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

Range Officials with Congressman Stauber

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: http://broadband.ramsmn.org…Enjoy this one stop location for regional broadband info.

Range Association of Municipalities & Schools – RAMS
Winter is Upon Us…and other updates:

Peter Clevenstine and Governor Tim Walz

Good things are actually happening on the Range…Here’s a snapshot of my perspective as the RAMS director:

Governor Tim Walz has been traveling across the state to see first hand what some of the state requested bonding projects are so he has a better understanding of their importance and need when it comes time for him to submit a list of projects for the legislature in 2020.  One of his visit included the Iron Range, where he stopped at the DNR Core Library in Hibbing.  The library is filled to capacity and has requested funding for an additional building that would enable the DNR to continue to collect, catalog and store the precious core samples from across the state.  The Governor also checked out the DNR runway at the Hibbing airport where it was obvious how sorely the runway needs to be replaced to assure the safety of our DNR pilots who fight fires and provide rescue services from this location.  This is the first time a Governor has conducted such a “bonding” tour and RAMS is happy he chose to do so.  With $5.3 BILLION in bonding project requests already submitted, it will be a challenging session for the Governor and our Range delegation as they try to secure funding for those most needed projects.
The Virginia and Eveleth/Gilbert school districts continue the hard work of consolidating the two neighboring school districts into one that will include the construction of a new high school in the Midway area, along with a new elementary building in Eveleth behind Progress Park and a new one at the Roosevelt High School site in Virginia.  Joint power agreements have been signed by both boards and a new advisory board is working regularly to deal with a myriad of issues facing the districts.  Public surveys and meeting were held to help develop a new name and mascot for the District and a public announcement is scheduled to take place at the first hockey game between the two districts.  Land acquisition is ongoing, a draft concept of the high school campus is soon to be revealed and in 2020 formal action to consolidate will take place.  This is an amazing development for the Iron Range and has spurred discussions between other school districts in the area as collaboration and cooperation continues to blossom in our region.

In Grand Rapids construction of two new elementary buildings is underway and may open next September for the students.  The Mesabi East school held a grand opening of their athletic complext including turf football, baseball, soccer fields, now all located next to the school. The Ely school districts has conducted surveys of the community to gauge their support for improvements to the district buildings that may include a new gymnasium as well as an enclosed passageway between the buildings and other needed upgrades.

PolyMet wins another case as the courts dismiss mulitple lawsuits over the project including the land exchange and rules for mining permits.  A case still left to resolves involves the water quality permit and dam safety permit.  PolyMet remains confident that they will prevail in these cases and hopes to make an announcement on financing for the project in the near future.

Twin Metals hopes to soon submit a “Mine plan of operation” to state and federal environmental agencies as they continue to finalize their mine plan.  Recently Twin Metals decided to use the “dry stacking” method rather than a more common dyke and damn tailing basin as dry stacking has long been considered a much safer yet more expensive system for disposal of tailings.

No new developments to report on the Mesabi Metallics (Essar) project in Nashwauk.  The requirement to have completed the pellet plant by Dec 31, 2019 looms ahead with no chance for completion.  This will allow the DNR to consider withdrawing the leases for the state lands currently leased to Mesabi Metallics.  Another concern is the deadline of January 20, 2020 when Mesabi Metallics has to pay $12 million in royalties to the state.  RAMS continues to maintain dialog with the DNR and the Governor’s staff on this project that is so important to everyone in the region.

IMPORTANT DATE TO REMEMBER – DECEMBER 19TH
RAMS ANNUAL MEETING AND DINNER @ the Mt Iron Community Center.

Nomination forms have been sent out – deadline is Dec 10th to return the form as we have 12 vacancies again this year.  Elections are held at the annual meeting.

To RSVP contact Lois at: rams@ramsmn.org

GOOD LUCK AND SAFE HUNTING IF YOU GO OUT!!

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.


Grand Rapids Schools

 Pat Medure – Board Director ISD # 318 – RAMS President

For eighty years RAMS has been working to promote legislation that is beneficial to our area and its membership.  We are “One Range, One Voice”.  The RAMS Board of Directors, are elected and appointed officials from cities, townships and school districts from across the Iron Range.  We monitor current and proposed state and federal legislation that may affect our quality of life.

Our Executive Director, Steve Giorgi has been working with our local communities to expand and enhance broadband access across the Iron Range. With the expansion of broadband across the Range, RAMS Board of Directors understand this will create economic opportunities for our area and enhance the quality of life we so enjoy!

We also monitor the local mining issues that are so important to our area, which has been part of our life on the Range for the past 135 years.  Whether it be iron ore mining, taconite mining, or the future copper nickel mining, we understand the importance of mining and RAMS will continue to be a player to promote mining in a safe and friendly environmental way.

From East to West, North to South RAMS is “One Range  –  One Voice”.  We are all in this together.

 

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