EDA discusses Cedar Grove Business Park, hiring executive director, and golf course

EDA discusses Cedar Grove Business Park, hiring executive director, and golf course

Numerous agenda items were discussed during the Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting on July 18, including an update on the hiring process for a new executive director, Cedar Grove Business Park lots, and Superior National Golf Course.

Since advertising for an executive director in the Cook County News Herald, Duluth News Tribune, Indeed, Monster, North Force, Duluth EDA, and numerous other platforms, the Grand Marais/Cook County EDA received seven applications for the executive director position. After completing the first round of interviews on July 7, the EDA Director Search Committee, which consists of three EDA board members, Dave Mills, Myron Bursheim, Steve Surbaugh, and two HRA individuals, Jason Hale, the executive director of the HRA, and Mary Somnis, chair of the HRA have narrowed the candidates down to two individuals. 

The second round of interviews will take place on July 21. The EDA anticipates making a decision by the next meeting on Aug. 22. 

Cedar Grove Business Park

During the meeting, conversations continued regarding the use of two lots in the business park for a potential housing project with the Housing Redevelopment Authority (HRA). The two lots identified are Lot 1 Block 3 and Lot 2 Block 3. In order to use the lots for a housing project, the lots will need to be rezoned by the city of Grand Marais. The HRA assisted the EDA in formulating a petition for zone district map amendment. The following steps include going before the planning and zoning commission in the coming weeks for approval. 

In other business park news, the EDA held a public hearing before finalizing the sale of Lot 4 Block 7 to G&G Septic and Lot 11 Block 5 to Dirt Candy Designs. 

G&G Septic Service intends to construct a shop and a potential dewatering facility in the future. Dirt Candy Designs purchased the lot adjacent to their current lot.

Superior National Golf Course

An overview of the report and presentation during the July 18 Cook County Committee of the Whole Session regarding the Superior National Golf Course was discussed at the EDA meeting. During the committee of the whole session, representatives of the golf course board of governors and EDA provided an in-depth history of the golf course, an update on current operations, and long-term possibilities for the future. 

The loan agreement between Cook County and the EDA requires that in 2023, the EDA shall engage the services of consultants in marketing and golf course grounds management. The consultants will review the current situation and work with the EDA and golf course board of governors to create a five-year plan. 

The consultants will visit and assess the golf course sometime this fall after the busy summer season starts to wind down. The golf course board of governors will meet in the coming weeks to discuss and hire a consultant for the project. 

In other EDA news, the EDA board approved Somnis as the contact and grant writer for Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation (IRRR) fire recovery assistance for two Cook County businesses, Sydney’s and Papa Charlies, recently destroyed by a fire. Somnis previously wrote the IRRR fire recovery assistance grants for the three Grand Marais businesses destroyed by a fire in April 2020. Once a new director is hired, Somnis will transition this project and train the new director on the IRRR grant writing process.