Duluth Mayor Don Ness lays out West Duluth vision for Rotary Club

By KBJR News 1

March 21, 2014 Updated Mar 21, 2014 at 6:29 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- Duluth Mayor Don Ness has a vision for the revitalization of West Duluth, and it includes tourists.

The mayor says the first thing that has to be done is to step up the St. Louis River clean up. The river is on a list of areas of concern on the Great Lakes for extreme contamination. Mayor Ness wants that river to attract residents and tourists alike.

"When you look at the potential of the river of the recreational area for fishing for kayaking, it's enormous," said Duluth Mayor Don Ness.

$290 million dollars in public investment will help spur the St Louis River corridor development. The Mayor says the city has already cleaned up the contaminated Atlas Industrial Park site in Gary New Duluth in hopes of attracting a new manufacturing company.

"Now those sites are project ready which gives us a huge advantage in trying to bring additional skilled manufacturing and light industrial jobs back to this area," said Mayor Ness.

Ness hopes to see the housing market improve in West Duluth as well. Right now most of the homes are owned by seniors, and many are looking to sell. He hopes the improvements will attract younger families.

"We're talking about improvements along the St. Louis Corridor that are gonna save these neighborhoods, that will contribute to the saving of these neighborhoods, that will contribute to a true success story in West Duluth," said Mayor Ness.

The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, fully supports the Mayor's vision saying this will add tourism to the city and bring in new investments.

"The property is now ready, the river is now clean again and it is time that we as a community take turn our attention westward, southward to this beautiful riverfront community that is part of beautiful Duluth," said Dave Ross, Chamber President.

There are a number of proposals in the Minnesota legislature that need to be passed before the West Duluth vision can be put on the fast track to reality.