Like most Iron Range communities in Minnesota, Nashwauk has a rich mining history. It was the first mining community to develop in Itasca County in the Western Mesabi Range. The first Hawkins Mine iron shipment was in 1902, and in 1903 Nashwauk was officially incorporated with a population of 220. The town quickly flourished with homes and businesses. The mine closed in 1962 after 60 years of operation and producing hundreds of thousands of tons of iron ore which was transported by rail to the rest of the country for America’s growth.
Today, Nashwauk is home to over 20 businesses, 450 households and over 950 residents. The city has recently embarked on the rehabilitation of its commercial and residential real estate. Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation provided Nashwauk with a $3,000 grant from the Candidacy Fund to help pay a grant writer to apply for state-level funding to help rehabilitate the building.
Nashwauk hired professional grants writer Richard Grabko of Community Resource Development, LLC. He successfully secured an $816,500 Small Town Development Program (SCDP) grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to help pay for owner-occupied housing and commercial rehabilitation .
Preparing an effective grant proposal, identifying funding sources, and navigating the application process can be expensive and require technical expertise that small communities often don’t have access to. Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation’s Demand Fund grant program helps communities with the costs of preparing and applying for larger grants such as the SCDP that generate economic growth.
“The $3,000 grant from the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Demand Fund enabled our city to receive a substantial SCDP grant of over $800,000 to improve our real estate assets,” said April Kurtock, Administrator/Clerk from the city of Nashwauk. “We were able to hire a professional grant writer to help us navigate the process. The end result will be significant improvements for the Nashwauk community, which is attractive to current and new residents.
The commercial portion of the project will allow for the rehabilitation of six or more commercial properties and could include improvements to a building’s exterior, signs, awnings, mechanical systems, architectural services, ADA compliance and more. Work for the commercial and residential projects will begin this year.