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Superior receives grant for C. Reiss Coal Company

The Harbor Assistance Program grant supports the $17.3 million project to move the company's operations to Superior.

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Government Center in Superior, Wisconsin. Jed Carlson / 2019 file / Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — The city was awarded a $1.5 million grant through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Harbor Assistance Program to assist C. Reiss Coal Company with plans to move its operation to Superior.

Gov. Tony Evers announced the award March 24 as part of $9.4 million in grants allocated to six harbor projects around the state.

It’s the second such grant the city will receive on behalf of the company. The city was previously awarded a $1.5 million harbor assistance grant for the $17.3 million project in 2021.

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Gary Meader / News Tribune Graphics

Funding will be used to reconstruct an existing dock wall and dredge the St. Louis Bay adjacent to the vacant property to create a facility to handle bulk materials.

C. Reiss Coal Company announced plans to move its operation from its St. Louis River facility in Duluth to property it owns in Superior in 2020 because of persistent flooding at the Duluth location. The site in Superior where the company plans to move was used for shipping from the 1910s through the early 1990s, but has not been used since then.

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Project plans include new dock walls, rail and stormwater infrastructure; road and utility improvements; construction of an office, repair shop and storage space; and dredging 48,000 cubic yards of material from the bay.

The C. Reiss Company is seeking to relocate from Duluth to Superior.

The project was also awarded nearly $8.4 million in federal grant dollars through the Port Infrastructure Development Program in December. Additional funds have been secured from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The company ships about 650,000 tons of limestone, coal and road salt out of Duluth and expects the move to Superior will allow them to ship an additional one million tons annually because of increased rail capacity and the ability to accommodate larger ships.

According to the company’s president, Mark Cummings, preliminary work on the site has begun and the goal is to have the Superior dock operational by July 2023.

Shelley Nelson is a reporter with the Duluth Media Group since 1997, and has covered Superior and Douglas County communities and government for the Duluth News Tribune from 1999 to 2006, and the Superior Telegram since 2006. Contact her at 715-395-5022 or snelson@superiortelegram.com.
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