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Duluth residents could see the city's share of their property taxes increase by up to nearly 6 percent next year. By an 8-0 vote with 5th District Councilor Jay Fosle absent, the Duluth City Council passed a resolution Monday night setting the maximum levy for the coming year. The levy won't be finalized until December. Mayor Emily Larson had proposed a budget that would have yielded an anticipated 3.96 percent property tax increase. But the council set a max levy that leaves room for an additional 1.96 percent to be tacked onto the local property tax.
The Duluth Police Department's request to purchase what some people call personal protective equipment and others call riot gear will have to wait. The Duluth City Council voted 5-3 Monday night to table a resolution that would have authorized police to spend up to $82,721 for the purchase of a variety of items, including shielded helmets, body armor and crowd-control batons.
The Duluth branch of the NAACP, the Indigenous Commission and a number of other diverse groups are calling on city councilors to table a resolution tonight that would authorize the city's police department to proceed with the purchase of riot gear. They say more time is needed for citizens to discuss the necessity of the equipment and how it would be used.
On Monday night, the Duluth City Council will take up a resolution that could authorize the police department to purchase “personal protective equipment.” The 2018 police budget adopted last year included up to $82,721 in funding for the purchase of what was then described as “riot gear,” but that purchase was put on hold in December after public concerns arose about the potential impact of an increasingly militarized police force.
Efforts to renovate the West Theater, 317-319 N. Central Ave., are approaching completion, but the project has been temporarily held up, waiting on steel to be delivered for the construction of a period-appropriate marquee. The renovation of the 80-plus-year-old art deco theater is being spearheaded by Bob Boone, publisher of the Reader Weekly, a free Duluth-based alternative news publication. Boone formed Paladin Properties LLC to purchase the former theater for $140,500 in October of 2016.
More than 220 people signed a petition raising safety concerns about Duluth's Glenwood Street earlier this year, prompting the city and St. Louis County to study the busy eastern thoroughfare. At 5:30 p.m. tonight, community members are invited to gather at Lester Park Elementary School to learn about the findings of a recently completed traffic analysis as well as staff recommendations on how to improve and possibly slow the flow of traffic through this well-used corridor.
Duluth and Hermantown soon may be asked to snuff out sales of tobacco and e-cigarettes to anyone under 21 years of age. "We are starting that dialogue both within the community and with local decision-makers," said at McKone, regional senior director of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. She expressed hope that both Duluth and Hermantown will adopt ordinances this year prohibiting sales of tobacco and e-cigarette type devices to people younger than 21 years old.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson laid out a 2019 budget proposal Monday night, seeking a 3.96 percent increase in the levy to fund increased investments in affordable housing, youth recreation programs and improved transportation. If Larson's budget is approved by the Duluth City Council, it would translate into a tax increase of about $9 for the owner of a $100,000 home or $20 for the owner of a $200,000 residence.
You could say that Bob Ryan knows how to stretch a dollar. Ryan, the CEO of Odyssey Resorts and Development Inc., recently contributed $50,000 to One Roof Community Housing, and that private investment helped the organization obtain another $720,000 from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. Those funds will be used to address a very real need for more affordable housing, both in Duluth and up the shore, where Odyssey operates Breezy Pointe, Larsmont Cottages, Grand Superior Lodge, Caribou Highlands Lodge and East Bay Suites.
Unlike his colleagues on the Duluth City Council, Arik Forsman was appointed to his At Large seat, and without the benefit of a campaign or an election, the 30-year-old remains largely unknown to many of his constituents throughout the city.