IRON RIVER—During its regular Nov. 13 meeting, the Iron River City council discussed the possibility of hiring someone to fill a custodial and a code enforcement position.
City Manager Perry Franzoi said finding someone with the two skill sets would be difficult.
Many council members said they feel the Iron River Police Department should handle code enforcement duties. A motion was made by Bill LaRock that the Police Department enforce the blight and code laws, with the city using the civil infraction process.
By doing that, fines could be paid at City Hall instead of the Courthouse in Crystal Falls. The motion passed.
A second motion was made for the city to hire a custodian for City Hall. Hours and pay rate would be decided by Franzoi. A citizen at the meeting asked if Trico could be used to handle the position, and Franzoi said he will look into it.
The board voted to donate $300 to the Kiwanis Yell and Tell program at the schools. The Yell and Tell program is currently being taught to classes at the West Iron County schools.
Council members asked whether other local townships or municipalities had been asked to donate, but the Kiwanis representative said that since he was asking for so little money, he was hoping not to ask the other boards. The program in place at Forest Park Schools is sponsored by the city of Crystal Falls.
According to City Attorney Mark Tousignant, the city is legally allowed to sponsor the program because it is furthering the health and wellness of the city.
“Anything to help the children of West Iron County or any other child we can help with bullying,” Mayor Terry Tarsi said.
After discussing possibly turning off certain street lights around the city, the council voted to table the discussion until each board member has the chance to drive around and look at each light on the list. Currently, there are 101 lights on the list. According to Franzoi, turning off some street lights would save the city approximately $20,000.
The topic of using Iron River city police officers outside the city for non-emergencies was also discussed. Council Member Arthur Sacheck said the police department is already overloaded and should not be going out to townships for non-injury incidents.
“I think we are cheating our residents who are paying for the Iron River Police Department,” Sacheck said. “It is not a West Iron police department, but it always seems like they are constantly going outside when we have a sheriff’s department and a state police department.”
Councilman Ed Marcell said according to the case reports in their packets, there was not one report of any of the officers going outside of the city. He also said that he drives out to the townships. If something were to happen to him, he said, he would want the closest police officer to respond.
Board members discussed a written reciprocal agreement with the State Police and the Sheriff’s Department, stating that if an Iron River officer is the first to respond to an incident outside city, that officer can leave as soon as the Sheriff’s Department or the State Police arrive at the scene.
A motion was made by Sacheck to curtail police services outside of corporate limits until a reciprocal agreement is made. There was no support for the motion, so it died.
Josh Brindle from The IronLine asked permission to use the Apple Blossom Trail, the RV Park and the snow fence for this winter’s IronLine sled dog race. He also mentioned the two financial options for the city to help with: the advertising budget and the race purse.
Tarsi said the Downtown Development Authority’s finance committee had met and agreed to increase its donation for the 2014 race. A motion was made and approved to let the IronLine use the RV Park and the Apple Blossom Trail for the race.
During the meeting, Craig Richardson of GEI Consultants discussed sending the SAW Grant application in as the final step of the process.
Council members asked what the total cost to the city would be if the grant was approved. Richardson said there would be no cost to the city, and they are only applying for the asset management portion of the grant, not the construction portion. The board approved the resolution to send the grant application in.
The U.P. Rodeo sponsorship was discussed and tabled because the city did not receive an expense report from the 2013 rodeo, as it had been promised. Once the expense report comes in, the council will discuss the sponsorship for the 2014 Rodeo.
In other business:
--The board asked Franzoi to contact the state about the short time on the street light.
--The MDEQ annual invoice for the public water supply of $1,224.94 was approved.
--The Pitlik and Wick invoice for the blacktop that was used for filling potholes of $2,543 was approved.
--The CarQuest (Iron River Auto Supply) invoice for the wheel bearings on one of the larger city vehicles of $1,159 was approved.
--The Iron County Chamber of Commerce membership dues of $1,062 was approved.
--The city received two bids for fuel. The Holiday bid did not include bulk fuel supply for the public works department because it does not offer that service. The city approved Krist Oil’s bid with an 8 cent per gallon discount on fuel, free tank rental on bulk tanks at the DPW and will provide the bulk supply for the DPW