The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Board of commissioners asks Corps for emergency dredging


ONTONAGON — The Ontonagon County Board of Commissioners will ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for emergency dredging of the Ontonagon Harbor.

Scott Roehm told the board a lake freighter loaded with materials for road construction was unable to enter the harbor and unload because of a shoal 50 yards out in Lake Superior at the river’s mouth.

Roehm noted last fall the Corps dredged the west half of the river, but not the east.

He said the Ontonagon County Economic Development Corporation depends on fees from unloading at its dock. Officials said four ships were expected to use the harbor this season, but that is “up in the air” because of the shoal.

Roehm asked the letter demanding the dredging be sent to both the Corps and state representatives.

The county board  is seeking a new county mine inspector after the death of the recently elected inspector Bob Niemala. The position will be posted.

Board members commented there are certain criteria for the position, including 10 years of mining experience.

Paula Domitrovich, county juvenile officer, requested an increase in the Family Foster Care line item for the Child Care Fund. She originally requested $12,000 for family foster care and $4,000 in institutional care and was able to move the funds from institutional care to family foster care.

She added if current expenses for family foster care continue, an additional $4,000 will be needed to cover foster care for this fiscal year.

“The state of Michigan will not reimburse the county for expenses if we don’t have money in our budget to cover our out of home care costs,” she wrote. The board granted the increase.

As a clarification from a previous report, Trent Tell, lead pilot for Valley Med Flight, Inc., of Iron Mountain, is not a pilot for Delta Airlines.


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