The need for a new animal shelter has been on—and off—the city’s agenda since at least 2018, when it was determined that the former shelter, a small cinderblock building on the waterfront at the Grand Marais Recreation Park needed to be removed to make way for improvements to the boat launch.
The former animal shelter was officially removed from the recreation park in 2021. Since then, lost or surrendered pets have been temporarily housed in the garage at the Cook County Law Enforcement Center.
During the Oct. 26 city council meeting, city officials, the county administrator, the Economic Development Authority (EDA) director, the Cook County sheriff, and members of the Arrowhead Animal Rescue resumed discussions and formalized location and funding plans.
The city and county have each earmarked $25,000 in their budget for the project. The Animal Arrowhead Rescue, a nonprofit that helps with the care of animals in the county facility, has raised $55,000 in funds. While $105,000 has been allocated for the project, additional funding is needed to complete the project.
Animal Arrowhead Rescue said a complete budget couldn’t be finalized until the location of the animal shelter is determined. Once a location is established, the nonprofit will continue fundraising.
Throughout the past year, discussions between the EDA and city council have revolved around allocating a lot at the Cedar Grove Business Park. During the meeting, city officials double-checked the status of using an EDA lot for an animal shelter.
The EDA approved a location for the animal shelter in a June 8, 2021 meeting. The EDA board approved to transfer ownership of Lot 7, Block 5 in the Cedar Grove Business Park to the city of Grand Marais and Cook County to be used as an animal shelter.
While the city and county intend to use the animal shelter, it was decided during the Oct. 26 meeting that the city would retain sole ownership of the lot. At the next EDA meeting, the board will amend the language to remove the county from ownership.
WTIP will be following the developments as discussions and decisions are finalized. Audio from a portion of the animal shelter discussion at the Oct. 26 city council meeting is below.