Steve Giorgi
Executive Director
Phone: 218-780-8877
Email: SGiorgi@ramsmn.org

RAMS hearing 1940

Kawishiwi Falls - Ely MN photo by Adrian Koski 2016

Cuyuna

Moon over Queen City photo created by Matt Herberg

RAMS delegation with Senator Klobuchar

2016 Press conference on US Forest Service - Virginia, MN

DC delegation on land withdrawal 2017

Mayor Rick Cannata Wild RIce/Sulfate rally

New bridge at night photo by P Pluswick

Hwy 53 bridge Nov 2016 photo by F Luomanen

Pike Bay Marina Lake Vermilion

Tom Rukavina at rally prior to MPCA hearing at MCC

Ely Legislative Lunch

www.ramsmun.org

RAMS announces a new website dedicated to broadband. Information, news about projects in our region, topical information and more.  Click on the tab on the RAMS website (broadband) or connect directly via: broadband.ramsmn.org…Enjoy this one stop location for regional broadband info.

Range Association of Municipalities & Schools – RAMS
Summertime …news 

 A nice stringer of 18″ walleyes caught in Nungesser River.

MESABI METTALICS & RUMORS….
Rumors have been circulating non-stop about this project in Nashwauk.  Some of those rumors have been disparaging to RAMS claiming that our organization was interfering or impeding the possible pathway to completion of the mine project.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  RAMS as an organization has done nothing more than ask Governor Walz for a meeting to discuss the status of the project. The RAMS board of directors has not taken any position, but asked to be kept informed by going to the actual people who should know the facts on the mine project.  Unfortunately, Governor Walz has declined our invitation for a meeting, but has agreed to have his staff and members of the DNR continue to share information via conference calls with local elected officials, the Range delegation and RAMS as well as members of the WMMPB.

As an organization, RAMS also hosts meetings with the Iron Range Mayors.  This group of elected officials is independent of RAMS and has the ability to take positions on issues of local interest and is another means of communicating with the Governor and other high ranking officials.  In February, the mayors sent a letter to Governor Walz asking for a meeting to discuss this project.  The Range mayors also indicated to the Governor that they preferred Essar not be involved in the project and they did not want leases extended.  .

RAMS has been supportive of this mining project for well over a decade.  Ron Dicklich, former RAMS Director was one of the people originally involved in the development of the concept and marketing the project to area mining companies. RAMS recognizes the potential long term economic benefit of this mining project and the inclusion of “added value” HBI pellets and electric arc furnaces located on the Range.  Unfortunately, Essar Steele did us no favors with their management of the project, bankruptcy, change in ownership, delays, non-payment to contractors and broken promises time and time again.

Tom Clarke seemed to be our savior, and he turned out to be less than forthright with his promises and supposed finances.  Last November at a public meeting at the Nashwauk Township Hall, Gary Heasley promised major construction would begin in March with financing from Mercuria and that has turned out to be another broken promise.

Now Essar is back making surprise visits to the mine site and seeking extensions from the DNR on leases and permits.  As clearly stated by Jess Richards  (conference call on June 12) from the DNR,” Essar holds no leases or permits at the mine site.  Mesabi Metallics holds the contracts and that is who the state will deal with and the debarment of Essar is still before the Dept. of Administration”.

If anyone wants to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me or the president of RAMS, Pat Medure.  ONE RANGE –ONE VOICE = SUCCESS.

ENJOY THE 4TH OF JULY …LOOK FOR A RAMS LUNCH AND LEARN LATER IN JULY.

 

2019 NEWEST MEMBERS TO JOIN RAMS:

Balkan Township – Thanks to Peter Clevenstine
City of Eveleth – Thanks Mayor Bob Vlaisavljecich
City of Cook – Thanks Mayor Harold Johnston

The Range Association of Municipalities & Schools is always looking to add to the membership base.  The RAMS motto: “ONE RANGE – ONE VOICE” becomes even stronger with every new member.  Already in 2019, RAMS has been pleased to announce the addition of 3 new Corporate Members:
Colosimo, Patchin, Kearney & Brunfelt LTD. – Thanks Mitch Brunfelt
Komatsu Mining Corp.   – Thanks John Ward
ICS Consulting  – Thanks Jeff Schiltz

RAMS is grateful to the continued, growing support of our regional business community.  RAMS is grateful to these companies for their support and membership, and encourages your community, or business to consider becoming a member.  Contact Steve at:  sgiorg@ramsmn.org for more information.

Fostering economic development across Minnesota’s Iron Range

One Range… One Voice

Ensuring the voices of our Range cities, townships, and schools will be heard on the issues of economic enhancement and quality of life.

Serving Cities, Townships and Schools since 1939.

The Range Association of Municipalities & Schools (RAMS) was created in 1939 by the joining together of the Range Civic Association and the Range Municipalities Committee to promote legislation beneficial to its membership.
The main function of RAMS is to monitor proposed State and Federal legislation and determine how it may affect Association member units of government. The Range Association of Municipalities & Schools (RAMS) works closely with the Iron Range Delegation, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) , and area economic development entities to further community development and quality of life for all member units.


Charles Baribeau – Virginia City Council & RAMS Vice President

RAMS as an organization advocates for issues of regional importance, such as modifying the wild rice/sulfate standard to afford local municipalities an affordable treatment process based on science with proven results.  RAMS supports allowing mining exploration and submission of a mine plan that shall then be reviewed by the EPA, MPCA, DNR, and must meet or exceed environmental standards before being permitted.  This should apply to precious mineral mining not just iron ore mining.  RAMS also advocates and supports collaboration by school districts on the Range to truly enhance educational experiences and opportunities for generations of Rangers to provide them a pathway to successful and prosperous futures.

 

Message From Director

September was a month full of activities with kids returning to school, Senate and House bonding tours and RAMS back to work with a board meeting in Hibbing.

Prior to the meeting, members of the Board of Directors took a tour of the Windows to the World new mine view overlooking the Hull Rust mine pit. This is an amazing site that all Rangers have to put on a “to do” list when visitors come to town.

At the board meeting Representative Julie Sandstede, District 6A gave a report that included highlights from the 2019 session and included insights into the 2020 bonding session. So far $5.3 BILLION dollars in projects have been requested!

Rep Sandstede’s report was appreciated by the board and was comprehensive and informative. Thanks Julie for all you do for the Range.

 

 

In other board business, the annual audit report was reviewed and approved with no financial concern noted by our auditor. A new conflict of interest policy and code of conduct policy were recommended and the board will adopt at the next meeting. The board also heard updates on PolyMet, Twin Metals, HibTac and Mesabi Metallics…good news is hard to find but we continue to support projects that meet all permitting requirements and will provide great economic boosts to our region.

The board also agreed to hold the RAMS annual meeting on December 19th, 2019. This is earlier than in the past so much work must be done in the next two months to prepare.

RAMS hosted a Range Mayors meeting in September and the mayors heard a presentation from Dean DeBeltz from Twin Metals.

Twin Metals signed a PLA (project labor agreement) with the MN Trades and Labor Council and is close to submitting a mine plan of operation to the US Forest Service. The mayors were thankful for the presentation and many good questions were answered by Dean.

October started with a bang as RAMS hosted a meeting with 8th District Congressman Pete Stauber. The meeting included RAMS board members and Iron Range Mayors from over a dozen communities.

Congressman Stauber continues to fight for the “Range way of life” in DC and was proud to testify in a committee about how we mine safely, efficiently and without environmental catastrophes. The Congressman is part of the “Problem Solver Caucus” that is made up by 48 bi-partisan representatives and was instrumental in developing a solution to end the government shutdown. Thanks so much for your time and efforts on behalf of the 8th District, Congressman Stauber.

Don’t forget to check out the latest on the RAMS website(s)
www. ramsmn.org ; and now our new site on broadband:
https://broadband.ramsmn.org/



To learn more about membership