Morse approves Cedar Lake Road paving project

The Town of Morse board approved a paving project if the contractor can get the work done this year.
The board greenlighted the $101,293 quote from Mesabi Bituminous for the Cedar Lake Road project.
Board chair Terry Soderberg said he spoke with Tom Nemanich of Mesabi Bituminous who told him the company may be able to get it done yet this year depending on the weather.
Soderberg said he heard from the DNR and they are no longer interested in buying Gusty Island on Burntside Lake. He said the Trust for Public Land is either going to keep it or sell it but will have to continue to pay property taxes on it.
Soderberg said the DNR told him there are other parcels in Morse that don’t have other revenues coming from them and may be able to be sold in the future.
Soderberg said the township is still trying to get the $700,000 the county took off the tax roles.
Board member Bob Berrini said the county board “snuck one by us” with a $700,000 sale but not the Gusty Island sale.
Clerk Nick Wognum updated the board on the proposed Frontier internet project. There was discussion on proceeding with looking for funding and the township contributing funds as well including perhaps a pilot project.
Soderberg said in discussion with Frontier, there are “remotes” that cost around $30,000 that could be installed around the Town of Morse and would benefit people who live within 4,000 feet.
The Morse voiced its support for St. Louis County Commissioner candidate Paul McDonald at the Oct. 11 meeting.
McDonald said he retired after 29 years at Vermilion Community College. He said he has looked at the county roads on the five year improvement plan and was amazed at the low quality of the end of the Passi Road. McDonald also said he would look to work with Lake County on the Cloquet Line road.
McDonald highlighted the need for good jobs, the issues of mental health care in the area, a citizens committee for roads and other issues that are important to him. He said working hard and helping others are two things his father taught him.
Board members Soderberg, Berrini and Len Cersine said they supported McDonald’s candidacy.
In other business:
• Cersine said he has had private trappers on township roads removing beavers from water flowages. Around a dozen beavers have been removed by local trappers.
• Passed a motion that Morse does not oppose the order for a road vacation off Chig-A-Big Road since the road is no longer in use.
• Soderberg said Cindy Beans is now the contact person for the Ely area lodging tax. He said there is still discussion on the vacation rental business by private parties not paying the lodging tax. Soderberg noted the lodging tax monies collection is down 3.4 percent in 2018. Cersine said if rates are raised the amount of money coming in doesn’t reflect accurately how many rooms are rented.
• Berrini said the sale of Timber Wolf Lodge and Northern Lights Lodge will cost $26,000 in tax revenues once it is sold to the YMCA. Soderberg said around $6,000 per year is generated by Timber Wolf and Northern Lights for the lodging tax.