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Bessemer council passes finance contract with waste managament


Katie Perttunen/Daily Globe

CITY COUNCIL member Doug Olsen discusses a resolution regarding waste management at Tuesday nights council meeting in Bessemer. Also pictured are council member Linda Nelson and city clerk James Trudgeon.

BESSEMER — A public hearing was scheduled directly before Tuesday’s city council meeting in Bessemer to discuss a variance request from Shawn Koski, who wanted to put a home behind his shop, which is zoned for industrial purposes.

Koski’s request was denied. Council member Linda Nelson, who sits on the Planning Commission, said the commission made their recommendation to deny the variance because, “It’s not a hardship situation.”

Mayor John Frello said that variances to zoning ordinances are granted only in extraordinary circumstances.

A resolution approving a financing contract for Gogebic Range Solid Waste Management Authority was passed by the city with a narrow majority of three to two. The resolution and contract allow the GRSWMA to issue bonds for $350,000. The city of Bessemer’s share of the debt is 25.6 percent, according to tonnage.

Nelson voted no, asking the question, “Why should we pay when it doesn’t service us?” The GRWA purchased a garbage truck, dumpsters, semi-trailers and a dump truck, which are used to service other members of the GRSWMA.

Olsen also voted no. He said that the resolution “is not to Bessemer’s benefit. If two entities (in the GRWA) benefit from a garbage truck, the two should pay for the garbage truck.”

Council member Al Gaiss said, “we have no choice but to pass it.” Gaiss estimated that including interest, the bond will cost the city of Bessemer $7,200 per year over the fifteen years of the bond.


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