Annexation makes town one of state's largest
MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. -- This Iron Range town is on its way to becoming one of the largest cities in Minnesota -- by one measure, anyway.
Though it has just 3,020 residents, the recent approval of an 18-square-mile annexation will increase the city's footprint to 70 square miles.
The city began the process last year, petitioning to annex land that was partly in Superior National Forest. Much of the new land is zoned for industry and has been used as tailings basins for disposal of mining waste from the Minntac plan owned by U.S. Steel, according to the city.
The city said Forest Service officials have not objected to the annexation.
Officials hope for development on the land in the future.
But Mountain Iron's size pales in comparison to that of nearby Hibbing. Carol Waselk, a city assessor, said that city spreads across 186 square miles.