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Superior transfers ownership of Liberty Building

The transfer will allow Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency to seek grants for maintenance.

Government Center in Superior.jpg
Government Center in Superior. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

SUPERIOR — Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency is the new owner of the Liberty Building, 1118 Tower Ave, where it has operated since 1995.

The Superior City Council on Wednesday, April 6, approved transferring ownership of the building to the agency that serves homeless and low- to moderate-income people in Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas, Iron and Price counties.

The building was constructed in 1994-1995 with Community Development Block Grant funds to house the organization’s operations.

According to Millie Rounsville, chief executive officer, the organization leased the building for $1 per year under a long-term lease with both the city and NWCSA providing insurance on the building. NWCSA also pays for elevator maintenance, parking lot and building maintenance and all utilities on the building.

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By taking over ownership of the building, Rounsville said the organization will be able to apply for grants to improve the building and property. She said it would also alleviate parking issues with neighboring businesses because parking created for the building would no longer be a municipal parking lot. Many times staff and customers have not been able to park in the lot despite the lease including the space.

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Under a restriction placed on the deed, the organization must continue to serve the homeless and low- to moderate-income individuals until June 30, 2033.

The agency has served the community since 1967.

In other business, the council:

  • Reinstated and approved filling the assistance chief position in the Superior Fire Department. Subsequent vacancies resulting from an internal promotion can also be filled, but the human resource committee plans to review the entry-level firefighter position before adding a 41st person to the fire department.
  • Agreed to maintain the current gate rate at the Superior landfill until July, when costs will increase on an annual basis determined by the consumer price index. The policy aligns with the city’s contract with the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District.
  • Adopted new fees and modified the time blocks for ballfield use by adult leagues. The fields can be rented in half-hour time blocks for $12.50 per block with a minimum of one hour and maximum of two hours. The price increase will help offset the cost of maintaining the ballfields.
  • Approved small business grants for Julie’s Restaurant, Blondie’s Salon and Nick Korhonen Agency.
  • Delayed a decision on giving away six parcels of land in the Vacant to Value: New Construction program for housing development. Councilor Nicholas Ledin would like to get some questions answered before the proposal moves forward. Bigfork Valley Log Homes & Cabins, owned by Tom Belanger, is planning to build six homes on the sites throughout the city.
Map of Home sites.jpg
Sites where Bigfork Valley Log Homes & Cabins plans to build.
Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune

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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