UPCAP asks state to cut power costs

CRYSTAL FALLS—During the regular monthly meeting of the Iron County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 13, Chairman Tim Aho reported that the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP) is attempting to work with the state legislature to help in its efforts to reduce electric rates.
    Aho has previously stated that UPCAP has an interest in bringing down electric rates in Iron County, especially on the western end of the county where – mentioned during the July meeting – they can be priced in as high as 26 cents a kilowatt/hour. At that earlier meeting, he said that this has had a significant impact on both residents and businesses.
    While discussing old business, the matter of servicing the Cooks Run hatcheries came up for the board to review. The hatcheries have been largely shut down since the mid-2000s. The facilities there are reportedly in questionable condition and are in need of repair. Commissioner Ray Coates said maintenance would come with significant cost to the county.
    Discussion over whether it was worth retaining the hatchery came up, with the board discussing the option of trading the area for other property. In the end, the business was tabled pending additional research into the situation in a 4-to-1 vote; Sharon Leonoff breaking with the board.
    In new business, the board moved on a resolution that would issue a “notice of intent” for a LTGO (“limited tax general obligation”) bond on behalf of the Iron County Medical Care Facility. The facility wishes to use the approximately $6 million the bond would provide to help pay for unfunded employee pension liabilities.

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