The Spring Lake Store turned 100 years old in 2016. And it came up for sale.
It wasn’t a historic building – the structure was rebuilt after a fire. But it was part
of the history of the area; a Minneapolis and Rainy River Railroad stop, a collection of
pioneer homes and a country school, and even today, an important place for local people to
get gas, groceries and stamps within a short distance.
The prospect of losing the store for the community was what concerned Sue Watlov Phillips.
She was familiar with the area, coming up for many years to help her friend Elaine Rasmussen
at Island View, a resort on nearby Sand Lake.
She also was an advocate for the importance of community in her work with people at-risk
and/or experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. The Spring Lake Store served a number
of elderly and residents with limited income or disabilities.
With 2016 nearly behind us, your staff and board of directors are working on and discussing the
budgeting process for 2017. In doing so, we analyze internal costs to make sure we are running your
cooperative as efficiently and effectively as possible. Not-for-profit co-ops such as North Itasca
Electric are governed by their members. The board of directors has the responsibility to ensure your
cooperative is operated in a sound fiscal manner. I can assure you that your board of directors take
this responsibility very seriously.
As mentioned in previous articles, 2016 has been a rough year financially for your cooperative.
This can primarily be attributed to reduced energy sales but was also accompanied by the series of
powerful storms that tore through our cooperative territory in July and August. As a result of the
reduced energy sales, we project a very thin margin if any at all for 2016.
Looking forward to 2017, we are projecting a 1.9 percent increase in wholesale power costs from
our power supplier. We will continue to find ways to reduce expenses going into 2017 as well to make
sure your dollars are being used effectively. What this means for rates we are not yet sure. This is
something we will be analyzing over the remainder of the year.
Plans to reconstruct Highway 38 from Marcell to Pughole Lake have been delayed from 2017 to 2018,
explained Minnesota Department of Transportation staff in a public meeting on Oct. 3 at the Marcell Family Center.
But that doesn’t mean that work is suspended on the project.
Design work and permitting activities are on schedule, according to MnDOT, including a social and
environmental impact statement to the Federal Highway Administration completed last summer. The wetlands permit
from the Corps of Engineers is expected in spring 2017.
Design work has identified two areas where the roadbed will be altered: one near Wildernessa Road to improve
safety, and one to raise the roadbed in a location where it floods annually. In addition, 41 culverts will be
replaced along the reconstruction.
Jesse Lake Lutheran Church
Location: County Rd. 4, 2 miles west of Talmoon
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Cost: Adults, $14; children 6-12, $6: take outs available
Menu: Lutefisk, Swedish meat balls and lefse
Also: Split the Pot raffle
Mustang Volleyball fundraiser
Location: Kootasca Senior Center in Northome
Time: 4:30 -7:30 p.m.
Cost: Free will donation
Northwoods Saddle Club
Location: Effie Community Center
Time: 4-7 p.m.
Cost: Suggested donation $7
Menu: Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberries and dinner roll
Also: Raffle prizes given away throughout the evening
In 1985, the successful Marcell startup business known as ASV (later purchased by Caterpillar) was
awarded a state grant. The adjacent sawmill and pellet plant, Valley Forest Resources, also received
two state grants in 1988 and 1990.
The payback of these three grants became seed money for other businesses to start and grow in Marcell Township.
Under the terms of the grants, repayments became the property of Marcell Township to start a Department
of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) revolving loan fund for township economic development.
Since 1985, Marcell has made 39 individual loans to 20 different recipients.
Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 2 p.m. Subjects "How did you celebrate
Thanksgiving?" and "Tell a favorite hunting story." All ages welcome, Coffee and treats
Edge Gallery show, Bigfork. Jonathan Thunder: The Politics of Dreams: Defying
Dilettantism. Opening Reception 5-7 p.m. with animated film screening 6 and 6:30 p.m.
Show runs Nov. 3 - Dec. 3. Gallery open Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Dec. 3.
Daylight Savings time ends, 2 a.m.: turn back clocks one hour.