It’s been a busy last few days. Of special note was a community round table presented by the Crow Wing County Drug Coalition at the Brainerd High School. A full spectrum of Crow Wing County officials and citizens provided a snapshot of where we are today with addiction issues in our area.
Crow Wing County Community Services Manager Tami Lueck facilitated the two-hour event. Tami, along with additional subject matter experts, provided a look at where we are today and solicited input from the 60 or more individuals that participated. The discussion focused on what is working and where the gaps are with respect to prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery/ongoing support.
Drug addiction continues to be a major issue. In 2018 Crow Wing County dealt with 599 DWI jail intakes, during that same year drug related jail intakes stood at 1,287. Meth use continues to be huge problem.
This was an excellent opportunity to look in detail at where the gaps are and how we can work to resolve them at both the local and state level. Thank you Tami, Sheriff Goddard and their team for putting this event together, this effort will continue.
The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Agency (IRRR) recently provided some important public infrastructure support to our area. The City of Aitkin received a $250,000 grant in support of a $2.4 million dollar utilities upgrade project.
Crosby received a $120,000 grant that will help defray the cost of moving a Serpent Lake Sanitary Sewer District line necessary to install a multi-use underpass under Highway 6. The total IRRR investment is $253,456 in this $1.7 million project. The City of Crosby, MNDOT and the DNR are providing the remainder of the funds.
Ironton received a $62,000 grant for water system improvements that involve the water tower and community well. The total cost of this project is $340,000.
The IRRR through the taconite assistance program services the areas where iron ore mining historically occurred in Northeast Minnesota. The Crosby-Ironton and Aitkin School Districts boundaries also serve as the boundaries for the taconite assistance service area in Aitkin and Crow Wing Counties. While we may no longer be mining on the Cuyuna Range, mining still matters to our part of Minnesota.
Please take time today to celebrate Flag Day, “Old Glory” is one of our nation’s most hallowed symbols – fly her proudly! Also best wishes to all the fathers out there as we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend.