Superior joins Northern Lights Express planning group
Superior is joining the Northern Lights Express joint powers commission. The City Council approved taking $5,000 from the city's economic development fund to join the coalition and have a place at the table as planning continues for a high-speed ...
Superior is joining the Northern Lights Express joint powers commission.
The City Council approved taking $5,000 from the city's economic development fund to join the coalition and have a place at the table as planning continues for a high-speed train that would run between the Twin Ports and the Twin Cities.
One station along the route would be located in Superior.
Mayor Bruce Hagen said the planning group requested the city's participation for at least the last four years, at a substantially higher cost.
"It will benefit the community," said Councilor Mike Herrick.
"Essentially this project has been going on for quite a few years," said Jason Serck, economic development, port and planning director.
Serck said he's become more involved in the process because of the station planned for Superior, and the timing is right for Superior to get involved.
By participating financially, the city will have a seat at the table as decisions are made.
"I think the timing is right for this," Serck said. "If we're not at the table we're going to be missing out of some things."
It will be up to Superior, Serck said, to make some decisions about the station and what happens around it. He said the location of the station will hopefully allow the city to tie it to downtown.
"We've got to look toward where we're going to go three or four years from now," Serck said.
Councilor Tom Fennessey said the Northern Lights Express project is similar to efforts by the business-driven initiative to improve downtown - Better City Superior - which the city has invested in. He said the two efforts could actually work together to benefit the community.
"The scope and the size of the station is significant," said Councilor Graham Garfield, who serves on the Metropolitan Interstate Council. "It's not going to be just another stop along the way to Duluth. We would have the parking space in Superior .... We would probably see a lot of traffic from Duluth that would come to park in Superior, and that means bringing people to our businesses in Superior."