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Business North - Around The Region - Duluth & Superior Newspaper
IRRRB awards $6.6 million in infrastructure grants
The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board approved $6.6 million in public infrastructure grants at its meeting last week.
One of the largest grants awarded was $450,000 to the cities of Bovey and Coleraine for the construction of a new emergency services facility. The two cities have been engaged in emergency services for collaboration talks for some time and also received a $162,000 appropriation for emergency services earlier this year. That earlier award came from taconite production taxes allocated by state lawmakers during the last legislative session. The total cost of constructing a combined fire hall facility is estimated to be $1.15 million.
A number of other infrastructure projects also received funding from the agency. The IRRRB approved $6.66 million in infrastructure grants for projects totaling $44.4 million. The economic development agency projects that 336 jobs will be created as the result of its infrastructure grant allocations.
Other grants approved by the board include:
• $350,000 to the cities of Calumet, Marble and Greenway Township for the construction of its new emergency services facility. (Total project cost estimated at $798,000.)
• $200,000 to Balsam Township for construction of a new emergency services facility. (Total project cost estimated at $700,000)
• $50,000 to the city of Bigfork for water system well improvements. (Total project cost estimated at $1.4 million.)
• $31,000 to the city of Cohasset for infrastructure needed for commercial development. (Total project cost estimated at $562,000.)
• $400,000 to the city of Grand Rapids for infrastructure related to the construction of a new Grand Itasca clinic at the Itasca Area YMCA. (Total project cost estimated at $5.3 million.)
• $600,000 to the city of Hibbing for Phase II infrastructure along Highway 169 needed for proposed retail development. (Total project cost estimated at $2.95 million.)
• $70,000 to the city of Keewatin for a new waterline from 2nd Avenue E to 3rd Avenue E. (Total project cost estimated at $90,275.)
• $200,000 to the city of Keewatin for electric substation upgrades to allow for growth. (Total project cost estimated at $250,000.)
• $150,000 to the city of LaPrairie for its LaPrairie Ave. sewer extension project. (Total project cost estimated at $3.87 million.)
• $175,000 to the city of Nashwauk for water/sewer upgrades on 4th Street from Central to Pearson and Platt. (Total project cost estimated at $508,000.)
• $90,000 to the city of Taconite for sanitary system improvements on Stephens Street S. (Total project cost estimated at $291,127.)
The board also approved a $1.94 million non-recourse loan to the city of Biwabik for the $2.84 million Laurentian Monument, Granite & Stone (LMGS) expansion project. LMGS currently produces granite countertops and monuments and is expanding into other areas of natural stone use, such as structural, architectural, decorative and landscaping. The project is expected to create 15 jobs.
IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich said in a news release, “These projects will have a big impact on our communities by creating jobs and putting the necessary economic infrastructure in place to attract and support businesses.”
In addition, $6.8 million from the Mine Reinvestment Program (Taconite Economic Development Fund) was designated for projects at ArcelorMittal-Minorca; Hibbing Taconite Company; Magnetation, LLC; Mesabi Nugget; Northshore Mining Company; and United Taconite, LLC.
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