EDA discusses Lutsen 99er, Cedar Grove Business Park, and EDA/HRA merger
WTIP photo

EDA discusses Lutsen 99er, Cedar Grove Business Park, and EDA/HRA merger

The Economic Development Authority (EDA) met on April 18 to discuss a handful of agenda items, including a request to move the Lutsen 99er event to the Superior National Golf Course, share an update on the Cedar Grove Business Park, approve business development grants, and much more. 

The meeting started with interim Executive Director Pat Campanaro sharing the news that the EDA closed on two Cedar Grove Business Park lots to Molly Larson, owner of Sweetwater Design Co. Larson previously offered $12,500 for Lot 1, Block 1, and Lot 2, Block 1 to build a small office building. Following a public hearing during the March 21 EDA meeting, the sale of the lots moved forward. The EDA design review committee will wait to see building plans from Larson. 

“I think she’s hoping to be in the ground this year sometime, which is very exciting to see that activity,” Steve Surbaugh, the president of the EDA, said. 

In other business park news, Superior Storage, owned by Forrest Parson, has expressed interest in purchasing another lot that adjoins his property. “It made perfect sense for that business park lot to be attached to projects that Forrest is doing as Superior Storage,” Surbaugh said. “It just seems like a win-win for everybody.”

Following the recent sales, the EDA only has a few remaining lots available for purchase. Surbaugh said a few things are in the works for the remaining lots, but definitive plans still need to be put in place. 

Lutsen 99er

During the April 18 meeting, Mike Larson attended the meeting to request approval for the annual Lutsen 99er event to use Superior National Golf Course as a venue rather than Lutsen Mountains. Larson explained due to construction projects this spring; the event has to move from its traditional venue location. The change in venue to Superior National Golf Course would be permanent moving forward. 

Larson assured the EDA board the expense would be neutral to the golf course and EDA. The company Lifetime Fitness, which hosts and runs the event, would cover any repairs or damages to the golf course. The golf course will close for the Lutsen 99er event. Larson said Lifetime Fitness would cover the lost income for that day. 

Business Development Grants

Tom Krantz and Ian Barrett, owners of the Red Cabin Company, attended the April 18 meeting to request a grant for $4,429 to increase efficiencies and grow their business. The Red Cabin Company is a carpentry business started in 2022 that serves the Cook County area. 

The grant would help cover the cost of iPads, technology, and CAD software to help with project planning and conceptualization of clients’ ideas. The EDA board voted unanimously to approve the grant.

Surbaugh said he encourages small businesses to come forward and apply for business development grants through the EDA to help grow their business. 


Jason Hale, the executive director of the Housing Redevelopment Authority, attended the meeting to request the transfer of $50,000 to the HRA to assist One Roof Housing in moving forward with their process of acquisition and application for resources for Birchwood Apartments. 

“One Roof is actively pursuing that project now,” Hale said during the meeting. He explained that he is working closely with One Roof to help support them in the process. “It’s a very important partner project in housing in our community.”

EDA/HRA Merger

Surbaugh and Mary Somnis, the chair of the HRA, attended the April 12 city council meeting to continue potential merger discussions and address any questions or concerns from the councilors. 

“I think we got some really good questions and tough questions that night,” Surbaugh said. “Which is exactly what we want people to be doing. We want them to be asking tough questions and all of the questions.”

The city council did not vote on the merger. However, Surbaugh and Somnis intend to return to the city council in early May for a potential vote. In addition, they will appear before the county commissioners in early May. 

“This is probably at least another month-long process to work through this,” Surbaugh said. “And that’s fine. I mean, everybody needs to make sure that this is the right decision. And that takes time, and people need to have time to study it.”

As they prepare to appear again before the county commissioners and city council members, Surbaugh said there are three main things that they will work on. The first is to establish what a combined budget looks like for the two organizations. The second is to decide on the makeup of the seven-member board of directors and, lastly, to make a plan to ensure housing remains the number one priority. 

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Steve Surbaugh, the president of the EDA, following the April 18 meeting. Audio from the interview is below.