Grand Rapids, county HRA merger finalized

   At its Dec. 7 regular meeting, the Grand Rapids City Council held two hearings covering the final merger of the city and county Housing and Rehabilitation Authorities (HRA), and the Truth in Taxation hearing for the 2021 payable levy. It also extended the deadline under the Tax Increment Financing District agreement 1-11 for construction of an 82-room hotel on the Sawmill Inn site from Dec. 31, 2020 to June 30, 2022.

    The hearing on the Itasca County HRA dissolves the city organization at the end of the year and transfers its assets and jurisdiction within city limits to the county HRA. The two groups have been operating under one director, Diane Larson, for two years. The merger will ensure the assets are fully utilized, said Mayor Dale Adams. Former board member Marilyn Rossman expressed thanks to Larson, and said that the organization has become much more personalized to individual needs. 


Spread of county COVID cases slows

    Itasca County residents continue to turn around rates of COVID-19 that had been on the rise since August. As of Oct. 23, the 14-day rate of positive cases per 10,000 residents stands at 39, down from its peak of 54 in mid-October. According to Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), a 14-day case rate of 10 or lower would suggest a community has control of virus spread.

    As of Oct. 26, the county has seen 758 total cases, with 

174 identified in the past two weeks, 75 in the past seven days and 22 in the past 24 hours (due largely to recent gatherings). 

    Nine Itasca residents currently are hospitalized, with one in an Intensive Care Unit. Itasca County has seen no additional COVID-related deaths recently, although the state’s daily death rate is ticking up.

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Bigfork Ambulance seeks volunteers

    Small Business Administration (SBA) officials last week said more financial assistance programs will soon begin for companies struggling to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

     “We’re hoping Phase 4 will start very soon,” Great Lakes SBA Regional Administrator Robert Scott said in Duluth. Phase 4 is the latest package being considered by Congress. Although Democrats and Republicans still have differences about the proposal, they are united in support of the SBA’s portion. “Many of these things have not been seen before and we hope there are more coming,” Scott said.

     They would potentially follow previous assistance packages including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). 

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Bovey City Council discusses business park

    The Bovey City Council met on Oct. 21, 2020 to further the development of the Red River Business Park and discuss sidewalk plowing. City Engineer Joe Pelawa gave an update on the business park project where Braun has finished boring for soil samples and Pelawa is now soliciting contractors to clear trees and brush on the hill area east of KMDA. Pelawa said, at this stage of the project, the council needs to devise a means of financing the infrastructure. The city council took action to grant an easement to the City of Bovey adjacent to the lift station property to provide a legal utility and street right-of-way. The right-of-way will create a point of entry to the Red Rock Business Park.

Senior living community groundbreaking held

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Pet of the week

3 Dog Collars

    Carmel is a handsome, affectionate fella who loves people. The downside? He was out on his own for some time before joining us, so he can be easily overstimulated, causing him to lash out. Our veterinarian feels Carmel is young and very trainable—so we seek the perfect family that will patiently work with him and love him forever. We do not feel Carmel would do well in a home with other pets or young children. Could Carmel fill YOUR heart and home with sweetness?

    Precious Paws Humane Society, located at 101 First Avenue SW in Chisholm (across from Jubilee Foods), is a no-kill shelter staffed entirely by volunteers. We serve the communities of Chisholm, Nashwauk and Keewatin. We may reached via telephone at 218-254-3300, or email: Please call ahead for hours of operation. Check out current adoptees on the Facebook page.



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