News

Mon
13
Dec

Reunion committee distributes proceeds

Thanks in large part to proceeds from last summer’s Ely Memorial High School All-Class Reunion, wireless internet connections are coming to the high school.<BR><BR>The school district is set to utilize wireless technology to bring the worldwide web to teachers and students, and the $15,000 project got a sizeable boost when the reunion committee earmarked $8,000 for the initiative from profits reaped during the reunion held from June 30-July 5.<BR><BR>The reunion committee doled out more than $13,000 in profits from the event for various projects, causes and groups.<BR><BR>In addition to the wireless internet project, the reunion committee got behind the school’s comprehensive arts planning program (CAPP) with a $2,500 donation for the refurbishing of up to three murals located at the high school.<BR><BR>The reunion funds will be paried with matching funds and done by Jim Horn.<BR><BR>Other reunion committee distributions in

Mon
13
Dec

Shareholders elect three at hospital annual meeting, Fossum urges board to look forward

Shareholders of Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital gathered at last Monday’s annual meeting to hear annual reports and to elect three board members.<BR><BR>Three current board members were up for re-election and by membership petition, Ely attorney Barb Berglund was also be on the ballot.<BR><BR>Dave Peterson of Ely was the top vote-getter with 180, Cersine had 168 and Dr. Joe Just was re-elected with 162 votes. Berglund finished with 124 votes. <BR><BR>Peterson, Cersine and Just will serve three year terms and join board members Frank Udovich, Geri Koschak and Bob Whitten. <BR><BR>The financial report showed the hospital finished the 2004 fiscal year on Sept. 30 with income from operations of $466,279 on revenues of $17,278,471. In 2003 income from operations was $653,523.<BR><BR>Losses attributed to the nursing home grew to $1,488,200.

Mon
13
Dec

City spending more in ’05 budget

Despite a series of moves aimed at cutting costs, the city of Ely will spend over $200,000 more in 2005 than it did last year.<BR><BR>That’s according to figures included in the city budget, which was adopted Tuesday - without discussion - by the council on a 5-0 vote (members Dan Przybylski and Jerome Debeltz were absent).<BR><BR>General fund spending next year will total $3,042,791, up from $2,828,350 in 2004.<BR><BR>A nearly $200,000 increase in Ely’s police budget - attributed to a whopping increase in health insurance premiums, the purchase of a new vehicle and a six-month period in which the department will have one extra officer - nearly offsets the elimination of a $230,589 line item for police and fire dispatcher services, which were cut this year.<BR><BR>Add a jump of about $140,000 in the public works budget, a $53,870 transfer to cover bond payments in a tax increment district, and a $39,000 increase in the fire department,

Fri
10
Dec

Web subscriptions are back and functioning

Some time ago a person who wanted to get the Echo briefs via on-line notification complained to me that nothing was coming through his email.<BR><BR>Registering my own email address I found this to be true.<BR><BR>The Echo web site is programmed to send out news briefs ever Monday afternoon and at any other time there is breaking news.<BR><BR>Today (Friday) the site programmers sent out a spate of emails with information to test the system. It appears it is now working OK.<BR><BR>If you have changed your email address please correct it now.<BR><BR>And again, thanks for your patience.

Mon
06
Dec

Funding lined up for housing project

The proposed senior housing development on Washington Street cleared a key hurdle with a recent funding award, but city officials cautioned last week that it’s still too early to determine if the project will move forward.<BR><BR>Funding prospects for the $3.4 million, 26-unit development brightened considerably when the U.S. Department of Agriculture agreed to guarantee loans for 80 percent of the project.<BR><BR>But the city of Ely still hasn’t determined whether it will guarantee 10 percent of the loans, and representatives of Ely’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority are crunching numbers to determine if the project is viable.<BR><BR>“The only way we’re going to get market-rate housing is if the HRA does it,” said council member Paul Kess.

Mon
06
Dec

Old clerk may be new clerk

Ely City Council members might not have to look far to find a new city clerk-treasurer.<BR><BR>Terry Lowell, who held the job for two years before leaving in early-2003, has asked for his old job back, and it looks as if the council will consider taking him up on his offer.<BR><BR>Council member Dan Przybylski floated the idea at the end of Tuesday’s study session, contending that Lowell’s return would spare both the time and expense of a search and give the city an experienced hand at City Hall.<BR><BR>“I’d like to have them consider that he may be able to step right into the job,” said Przybylski.<BR><BR>Przybylski may have enough support on the council to move forward.<BR><BR>Other than a request by outgoing mayor Frank Salerno to delay action until January, when Roger Skraba takes over as mayor and Chuck Novak takes over for Paul Kess on the council, the proposal met no opposition.<BR><BR>And city attorney L

Mon
06
Dec

Wish list long, but money short

Budget deficits and partisan politics may stand in the way of a laundry list of requests made by Ely area representatives.<BR><BR>That was the message Monday from State Sen. Tom Bakk (D) and representatives of U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar (D) and U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton (D), in town for the annual pre-legislative session conference sponsored by the Ely Area Joint Powers Board.<BR><BR>City and school officials, township and economic development leaders and those seeking improvements to area highways and trails all brought their wish lists to the Grand Ely Lodge.<BR><BR>All heard a similar message, that funding, both at the state and federal levels, was in short supply.<BR><BR>“The state really is in trouble,” said Bakk. “We’re talking pretty much in the neighborhood of a billion-dollar budget deficit.

Mon
29
Nov

EADA hones job description, readies for search

The search for a new area economic developer is about to begin.<BR><BR>Last week, an Ely Area Development Association subcommittee touched up the job description for the EADA executive director position and their recommendations are set to be voted by the EADA’s executive board next week.<BR><BR>That would seemingly clear the way for the EADA to begin accepting applications for the job vacated in June by Bill Henning, who retired.<BR><BR>Henning was paid $25,000 for a half-time position.<BR><BR>It’s likely the position will again be advertised as half-time, but there may be some opportunities for the EADA to increase both time and compensation.<BR><BR>The expected addition of Babbitt into the Ely Area Joint Powers Board, which contracts with the EADA for economic development services, could add more than $10,000 to the EADA’s pot.<BR><BR>“If Babbitt comes on board, we’re thinking that we can make this more than

Mon
29
Nov

Election set for hospital annual meeting Dec. 6

The election of three people to the board of directors will be decided at the annual meeting of the Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital and Nursing Home corporation. <BR><BR>A nominating committee put forward the names of current board members Dr. Joe Just (retired) of Ely, David Peterson of Ely and Norma Cersine of Babbitt. <BR><BR>By membership petition, Ely attorney Barb Berglund will also be on the ballot.<BR><BR>The four candidates are running for three seats on the board, each with a a three-year term. <BR><BR>The annual shareholders meeting, which is open to anyone who has purchased a $100 share, will be held Monday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. <BR><BR>Shares can still be purchased the day of the meeting.<BR><BR>A recent membership drive added 80 new shareholders to the corporation. <BR><BR>Registration for the meeting will open at 6:30 p.m.

Mon
29
Nov

Babbitt invited into Joint Powers group

It’s official.

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