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A 76-year-old man was killed Sunday afternoon in a ATV accident in Finland. The Lake County Sheriff's Office received an emergency call from the Trestle Inn in Finland, reporting the accident at 2:47 p.m. Rescue squads from Finland and Silver Bay responded and received assistance on the scene from the Finland Fire Department, the Lake County Ambulance Service and Lifelink, but the injured man did not survive. His name had not been released Sunday evening, pending notification of family members.
On Tuesday the field of city council candidates running to represent Duluth's 4th District will be narrowed from three to two through a primary election. Incumbent 4th District Councilor Howie Hanson, a 62-year-old online publisher and Lincoln Park resident, faces two challengers, both from Duluth Heights: Tom Furman, a 49-year-old stay-at-home father, and Renee Van Nett, a 47-year-old employment navigator for Community Action Duluth. The top two vote-getters Tuesday advance to the general election on Nov. 7.
In all, seven candidates are running for two At Large seats on the Duluth City Council, and Tuesday's primary election will nearly cut that field in half, with just four people advancing to the Nov. 7 general election. Incumbents Barb Russ, a 68-year-old attorney residing in Congdon Park, and Zack Filipovich, a 27-year-old accountant from Central Hillside, are running for re-election, but they face a crowded field of challengers, including: • Janet Kennedy, a 54-year-old physical therapist and parish nurse from West Duluth
In order to encourage people to adopt reusable cloth shopping bags, a group of Duluth residents is proposing the city pass an ordinance requiring local retailers to charge a pass-through fee of no less than a nickel for every single-use paper and plastic bag they hand out to customers. But Duluth Mayor Emily Larson lined up against that proposal this week. "I don't support it. A big part of that is because we have worked really hard to transition out of a fee-based economy as it relates to municipal responsibilities," she said.
If not for a quick response by local supporters, an $18.5 million effort to renovate Duluth's Gateway Tower apartment building likely would have ground to a halt by now. The affordable housing project was already in progress when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development withdrew a critical piece of funding. Duluth had budgeted more than $714,000 in funding it received from HUD's Lead-based Paint Hazard Control Program to replace old windows at Gateway Tower, a 14-story building constructed in 1972.
Residents who wish to offer a Duluth property for rent as a vacation getaway soon could be out of luck unless they have already received the city's approval to do so. If the Duluth City Council approves five more interim use permits for vacation rental properties on Monday night, as expected, it will trigger a freeze. But the duration of that freeze remains uncertain, as at least one councilor aims to propose a higher cap.
A key new link now under consideration could unify and expand Duluth's skywalk system. A resolution headed to the Duluth Economic Development Authority Wednesday would authorize the conceptual design of a new segment of skywalk stretching eastward from the Technology Village building, through the 100 block of East Superior Street — including Fond Du-Luth Casino — and then across Second Avenue East to the Temple Opera building and the adjoining NorShor Theatre.
By proposing to fund street improvements with a sales tax instead of property taxes, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said she hopes to spread the financial burden of fixing the city's crumbling road network. The half-percent sales tax she hopes to enact would raise an estimated $7 million per year from residents, visitors and others who transact business in Duluth, with the proceeds all earmarked exclusively for streetwork.
The cost of tap water in Duluth appears poised to climb substantially, despite some grumbling both from within the city and from neighboring communities it serves. On Tuesday night, the Duluth Public Utilities Commission voted 5-0 to direct city staff to schedule a public hearing and bring forward a resolution that would raise water rates by 4.7 percent annually for each of the next six years. That hearing on the proposed water rate hikes will take place at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, with a vote on the matter expected to follow the same night.
Duluth voters will get to weigh in on a proposal to increase the local sales taxes by half a percent to support road improvements. By a 7-1 vote Monday night, the Duluth City Council passed a resolution authorizing a citywide referendum to be placed on local ballots during the November general election.