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Ironwood looks to cemetery improvements

 

Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

A home at 715 Leonard St., in Ironwood, stricken by a fire nearly two years ago, will be the subject of a public hearing on Aug. 12 for possible condemnation.

IRONWOOD — The Ironwood City Commission approved motions relating to three public hearings held Monday before the commision’s regular meeting.

One hearing regarded using the Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund to finance improvements at Riverside Cemetery, another addressed changing the gross vehicle weight limits on South Range Road from Pine Street to Norrie Park Road from five tons to 15 tons, and a third hearing was about a potential millage to fund local street improvements.

City manager Scott Erickson said the Perpetual Care Fund must maintain a $500,000 balance, but a loan can be taken out against the fund and paid back with interest. The purpose of the loan would be to improve the roads and water system at the cemetery. Taking out a $200,000 loan would enable the city to get the main roads done, said Erickson. In addition, it would cost between $200,000 and $250,000 to replace the water system.

Resident Joseph Cayer said the project should be defined, an amount set to spend, and then another hearing ought to be held. Cayer asked if the water used at the cemetery was charged off, and Erickson said that the water used at the cemetery is not metered. Cayer said that the water lines at the cemetery are full of leaks.

The city commission decided to pursue a loan up to $200,000 from the Perpetual Care Fund, define the project more clearly, and hold another public hearing.

The gross vehicle weight limits change on South Range Road was approved. Erickson said reconstruction of the road is not anticipated. Xcel Energy currently uses the road with some vehicles that are over the gross weight limit to perform basic operations. Erickson said Xcel agreed that it would pay for repairs if they become necessary.

The city commission opted to pursue an increase of 2 mills for 10 years for road improvements. The hope to place the measure on the ballot before the end of the year and begin collection starting in 2014. Erickson said the goal is to get all the roads done, and that currently two-thirds of them are in pretty decent shape.

Bill Erickson, Ironwood resident, said for taxpayers, it comes down to paying the $60 per year extra in taxes or paying for struts and other vehicle repairs.

An ordinance rezoning 45 feet of a property on Ayer Street to expand a substation there was approved, as was an ordinance to create conditional uses for outdoor storage and outdoor use in the Industrial District.

Two new tenants were approved to lease space at the City Centre Building: Maryanne Morgan and Lily Palmer.

A letter to Lt. Gov. Brian Calley from the city requesting assistance with securing grant funding to improve the U.S. 2 corridor was approved.

A partial payment of $120,371 was approved for Depot Park improvements to Angelo Luppino Inc. Erickson noted the plumbing and electrical inspections still need to be done, hopefully this week, so the facilities will be available for Festival Ironwood, slated for July 17-20.

A bid for an architectural firm to design office space conversion at the Memorial Building for the Social Security Administration was awarded to Northern Design Works of Ishpeming for $6,600. Advertising for bids to complete the renovations was authorized.

A public hearing will be held on Monday, Aug. 12 at 5:20 p.m. to discuss possible condemnation of a property at 715 Leonard St ., which was affected by a fire nearly two years ago. The property owner agreed to have the building down prior to the hearing, said Erickson.