Grand Rapids (population 8,468) is the county seat of Itasca County.
On the banks of the Mississippi River, Grand Rapids is located approximately 80 northwest of the city of Duluth and 175 miles north of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. The center of Minnesota’s beautiful resort and recreation area, Grand Rapids hosts thousands of tourists annually. It is a regional center and serves more than 40,000 people. It is one of the top cities in per capital retail sales in the state, with a mix of national retail stores and small specialty shops. Important features of the economy include tourism, forest and related products and activities.
UPM Blandin Paper operates a large paper mill. Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital opened a new medical campus in December 2005, which has already been heralded as a model of integrated clinic and hospital services.
Business: More than 600 businesses; 11 financial institutions.
- UPM Blandin Paper, producers and worldwide distributors of lightweight coated papers (218-326-6200).
- Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital (218-326-3401)
- Arrowhead Promotion and Fulfillment (218-326-1165)
- ASV (All Season Vehicles Inc.) producers of track trucks and other all-terrain track vehicles (218-327-3434)
Northprint International, a major commercial printing firm (218-326-9407)
The Grand Rapids City Council meets the second and fourth Monday of the month. A council work session begins at 3:30 p.m. and is followed by a regular meeting at 5 p.m. The council meets in City Hall Council Chambers, located on the upper level at 420 N. Pokegama Ave. The general telephone number for the city is 218-326-7600.
Airport: Grand Rapids Itasca County Airport (218-326-0893). Chartered flights and private hangars. Main terminal businesses include café and hair salon.
Utilities: Grand Rapids Public Utilities for electricity, water, sewer (218-326-7024 or emergency after hours 218-326-4806), Minnesota Energy Resources (24 emergency 1-800-889-9508), Qwest (administrative 1-800-879-4357, residential 1-800-244-1111, business 1-800-603-6000), Mediacom (1-800-332-0245), Paul Bunyan Telephone 1-218-999-1234, 1-877-624-4700.
Grand Rapids Area Library
A gleaming wood interior bathed in sunlight from big windows with a view of the Mississippi River greets readers who come to the library in Grand Rapids.
A $6.7 million Grand Rapids Area Library opened in September, 2000. An area showcase because of its distinctive architecture, it also has become a regional center for research and relaxation. The collection includes 75,000 books, reference materials, videos, audiotapes, magazines, compact disks and other items.
At the library the patron can reach out even further through 20 public terminals with Internet access and 13 additional computers which include both a catalog of regional and local materials and a variety of topical databases, including full text magazine, journal and newspaper archives. Word processing software is available on public terminals.
Patrons can use the resources of the reference desk, which fields about 20,000 queries per year, 90 percent of which are answered on the same day.
Within the library are quiet study rooms, a young adult area, a magazine and newspaper reading area, a dedicated children’s library and a store maintained by the friends of the library.
The library also has a public meeting room, and hosts speaker programs throughout the year. Through a grant from the Blandin Foundation, audiences have enjoyed speakers which reflect a wide diversity of interests, from stargazing to gardening. The Grand Rapids Area Library is a member of the Arrowhead Library System, and maintains a Web page at www.grandrapids.lib.mn.us. As well as general information and news of upcoming events, the site publishes an online children’s newsletter, “Quiet Times,” and has an online catalog, web links and a form to ask reference questions.
The library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed Sunday.
Telephone: 218-326-7640: Fax: 218-326-7644
Address: 140 NE Second St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Following is a partial list of agencies that offer free or minimally priced help to individuals in need. For more information or information about other agencies, call First Call for Help at 218-326-8565, 1-800-442-8565. Also, organizations listed under General Human Services have programs which qualify under many of these categories.
- Friends for Animal Welfare, Inc. 218-244-5399, 218-244-6356, 218-328-5053. 537 Riverside St., Cohasset, MN 55721.
Offers programs such as SNIP (spay neuter initiative program), senior and disabled person adopt-a-pet therapy program, pet adoption, emergency vet care, take in stray/unwanted animals, educate young people about proper care of animals.
- Star of the North Humane Society 218-245-3732. P.O. Box 458, Coleraine, MN 55722.
Provides shelter for abandoned or lost pets, spay and neuter programs, pet adoption, pet adoption for seniors, veterinarian care when necessary.
- Hope House 218-326-1443. 604 S. Pokegama Ave., Grand Rapids, MN. 55744
A safe, sober environment for recovering, chemically dependent males.
- Pear Lake Women’s Program 218-327-9944.2086 Ridgeway Dr., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
A safe, sober environment for recovering, chemically dependent females.
- Northland Recover Center 218-327-1105 1215 SE 7th Ave, Grand Rapids, MN 554744
In-patient and out-patient alcohol and chemical dependency program.
- Ita-Bel-Koo Development Achievement Center 218-897-5281 12025 Main St., Northome, MN 56661.
Training and support-employment for people with developmental and physical disabilities.
- Itasca Developmental Achievement Center 218-327-1138 Ext. 101, Directory Mary Metzger; 218-326-0924 workshop and progress coordinator; 218-326-3721 Chore Service. 333 Itasca Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Day training and rehabilitation services.
- Minnesota Disability Law Center 218-326-7044, 188-292-4150 204 NW 1st Ave., Grand Rapids, MN
Provides legal advocacy and counseling to students and their families with disabilities.
- Occupational Development Center 218-326-8574 401 SE 11th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Work, programs, and services that increase self-dependence, well-being, and productivity of anyone 16 years of age or older with a vocational disability.
- Special Olympics Program 218-326-3709, Dave Nicholas, or 800-783-7732. P.O. Box 125, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Provides training and competition for developmentally disabled persons ages 8 years and older.
- Access to Employment 218-326-6036 423 NE 4th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Community-based supported employment and job placement agency for adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment.
- Hired Hands 218-246-8182 P.O. Box 652, Deer River, MN 56636
Training and supported employment services for developmentally-disabled adults.
- Minnesota Workforce Center 218-326-6760 Itasca Resource Center, 1215 SE Second Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Collaboration of several agencies that offer help with employment and training.
- Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Itasca County Courthouse, Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Assists eligible individuals with tax returns from February to mid-April.
- Northern Itasca Emergency Food Shelf 218-743-3121) at Over 50 Club in Bigfork.
Open 12:30 to 3 p.m. Thursdays.
- Community Café Open Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 5 to 6 p.m. Serving wholesome, tasty meals to the hungry of Itasca County.
Located at the Itasca Resource Building, 1209 SE Second ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744
- Deer River Area Food Shelf 218-246-2500 Goodall Resource Center, 1006 Comstock Dr., Deer River, Mn 56636.
Open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays.
- Grand Rapids Area Food Shelf 218-326-4420- 2222 Cromell Dr., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. First Tuesday following a Monday open until 5 p.m.
- Hill City Food Shelf 218-697-8263- Trinity Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 437, Hill City, MN 55748.
Open 9 to 11 a.m. third Saturday of the month.
- Open Hands Open Heart 218-885-3969 119 Second St., Nashwauk, MN.
Open 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays; closed on any fifth Tuesday of the month.
- Second Harvest North Central Food Bank 218-326-4420 P.O. Box 5130, 2222 Cromell Dr., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. – noon. Operates Food Shelf Program food bank distribution, Itasca Holiday Program, Mother’s and Children Program, and Nutrition Assistance Program for Seniors. General Human Services Agencies.
- Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA)- 218-327-1138. 421 SE 13th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Offers: Adult Basic Education- academic, life and job seeking skills; career assessment; literacy project.
Free at Last- independent living skills for youth.
LIFE housing program under HUD- for homeless youth.
Live in Transition- serving homemakers who need to enter the job market.
Senior Community Service Employment Program.
- Itasca County Department of Human Services 218-327-2941. 1209 Se Second Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Provides services in the following areas: Alternative Care Grant, Appeals Process for Client Grievances, Child Protection Services, Child Support Services, Day Care/Foster Care license applications, Financial Assistance, Food Cards, Fraud Reporting, Minnesota Senior Drug Program, and Vulnerable Adult Services.
- KOOTASCA Community Action, Inc. 218-327-2941, 1213 SE Second Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
KOOTASCA Community Action is a private, nonprofit organization that has been delivering programs and services to low and moderate-income residents of Itasca and Koochiching counties. KOOTASCA Community Action currently runs 20 specific programs and services including: Energy Assistance (EAP); Home Ownership Assistance; Homeless Prevention: Parent Support Services; Head Start; Early Head Start; Home Weatherization; Housing Rehabilitation; Crisis Intervention Service; Itasca County Crisis Nursery; New Housing Development; Teenage Parent Program; Circles of Support and Emergency and Transitional Housing.
- Legal Aid Services of NE Minnesota 218-327-8857 201 NS Fourth St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Provides legal services for low-income and elderly people with civil legal problems.
- Salvation Army 218-326-4847- 20734 U.S. Hwy. 169, P.O. Box 681, Grand Rapids, MN 55744.
Provides a variety of services including thrift store, emergency and disaster services, emergency financial assistance, and heat share.
- American Cancer Society Regional Navigator Office 1-888-727-7439 ask for Toby Sillanpa. Provides a variety of services to cancer patients, their families, and the community.
- Itasca County Public Health Division 218-327-2941- Itasca Resource Center, 1209 SE Second Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.