Ishpeming council to choose next city attorney

ISHPEMING – The Ishpeming City Council is scheduled to choose the next city attorney at a special meeting tonight. The special meeting is at 6 p.m. at the Ishpeming Senior Center, with the council’s regular meeting set to begin at 7 p.m.

The council interviewed four of the five applicants last Wednesday. Included were Ishpeming’s law firm Dominic F. Andriacchi P.C., represented by Dominic Andriacchi Jr. and Sr.; former Negaunee City Attorney Caroline Bridges; Bonnie Hoff, former city attorney of Marquette; and Negaunee’s Kevin Koch, who currently represents several area townships.

Another candidate, Karl Weber of Marquette’s Plunkett Cooney, was unable to attend his interview and was removed from consideration by a council motion.

Also after Wednesday’s interviews, a motion to hire the Andriacchi firm failed by a 2-3 vote.

During the regular meeting, the council is scheduled to consider a contract with the Ishpeming Building Authority to finance $1.5 million in upgrades to city hall and the Department of Public Works and police/fire hall buildings.

If the contract is approved, the IBA will issue $1.5 million in bonds to the city to finance the upgrades, and the city will pay the principal and interest on the bonds back to the IBA under a lease agreement.

Upgrades include the replacement of electrical wiring in the fire hall and DPW buildings; replacing the fire hall/DPW’s steam boiler with a multiple boiler hydronic system, expected to save in energy costs; replacing the existing galvanized water pipes in the building with copper; upgrading the drainage system in the DPW floor; remodeling the DPW’s bathroom/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.

In late July, City Manager Mark Slown said under the financing agreement for the improvements, city residents would not see increased tax or millage rates. The city will retire an existing bond this year and use the revenue freed up from eliminating that debt to make payments on the new bonds.

If approved by both parties, there will be a referendum period before the contract is finalized.

In other action, the council scheduled a public hearing on a proposal to transfer eight acres of property from the city to the Negaunee-Ishpeming Water Authority for drilling of a new water well.

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