The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Peters aide talks Wakefield Township development



Wakefield TOWNSHIP — The township Board of Trustees met Tuesday for nearly two hours. Elise Matz, an aide for U.S. Senator Gary Peters, met with John Cox before the meeting regarding economic development in the township. Cox said this was the first time he can recall a national political figure expressing interest in the area and they discussed Indianhead Mountain and the Big Snow Resort and the planned casino.

The township has a new website,, managed by Tom Ruppe. The website is designed to modernize the functions of the township and make its resources more navigable and available for residents.

In financial matters closer to every resident’s wallet, the township and city of Wakefield agreed on shared contracts for the fire department, parks and recreation facilities and library for the next two years. The general cost will remain the same, but the township will add a $600 cash payment each year to close the deal for area services.

The township switched garbage providers. For the past five years the township has contracted with Waste Management and charged $8-per-month, with the township subsidizing about six dollars per customer, per month. The new contract with Gogebic Range Solid Waste Authority will increase cost to the customer by two dollars, with the township subsidizing the rest.

John Cox said he was pragmatic and “did not want to hear any complaints from the garbage collectors if someone puts out an extra bag because they held a party or the kids came home to visit. One guy might put out one bag per week, another guy one bag every other week, and another family three bags weekly. It all comes out even in the end.”

North County 519 the road to the industrial park, Porcupine Mountains, and the Highland Copper Mine project had its culverts upgraded about five years ago. The pavement is in desperate need of replacement as a steady stream of large trucks use it daily. The plan is to repair the road and make it safer and less hazardous to drive.

Cox said in 2012 the township took in 1,593 tires from residents and is looking to do something similar again. The city of Wakefield and township have agreed in May 2017 on a general clean up that will accept tires and other debris from residents to clean up the area and restore some of its natural beauty. The Department of Environmental Quality has funds available for this kind of clean up and the township is in the process of applying for them.

The final order of business regarded lawn mowing, the attorney, and auditing contracts. The township agreed to maintain the current group for each as long as the costs stay reasonable. Delmar Smith, recent retiree from the board, will mow the grass at the township hall as a volunteer because he likes to do it.


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