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Township-Merit dispute near end? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wendy Otto-Shimun   
Tuesday, April 02, 2013 11:54 AM

IRON RIVER TOWNSHIP—An agreement between Iron River Township and the Merit Network to lay fiber-optic broadband line through the township may finally have been
Plans to install the line hit a snag last summer due to the township’s water project and concerns that interference could cost the township upwards of $500,000 if Merit proceeded as planned. Despite the township’s not approving Merit’s permit request, Merit started digging within the water project area anyway.
“It took two months and several meetings to get them to stop,” township attorney Steve Polich said.
Resident Jeff Gendron suggested the township ask reimbursement from Merit for all the legal expenses incurred as the township attempted to stop the digging.
Once verbal assurances from Merit, its subcontractor (Cable Constructors Inc.) and the water project contractor (Hebert Construction) are put into writing, stating that there will be no additional costs to the township, Merit’s permit will be approved.
According to Supervisor Scott Tarsi, Merit and Hebert Construction agreed that the installation will not interfere with the water project because of the way the boring is being done.
• Public works supervisor Ron Froblom told the board that a new sewer pump had to be ordered for the U.S. 2 sewer lift station.
“It was an emergency situation,” Froblom said, noting that the 25-year-old motor had been rewound several times in the past and was no longer able to be fixed. The $5,735 pump will be adaptable to any updates made to the system if a grant is obtained, and the cost may be covered under the grant funding.
• A dialer system malfunction at the Beechwood water tank is being checked out by Hurley Electric. Several times, the system placed calls to residents at all hours of the day and night. Froblom said replacement of the system is not likely.


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