Duluth Economic Recovery Survey

Duluth Economic Recovery Survey – Where will the money go?

Duluth’s proposed programs and funding required from the Economic Recovery Survey from the US Conference of Mayors.

Stimulus Funding Required: $413,264,005

Jobs Created: 4,258


  • $6,000,000 – Spirit Mountain snowmaking and maintenance facility?
  • $4,500,000 – Re-skin exterior of Midtowne Manors I & II?



about 15 years ago

God, after seeing how most of the public projects in Duluth somehow seem to take about 3 times as much money as the conceivably could actually cost, I guess.... as long as the people ripping off most of that turn around and spend it, at least it will stimulate the economy.

"Housing	Replace Interior Entry and Closet Doors/locks at six high-rises	1,425,000"

Some locksmiths somewhere are very, very happy with this idea.

Salt Brine Spreaders (9) for Snow Plows	8,500,000

Seriously, they cost $900,000 each?

I like the omnibus packages

Community housing weatherization/retrofits	7,950,000

Oh, how about $8m for some vague crap. You know, a million for you, a million for me...

I'm inspired by the Bayfront park that somehow cost $4 million.  So... what exactly cost that much, to build a skating rink, a backdrop pavilion, a playground and do some landscaping? If it was a private home, it would be valued at like $500,000.


about 15 years ago

God, after seeing how most of the public projects in Duluth somehow seem to take about 3 times as much money as the conceivably could actually cost, I guess.... as long as the people ripping off most of that turn around and spend it, at least it will stimulate the economy.
Instead of hoping that the above would work, why not eliminate payroll taxes for a predetermined amount of time. More money in everyone's paycheck means people spending more money. The more people spend the more the economy is stimulated. Start eliminating payroll taxes immediately, the economy would be stimulated immediately!

Chester Dark

about 15 years ago

I like the list of projects and support paying for them though my "payroll taxes". Go stimulus, go.


about 15 years ago

$900K for a salt spreader is just silly.

Duluth should be courting those million dollar toilets and those nasa pens everyone talks about.

This is silly. Why do locks cost so much?

Tim K

about 15 years ago

The locks cost so much because it isn't just a deadbolt on a door. It is a fairly sophisticated keycard system. It includes intercoms to each rental unit (a couple hundred?) with the "buzz in" capability that a large building would require. In addition, the key card has to be relatively hack-proof, yet user-friendly. Depending on the number of units, a crew of 5 skilled installers (probably $18/hr range) would need several weeks to get it fully installed. The salt brine spreaders are a newer technology that allow a solution (salt brine or even a corn-based alcohol product) to be spread evenly on the road surface and in the end uses less product. Over time, it will save a ton of money. In addition, this computer controlled system allows for a precise amount of product to be applied with less secondary run-off into the watershed. It is environmentally more sound and could very well be the EPA mandated way of doing it in the near future. The added snow making capabilities for Spirit Mountain are a good investment that would allow for a longer ski season. The longer the season, the more money the place can make. Don't just react to the price of something because it is more than most of make in a lifetime. Stuff costs money. I would rather the stimulus went for these kinds of projects than to help ANY Wall Street firm or bank cover their gambling losses.

Chester Dark

about 15 years ago

Well said, Tim K. We need so much investment in our area and this is an excellent way to kick-start it. We won't get it all but at least we won't be left out.

I'd love to see the energy, streets, transit (downtown fixed rail trolley!! transit platform! YES), and roads projects. Not so sure all the school and housing projects are high priority.

The Big E

about 15 years ago

I don't know exactly what the "Community housing weatherization/retrofits" entails, but if it means spending some government money to help people insulate, buy better windows, etc., I think it's a very good idea.  I think we would get a lot more out of increased home energy efficiency in both the long and the short run than we would out of a spasm of asphalt and concrete-laying.  

Of course I live in a house built in 1922, so perhaps I'm biased.


about 15 years ago

Can someone give me a detailed listing on how this stimulates the economy in the next 2 years to make it worthwhile for my life to be affected by it? I don't see one thing on that list that helps me pay my bills tomorrow. 

Everyone is shouting that this need to be done NOW!!!!! How is this stuff important enough to rate getting my taxes?

Is this stuff life or death for the economy to survive?

Duluth	 MN	Transit	West Duluth rail	2,050,000 	32
Duluth	MN	Transit	East Duluth rail project	16,950,100 	224
Duluth	MN	Transit	Downtown fixed rail trolley	24,000,000 	336
Duluth	MN	Transit	Transit connectivity platform	31,800,000 	445
Duluth	MN	Water	Arlington booster station	2,300,000 	10
Duluth	MN	Water	Arlington transmission line	3,500,000 	10
Duluth	MN	Water	Highland booster station	1,500,000 	10

Chester Dark

about 15 years ago

The thing I don't like about the stimulus is that it's missing a great opportunity to ignite research/development on battery technology, nuclear power plant waste, hydrogen power, and numerous other things that prevent us from moving away from petroleum-based energy. It's all about the construction and blue-color jobs - which is okay - but it's the same old, same old.

The Big E

about 15 years ago

Jeff, as Brandon Stahl pointed out, this list is a wishlist, not a serious, prioritized proposal.  

That said, the point of the stimulus isn't to directly put a chicken in every pot--it's to use federal money to create jobs, which will put money in more people's hands, creating more activity across the economy.  If the spending is channeled into productive long-term community investments (like the Gooseberry park facilities, the Portman Square community center, and other products of the last big economic stimulus package), so much the better.  I share Chester's feeling that more could be done to use this moment to make needed long-term changes, but even more prosaic stuff can have long-term positive consequences.

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