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Duluth Council Adding to List of Legislative Priorities

Updated: January 14, 2020 09:11 AM

The Duluth City Council has signed off on Mayor Emily Larson's top legislative priority for the city: funding for Lakewalk and seawall repairs. 

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Duluth will ask for $13.5 million of bonding money for those areas. 

While the top priority is set, there is a list of other priorities that Duluth's leaders will offer to the local delegation in the state legislature. Councilor Roz Randorf wants to add a program for coastal communities to the list. 

"(The) Park Point water crisis is real. We've been seeing this. I am immersing myself in ways we can address the infrastructure, the soil erosion, and the property damage and really the needs on Park Point," Randorf said. 

She hopes the state will fund a program to help communities like Park Point when infrastructure and property are damaged due to erosion and high water levels. 

"To the best of my knowledge, at this time, there are no state programs or federal programs that are specifically designed to assist coastal communities to address the immediate impact of climate change that's happening right now," Councilor Joel Sipress said. 

Councilors are expected to vote on adding that to the list of priorities Jan. 27. 

Monday night, they also added three other priorities:

  • Support for St. Louis County's request for funding for the Clarity Center for Wellbeing
  • A statewide initiative to amend the Minnesota constitution to remove a reference to slavery
  • Statewide recognition of the 100-year anniversary of the Clayton-Jackson-McGhee lynchings in Duluth

Those will likely be added to this list the mayor and her administration already identified:

  1. Funding for housing projects
  2. Improvements to the Duluth Depot
  3. Funding for planning for improvements at the Lake Superior Zoo
  4. State bond proceeds for Port Development Assistance
  5. Matching funds for WLSSD to try using gas from the wastewater treatment plant to generate electricity
  6. State bond proceeds for the Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail project
  7. Tax incentives for TV and film production in Minnesota
  8. A statewide Earned Sick and Safe Time policy
  9. A statewide ban on conversion therapy
  10. Efforts to stop the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women
  11. Efforts to increase penalties for assaulting code enforcement officers

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