Township eyes road rehabilitation projects
IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — Gogebic County Road Commission member and Ironwood Township resident Art Lyons spoke to the Ironwood Township Board of Trustees during a meeting Monday about improving roads throughout the township, specifically, Section 12 Road.
“If you don’t do that road this year, you are just going to fall further behind,” Lyons said.
The board discussed the possibility of chip sealing the road in the future, but Lyons said that the commission can’t financially do that.
With budgets being “tight” for both the board and commission, finding funding, especially at the state level, can be difficult, according to Lyons, but something still has to be done.
“They are doing a lot of talk in Lansing, but no one is pulling the trigger,” Lyons said. “I’m just saying that for the good of the township, do whatever you can do.”
Approximately 1,100 vehicles drive on Section 12 Road a day, Lyons said. The project to pave the road would be hundreds of thousands of dollars, and only portions of it can be done at a time.
“Before, $100,000 could get over a mile of road completed,” Lyons said. “Now, because of the cost of fuel, labor and more, you can only get a couple of tenths of a mile for that.”
Trustee Kathy Maki said a possibility may be a road millage for the township.
“I never thought I would ever say that as an option, but it’s getting harder and harder to find funding,” Maki said.
Many board members and Lyons said it would be difficult to pass, but it may still be an option.
“For us, we want to make sure that we fix the road correctly, so in two years, we’re not fixing the same pot holes,” clerk Gayla Salmi said. “We’ll see what we can do.”
The board was presented a bill from Coleman Engineering based on the percentage of work done at the park near the Gogebic-Iron County Airport.
The bill was for $1,860 for 97 percent of the work being completed, however the board requested a punch list of items that either have been completed, or need to be completed at the park.
John Garske, of Coleman Engineering, said a punch list has been developed and he would bring it to the township offices as soon as possible.
“If we hold this bill for two weeks until our next meeting, I don’t see that being a problem,” trustee Kevin Lyons said.
Kevin Schneller spoke to the board about work being done to create a mountain bike trail at Copper Peak. Excavation of the trail started recently, and Schneller said he would be available to the board for any questions.
“Things are going really smooth, and the only thing that we need right now is just some volunteers to help with the project,” Schneller said. “So, if any board members or community members want to help, that would be great.”
Maki also asked the board to create a committee to start a farmer’s market in the township. The board approved a motion to allow Maki to proceed with a committee, that will include both board members and people from the community.