 13 infrastructure grants, totaling more than $2.3 million, on their agenda when they meet June 7 at the agency’s headquarters in Eveleth.
The Community Infrastructure program helps regional cities, townships and tribal units of government fund much-needed infrastructure projects, on a matching basis, to support community development.
Three such grants, if approved, will directly aid the communities of Babbitt, Cook and Ely. Those projects include:
$350,000 for the city of Cook to help fund construction of a new water main loop on the west side of Hwy. 53, from the alley east of South River Street to Third Street SE to provide adequate potable water and fire protection for the existing commercial businesses in the area.
The waterline upgrade will enhance opportunities for business growth in the vicinity as well as support the redevelopment of Zup’s Food Market, which was destroyed by fire last November. The Zup’s owners are planning to rebuild at the location where the original facility operated. The project is expected to retain 44 permanent jobs and create 36 construction jobs.
$120,000 for the city of Ely to help extend high-speed broadband fiber on both alleys on the north and south side of Sheridan Street from Third Avenue West to Eighth Avenue East.
The fiber will be installed on existing utility poles owned both by the city of Ely and Frontier Communications. The city will construct and own the fiber and CTC will lease the line to provide service to the customers. The lease payments will be used to pay off anticipated debt service on the project as well as invest in future expansion once the debt is paid back. The project is expected to create two construction jobs.
$250,000 for the city of Babbitt to help with a utility extension as part of their second phase of a campground development project. The project includes expanding the existing Birch Lake Recreation Area to add a new 22-acre campground with 49 new campsites that will accommodate recreational vehicles as well as tent campers. Two restrooms and a camp office/shower/restroom facility will also be constructed at the campground.
Phase II includes city utilities (water, sewer, electrical) to be extended to the campground and to the existing facilities in the recreation area. The infrastructure extension will open up areas for new commercial and housing development.
The Birch Lake Recreation Area sits on a 37-acre, city-owned parcel located on Birch Lake. The campground will be connected to an existing paved pedestrian/bike trail that connects to the city of Babbitt and eventually to the Mesabi Trail. The campground will also connect to the new Prospector ATV trail that will serve campers seeking off-trail vehicle opportunities.