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Eichorn elected vice-chair of IRRR

Grants approved for Grand Rapids and Crosby.

State Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids
Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids
Contributed / Minnesota Senate

Sen. Justin Eichorn, R-Grand Rapids, was elected to serve as vice-chair of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation during the boardโ€™s first meeting of 2023 March 29 in St. Paul.

Rep. Spencer Igo, R-Wabana Township, was elected as chair, in accordance with the alternating chairmanship between the House and Senate.

"I am honored to serve as vice-chair of this critical board for our region," Eichorn said in a news release. "The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board plays a vital role in investing resources into northeastern Minnesota, to help our communities and workers thrive. I am committed to working with my fellow board members, local leaders, and stakeholders to achieve our shared goals for the region."

Serving a 13,000-square-mile area encompassing 53 cities, 134 townships, portions of four tribal nations, and 14 school districts, the IRRR works closely with various stakeholders to support the growth of stable, livable, and healthy communities. This includes partnering with industry leaders, school districts, and college administrators to build and retain a well-trained workforce that meets the needs of existing and emerging industries in northeastern Minnesota.

At the meeting, the board approved about $1.5 million in loans, $2.4 million in infrastructure grants, and $191,000 in trails grants for projects in northeast Minnesota. The projects are expected to increase the regional tax base, impact new and existing jobs, create construction jobs, provide essential services, and expand outdoor recreation.

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  • City of Grand Rapids: $300,000 to construct infrastructure for the conversion of the former Murphy Elementary School into a 38-000-square-foot early childhood and child care facility with 221 child care slots, including 10 new slots.
  • City of Grand Rapids: $300,000 to construct infrastructure for the development of 23 new residential home lots at the former Forest Lake Elementary School. 
  • City of Grand Rapids: $500,000 to rehabilitate and upgrade the Itasca Recreation Association Civic Center with American with Disabilities Act mechanical and structural improvements.
  • City of Crosby: $150,000 to construct a new roundabout and lane reconfiguration where recent new business development has occurred. The roundabout will increase the safety of the intersection, its access, and pedestrians while maintaining traffic flow.
  • City of Crosby: $43,200 to construct a mountain bike trail and instruction area on the grounds of the Cuyuna Range Elementary School. The multi-purpose trail will be used to teach students mountain bike riding skills and safety through a physical education class. It will be open to the community for biking, hiking, and snowshoeing.
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