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The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board will weigh a $40.9 million 2015 budget Monday that includes $6.2 million for a new $10 million event center at the Giants Ridge Ski Area near Biwabik, plus millions for grants.
The economic development agency’s budget, proposed by Commissioner Tony Sertich, would invest $9.1 million in projects to attract new investments in the state’s Northeast region. Another $5.6 million would go toward infrastructure grants. Funding for K-12 and higher education also makes up a big chunk of the proposal.
“A highlight of this year’s budget is that a significant amount of funding is allocated for our regional education system,” Sertich said in a news release. “This gives us the opportunity to invest in innovative projects that will help us grow the next generation of residents and our workforce.”
Giants Ridge, which is owned by the IRRRB, nabbed $3.8 million in the last legislative session.
Jenna Ross @ByJenna
Anonymous $50,000 donation stuns center
Since 2006, the Family Advocacy Center of Northern Minnesota has provided the grim service of interviewing, examining and counseling children who have been physically or sexually abused or have witnessed violence. The number of children coming to the center has doubled in recent years.
Recently, instead of the typical bills and invoices, the center’s mail included a $50,000 check from an anonymous donor sent through a local credit union. The donor said in an accompanying letter that he was giving 10 times more than he’d ever donated to any cause out of a passion to advocate for children and teenagers.
“My dream is that every child will be treated well and advocacy centers will no longer be needed,” the donor wrote. “Until that time, please continue providing kids and teens a safe place during a scary time in their lives.”
With four employees and a $265,000 annual budget funded from donations and grants, the $50,000 “keeps our little nonprofit alive and well and surviving,” said Aria Trudeau, the center’s director. “Talk about something really making your day.”
CURT BROWN @stribcbrown