City Wants Tourism Tax Dollars For Lincoln Park

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The city of Duluth is asking lawmakers to extend a specially approved tourism tax district in the western part of town to also include the struggling Lincoln Park neighborhood.

The city received authorization from the state to redirect tourism tax dollars from Canal Park to help develop the Western St. Louis River Corridor. 

But, apparently that’s not enough.  City officials are asking the Tax Finance Committee to extend the corridor by 20 blocks. 

They believe that adding the Lincoln Park neighborhood is vital in breathing new life to the area.

“The more we were thinking about it, the more we realized that Lincoln Park not only fits the concept of what we are talking about with revitalization but also has a real serious need,” said Daniel Fanning, with the mayor’s office.

The historic flood of 2012 caused massive damage to one of the most beautiful parks in Duluth. 

“It’s a gorgeous city park.  It has waterfalls and it has an awesome hiking trail and running trail,” said Fanning.

But, plans to repair a lot of the destruction remains unfunded. 

“So, if we are able to dedicate some of those funds to those purposes we can enhance the neighborhood parks,” explained Fanning. 

Dedicating a small portion of the tourism tax to spruce up the park would go a long way toward enhancing the neighborhood, Fanning said. 

“They want that outdoor adventure.  They want the trail systems — and Duluth has incredible trails.”

So far, two projects have benefited from redirecting tourism tax dollars to the western part Duluth.

Fanning expresses that, “We used Spirit Mountain and Wade Stadium as kind of the anchors and then we expanded that a little bit more.  What we should have done was include Lincoln Park in that as well,” said Fanning.

City leaders believe it makes sense to dedicate a small portion of this money to the park.

“Lincoln Park has needs in the community and there are things we can do here,” said Fanning.

Fanning says the needs include repairing the building that burned down last summer, and fixing the trails.

“Park revitalization, trail enhancement — a lot of that stuff is paid for the tourism tax,” explained Fanning.

City leaders have a goal of helping this park reach its fullest potential.

Fanning says confidently, ” I believe this is a place that people would come to because it’s so pretty.”

This change won’t cost any additional dollars for the tax payer.

The city has one more hearing in the cities.

If they get authorization, the city will start funding projects within the park this summer. 

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