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The Duluth City Council could vote Monday to adopt a new ordinance that would give a green light for transportation network companies — such as Uber and Lyft — to do business in the city. But Council President Joel Sipress announced Thursday his intention to tap the brakes, in an effort to delay the new TNC ordinance at least temporarily.
Local developers Alex Giuliani and Sandy Hoff received a nod from the Duluth Economic Development Authority Wednesday night to flesh out their plans for how to reuse Lot D, a 12-acre piece of the city's downtown waterfront. By a unanimous vote, DEDA commissioners approved an agreement granting the Hoff-Giuliani team — doing business as the Lot D Holding Co. — an option that could give it until April 30, 2018 to pull together a development agreement that everyone can support.
The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation has hired former state legislator and Duluth city councilor Roger Reinert as its new vice president. Foundation President Holly Sampson said Reinert fills a newly created position that was necessitated by the expanding scope of the charity's work. The organization serves 10 counties in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin and its mission is to "promote private giving for the public good." Since its inception in 1983, the foundation has given away more than $50 million.
Officials gathered at Duluth City Hall Tuesday morning to register their mounting concerns about funding cuts President Donald Trump proposed in the "budget blueprint" he issued late last week. Keith Hamre, Duluth's director of planning and construction services, talked about what proposed federal housing fund cuts could mean for the city. He noted that Duluth annually receives $2.2 million in the form of Community Development Block Grants and $540,000 in HOME investment Partnerships Program funding.
New details about a prospective waterfront development have emerged in an option agreement that will go to a vote of the Duluth Economic Development Authority Wednesday night. If it is approved, local developers Sandy Hoff and Alex Giuliani will have until April 30, 2018 to put together a development agreement and potentially exercise an option to purchase Lot D — a 12-acre piece of waterfront property located to the west of Bayfront Festival Park and its next-door neighbor, the recently opened Pier B Resort Hotel.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson demonstrated no timidity in taking on some of the city's big challenges Monday night during her second-ever State of the City address. Speaking to an audience assembled at the Lincoln Park Middle School auditorium, Larson laid out three priorities for the coming year: • Taking hold of the opioid epidemic; • Boosting the city's inventory of affordable housing; • And reducing the city's use of fossil fuels.
The Duluth City Council unanimously resolved to tackle the adverse effects of homelessness this past week. It's not the first time councilors have vowed to address the issue, but so far little tangible progress has come of those efforts, noted Joel Kilgour, an advocate for people experiencing homelessness and a member of Loaves and Fishes. He praised the latest resolution yet held councilors to account, citing what he called "three uncomfortable facts."
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson will present her annual "State of the City" address on Monday in the Lincoln Park Middle School Auditorium, 3215 W. Third St. The doors will open for the event at 5:30 p.m., with the program slated to begin at 6 p.m. Larson's speech, "Lead by Being," will be broadcast live on KBJR-TV. A free Duluth Transit Authority shuttle service to and from the event will run from the Harrison Community Center, 3002 W. Third St., between 5:15 and 7:30 p.m.
After a year and a half of leading Duluth's parks and recreation department, Lindsay Dean will pack her bags for New York City at the end of this week. Dean has been hired by New York Cares, a nonprofit that works to mobilize New Yorkers to volunteer and lend a hand in the city's parks, schools and public spaces. Jim Filby Williams, Duluth's director of public administration, said Dean's contributions to the parks and rec department were many, including the strong team of staff she wove together and will leave behind as a lasting legacy.
After repeatedly tabling a resolution that would have granted a controversial permit allowing a condominium at Beacon Pointe to operate as a vacation rental property, the Duluth City Council rejected that request Monday night. By a 2-7 vote, the council turned down the request, with Councilors Jay Fosle and Noah Hobbs standing together in support of the resolution. Council President Joel Sipress, who represents Duluth's 2nd District, including the Endion neighborhood where Beacon Pointe is located, explained his opposition to granting the permit.