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Duluth Council Delays Grant Application for Campground

October 11, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

The Duluth City Council withheld support Monday (Oct. 10) for a grant application that could bring $500,000 in improvements to the Minnesota city’s Indian Point Campground.

If successful, the proposed state Legacy Grant could transform the city campground into a regional park designed to serve all of West Duluth, the Duluth News Tribune reported. Its new amenities would include expanded parking, a new playground, sand volleyball courts, bocce ball courts, horseshoe pits and a new handicapped-accessible trail linking into pavilions that would offer views of the bordering St. Louis River.

Will Munger, owner of the Willard Munger Inn (named after his father, the late legislator), questioned whether such extensive development at Indian Point was warranted.

“You’re going to have to take out a number of beautiful old trees,” he said.

Drew Digby, a member of the Duluth Planning Commission, said there had been relatively little opportunity for public input in the development of the grant application. For such a large undertaking, he suggested the timeline seemed rushed.

“There are still a lot of questions that ought to be answered before this grant is made,” Digby said.

But the city must submit its grant application before the end of the month to be eligible for the money.

Money could be sought in future years, but the local match requirement will increase from 10% to 25%, raising a local match of $50,000 to $125,000.

Duluth Chief Administrative Officer Dave Montgomery said the administration was fine with the idea of tabling the grant authorization for a couple of weeks to see if the application could be refined with the help of additional discussion and public input.

The council voted 6-3 to table the request, with Jim Stauber, Dan Hartman and Jackie Halberg in the minority. All three expressed concerns about proceeding with the plans.

Voting in favor of tabling the grant request were Jeff Anderson, Patrick Boyle, Tony Cuneo, Todd Fedora, Sharla Gardner and Jay Fosle.

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