IRON RIVER—At its regular May 15 meeting, the Iron River City Council voted to allow the Michigan Department of Resources to use the Homer Road right of way as a detour for the recreation trail during the replacement of three bridges along the trail.
The council agreed to allow the DNR to use the right of way, as long as it provides and places the speed limit signs and the trail markers.
Council members also approved the Nelson Field DNR Trust Fund grant resolution and agreement for GEI Consultants to do the engineering on the project.
Construction will not start until next spring because the west entrance to Nelson Field will be torn up, and GEI doesn’t want to interfere with this fall’s football season.
During the meeting, the council discussed the petition for blight resolution with Paul VanMinsel.
According to VanMinsel, the best way to reduce blight is to inform the public what blight is and what they can do to eliminate it themselves. He acknowledged that there is a cost involved in enforcing blight, but the longer the city waits to enforce anti-blight laws, the more it will cost.
Mayor Terri Tarsi said he had spoken with City Manager Perry Franzoi and was told that anti-blight ordinances are being enforced to a certain extent in Iron River. Violation notices and citations have been sent to property owners who violate the code.
City Attorney Mark Tousignant told the council that a water main break that caused damage to a homeowner’s property is still being discussed with the city’s insurance company. Franzoi spoke with the insurance company, but the company still claims the city has governmental immunity and will not pay.
Franzoi said he had spoken with State Rep. Scott Dianda, and Dianda asked for the information so that something could possibly be done in the Legislature.
Tousignant also reported on the DEQ consent order from 2001-02, which required the city to make changes based on a government order and required it to request money for the sewage funds.
He said it appears Iron River has met all of the requirements to have the order removed, which will give the city more flexibility with the sewage funds.
Council members also heard an update on the former Coast to Coast building, where bricks have been falling onto pedestrians on the sidewalk. According to Tousignant, the building’s owner is paying fines with $100 payments.
The city is liable since it owns the sidewalk, so a fence will be placed blocking off the area where bricks are falling.
In other business:
--The MEDC grant agreement for Genesee Street DIG project was approved.
--The council agreed to sell an old Iron River police car with 130,000 miles on it. The minimum bid is $3,000.
--Vivian Leonoff was reappointed to Brownfield Authority.
--A donation of $250 for Project Graduation was approved.
--A public hearing on a zoning ordinance was placed on the agenda for June 9 at 1:45 p.m.
--The city attorney’s invoice of $2,485 was approved.
--The payment to Zarnoth Brush Works Inc. for $1,072.25 was approved.
--The RD Sewer System improvements 2009 estimate of funds needed request No. 19 was approved. James Petersons and Sons will be paid $23,539, and GEI Engineering will be paid $2,093.50.
--Environment Vitality (EVIP) 80-20 health insurance to get $40,000 in state revenue sharing was approved.
--City codification, which places all city ordinances into one code that is updated with new ordinances, was approved.