IRON RIVER—Iron River public works crews have been starting summer maintenance two to three weeks ahead of schedule, thanks to cooperative weather conditions.
The Iron River City Council was given an update on projects from volunteer City Manager John Archocosky at its May 16 meeting.
“The DPW has begun cutting grass, cleaning parks an patching streets, along with other work that would normally not have begun for two to three more weeks,” he wrote in his report.
“We typically would not have seen these summer activities start for another few weeks, but the warm weather has also allowed this work to begin ahead of schedule.”
Archocosky also noted to the council that construction of a new Dollar General store on the corner of Ninth Avenue and U.S. 2 is a boost to the city’s economy.
“The Pamida store is changing over to the Shopko Hometown brand name, and the new bank in the Plaza recently held its open house,” he said.
“There seems to be a surge of new business activity occurring, which is a good sign for the city. This kind of activity along with all the construction has certainly offered the opportunity for new jobs and adds to the overall economy in Iron River.”
The council approved pay requests for the city’s Rural Development sewer and water system improvement projects. Construction on the sewer project is in full swing, noted GEI Consultant Craig Richardson, with multiple pipe crews working primarily in the Hilltop location and along Homer Road. This project is a month ahead of schedule, he added.
A change order on the RD water project will allow the replacement of a deteriorated water main on West Garnet Street.
Radio water metering equipment installation is progressing as planned, and anticipated to be completed by July 1. Nearly all the main line piping has been installed. Remaining work includes service lines and restoration work.
City Attorney Mark Tousignant reported to the council that he has been in contact with the attorney for the River City Lanes property, who indicated litigation will be starting against the insurance carrier.
The city continues to issue citations. The former Coast-to-Coast building has been sold on e-Bay, Tousignant said, and a deed has not yet been recorded. Consequently, the former owner receives the citations.
Tousignant has been assisting GEI Consultants in locating deeds and refining the legal descriptions of Nelson Field, to satisfy requirements for the DNR grant. He recommended to the council that the city clarify legal descriptions, as there are 14 deeds that encompass different parcels and/or undivided interests.
The entire park was the subject of an assessor’s plat in the early 1940s, and collectively, the legal description was labeled as “Block 5” of the assessor’s plat.
“The DNR is getting more stringent,” he told the council. “An overlay of Lot 5 could be a first step in clarifying the deeds. The DNR even wants an accounting of mineral rights,” he added.
The council approved the city’s 2012-13 budget, following a budget hearing held prior to the regular meeting, and it approved amendments to the 2001-12 budget. One more set of amendments may be required before the end of the fiscal year, Archocosky noted.
The council approved a $100,000 payment to UPPCO for installation of fiberglass light poles along U.S. 2. This will be reimbursed by MDOT, Archocosky said.