Cost to move the Irvin now at $850,000 - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Cost to move the Irvin now at $850,000

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DULUTH, MN -

Duluth is faced with a bill of $850,000 to move the iconic William A. Irvin out of the Minnesota Slip. 

That's $250,000 more than initially expected. But a cost the city is willing to pay. 

"It's an important piece of Duluth's history, and we want to make sure it's taken care of when we move it out of The Slip," said City Councilor At-Large Zack Filipovich. 

The city says the increase is because pilings need to be installed outside The Slip to guide the ship out. 

"We want to do it carefully, it's a very big ship, and it's been in the Slip for a very long time," said Filipovich. 

The extra cost is prompting the city to get creative with funding.

Filipovich says they will consider re-appropriation of Tourism Tax dollars that would be used for rehabilitation costs of the Slip Bridge, and instead dedicate it to move the Irvin. 

"Re-appropriating Tourism Tax dollars has been done for the Lakewalk and other projects," said Filipovich. 

Filipovich says the city is contractually obligated to move the ship, so more than $8-million of state and federal grant money can be used to do pollution cleanup in the slip. He says approving this resolution a no-brainer. 

"This is a very appropriate use. The Irvin is used, and visited by tourists. This area is a very tourist heavy space, so it is very appropriate for us to use Tourism Tax dollars for this reason," he said. 

Filipovich added he thinks the resolution will pass with overwhelming support.

The City Council is set to take up the issue on Monday. 

The cost includes moving the ship out, and bringing it back in 2019. 

While the 2018 tourist season is lost, city officials expect the Irvin to be back for the 2019 season. 

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