CRYSTAL FALLS—A new issue concerning the ordinance passed by Stambaugh Township requiring watercraft users on Chicaugon Lake to purchase permits came to the Iron County Board of Commissioners at its Sept. 11 bi-monthly meeting.
Commissioner Bev Camp told the commissioners she had been informed that a camera was mounted at the boat launch and would like the issue to be put on the next meeting agenda.
Chairman Wayne Wales said that he felt it was a violation of privacy, and it is affecting the boat launch activity.
“If I were parked there and there was a camera in the tree, I would feel it was violating my privacy,” he said.
Chicaugon Lake Association member Joe Shubat said the camera was installed because of vandalism to the sign and pay pipe. A sheriff’s deputy recommended the camera.
“Every day something happens there,” he said.
Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano said he wasn’t aware of it, but his department does recommend individuals and businesses install cameras for security.
However, he said this is a bigger issue because it involves county property used by Stambaugh Township.
Civil Counsel Steve Tinti said camera use on county property is inconsistent with the park ordinance.
“It should be removed and confiscated,” he said.
Shubat said the camera had been removed.
“I think the whole thing was handled improperly,” Wales said. “I was never in favor of Stambaugh Township doing the ordinance.
“We’re going to end this once and for all.”
The board approved the purchase of a new patrol vehicle for the Sheriff’s Department.
Valesano said the two primary vehicles in use accumulate about 50,000 miles per year, and, ideally, the department would like to rotate a new vehicle annually.
At 1,166 square miles, “This is is a large county to patrol,” he said. Four out of the department’s eight vehicles have over 100,000 miles on them.
There is money available, he said, through a USDA grant, as well as from the revenue received from housing state inmates in the county jail. The department could also sell the old vehicle.
Cost of a new vehicle is about $36,000, he told the board. The board approved amending the budget to authorize the purchase.
The board learned of a new resource produced by the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region and MDOT.
Called “Get Around the Western U.P.,” the guide pulls together all transportation providers in the six western U.P. counties, including Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon.
Routes, times of service and fares are provided. Additionally, bicycle routes and alternative transportation options, such as carpooling are also included.
Information can be accessed through the website getaroundwup.org.
A resolution was adopted authorizing Peninsula Fiber Network to be the common network for all Upper Peninsula 911 departments.
Central Dispatch Manager Steve Gagnea said that, currently, all information is handled through AT & T, and they can’t provide the next generation of communications, including text and pictures.
“Peninsula Fiber can do it all,” he said. “All the other counties have passed this resolution.”
There is the possibility some 911 costs can be cut in the future, he added.
auto repair business owner Dave Sankey addressed the commission, asking why there hasn’t been a wrecker rotation in use by the Sheriff’s Department and 911.
“It’s an unfair policy,” he said, not to have it available.
“When the state police had it, it worked,” he said.
Gagnea responded that Central Dispatch has discontinued a rotation list so the responsibility and liability would not come onto the department.
It’s the responsibility of the person requesting towing services, or at the discretion of law enforcement.
Wales said he wasn’t aware of the issue, and would have the board look into it.
County Clerk Joan Luhtanen updated the commission on the upcoming general election Nov. 6.
Proof ballots for every municipality are on the county website. Besides local, state and federal races, there will be six state proposals on the ballot; two county proposals and several local proposals, including school board elections.
“Be prepared to spend some time in the voting booth,” she said.
She added that any potential write-in candidate has until Oct. 26 to file a declaration of intent with the county or municipality to be eligible to be counted.
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