An effort to honor a former representative took its first step Tuesday afternoon, when the House Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee approved HF2528, which would establish the David Dill Memorial Trail in northeastern Minnesota.
The bill would appropriate $20,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 to design and erect signs adding Dill’s name to portions of several existing trails. The money would come from state accounts dedicated to all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles, and the trail could be used year round by power sports enthusiasts as well as bicyclists and hikers.
The David Dill Memorial Trail would originate in International Falls, proceed southeast through St. Louis County and terminate in Lake County at the intersection of the C.J. Ramstad/Northshore Trail. It would follow portions of the Arrowhead Trail, the Taconite Trail and the Tomahawk Trail, and run near the cities of Tower and Ely along its path.
“I think it’s a perfect way to honor former Rep. Dill’s efforts and work,” said Judy Erickson, a representative of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce, who worked with Dill over the years. “He was always very gracious and he worked very hard. I don’t know what more I can say, but I could say a lot.”
Dill was the mining committee’s DFL lead when he passed away in August 2015 after a battle with cancer. He’d represented northeastern Minnesota since 2003, when he first began serving in the House. Dill often served on agriculture and environment committees during his seven House sessions and chaired the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee during the 2013-14 biennium. Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-Intl. Falls) won a December special election in District 3A to fill Dill’s seat.
HF2528 now travels to the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee. There is no Senate companion.