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Ironwood man to repurpose Bessemer church into art gallery

 

Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

THIS OLD church on South Moore Street will soon be an art gallery and studio space, under the ownership of Douglas Kikkebusch, Ironwood.

BESSEMER — A proposal was accepted by the Bessemer City Council to sell the old Presbyterian Church at 400 South Moore Street to Douglas Kikkebusch of Ironwood, for the amount of one dollar.

The property had been out for bids for repurposing. City manager Michael Uskiewicz called Kikkebusch’s proposal “intriguing.”

Kikkebusch plans to repurpose the building into an art gallery, studio space, and retail area, primarily for handmade glass works of art. His work is currently featured at a gallery in Ironwood, one in Door County, and another in Boulder Junction.

“I’m really excited to have a business here in Bessemer,” said Kikkebush.

In other business, a parcel of city owned property on West Iron Street was sold in an even split between the neighboring residents; Ron and Marlene Zaleski, and Luke Peterson, at $800 each.

The council approved water line repairs to North Clayberg Street, which is estimated to run the city around $18,000, including staff time. Residents are currently not getting enough water, as the current pipe is an inch and a half and heavily corroded.

Uskiewicz updated the council that Bessemer’s estimated damages from flooding this spring are near $110,000, of which FEMA will kick in 75 percent. It is unclear whether the state of Michigan will kick in 12.5 percent or 25 percent.

On August 9 “Today in America” featuring Bessemer will air nationally on the Discovery Channel, which should reach 104 million households, said Uskiewicz.