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Fri
05
Jun

Echo Editorial: Standing up for what is right

Our form of government allows for and encourages people to question decisions made. This includes elected officials such as the Ely city council.
We were disappointed in the reasons given for not supporting a resolution questioning Gov. Walz’s executive orders regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
Walz had originally told Minnesotans there was a need to “flatten the curve” in order to build up a possible response. That was three months ago. Walz has shifted tactics and been slow to return life to normal even when the current numbers are nowhere near his predictions.
Rightfully, the Ely city council had an opportunity to pass a resolution questioning the governors as well as telling local business owners they can open without fear of reprisal.
But instead of standing up for those business owners, five of the seven council members cited a vindictive governor who would slash Ely’s local government aid. This is pure hogwash.

Fri
05
Jun

Study Session Meeting – Council Chambers, Ely City Hall

Study Session Meeting – Council Chambers, Ely City Hall
May 26, 2020

CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Novak called the study session to order at 6:30pm.

PRESENT: Council Members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell, and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: None

ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS: None

OLD BUSINESS:
Discussion on Short Term Rentals with Planning and Zoning
A.Forsman asked if it is legal to limit the number of Short Term Rentals (STR), in the Planning and Zoning Recommendations they are recommending the number of short term rental units licensed in the City be no more than 3% of the total number of residences within R-1, R-2, RT, and SMU zones.
Attorney Klun indicated that some cities use a percentage or a specific number of applications to be approved in a year, and some cities shy away from an amount.
Callen indicated that P&Z suggests starting at 3% for now and could change the amount in the future.

Fri
05
Jun

Council Minutes - May 19, 2020

Council Minutes - May 19, 2020
Regular Meeting Ely City Council
Meeting was held via Zoom-video/teleconference

1. CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Novak called the Ely City Council Meeting to order at 5:30pm.

2. PRESENT: Council members A.Forsman, Kess, Debeltz, Omerza, Callen, Campbell, and Mayor Novak
ABSENT: None

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Callen/Debeltz moved to approve the minutes from the May 5, 2020 Regular Council Meeting. Roll Called: Council Member A.Forsman-Yes, Kess-Yes, Debeltz-Yes, Omerza-Yes, Callen-Yes, Campbell – Yes, and Mayor Novak-Yes. Motion Carried Unanimously.

4. ADDITIONS OR OMISSIONS TO AGENDA:
A. Addition 8.A. Park and Recreation Minutes
B. Addition 13. A Police Chief Contract
Additions A and B added without objection.

Fri
05
Jun

Two hours away, a different business reality

by Tom Coombe
Echo editor
“I’ll need a table for four.”
For the first time since mid-March, those words came out of my mouth on a quiet yet sunny Memorial Day weekend afternoon in Superior, Wisc.
A milestone birthday, a shopping trip and the coronavirus made for an odd yet satisfying journey a couple weeks back.
If one would have asked me in February where I might celebrate a 50th birthday dinner, Grizzly’s in Superior wouldn’t have made the top-10.
Scratch that, it wouldn’t have made the top-100.
No disrespect to the franchise or the friendly staff at the business across the bridge from Duluth, but only the circumstances brought us there for dinner.
In a typical year, Hollee may have whisked me off to Minneapolis for a night at J.D. Hoyt’s or one of our other Twin Cities favorites.

Fri
05
Jun

There’s no joy in Mudville

by Tom Coombe
Summer nights in Ely will have one very noticeable void this year.
Little League Baseball, which dates back to the 1950s in Ely, will go dark this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although Ely Little League officials may yet form a travel team to play later in the summer, the traditional four-team in-house league as well as two programs for younger players will be scrapped for 2020.
“The board felt, after discussing the current youth sports guidelines, that any sort of season would be incredibly difficult to implement at the Little League level and the player ages,” said Derek Johnson, president of Ely’s Little League organization. “We also wanted to keep player safety in mind, and this was also a factor in the decision.”
In addition to four “majors” teams for those ages 9-12, the Little League in Ely also has five “coach pitch” teams and sponsors a twice-weekly T-ball program.

Fri
05
Jun

$2 million in ATV trail work begins

The Prospector Loop ATV trail project will take a giant step forward this summer with over $2 million in construction work.
“We started on this project in 2013 so it’s been seven years to get to this point,” said Prospector Alliance president Nick Wognum.
The Prospector ATV trail system connects Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass, Tower and the North Shore through existing and new trails along with the Taconite Trail between Ely and Purvis Lake.
In 2019 there was $700,000 in improvements made on sections of the trail east of Ely and between the Knotted Pine and Wildhurst east of Highway 1.
In 2020 the connections between Babbitt, Embarrass and Tower will be constructed as well.
“Our sponsor Lake County has approved two contracts totaling over $2 million for trail constructions, bridges and boardwalks,” said Prospector Trail Administrator Ron Potter.

Wed
03
Jun

Flora G. Johnson, 96

Flora G. Johnson, 96 went peacefully in her sleep April 27, 2020. She is survived by her husband Roy, two sons Randy and Ron, twin daughters Sandra Wright and Susan Teale, 8 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son Rusty, her twin sister Fern Waldron, Winnie, and brother Bill.

Sun
31
May

George Britton, 85, of Ely

George Britton, 85, of Ely, passed away on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at his residence with his family at his side.
George was born December 5, 1934 to George Arthur and Mable Adell (Cornish) Britton in Brainerd, MN.
He married Shirley Foy on June 16, 1956 in Brainerd.
George worked in logging, copper-nickel drilling, carpentry, owned his own construction company and owned Britton’s Cafe for 27 years.
George is survived by his wife Shirley of Ely; daughter Patricia (Jim) Carlson of Ely and son Dean Britton of Park Rapids, MN; three grandchildren, Crystal (Nate) Poppler, Derek (Dana) Banovetz, James (Abby) Britton; six great-grandchildren, Joshua Marsh, Amelia Pluth, Alison Poppler, Aubrielle Poppler, Reese Britton and Lilly Britton.
He was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters Esther Gunn, Doris Britton, Mable Britton and Sylvia Duke.

Fri
29
May

Herbert (Herb) J. Novosel

On Sunday, May 24, Herbert (Herb) J. Novosel, loving husband and father passed away at the age of 75 at his home in New Hope, MN with his family by his side. Herb was born on February 18, 1945 in Ely, MN to Steve and Adele (Kerntz). In 1962 he joined the Army and was stationed at Fort Knox Kentucky, Fort Greely Alaska, and Fort Lewis Washington during his time in the military. On August 9, 1969 he married Ardis Olson and they raised two sons, Patrick and Matthew. Last year Herb and Ardis celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the lake with many friends and relatives.
On his return to Ely from the military Herb went to work at Reserve Mining Company and ran his own excavating company for 16 years. When the mine closed, he moved his family to the metro area and worked at Retail Data Systems until his retirement. After retiring he was able to spend much of his time at the cabin on Fall Lake.

Fri
29
May

Marian Koschak, 87 formerly of Ely

Marian Koschak, 87 formerly of Ely, passed away on Friday, May 29, 2020 at Edgewood Vista Assisted Living in Virginia. Family arrangements are entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

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