Saturday, November 29, 2014

BF City Hall Project partners with Bigfork Cabin Fever Consignment Thrift Shop

This is the easiest fundraiser yet! B.I.G has opened an account at Bigfork's Cabin Fever Consignment Thrift Shop located on Main Street, Bigfork. Just drop of your donations, give them our account number and they will do the rest. We receive 40-50% of each items selling price. What could be simpler?
Here's all the information you need. Please pass the word to friends and family!

Cabin Fever Thrift Shoppe
103 Main Street, Bigfork
Carol Meyer-Owner

B.I.G. City Hall Fund consignment # 208

Guidelines for donations:

Cabin Fever accepts clothing, knickknacks, toys & household items.

When you bring your items for consignment, Cabin Fever staff will select what they think their customers might want to buy.  They reserve the right to refuse any items based on condition, current inventory levels and past experience of what sells. Items not accepted can be picked up or will be disposed of by Cabin Fever staff.

Prices are based on supply and demand and they will assign the best price possible.
Items are displayed for 90 days. 

Cabin Fever Shoppe will do their best to safeguard all donated items but they are not responsible for loss or damage of any kind.

Clothing in good wearable condition should be for current season due to limited consignment space. (If you absolutely need to get rid of off-season items-call and ask)

Furniture and large items-please call to ask before bringing it in.

All other items can be dropped off without appointment

These items will not be accepted:
            Irons or ironing boards
            Prom or wedding dresses
            Computer, printers or monitors etc.
            Exercise equipment

Thanks for considering a donation. Get rid of what you don't need and benefit this great cause!

North Itasca Round-Up Grant

B.I.G. recently received a North Itasca Electric Coop Round-Up grant for $230.00 earmarked for BF City Hall roof repair/replacement. The Round-Up program is an ongoing charitable fund raising program to benefit worthwhile community projects. North Itasca Electric Co-op., Inc. customers who round up their electric bills to an even dollar amount donate these funds. Grant applications are accepted in the fall and spring for a wide variety of community projects.
Mike Kocian receives grant check from NIEC personnel Joel Karls

Minnesota Historical Society Grant Update

In February 2014, using the $25,000 planning grant received in 2013,  B.I.G. hired Scalzo Architects from Duluth MN to fine tune the restoration project with detailed design proposals and cost estimates. Scalzo has extensive historic restoration experience and have worked closely with the MNHS State Historic Preservation Office who administer the grants program. With grant writer Tim Johnson they worked overtime to get the plans together in time to apply for 2014 grant cycle. They did make the deadline but inexplicably, MNHS moved up the application date by two months which did not allow time to close out the planning grant before we applied for construction funds this year. Tim Johnson explained:  

     'The timing of everything just didn’t allow for MNHS to review our planning grant drawings and seek changes in time for the grant application so my opinion is that they want to work through the planning grant and close it out and have us reapply next year. Something I thought may occur. We did everything we could but they would have preferred to have completed the planning grant completely. Unfortunately it takes them quite a bit of time to review things and get the feedback to us.'

This was disappointing but not a complete setback. The planning grant will soon be closed out and everyone is very optimistic about the 2015 grant cycle. We will again be applying for Phase One of the restoration plan which includes roof replacement and basement water abatement, the two most urgent problems with the building. If grant is approved we will be looking at construction starting in spring 2016. We are trying to be patient! In the mean time we continue to plan fundraisers for 2015 with all proceeds earmarked for matching funds needed for other grant applications. One possible grant, which requires matching fund, is the IRRRB Culture and Tourism Grant. This grant could be used for parts of the restoration not approved for MNHS funds such as the kitchen remodel. 

Please consider a year end donation to the Bigfork City Hall Restoration Project. Every dollar you give will be doubled through matching grant funds so please be generous. Donations can be mailed to: Bigfork Improvement Group, P.O. Box 225, Bigfork, MN 56628

Bigfork Valley Community Foundation Donates to the City Hall Project

The Bigfork Valley Community Foundation chose the Bigfork City Hall Restoration Project as recipient of a portion of funds raised at it's annual fundraiser event.

Enjoying the festive 'Fiesta' event are from left Jack & Jane Hillstrom, Ann McGarry,
Brian Rajala, Midge Carlson and Travis Lovdahl.

Bigfork Improvement Group received a check from BVCF for $3,950.00 which will be used for the new front entry door for Bigfork City Hall. A plaque crediting BVCF will be placed on the door or in entry as well.

B.I.G. and BVCF members celebrate generous donation! Thank You!

2014 Fundraiser Events


               Bigfork Wilderness Day Celebration

Saturday, June 14th
The cold and rainy weather was not ideal for this year's celebration.  Not too many customers wanted ice cream sundaes or root beer floats but we sold hot coffee, raffle tickets and Bigfork Bicentennial Celebration books. (there are still a few of these books left if anyone is interested). Special guest at the City Hall booth this year was Ben Dery, meteorologist at WDIO TV Duluth. He took some good natured ribbing about the weather but quite a few weather fans stopped by to meet him in person. Ben is Mike Kocian's nephew-in-law and makes a point to mention Bigfork at least once in every episode of Good Morning Northland.

Gwen Olsen and Gail Johnson working the booth

Ben Dery, Mike Kocian and Bigfork Mayor Amy Pifher

Gail Johnson selling "Northwoods Experience" raffle tickets
Prizes were stays at Timberwolf Inn, Historic Marcell Ranger Cabin
and Maple Ridge Resort. Thanks to Gail for getting the prizes donated and printing the tickets.
The raffle was a very successful fundraiser so look for 2015 raffle tickets next summer!


              Bigfork Wilderness Bar Customer  Appreciation Dinner and City Hall Benefit

                                               Saturday, August 23rd

The Wilderness Bar generously included the City Hall Restoration Project in their annual customer appreciation event. Dinner included a pig roast provided by the bar and side salads and dessert donated by Bigfork Improvement Group members and friends. Fee for dinner was a donation to the City Hall Restoration Project and diners were generous. Entertainment was a karaoke/DJ combination that everyone enjoyed.  B.I.G. members sold more 'Northwoods Experience' raffle tickets with the drawing held after dinner.  Thanks to B.I.G. member Midge Carlson for working with bar management to organizing event and also thanks to Dar and Travis from Wilderness Bar for including us in the event.  The evening was a success for all involved and Wilderness Bar has offered to include the City Hall Project in next year's event. Everyone was having so much fun no one had time to take pictures!

          Bigfork City Hall Rummage Sale
                              Saturday, September 20th

B.I.G. participated in the Annual Highway 38 Rummage Sale this year. We advertised for donations of gently used 'stuff' and ended up with an interesting assortment! There was lots of exercise equipment which did not sell but quite a bit of other things that did. It was not our most successful fundraising attempt but also did not cost much to put on. We handed out project information and donation request letters to everyone who stopped by, continuing to spread the word on the restoration project. Gene Madsen and daughters Gwen Olsen and Gail Johnson-all B.I.G. members- did a great job of setting up and selling. Thanks!

Gene Madsen, Gwen Olsen and City Council member Krista Lane discussing all the good deals!

Mike Kocian and Gene Madsen taking a break while trying out the merchandise for sale.

Ann McGarry and Gwen Olsen working their shift at the sale.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

2013 Update

       Minnesota Historical Society 
Grant Award

The following article appeared in the Western Itasca Review on Feb. 5, 2014. We received notification from MNHS in December 2013 that we had been awarded a grant to be used to hire an architect to further research the City Hall building needs and provide more specific cost estimates for MNHS grant committee. A bit disappointing as we had applied for much more in construction funds hoping to start work this summer. We will hire an architect, get the refined costs needed and apply again for 2014 grants. The following article appeared in the Western Itasca Review. 
Bigfork Improvement Group 
receives grant for 
City Hall Restoration
Minnesotans are hard at work in the new year, building their legacy and preserving state history with Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants. The Minnesota Historical Society, the organization responsible for administering Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants, today announced the newest recipients of 111 grants. The grants provide an unprecedented opportunity for non-profit and educational organizations, government units and tribal organizations to preserve and share the state’s history and cultural heritage.
The Bigfork Improvement Group is the recipient of a $25,000 for the Bigfork Village Hall Restoration Project.The grant money will be used to contract with qualified professionals to prepare construction documents for the preservation of the Bigfork Village Hall, which has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Itasca County Historical Society also received grant money. The $63,130 will be used to implement recommendations from an HVAC evaluation that will ensure better climate control for the preservation of historic resources documenting Itasca County history.
Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, which supports efforts to preserve Minnesota land, water and legacy, including state history and cultural heritage.
Grants are available for history and historic preservation projects in three tiers: Fast Track Grants of $10,000 or less, Mid-Size Grants between $10,001 and $50,000, and Large Grants of more than $50,001. The Minnesota Historical Society received a legislative appropriation of $11.2 million for the 2014-2015 biennium for the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants.

             City Hall Landscape Project

Gardeners include Nancy Holt, Amy Dahlke, Jane Hilstrom, Ann McGarry, Midge Carlson, Darla Kocian and ??
With the help of Master Gardeners Jane Hillstrom and Zona Kinn, The Bigfork Improvement Group re-planted area around the Lumberjack statue in front of City Hall, adding shrubs, perennials and lots of mulch. We also hired members of the BF football team to dig a border around the outside of planters and benches, installed edging and more mulch. Looking forward to seeing how great it looks this summer.

                       We've been listed!
   On October 26th, 2012 we received the following notification-

The Director of the National Park Service is pleased to send you the following announcements and actions on properties for the National Register of Historic Places.  


Bigfork Village Hall,
200 Main Ave.,
Bigfork,  12000871,
LISTED, 10/17/12
(Federal Relief Construction in Minnesota MPS)

This was one of the very first goals we set for the preservation effort and we are proud and relieved to have finally accomplished it. With this designation we will be able to apply for grants from Minnesota Historical Society and others.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lumberjack Statue Roof Removed

On Thursday, Sept. 27, the roof over the 'River Driver' lumberjack statue in front of Bigfork City Hall was removed. The wooden roof, erected over the original lumberjack statue, had deteriorated. Bigfork City Council gave permission to have it removed. This also improved the view from the street of the historic building.

John Ostendorf lifted the roof up over the statue and loaded it into his truck for removal.
Brian Tendrup and Mike Huju assisted.

The 'photo op' face boards were also removed and will be relocated south of the Veteran's Memorial on Main Ave. B.I.G plans to raise money to have the boards refreshed with new designs and fresh paint. Jim Patrow, who created the boards in 1989 says he has some new ideas for them.

Mike Huju lifted the 'photo op' face boards with his Posi-Track
with Brian Tenrup, Gene Madson, John Ostendorf and Mike Kocian
standing by to assist.
New and improved view from the street. Someone in the group watching the removal commented that the lumberjack seems to have a little bigger smile on his face standing in the morning sun!

A big THANK YOU to John Ostendorf, Mike Huju
and Brian Tendrup for donating their time and equipment use
to the Bigfork City Hall restoration project!