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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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Significant votes set for Friday

Thursday, October 29, 2015
Dear Neighbor,
 
 
This has been another busy week and Friday's agenda is set to include action on two especially important proposals – one benefiting Aitkin and the other with a more regional appeal.
 
 
The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, of which I am a member, will meet in Eveleth Friday afternoon. The board is expected to vote on a $250,000 grant for a lift station and sewer line infrastructure to support a new housing development in Aitkin.
 
 
We also anticipate voting on an $18 million loan to assist in developing a $52.8 million commercial scale biotechnology manufacturing facility project at Mountain Iron. This Sweetwater Energy project would allow for extraction of biochemicals from timber that could be used in a vast number of products. This would capitalize on this region's forestry resources to create a number of good new jobs and boost our economy in general. It would be the nation's first facility of this size and scope.
 
 
Innovation in terms of diversity is the key to this biomass technology, which already is in operation in northern Europe. The Mountain Iron plant would have great flexibility in being able to shift its focus from one extract to another to meet demand and fill niches. Experts say chemicals available in timber are greater than in ag. products such as corn or soybeans and can be used in creating plastics, diesel, gasoline and much more. Also, harmful byproducts are not produced during timber extraction.
 
 
I will circle back with more information on this subject following Friday's meeting.
 
 
In other news from this week, I attended the Crosby City Council meeting on Monday. It was a nice opportunity to talk with people at the meeting and hear more about some of the issues in that town.
 
 
On Tuesday evening, I attended a meeting of the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area advisory group in Ironton. I am an ex officio member of that panel and appreciate them welcoming me.
 
 
I also spoke at the Friends of Tourism annual meeting at Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge this week. Tourism is a major component of our local economy. This was an outstanding opportunity to hear thoughts, ideas and concerns from a large number of people who work in that industry. {C}Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge is one of the many jewels in our area. It was also a great opportunity to informally chat with the folks in the kitchen and other important people behind the scenes that make all the wonderful things happen at the Lodge.
 
 
Stay tuned for more news and, as always, your correspondence is appreciated.
 
 
Sincerely,
Dale
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