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Comments made by Duluth City Councilor Jay Fosle at a Monday meeting have stirred calls this week for his condemnation, censure and even resignation. The controversy involves Fosle's ruminations regarding a proposed policy that would require local employers to provide their workers with paid time off to deal with illnesses or other family crises. During a public comment period, Christina St. Germaine spoke in favor of a strong earned sick and safe time policy, drawing on her own experience 31 years ago.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson chose the newly renovated NorShor Theatre as the venue for her third State of the City address Thursday night, saying: "Just a few years ago, this grand theater had fallen into complete disrepair. "Despite its rich history, it had been cast aside. It would have been easy to just ignore its important historical significance and let it go. But that didn't happen, because this community coalesced around a vision," she said. Larson went on to describe her own vision for Duluth as a leader in innovation, raising people up and creating opportunity.
The Duluth City Council hit pause Monday night on a proposed ordinance that would require local employers to provide their workers with paid time off benefits to deal with illnesses and other family crises. In all, four councilors offered five different amendments during what was to be the first reading of the ordinance. But with so many ideas being bandied about, the council chose to table the ordinance to allow for further discussion. Councilors reached that decision after hearing 13 people argue on different sides of the divisive issue.
The Twin Ports may be called to stand in for the Twin Cities, when the U.S. Navy commissions a new 389-foot littoral combat ship — the future USS Minneapolis-St. Paul. Navy Under Secretary Jodi Greene, a Minnesota native and the ship's sponsor, recently took part in a ceremony to mark the laying of the keel at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, the Wisconsin shipyard that's building the vessel.
Two matters that will come to the Duluth City Council on Monday very clearly remained works in progress at a Thursday night agenda session: • Amendments continue to be offered to a controversial ordinance that would require local employers to provide their workers with a mandatory minimum amount of paid time off to deal with family illnesses or other crises; • And the council also continues to wrestle with where to set a cap on the number of vacation rental homes that should be licensed to do business in the city.
The Duluth City Council will be asked Monday night to OK the purchase of a $445,100 multi-purpose emergency response vessel. Earlier last year, the city accepted a $447,750 federal grant to buy the boat and help train Duluth Fire Department staff to operate it. The city is expected to provide a 25 percent match totaling $149,250 to complete the required training regimen. Until the city was closer to that goal, the purchase had been placed on hold.
Duluth is about to consider some new caps further restricting where gas stations can be built and increasing the limit on how many vacation rental homes will be allowed to operate in the city. Vacation rentals The Duluth Planning Commission will discuss a proposal to boost the number of vacation rental homes operating in the city from 60 to 66.
Last week, the Duluth City Council approved $1.46 million to complete the final design and oversee the reconstruction of Superior Street, including the conversion of the steam plant to a new, more efficient system that will use hot water to heat much of the city's downtown.
Mount Royal Manor, sitting atop a prime piece of real estate at the threshold of the University of Minnesota Duluth campus, has been sold. PLB Mt. Royal LLC, an offshoot of PLB Properties of Duluth, bought the apartment building at 100 Elizabeth St. along with 4.3 acres of land from Royal Investment Co. of Duluth, a limited liability partnership held by Sherman Associates, for a cool $10.9 million, according to a news release issued Thursday by Marcus & Millichap, a national commercial real estate firm that brokered the sale from its Minneapolis offices.
Aerial drones soon could become the latest tool in the Duluth Fire Department's arsenal of resources. On Monday, firefighter Nick Fleming briefed Duluth City Council members on an initiative he called the SUAS project — short for Small Unmanned Aircraft System. "For about the past 1½ years, we've been working on developing a small unmanned aircraft system for the Duluth Fire Department, primarily for our hazmat program. But we can see other uses across the entire city," he said.