May 29, 2024

Law Enforcement Center financing plan stalled

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Elbow Lake City Council

C.A. Ray
Grant County Herald

Plans to have the Elbow Lake Economic Development Authority (EDA) finance a new $8.5 million law enforcement center in Elbow Lake hit a snag Tuesday evening when the Elbow Lake City Council tabled a motion to approve the plan.

Grant County Chief Deputy Jon Combs, Grant County Commissioner Bill LaValley, and Elbow Lake City Clerk Jeff Holsen updated the council on the commissioners plan, approved by the Elbow Lake EDA last month, to bond for the building, then lease it to Grant County with lease payments going toward the bond payments until the building is paid off. This is much like the financing of the Grant County Offices building a number of years ago. The plan eliminates the need for a bond levy referendum.

However, when City Councilperson Tom Grout made a motion to approve the EDA’s plan, it died for lack of a second.

Councilpersons Darryl and Julie Larson said there needs to be more public input. They wanted to see more detailed blueprints of the building, which is to be built in the park north of the courthouse, and they wanted to hear plans on how costs could be cut.

Councilperson John Van Kempen said he was not ready to vote for approval until he hears more about it.

Combs, LaValley, and Holsen explained the long difficult process of developing this plan, the need for a new LEC and the constraints placed upon it because of the historical significance of building near the courthouse. They claimed a $7.5 plan was also proposed, but did not meet the needs of the County Sheriff’s Office. 

Julie Larson made a motion to table approval of the EDA’s financing plan until the October city council meeting. Her motion passed.


On Wednesday, the Elbow Lake City Council agreed to hold a special meeting to further discuss the EDA financing plan. Information requested by council members will be made available by Combs and members of the EDA board of directors. The meeting was to be held in the Goetzinger Room of the Community Building at 6:00 p.m.

Other business

Elbow Lake Civic and Commerce Director Sue Kulbeik reported that the West Central Area Greenhouse is pretty much finished and there will be a ribbon-cutting in February when it is full of green plants. She said the Elbow Lake Farmer’s Market will continue for a while this fall without the supper, and Trunk or Treat is planned once again for Halloween on October 31. Also, Santa Day will be either December 10 or 17.

Tom Grout reported that the paving of the athletic tennis and pickleball courts is getting done and the splash pad is waiting for a plumbing permit.

Clerk Holsen reported that solid waste tonnage is looking like it will be down 20 tons this year attributable to single sort recycling.

The council agreed to have the city maintenance department purchase two pickups from the city of Hibbing but they will have to wait on their request to purchase a skid loader because of the lack of availability.

Kari Kreft updated the council on plans for a Welcome Week Day on Sept. 15 with all three WCA schools participating. There will be root beer floats and inflatables between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 in an effort to welcome newcomers to the communities of WCA.

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