The city of Grand Marais got some good news recently. A $145,000 Public Works Program grant from Iron Range Resources (IRR), originally intended to pay for utilities at the stalled Sawtooth Cottages residential development, can instead be used to make bond payments for Cedar Grove Business Park.
The city of Grand Marais financed the business park’s infrastructure in January of 2007 with 1.6 million dollars in three-year bonds. The plan was for the Cook County-Grand Marais Joint Economic Authority (EDA), which owns Cedar Grove Business Park, to pay the city $60,000 dollars per lot sold, enabling the city to pay off the temporary bonds by January of 2010. However, lot sales at Cedar Grove have been stagnant, and the city was unable to pay off the temporary bonds. The city refinanced the park in November of last year, issuing 1.67 million dollars in 20-year general obligation bonds.
Making the payments on the new bonds is dependent upon lot sales at Cedar Grove, which continue to be slow. The reallocated grant money will cover bond payments for about the next year and a half, according to city staff.