Proctor Vows to Fight Duluth for Annexation of Midway Township

By KBJR News 1

January 15, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2013 at 7:16 PM CST

Proctor, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Eight Duluth City Councilors in all, minus Fifth District Councilor Jay Fosle, supported going forward with the orderly annexation of Midway Township for two primary reasons. Reason one: partial ownership.

"Currently the city of Duluth owns 20% of the property in Midway Township: Magney Snively Park and the Frederick Rodney Paine Forest Preserve," said Duluth City Councilor Dan Hartman.

...and two: the promise of equal say from Midway residents on Duluth's future decisions for the Township, all while preserving it.

"The city and the township will enter into discussions over the process by which annexation might happen in the future," said Duluth's Chief Administrative Officer David Montgomery.

But it's that second reason in particular, says Proctor Mayor David Brenna, that rubs Proctor the wrong way. Brenna says an annexation by Proctor would not only have helped keep Midway's taxes within the immediate area, but the land would also be just as preserved.

"Farmers could farm, hunters could hunt—whatever they're doing now [would be protected]," said Brenna on Tuesday.

Emergency response is also a concern, as Brenna says Proctor will likely have to cut services to Midway for budgetary reasons: "...and it will go from 10 minutes a call to... 38 minutes."

Currently, the paperwork for Proctor's annexation of Midway is in the hands of the Board of Adjustments in St. Paul with the hopes that they'll beat Duluth to the chase, but Brenna says they're ready to duke it out in court with Duluth if it comes to that.

"Judging from Duluth's lack of success in their courtroom battles, Proctor will probably prevail," said Brenna.

But, like many legal issues, Mayor Brenna says he doesn't expect to hear back from the Board of Adjustments for another 90 days at least.

..but it could get even uglier.

According to Mayor Brenna, if he were the vindictive type, he could easily put a salvage yard or two on the stretch of land along I–35 that Proctor owns so that would be the first thing tourists see coming into Duluth.

- Posted to the Web by Billy Wagness