Albertsons use BER grant to renovate downtown Cook building

Business Energy Retrofit grant improves community’s image
Cook News Herald publisher/owners Gary and Edna Albertson utilized a BER grant to help renovate the roof, insulation, windows, door and flooring in their downtown Cook building. Photo courtesy of IRRR.

Cook News Herald publisher/owners Gary and Edna Albertson utilized a BER grant to help renovate the roof, insulation, windows, door and flooring in their downtown Cook building. Photo courtesy of IRRR.

COOK — Located just off of the main street, the 3,100-square-foot building was constructed in the early 1950’s as a grocery store. It eventually became home to the local newspaper, and in 1978 the Albertsons purchased the paper and building. They grew the business into a multi-paper publisher and the most complete print shop north of Duluth. In addition to the Cook News Herald, the Albertsons own Tower News and North Country Free Press. They are also part-owners of Floodwood Forum and Timberjay.

Through BER grants and their own private investment, the Albertsons made the needed improvements to create a more energy efficient and attractive workspace for their employees and customers. The flat roof was replaced with a gable roof. The storefront windows and door were replaced with energy efficient modern versions. Blown insulation was added to the attic, the walls were insulated, and the flooring system was leveled with foam injection to prevent water seepage and cold air drafts.

“The BER grants made it financially viable for me to renovate our building and make it more energy efficient which will reduce utility bills and ultimately our operating expenses,” said Gary. “The work was completed by Aune & Keister Construction, and the materials were purchased from Cook Building Center. I was very pleased to keep the project 100 percent local.”

Since BER’s inception in 2013, 285 grants have been awarded to help small businesses with energy efficiency upgrades that can result in reduced utility bills, improved building aesthetics and increased building life. The program is funded by Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation and administered through a partnership with Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA).

“Using the BER grant was a brilliant move by the Albertsons,” said Cook Administrator-Clerk/Treasurer Theresa Martinson. “Downtown beautification projects like this often spur other businesses to follow suit. The building improvements are impressive and enhanced the city’s overall image.”

To learn more email Vince Meyer at AEOA (Vincent. Meyer@aeoa.org) or call him at 218-735-6828.

Source: The Ranger, a publication of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation.

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