Delegates pitch proposal for research facilityA proposed $6 million research facility in Ashland got its moment in the sun Wednesday at Superior Days.
By: By Lucy Roberts/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A proposed $6 million research facility in Ashland got its moment in the sun Wednesday at Superior Days.
The U.S. Geological Survey has had a research facility in Ashland since the research vessel Kiyi came to port about three years ago. Now plans for a new facility are in the works. Ashland Area Development Corporation Director Dale Kupczyk says the facility is needed so researchers can provide water testing and monitor fish in Lake Superior.
“They need a larger facility, plus we want to make better use of Northland College, the Sigurd Olsen Institute. Also with UW-Superior; you have UW-Madison. With, possibly with, if there’s a mine, clean water research. That will be constant.”
Superior Days delegates are asking for funding from the state for the facility. Kupczyk says not only will the facility attract students; it will bring in researchers from other areas and help boost the economy.
“It can create jobs. If we tie in with UW-Milwaukee, with their water program; they’re doing the water science on Lake Michigan. So all this data can work together, instead of everybody doing their own thing. Everybody gets the data, puts it together, sees where we’re at.”
The new facility would be located next to the port where the vessel Kiyi is docked. The city of Ashland has proposed donating the land where the facility would be built. Kupczyk says it simply makes sense to bring everything together into one location.
“The more entities you bring together, the better off. If you have five entities working on clean water, the data’s there instead of one has it over here, one has it over there and nobody knows what the next person is doing. So, having it all together under one roof, it all ties together.”
The facility would be operated by the U.S. Geological Survey, the city of Ashland and Northland College.
For more information on Superior Days, tune into Final Edition at 5 p.m. today on KUWS-FM 91.3 in Superior and WUWS-FM 90.9 in Ashland. Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen, Douglas County Board Chairman Doug Finn and a student from the delegation discuss key lobbying issues.