Hoyt Lakes Mayor: “PolyMet is Our Superbowl”

Hoyt Lakes Mayor Mark Skelton wrote powerful letter to the editor that published in the Strib today. In it, he argues that the PolyMet copper-nickel-precious metals mine would be the Super Bowl to Northern Minnesota’s economy-and them some.

According to Skelton :

“Super Bowl, meet PolyMet, northern Minnesota’s big game

As mayor of Hoyt Lakes, Minn., a community of 2,000, I couldn’t help but compare the results of the economic impact study of Super Bowl LII, as reported May 30, to the “super bowl” we have tried to host for nearly 13 years now. That would be the PolyMet copper-nickel project.

The football game brought $370 million to the region, eliciting this comment from Gov. Mark Dayton: “The success of the enterprise is just phenomenal. Now they have the results to show for it.”

I don’t know how the Twin Cities region’s 4 million citizens shared this one-time economic bonanza, or how it may have moved the needle on the region’s already-low unemployment rate, but I know what our super bowl will mean to us in terms of sustainable jobs and genuine economic benefit.

Our big game will generate $515 million annually in economic benefits for St. Louis County, according to an economic impact study by the University of Minnesota Duluth. That’s $1.4 million a day for 20 years. In a county of 200,000 people with unemployment almost double that of the Twin Cities, that’s truly something to cheer about.

Those figures don’t count the nearly $1 billion in private capital investment (no public or government-subsidized “stadium” here) or 2 million construction hours estimated to build the project.

The environmental study and draft state permits show that PolyMet can produce these important metals without creating environmental harm. Significant economic benefits wait to be realized. It’s time for Minnesota to issue final permits.”

-Mark Skelton, Hoyt Lakes, Minn.

This letter shows the brilliant juxtaposition of the priorities of Twin Cities urbanites who think Northern Minnesota is their playground, and the people who live in the Iron Range who look forward to the economic opportunities environmentally responsible mining can bring.

It looks like Minnesota can win a Super Bowl, for once…