Talk of Annexation of Rice Lake Township into Duluth stirs debate

By KBJR News 1

November 13, 2013 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 8:04 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - There are talks swirling around about the possible annexation of Rice Lake Township into Duluth.

The City Administrative Officer from Duluth approached Rice Lake Township board to begin the discussion Tuesday night.

The potential annexation would include four sections of land south of Martin Road as well as six sections south of Tischer Road.

Representatives for Duluth said that they believe it would benefit people living in the potentially annexed areas with lower tax and utility rates and provide better resources to them as well.

Many in attendance at the board meeting expressed that they choose to live in the township because of the simplified lifestyle, and because the local government can respond more quickly to their needs and concerns.

Representatives from Rice Lake Township have said that a decision will not be made without input from the citizens.

"In the future, there will be a non-binding advisory referendum that the town board has already committed to the citizens that we will hold to ascertain their feelings on the matter," said John Werner, Rice Lake board chairman.

Rice Lake representatives say they plan on conducting a survey study to present to the citizens later this winter.

The annexation would take in about 60 percent of the population of the roughly 4,200 people living in the Township.

Bryce Henry