HIBBING — Supporters of the new Mine View recently received good news from an Iron Range legislator.
Earlier this week, Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, introduced legislation in the form of a $1.5 million bonding bill toward the $3 million project to reinvigorate a local tourist attraction.
“As a result of Hibbing Taconite needing to move the old tourist overview of the Hull Rust Mine we need to find another one because it’s a pretty good tourist attraction,” Tomassoni said Thursday morning in a phone interview. “It’s part of our culture and part of our history for those who come to see what to we do here as far as mining is concerned.”
If the bill is approved, the project could be funded by the end of May. But Tomassoni plans to revisit the measure if it doesn’t get the green light this legislative session.
John Tourville, economic developer for the City of Hibbing, said he has been working with Tomassoni on the bill since last summer and feels pleased to see the senator making progress. .
The news comes the same week that the Hibbing City Council accepted a $150,000 grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board. Tourville noted that Pete Hyduke, director of City Services, has been instrumental in rallying support for the project, along with architect Andrew Lucia.
The new Mine View, dubbed “Windows to the World” is situated on the Susquehanna mine dump and is expected to provide a 360 degree view expanding 40 miles, which allows visitors to see the the Hull Rust Mine, the city and surrounding landscape.
The first phase of the project was completed last fall and included construction of an access road, walking trails, safety fencing and multiple viewing points, as well as artifact relocations, Hyduke confirmed. The second phase is currently underway and addresses building components, such as electrical work and putting down footings and foundations
Last November, City Administrator Tom Dicklich noted during a council meeting that the city and IRRRB have already invested at least $400,000 into the project. This year, the partners are planning to add $300,000 toward funding.
Cliffs Natural Resources has also contributed to funding.