Board members laud effort

MARQUETTE – Members of the Marquette County Board praised the efforts of the county’s Land Bank Authority Tuesday as its chairwoman delivered an annual progress report to the panel.

Marquette County Treasurer Anne Giroux is the chairwoman of the authority. Former Marquette County Commissioner Charles Bergdahl is the vice chairman and county commissioner Deborah Pellow is the vice chairwoman.

“It’s been great working with Anne and I know Chuck has the same sentiments, the positive feedback that I get with the townships, and all the townships that we’ve worked with and all the demolitions that we’ve done, (it) is very rewarding to be on this committee and it’s been a great opportunity,” Pellow said. “It’s really great for Marquette County and some of these smaller communities that have these properties that are blighted and need to be taken care of.”

The mission of the authority is to work collaboratively with local community organizations and governmental units in finding the best way to return tax-foreclosed properties to the tax roll.

County board Chairman Gerald Corkin said the authority has had “some impressive accomplishments over the last few years for all of Marquette County.”

Corkin said the authority is “one of the best programs that we’ve ever got into, to be honest with you, it’s actually doing something in the communities that matters.”

Pellow added, “And they all love it.”

Corkin also praised the authority’s financial achievements.

“(I’m) very impressed with the Land Bank program and particularly the budgetary part of it because that was one of the things that we were all had a big question mark as to how this would affect us over the long term,” Corkin said. “Well, so far you’ve done an excellent job with the committee in managing that part of it. So that’s something to be proud of. It’s a tremendous job.”

Commissioner Paul Arsenault agreed.

“Great job,” Arsenault told Giroux.

Commissioner Bruce Heikkila was also pleased with the fund balance of the authority, which has gone from $609 in 2009 to $102,196 in 2012.

“Anne, you’ve done a great job with the whole program, especially a positive balance,” Heikkila said, “I was really a little skeptical in the beginning where it would go. But, you’ve done a good job with it.”

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.