Morse board gets update on Mesabi Trail

MESABI TRAIL alignment shown by Bob Manzoline at the Town of Morse board meeting on Tuesday.

Another three miles of the Mesabi Trail are in the works to be built just west of Ely.
An update on the 135-mile project was given at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Town of Morse board of supervisors.
Bob Manzoline’s presentation included the section from the Eagles Nest Town Hall heading east being completed up to the abandoned railroad grade.
From there the Regional Rail Authority is still working to acquire easements from private property owners all the way to Highway 88.
Morse supervisors had requested that the trail sections in the township be open to snowmobile traffic in the winter.
Manzoline said there are four landowners who have not agreed to the snowmobile provision.
Two property owners have said no, forcing the trail location to be next to the highway in the right of way.
Manzoline said the snowmobile route could be moved around the private properties.
Supervsior Len Cersine asked how that would be done.
“We’re here to build the Mesabi Trail, a bike trail. First and foremost we’d like to get that done,” said Manzoline. “Then possibly use parts of the trail that are open to snowmobile and work with the local snowmobile club.”
The board agreed to hold a public hearing on the section from the culvert under Hwy. 169 to Hwy. 88. That meeting will be held Sept. 12 at 4 p.m.
Supervisor Bob Berrini asked why a private property is getting paid to have the trail located on his property when there is public property around it.
Manzoline said there is a big hill on that section which would cost $200,000 to get a trail built there.
As far as the section from Hwy. 88 into Ely, Manzoline made one thing clear.
“We are not going to use the railroad grade, period. We’re not going to even go look over there,” said Manzoline. “Twenty years ago people were saying no then. We’ll probably go in the highway right of way.”
Manzoline said the section from Hwy. 88 to Ely will not be part of the Sept. 12 hearing discussion.
In other business the board:
• Discussed a beaver dam issue that has twice washed out Schaeffer Road. An agreement has been reached to remedy the problem.
• Received an update on a conditional use permit for horse boarding near Robich Road. The permitwas approved by the township’s land use committee.
• Gave final approval to a management agreement with the Ely Golf Course. The board decided the Golf Course will be responsible for solid waste management fees imposed by the county.
• Noted the new St. Louis County Comprehensive Land Use Plan meeting will be in Ely on August 22 from 1-7 p.m. at the Public Works Facility
• Was notified the annual Ely Area Ambulance Joint Powers Board meeting will be on August 23, at 11 a.m. at the Morse Town Hall.