Last week was very busy. Monday we paused at the Legislature to welcome the tribal government leaders from the 11 federally recognized Native American Tribes in Minnesota. The full day session was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the history of Native Americans in Minnesota and the challenges they face today.
I want to express my thanks to Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin of the Mille Lacs Band and Chairman Kevin DuPuis of the Fond du Lac Band for providing a straight forward examination of the often very difficult history we share. While we cannot change the past, I share their focus and optimism that by working together we can resolve the many challenges our children and grandchildren face as we move forward.
We got a look at the governor’s budget proposal this week. It would add more than $3 billion in new taxes, I will provide details in the next several updates.
On a more pleasant note, let’s jump to last Friday morning’s Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board meeting at Eveleth. I am pleased to report that the board issued a favorable recommendation to IRRRB Commissioner Phillips on a loan participation agreement with American Peat Technology.
IRRRB participation will be at $750,000 as part of a $7.37 million plant expansion project. The project will allow APT to significantly expand the production capacity at the Spencer Township plant. APT is a leader in producing specialized seed coatings for the agriculture industry and a unique granule absorbent product for pollution control systems.
We also issued a favorable recommendation on a $350,000 grant proposal to the city of Crosby for sewer and water utility work to support a new hotel/lodge in Crosby. This grant will mitigate some of the public infrastructure costs to the city that are necessary to support construction of 35,000 square foot, 50 room hotel within the city.
The project will add a much needed element to the local economy. Currently there are no lodging accommodations on this scale in Crosby to support visitors to the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
If you have not already participated in the online survey please do so by clicking here . We will be wrapping up the survey this Friday.