IRRRB OKs annual budget, projectsThe Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board on Thursday approved the agency’s budget for fiscal 2013 that starts July 1, cutting overall spending by $1 million but adding an extra $1 million to the development projects budget.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board on Thursday approved the agency’s budget for fiscal 2013 that starts July 1, cutting overall spending by $1 million but adding an extra $1 million to the development projects budget.
The $31.2 million budget proposed by IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich also included money for two new pilot projects, the Iron Range Neighborhood Revitalization project and the Business Energy Retrofitting program, which were approved. The projects will be administered by the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.
The board also approved Sertich’s proposal to apply for a $4.9 million grant from Minnesota Business Development Capital Projects Grant Program for a new Giants Ridge Event Center. The proposed event center will replace aging buildings at the Biwabik recreation area.
The state fund was stocked by the 2012 Minnesota Legislature and will be rationed out to statewide projects picked by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. The Giants Ridge project is expected to cost about $10 million and create 93 jobs.
“Our current facility at Giants Ridge has served us well for decades, but we now have issues that have been patched for years and high losses of energy that make a replacement necessary to compete with like facilities around the country. In looking at the costs of further patches versus a modern building, the smart investment is in a new event center,” Sertich said in a statement after Thursday’s meeting in Eveleth.
The board also approved public works projects and a loan to Conveyor Belt Services in Virginia.