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The future of the Esmond Building — formerly the Seaway Hotel — remains a mystery. The Duluth Housing and Redevelopment Authority owns the once-troubled Lincoln Park building and issued a "request for qualifications" earlier this year, seeking to identify prospective redevelopment partners. But Jill Keppers, executive director of the Duluth HRA, said the authority received a "pretty thin" response — just four proposals in all.
Duluth's steam plant will be swapping out coal and natural gas for biofuel in the near future. Earlier this week, the Duluth City Council authorized Duluth Energy Systems to enter into a five-year agreement with an Ottawa, Ontario-based company that produces a type of fuel oil it makes from wood waste.
A staff member of the downtown Duluth Public Library discovered an insect Wednesday in the upholstery of a piece of furniture that was positively identified later that day by a pest service as a bedbug. The building was treated Wednesday night, allowing it to reopen its doors Thursday morning. "I hope people realize that we dealt with this as soon as we were aware of it, and we took immediate steps to eradicate it," said Carla Powers, manager of the library services for the city of Duluth.
An unfolding disagreement involving a Canadian electrical transmission project could cause serious headaches for Minnesota Power. The Duluth-based utility company has entered into a long-term agreement to purchase 250 megawatts of power from Manitoba Hydro, beginning in 2020. But recent events have thrown uncertainty into the outlook for some needed infrastructure, namely the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project.
The Duluth City Council considered a host of amendments Monday night before settling on a few more details of a proposed ordinance that would require local employers to provide their workers with time off to deal with illness or other family emergencies.
The Duluth Economic Development Authority will consider an agreement Wednesday night that could spur the growth of the Ramsey Village Townhomes development. If approved, the package would provide tax-increment financing for the project, which is expected to result in the construction of at least another 20 townhouse units and perhaps 24 to 28 more in the future if additional land can be acquired by the developer, Thies & Talle Properties.
At a time when much of Minnesota is experiencing population growth, the Twin Ports area is fighting to hold its own. Estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau this week indicate that the Duluth-Superior metropolitan statistical area (MSA) — including St. Louis, Douglas and Carlton counties — actually lost 172 people from 2016 to 2017. That stands in stark contrast to the state of Minnesota, which experienced positive net domestic migration for the first time in a decade, with about 8,000 more people moving to the state than residents moving away in 2017.
The Duluth City Council will face some tough work Monday, as members seek to reach consensus on two thorny issues that have already generated extensive debate: Earned sick and safe time, and vacation rental homes. Sick & safe time Two weeks ago, councilors tabled the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would require local employers to provide workers with access to paid time off to deal with an illness or another family emergency, such as seeking refuge from domestic abuse.
The Minnesota Historical Society announced it will provide a $250,000 grant to help repair the damaged drill hall floor of the Duluth Armory on London Road. That grant, along with $50,000 in local matching funds, is expected to cover most of the cost of fixing the floor, which was damaged back when the hall was used as a public works garage and heavy equipment was parked there. LHB, a Duluth firm, is conducting a structural evaluation and will design a plan to shore up the floor.
Sunday night's fatal collision in Tempe, Ariz., in which a self-driven Uber car struck and killed a woman walking her bike, has focused new scrutiny on emerging automotive technologies. Meanwhile, Minnesota is trying to imagine what the transportation landscape of the future could look like and how to navigate it. Toward that end, Gov. Mark Dayton appointed a 15-member advisory council earlier this month to offer recommendations about how best to regulate the use of autonomous vehicles.