IRON RIVER—At its regular Aug. 21 meeting, the Iron River City Council discussed the possibility of abandoning a section of Blossom Street that is currently blocked off due to road damage.
In order to reopen the street for the rest of this year and into next year, the city would have to replace a culvert that is either broken or clogged, causing the deterioration of street from backed-up water. Once the culvert is replaced, the street would be would be repaved.
Councilor Arthur Sacheck said there are no houses in the section that is blocked off and there are other ways to get to the area without using that part of the road. He believes the city should not repave that section.
Mayor Terry Tarsi suggested the board table the discussion until other council members view the problem area. After that, he said, a public hearing should be held to decide what is best for the situation. After that, the council will decide whether the street should be fixed or abandoned.
City Attorney Mark Tousignant said the city can close the section of the road without having to completely abandon it. The discussion was tabled.
The board also discussed whether to turn off selected city street lights based on the city manager’s suggestions and police recommendations.
Currently, it costs the city $19 a month to operate a street light. Tarsi said any council members who are concerned with any of the lights on the list should meet with City Manager Perry Franzoi, who will look at the lights with the police. The manager will then compile a list of lights that he believes should be turned off and submit it to the council.
The board discussed helping the Ice Lake Association deal with the Eurasian watermilfoil issue near the beach area. They discussed a possible purchase of a milfoil permit for next year, based on the association’s thoughts about the city helping.
The council voted to adopt the existing water rate structure as the new rate in order for the city to keep the legal ability to charge for water usage. Due to amendments made to the sewer ordinance, the board had to adopt the existing water rate structure. The next billing cycle will reflect the new structure of the utility bill, showing only three categories (water, sewer and garbage) instead of the subcategories that residents see on the current bills.
After an executive session, council members voted to end contract discussions with the Iron County Sheriff’s Department and hire its own chief. The city will continue to maintain its police department with 20 hours of coverage each day.
In other business, the council:
--Approved the RD Sewer System Improvements estimate of funds needed for the final drawdown, $397,169. According to GEI Consultants, the project is over 99 percent complete. The city will have a one-year warranty on the project if anything needs to be altered or corrected.
--Voted to accept the police car bid in the amount of $1,630. The vote was 3-1, with Tarsi voting no.
--Reappointed Nikki Weslin to the compensation committee for a five-year term.
--Approved a $1,000 contribution to UPSET.
--Approved a renewal of the WE Energies franchise for 30 years.