01-0177R

RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO THE SPIRIT MOUNTAIN GOLF COURSE; REQUESTING SPIRIT MOUNTAIN RECREATION AUTHORITY TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER THE GOLF COURSE PROJECT CONSTITUTES A CONVERSION TO PRIVATE USE UNDER THE FEDERAL LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND ACT OF 1965.

BY COUNCILOR GILBERT:

        WHEREAS, the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, as amended, established a land and water conservation fund ("LWCF") to provide funds to state and local governments to "assist in preserving, developing, and assuring accessibility to all citizens . . . of present and future generations . . . such quality and quantity of outdoor recreation resources as may be available and are necessary and desirable for individual active participation in such recreation and to strengthen the health and vitality of the citizens . . ." A copy of a list of projects in Duluth funded by LWCF is attached as Exhibit A;

        WHEREAS, in 1973 and 1974, the city of Duluth received $638,003.00 from LWCF to develop Spirit Mountain. Copies of the contracts entered into by the city for LWCF funds to develop Spirit Mountain are attached as Exhibit B;

        WHEREAS, since the city of Duluth, rather than Spirit Mountain Recreational Authority, entered into the contracts to receive LWCF funds, the city is responsible for determining that projects developed using LWCF funds are administered in accordance with federal and state guidelines;

        WHEREAS, federal and state approval is required before public lands at Spirit Mountain developed using LWCF funds are converted in whole or in part to private use for the Spirit Ridge LLC hotel and golf course project. Supporting documents are attached as Exhibit C;

        WHEREAS, representatives from the Minnesota department of natural resources ("DNR"), the state administrator of LWCF funds, have met with representatives from the city of Duluth and Spirit Ridge LLC and have informed them of the requirements for converting lands from public to private use, but an application for approval of conversion of property has not been submitted;

        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the city of Duluth requests Spirit Mountain Recreation Authority to ascertain whether the project constitutes a conversion to private use under LWCF and, if it does constitute a conversion, start the process of obtaining state and federal approvals of the conversion of property from public use to private use for the Spirit Ridge LLC project, and that the appropriate state and federal approvals be obtained before the council considers and approves work permit requests for the golf course and hotel.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution requests Spirit Mountain Recreation Authority to ascertain whether the golf course project constitutes a conversion to private use under the Federal Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965, and, if it does, secure required state and federal approvals.