IRON COUNTY—At a May 1 special meeting, the Iron County Board of Commissioners discussed the reopening of the Cooks Run fish hatchery.
Dino Giannola, from the Watersmeet Trout Hatchery, is hoping to reopen the hatchery to raise fish and put them into Iron County lakes.
According to Sue Clisch, county administrator, the property has been sitting vacant due to road construction and roof issues. Its electrical service is also not up to code.
Giannola’s plans include using the house on the property so someone will be watching over the hatchery year-round.
The electrical service was the main concern at the meeting, since the hatchery cannot operate until the service is upgraded and WE Energies turns the power on.
Giannola said the 200-amp electrical upgrade will be paid for by the county. Once the work is finished and the power is turned back on, he would pay the monthly bills, he said.
The county took several bids for the electrical project, and the board voted unanimously to accept the lowest bid that can be completed by May 10. The winning bid was submitted by Ahlberg Electric of Iron River.
Since it was not on the meeting’s agenda, the board could not take action on a contract with Giannola, who said he would pay the county back with fish. He estimates he will be able to put $7,500 worth of brook trout, brown trout or rainbow trout into Iron County lakes.
“I feel like I’m ready, Giannola said. “I know a whole lot more now.”
Chairman Carl Lind said he wants to see the fish hatchery open to the county once again.
“I believe 99.9 percent of the people of the county will be happy to see it up and running,” he said.
Approval and possible signature of the contract will be on the agenda for the County Board’s regular May 9 meeting.
Along with the Cooks Run project, the board also ratified actions of the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority dated April 10. It would have no cost to the county.