- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

TOWER, Minn. (AP) - The city of Tower is re-starting a multi-million dollar harbor-dredging project that’s been stalled for seven years.

Officials announced plans Wednesday to transform the harbor into a bustling marina. Workers have already mapped the bottom of the river using sonar technology and will continue their efforts this week. Dredging is set to begin Thursday or Friday to clear the way for boat travel between Lake Vermilion and Tower, WDIO-TV (https://bit.ly/1tToUCt ) reported.

“We need to bring more people,” said City Clerk Linda Keith. “We need to get them to stop here in Tower, and this is our way to do that.”

Officials are also working to bring a 36-unit hotel with a pool and meeting room to the small city in northeastern Minnesota. They’re hoping to sign an agreement with Cobblestone Hotel next month.

The dredging is expected to cost $1.4 million. Tower plans to contribute $300,000 by selling land parcels and will pursue funding from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, Keith said.

“With the people that we have up at City Hall, the council that we have and the people that we’re working with, our engineering firm, I don’t ever doubt that we’ll be able to find money to complete this project in its entirety,” said City Councilor Josh Carlson. “It just takes time.”

The final phase of the harbor project could be complete in five years and the hotel could be ready next spring, according to Keith.

“This is huge for Tower,” Carlson said. “Short of Santa Claus being here, it’s like Christmas morning.”


Information from: WDIO-TV, https://www.wdio.com

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