The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

'Art Park' green space


Ryan Jarvi/Daily Globe

AN EMPTY city-owned lot along Aurora Street in Ironwood may eventually be used as an "Art Park" where artists can display their work for the public to enjoy.

IRONWOOD - Members of the Downtown Ironwood Development Authority heard a brief update about a proposed "Art Park" for an empty lot on Aurora Street Thursday morning.

Ironwood Community Development Director Michael Brown updated DIDA members about the proposed Art Park for the city-owned green space between Mattson's TV and Appliance and Book World.

"We're working with the Downtown Art Place and theater in conjunction on this project to come up with an idea where artists can display their art and the public can enjoy it," Brown said.

He said the city has applied for grants through the state over the last couple of years, which would help fund the project, but no money was approved.

Brown said the plan is to have something designed and ready to show the next time grant money for those types of projects become available.

"We have a concept hand-drawn on paper," Brown said. "I'm trying to work on getting it into the computer to scale so we can bring it back to show you guys kind of the idea, just to bring you up to speed."

He hopes to have something prepared for the DIDA's August meeting.

DIDA welcomed its newest member, Andrew Gaunt, who will replace Eva Smith-Furgason, and elected two current members to leadership positions.

Tom Williams was nominated as chair of DIDA by LeeAnn Garske and was unanimously approved.

Member Becky Schwartz then nominated Peter Tacconelli as vice chair, which was approved unanimously.

Tim Erickson recently left his position with DIDA to assume a new role working under Brown, as Ironwood's community development assistant. Erickson's resignation has left an open position for DIDA.

DIDA requires a majority of its members be associated with the downtown district, whether it be residing or working in the area.

DIDA also approved a new brochure for the Ironwood Memorial Building, presented by Sandy Sharp, a local graphic designer.

"This is a piece that people will be able to take home with them," Sharp said. "I think we wanted to order 5,000. That is what this committee voted on, and they would be in the lobby and at the chamber, wherever else you wanted them."

The brochure covers all the publicly accessible areas of the Memorial Building and was reviewed by local historians for accuracy.

"We really have been working on this for a long time," Garske said. "If we wait, we're missing the whole summer. We're not going to have them here for this summer at all."

DIDA approved acceptance of the brochures with printing to begin soon.

Brown also gave DIDA an update regarding contributions for the downtown flower baskets. He said they are still short about $600 from breaking even on the project.

"Again, I encourage you to talk with the different downtown business owners, and other businesses and even residents in the community who might be interested in donating towards the flower baskets," Brown told the DIDA. "We're going to do this for the wreaths in the winter as well ... and we'll look for contributions to assist with that project."

DIDA also voted to delete its Facebook account, which a former member was tasked with updating.

"My experience in talking with other municipalities and communities that do Facebook pages, acceptable practice is you really should update your Facebook page on a daily basis," Brown said. "Most communities have a full-time person who keeps track of those types of things."

DIDA members said the city's chamber of commerce website lists most events, so the authority approved to discontinue the Facebook account.

The Facebook page wasn't updated since October 2013.

DIDA's next meeting is Aug. 28 at 8 a.m. in conference room 1 on the second floor of the Memorial Building.


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