Ishpeming hopes to get federal funds for city hall, fire hall, DPW upgrades

ISHPEMING – At a special meeting Wednesday, the Ishpeming City Council directed City Manager Mark Slown to move forward with an application to obtain loan funding for improvements to several city facilities.

The city is hoping to obtain a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make nearly $1.19 million in improvements and upgrades to city hall, the department of public works building and the police/fire building.

“It will be a bond sale and there will be a referendum period,” Slown said of the loan.

He also wanted to make it clear that the city will not be raising taxes or millage rates to pay for these improvements, which he said are necessary. The city will pay off an existing bond this year, he said, and the revenue freed up from eliminating that debt will allow the city to finance the improvements without any additional financial burden to residents.

The upgrades call for the replacement of all the electrical wiring in the fire hall and DPW buildings; replacing the fire hall/DPW’s steam boiler, which Slown said is failing, with a “multiple boiler hydronic system,” which will also save in energy costs; replacing the existing galvanized water pipe in the building with copper; upgrading the drainage system in the DPW floor; remodeling the DPW’s toilet room/locker area; installing toilet and shower facilities at the rear of the fire hall for both male and female firefighters; and installation of an elevator at city hall, to bring the building in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Slown hopes to get the application in as soon as possible, with the hope of replacing the furnace before winter.

“Council I think understands that the facilities need the work,” he said. “I mean, we’re talking about basic stuff here.”

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.