Steve Giorgi
Executive Director
Phone: 218-780-8877

RAMS hearing 1940

Kawishiwi Falls - Ely MN photo by Adrian Koski 2016


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

Itasca Ski Hill

Contact Us

The Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS) is a non-profit organization formed over 75 years ago by a group of forward thinking elected officials who were concerned about the impact and influence of the Oliver Mining Company at the State Legislature and the potential negative affect on our communities and schools. RAMS has served as a vigilant steward of the best interests of the Iron Range since 1939 and has represented the Range on a myriad of issues for ¾ of a century.
Any public entity within the Taconite Relief Area as described by MN Statute 273.134 is eligible to become a member of the Association. School districts within the Taconite Relief Area are also eligible for membership. Annual dues are very reasonable. For more information or to set up a personal visit with the Executive Director, please complete the form below. Thank you for your interest in our organization.

Range Association of Municipalities and Schools
5525 Emerald Ave.
Mountain Iron, MN 55768

Phone: 218-748-7651

Email Us using the form below

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    Message From Director

    First off, I have to apologize for not updating this section of our website more often.  No good excuses other than my technical expertise with Word Press, is less than I need to be comfortable making some adjustments to the website as often as I should.  Please forgive.

    By now you are all aware of the adjournment of the MN State Legislature without accomplishing their elected task…passing a budget (tax bill) for the biennium.  Divided legislature is supposed to be the favored arrangement to assure that one party rule cannot do terrible things to us innocent residents. In our case, it has not resulted in open dialog and compromise when and where necessary to achieve the ultimate goal, a finished product by May 17th.  Oh well as Minnesotans, we have become accustomed to “special sessions” to achieve success.  In this case the looming June 30 deadline that will result in a shut down of state operated services including state parks is the big hammer awaiting our legislators upon their return to St. Paul either June 14th or the 17th.

    Hanging in the balance is funding for education, a resolution on the taxation of unemployment benefits, eviction of delinquent renters and homeowners, the Governor’s Emergency Powers, $15 million in LLCMR grant funding for projects in the TAA, a bonding bill, an energy bill and California auto emissions standards and oh yeah, police reform.  Let’s hope the behind closed doors leadership conversations have resulted in some solutions that can be approved by the full legislature whenever the special session takes place.

    RAMS has been providing information and links to resources for America Rescue Plan funds that will be forthcoming soon.  Each and every community will be receiving on average $105 per resident. The funding is split into two equal payments, one coming soon and the other estimated to come 12 months later.  There are other large pots of money available for communities to pursue and RAMS hosted an informational Zoom meeting with Nick Dragisich of BakerTilly to help communities learn more about those funding opportunities. RAMS also recently shared links to the Congressionally Directed Spending (formerly called “earmarks”) that our Congressional delegation will have access to and hopefully will direct to some of our worthy projects in our region of the state.

    As you hopefully have heard, I have announced my decision to retire from RAMS and try out the leisurely lifestyle for the first time in my life.  I honestly can say, I never regretted reporting to work for RAMS.  It has been a challenging and rewarding experience that enabled me to work with so many compassionate local elected officials, school administrators, state representatives and so many others.  I could never thank each and everyone who made a difference in our efforts to make the Range a more vibrant, growing and more prosperous region of the state.

    The work is not done, and never will be, the challenges are many and ever growing and changing and that is what makes this position worthwhile.  Can we help see PolyMet start construction and dig the first shovel of precious minerals from the Duluth Complex?  Will Twin Metals one of the most advanced underground mines in North America get a chance to succeed?  Can the state and area mining companies figure out a solution to the former Butler Mine site and access the richest body of iron ore left in the State and also build an HBI plant right here on the Range?  Will we find a reasonable solution to the wild rice/sulfate debate that enables our communities to survive as well as our taconite mining industry while providing a long-term pathway for sustainable wild rice growth?  Will rural St Louis County, Aitkin County and Itasca County see the expansion and deployment of high quality, high speed broadband withing the next decade?  The pathway to our future is filled with potholes and dangerous curves, but as a region we have shown time and time again that we are a resilient, perhaps bull-headed region of people who are unwilling to abandon this region of clean freshwater lakes, abundant forests and the minerals that are needed to build this country.

    I am confident that the RAMS Board of Directors will hire a very capable and spirited new director to lead RAMS into the next decade and beyond. Someone who will continue to work to bring consensus to our local leaders, to provide the platform to express our positions and bring people together to share the strength of “ONE RANGE – ONE VOICE” as has been done for the past 82 years.  I thank all of you who I have met, worked with maybe helped during my time with RAMS.  You all have made this such a pleasure for me to have experienced.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.


    Steve Giorgi

    To learn more about membership