Ish. city officials work on five-year plan

ISHPEMING – The Ishpeming City Council voted unanimously at its Wednesday night meeting to allow City Manager Mark Slown to work collaboratively with the city planning commission, parks and recreation committee and department of public works to create and submit the city’s five-year recreation plan to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources by March 1.

The city’s previous five-year plan expired at the end of 2013 and it needs to have another submitted by the March 1 deadline to be eligible for this year’s Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and Michigan Land and Water Conservation Fund grants.

Though it received proposals from engineering and architectural firms Sanders & Czapski Associates and U.P. Architects and Engineers to work with the city to create the proposal, Slown said the city doesn’t have the money to do so.

Instead, Slown will work closely with and with the support of departments within the city to have a draft proposal submitted for public review by the end of the month. The draft plan must be available for review by the public for 30 days before being submitted, so Slown said he will work diligently to push it through.

Included in the city’s previous five-year plan was a proposal to build a lookout platform on the city’s water tower bluff and to further develop the trails in that area. The city didn’t receive any of the competitive grants for the projects, but Slown said because it will be the city’s second attempt at securing a grant, the DNR should score the application higher and the city has a better chance this year.

There were 142 grant applications submitted to the DNR last year, and only nine or 10 were approved, according to Slown.

In other action, the council:

  • Voted to modify the city’s water ordinance to allow water shutoffs for delinquent accounts during the winter.
  • Approved a roughly $8,400 change order to the second phase of the Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library Accessibility and Renovation Campaign for the unforeseen but necessary relocation of steam pipe and ducting on the library’s first floor.
  • Approved a more than $48,000 change order reduction for the second phase of the Partridge Creek Diversion Project, which Slown said was due to actual costs turning out to be lower than original estimates.
  • Approved the application for an extension of the downtown streetscape project deadline to the end of July. A. Lindberg & Sons, the company working on the project, said it expects substantial completion by July 3 and final completion by July 18.
  • OK’d Slown to submit to the state the city’s Economic Vitality Incentive Program, in which the city has to show the efforts it has made to cooperate, collaborate and consolidate to share services with other Marquette County municipalities. The program is necessary for Ishpeming to get full levels of revenue-sharing funds from the state, Slown said.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401. His email address is zjay@miningjournal.net