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Duluth Considers Annexing Midway Twp.

Posted at: 12/28/2012 1:09 PM
Updated at: 12/28/2012 10:37 PM
By: Jon Ellis

Midway Township now has two suitors.

The City of Duluth announced Friday that it will proceed with consideration of an orderly annexation agreement with Midway Township.  The move comes after the City of Proctor began an attempt to annex the township, which borders on both cities as well as Hermantown.

Last week, the Midway Town Board passed a resolution asking Duluth to consider annexing the township.  Duluth Mayor Don Ness, city councilors, and other city officials discussed the issue at a Committee of the Whole meeting Thursday night.

According to a statement from the city, the consensus of the council at Thursday's meeting was to proceed with drafting an agreement that the council can consider on Jan. 10.  The Midway Town Board will meet the same night to consider the proposal.

The City of Duluth said attorneys from the city and township are now drafting the agreement.

Midway Town Board Chair Earl Elde told Eyewitness News the board hopes to reach an agreement that can preserve the town government for some time.  He said Midway residents want to keep things the way they are.

Duluth City Attorney Gunnar Johnson explained that the agreement doesn't have to mean that annexation occurs immediately, and said the city is "not here to block Proctor."

Johnson said Midway Township is an important corridor into Duluth.  He said the city owns about 20 percent of the land in the township and needs to protect its interests.

Midway Township totals 18 square miles and is located along I-35 west of Duluth and Proctor.  Census 2010 found it has a population of 1,399.