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Red Wing saw a growth spurt in 2022, as building permits jumped dramatically over the previous year. According to a report issued by the city's Community Development Department, 726 building permits were issued in 2022, compared to 443 in 2021 — a jump of 64%.

New housing grew even more dramatically. According to the report, 97 of the permits were for residential units, compared to 17 residential permits in 2021. Over the past nine years, the city issued an average of 55 residential permits each year.

The value of all permits issued in 2022 was $37.2 million, more than double the value of the permits issued in 2021.



Rocori selects Pipestone leader as superintendent

The Rocori school board on Feb. 14 unanimously approved offering the superintendent position to Kevin Enerson, current superintendent of the Pipestone school district.

Enerson will replace former Superintendent Brad Kelvington, who resigned last year. The board interviewed three candidates last May but decided not to offer any candidates the job and instead resume the search in the fall when the candidate pool would be larger.

The board interviewed four superintendent candidates and brought back finalists Feb. 14. Board Chair Jennifer Bohnsack said the board plans to vote on a contract at the Feb. 27 meeting and, if approved, Enerson would begin July 1.

Former Roseville Superintendent John Thein has been serving as interim superintendent. Thein previously served as interim superintendent in Rocori in 2018 after longtime Superintendent Scott Staska resigned.



Over half of infested ash trees replaced

The city of Duluth has removed and replaced more than half of its initial population of ash trees infested by the emerald ash borer.

Duluth has been managing ash trees since 2016 to slow the spread of the invasive beetle, and replacing them with a less vulnerable urban forest. With $250,000 in grants awarded by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to the city last year, Duluth has replaced 1,800 out of 3,200 dead and dying trees. The city expects to replace 400-600 more per year to finish the project by 2026.

Emerald ash borers winter as larvae under the bark of ash trees, but not all larvae survive sustained subzero temperatures. The extensive population of the beetle in Duluth would require a harsh winter for any noticeable impact, city park officials said in a news release, and recent cold snaps have not reached low enough temperatures for long enough to reduce the population.

The city works with the Minnesota Land Trust on replanting efforts.