What Do YOU Want?

     It’s like visiting Santa Claus before Christmas only better.  On Wednesday, October 29th at 7PM in the log cabin at the Community Center, Thursday, October 30th at high noon at the Conference Center on the Gunflint Trail or tonight at 7PM at Birch Grove you can ask for something you want for our community.

     There will not be a fairy godmother or magic genie in these locations, unless someone happens to dress up early for Halloween.  There will however be a group of people appointed by the Cook County Board of Commissioners who will listen and learn what you want at these public meetings.  It’s not the Joint Recreation Committee, I’m not sure how or why they were replaced, but it is an eleven member Steering Committee who is looking for public input about the potential county wide one percent sales tax for the purpose of construction and/or improvements to a County Community Center, recreation area and/or public library.

     This is exciting stuff that I have been dreaming about for a long time.  If the residents of Cook County could come together and agree on the sales tax increase then Cook County will be a better place.  It doesn’t have to be just one single project the sales tax is spent on.  It could be a million dollars to expand Fire Hall 1 on the Gunflint Trail, a million dollars to build a public meeting space East of town, a Community Center in Lutsen and a Community Center Recreation Area in Grand Marais, MN. 

     Grand Marais is a beautiful town on a great lake that is attractive to many people.  It draws people up the North Shore and captivates them enough so they want to return.  Some people are so touched by this magical place they make it a summer home while others even make it their permanent home.  Grand Marais has a lot to offer visitors and residents alike and it could offer so much more with a multi-faceted civic center and recreation area.



     Before you say, “That will never happen, they’ve been talking about a new community center since before the last one was built,” I urge you to have an open mind.  Let’s open our minds so much that we even pretend we had all the money we needed to build a place where children, parents and even grandparents could go to spend time together or do their own thing.  This facility to could have a swimming pool, library, fitness center, meeting room, senior center, kitchen, banquet room, hockey rink, dance studio, classrooms and so much more.  Outside there could be softball fields, playgrounds, a volleyball court, tennis courts, a skateboard park and more.  

     There are facilities like this all over the United States in communities even smaller than ours.  A Communty Center attracts people to a community and keeps them there because of all of the options and possibilities it allows.  There could be weddings, seminars, softball tournaments, hockey tournaments and so much more if Grand Marais had the right facility.  

     Use your imagination and picture this.  A family of 6 consisting of a mom, dad, 16 year-old boy, 10 year-old girl, 4 year-old boy and a grandmother drive up to the Community Center.  The mom goes to the fitness center to work out, dad attends a meeting, the 16 year-old meets friends to play foosball, the 10 year-old goes to a kid’s cooking class, the 4 year-old attends story time at the library and grandma stops in to say hello to her knitting club friends before going to swim laps.  It could happen and wouldn’t that be nice?




     We can build such a place if we vote to pass a 1% Sales Tax increase.  Has anyone been able to put more money in their pocket since the 1% was removed in March?  Will you notice if it is added again next November? If we continue to bicker about this small amount of money, demand the library be located close to downtown, vehemently oppose moving the pool from its current location, debate the need, size, location and every detail of every project in Grand Marais then nothing will ever be done. 

     If we come together as a community, vote to approve a 1% Sales Tax increase next November then we may be able to have what Grand Marais needs.  I don’t want to see Grand Marais spinning its wheels going nowhere. 


     You have the opportunity to say what you want and you will be heard.  But please, before you speak, think about the entire community and what would be best for it.  Let’s take the first step toward making Cook County an even better place to live.  Please support the 1% Sales Tax Increase next November. 

Steering Committee Members