IRON RIVER—The Iron County Road Commission’s county-wide millage is up for renewal this year, and it approved ballot language for the November election at its July 17 meeting.
The Road Commission will be seeking renewal of one-half mill for four years.
Attorney Mark Tousignant explained to the commissioners the one-half mill is based on state taxable value, but distributed on State Equalized Value, an item which needed some clarification.
Additionally, Tousignant put into the language exactly how the money is to be distributed, as a requirement of Michigan’s Truth in Taxation statute.
The commissioners asked why such a lengthy explanation was necessary on the ballot.
“It’s too long, voters will be confused. Why is this information needed?” asked Chairman Carl Sholander. “The language from the last time worked.”
Following discussion, the board decided to keep the ballot language the same and refer to the state statute requiring truth in taxation.
the board will be placing the issue of dredging the channel between first and second Fortune Lakes on the agenda for August.
The decision came in response to Crystal Falls Township resident Walter Tuchowski’s repeated request.
“Why are you dragging your feet on this?” Tuchowski asked.
He said he had forwarded correspondence from State Senator Tom Casperson to the Road Board regarding the legislator’s support of the project.
“The DNR has also given it the green light,” Tuchowski said, “but they won’t do anything without Road Commission approval.”
Tuchowski said he thought the project would cost about $15,000 and that a grant was available for it.
One of the problems, it turned out, is that there do not appear to be any specifications or plans on file for the bridge, and before any dredging could be done, the depth of the footings and other structural information would be needed.
“It’s the Road Commission’s gravel that has washed into the channel and filled it up,” Tuchowski said.
“It will be an agenda item next month,” Sholander said. “Although the Road Commission’s responsibility is the road surface, not what’s under the bridge.”
Kevin Pascoe of Anderson Tackman reported to the board on the Road Commission’s 2011 audit, noting his firm gave the audit the best opinion possible.
“There are no deficiencies or material weaknesses, no non-compliance issue,” he said. “You had a good year.”
The board will hold a special meeting to open bids for bridge inspections and culverts for the Premo Dam project.
Storms over the week of the Fourth of July caused a number of blow downs and washouts. Ponozzo Road is still closed and in need of additional major repair and gravel replacement.