August 27, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 201

Resident volunteers time to clean up city property

WAKEFIELD — Wakefield resident Scott Favero received permission from the Wakefield City Council Monday evening to clean up an eye-sore on city property.

Larry Holcombe/Daily Globe
Workers with Ruotsala Concrete Construction place large sand bags in Sunday Lake around the gate in the dam at the northeast end of the lake Monday evening. The work is part of an ongoing project to replace the gate with one that drops down from the top instead of opening up from the bottom.

Favero plans to remove some old storage tanks and a few hundred tires from a spot along a an old railroad grade that is now a trail. The spot is about 500 feet east of Sunday Lake Street, south of Nunnemacher Street. Favero will do the work for free, but plans to scrap the metal and tires for profit. “He hopes to send some money back our way, too,” said Wakefield city manager John Siira.

While the clean up site borders and may include some private property, Siira said the single property owner didn’t object to the work. “We’ll have him sign a waiver before work begins,” said Siira.

The council approved the work without first surveying the area to find out how much of it is on private property. Siira estimated the survey work at $1,500.

“We’re happy to see someone cleaning it up and hope this might be the start of more such action,” said mayor Richard Bolen.

The council also adopted the articles of incorporation for the Non-Motorized Recreation Trail Authority. Before doing so, council member Joe Delfavero asked about the authority’s ability to levy taxes. Siira said such a tax, for trail maintenance or what ever purpose, would have to be put before a vote of the people.

The council rescinded its decision of Aug. 12 to buy a truck for the electric department from Equipment Rental Company of Duluth, Minn., after the company said it couldn’t complete the deal. The matter was referred back to the equipment committee.

Siira reported that work on the dam at the northeast end of Sunday Lake continues. Large sand bags are being placed in the lake around the gate opening to allow workers to replace the gate. The new gate will open from the top down, as opposed to the current gate the opens from the bottom up.

Siira also reported that there is no new news on FEMA funding coming for flood relief. He said the feds may release their typical 75 percent, before the state decides if it will give its typical 12.5 percent, leaving the city to pay the remaining 12.5 percent. “There’s still no news,” said Siira.

Bolen reported on meetings of an ad-hoc committee looking at camping fees and other issues at the camp ground on Sunday Lake. “We had three very good meetings with representatives from the city and campers alike,” said Bolen. “The meetings were very constructive.”

Bolen said the committee’s recommendations, including camping rates, will be forwarded to the planning commission.

The council also:

—Agreed to renew its property and liability insurance through the Michigan Municipal League.

—Authorized the advance purchase of power for 2019.

—Approved the purchase of $3,450 worth of electric poles and wire from Xcel Energy to allow the city to own the electric system infrastructure on the city’s easement between the city’s substation and Xcel’s transmission line. Siira said line was 1,521 feet long.