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County helps EDA and Superior National with finances

The EDA office in downtown Grand Marais
The EDA office in downtown Grand Marais

On Tuesday, Cook County Commissioners agreed to advance the Joint Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority (EDA) a portion of the first half of the property tax levy. The EDA made the request in order to continue paying bills and staff.

Commissioners agreed to advance the EDA half of the levy it would normally receive at the end of May or early June – a little more than $70,000. Commissioner Bob Fenwick, who serves on a committee overseeing the revitalization of the EDA, said this was a short term solution to an immediate problem. The committee is trying to address long term solutions to the EDA’s budget squeeze.

The board agreed the EDA has already done as much as possible to cut expenses, including the director’s hours. Lack of Cedar Grove Business Park lot sales and legal expenses brought on by the pending negotiation with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency over stromwater run-off citations at the business park are the largest causes of EDA’s budget woes.

Commissioners also agreed to loan Superior National Golf Course $125,000. In the past Superior National was able to secure a line of credit loan from local lending institutions to cover seasonal cash flow deficits, but the practice was discouraged by state auditors. The golf course needs funds in the early spring to get operations ready for the golf season.