IRON RIVER TOWNSHIP—The Iron River Township Board anticipates the first steps of its Rural Development water-line replacement project to begin in the next two to three weeks, according to Township Attorney Steve Polich.
GEI Consultants representatives were unable to attend the regular June 12 monthly meeting of the board, but Polich stated that he had recently been in contact with them.
He hoped to have RD approval on the contracts within 10 days.
He added that televising of lines is currently under way, and the directional boring is the next step in the process.
The board did not know if the work would run east to west or west to east, but, Polich confirmed, it would be starting along U.S. 2.
Every water customer along U.S. 2 will have a new connection to the new line, and all will be required to hook up to that line with copper pipe.
According to Supervisor Mark Polley, all water customers will be given 18 months’ notice that they will be required to replace any galvanized line with copper.
He asked that a letter be sent out with this information.
“I don’t want to wait until the last minute to tell them.” Polley said.
Polley also explained that the $80,000 deficit in the water fund noted at last month’s meeting is no longer an issue.
With the closing out of the recent water project, the township received its reimbursement, and the water fund now shows a balance of $275,770.
Polich noted the low interest rate on the RD loan, stating that it was virtually the lowest interest rate on any RD financing, coming in at 2 percent, 5/8’s of a percent lower than anticipated.
The board passed a resolution in support of its wellhead protection plan, as required by the state to continue with the process.
The resolution passed 5-0.
During his supervisors report, Polley informed the board that he had recently attended the Department of Corrections quarterly meeting at the Marinesco prison.
According to the warden there, the Camp Ottawa facility remains maintained by the state, with electricity and gas still on and security and motion sensors still activated.
The grass also continues to be cut.
As Polley has previously mentioned, this maintenance has not been kept up at any of the other closed prison sites.
At the meeting, Polley said, discussion was held regarding numerous parolees getting kicked back into the system after early release.
This has prompted rumors that the state may be looking at opening up one or more of the closed sites to accommodate the prisoners.
Polley said that the comment was made at that meeting that Camp Ottawa is ready to go. All they need to do is put the beds back in.
County Commissioner Wayne Wales told the board that the commissioners had recently heard a proposal from resident Pete Djupe on the possibility of using the prison camp site for the National Guard.
“It was just preliminary information.” Wales said, noting that if there is any talk of the state reopening the prison, this idea would not be supported.
“It seems like we are at the top of their list.” Wales said. “We haven’t heard a flat out ‘no’ from them, so it still seems to be on the table. We don’t want to give the state an out if there is any possibility.”
Polley agreed, saying, “We haven’t given up. We’d like to see them come back and employ those 50 people again.”
He said that he and Polich were still in communication with the state’s attorneys regarding the DOC’s long overdue sewer bill for the prison camp. Polley also updated the public on the townships road list.
The board had been waiting to hear from the Iron County Road Commission with more specific details about each project brought up.
The board just received that information shortly before the meeting, so, Polley said, they would review the prices and go over them at another meeting.
“Then we’ll see what to do with the road millage money that we have,” he said.
A completed copy of the township’s master plan was turned over to the board for review.
“If everyone is happy with it, we can send it back to the Planning Commission,” Polley said.
Trustee Ken Piwarski commended the work done by the Planning Commission, noting the updated master plan is understandable and easy to read.
“It’s a world of difference from the original,” he said.
Polley concurred, stating that he was impressed.
Copies of the updated plan will be sent to each member of the Planning Commission and a meeting was tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, June 20, at 6 p.m.
A question regarding barking dogs within the township was brought up, with Polley stating that he’s had several recent complaints.
He asked Wales for clarification of the Iron County Sheriff’s Departments duties as far as dog barking complaints were concerned.
Wales explained that the Sheriff’s Department was responsible for 24/7 animal control within the townships. This is according to state statute, he said.
This is true whether or not the township has a barking dog ordinance or whether there was one complaint or more, according to Wales.
He added that if the township is having a specific problem, to let the county know and it will look into it.
The Township Board approved the purchase of an ad in the Iron County Plat Book.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Iron River Township board will be Tuesday, July 10, at 6 p.m.