The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Montreal approaches county about Gile Park



Hurley — While no formal action was taken Tuesday, the Iron County Forestry and Parks Committee considered a request from the city of Montreal to have the county assume control of the city’s Gile Park.

Montreal City Councilor Leola Maslanka told the committee the council voted to make the request at its meeting last month as the city no longer had the resources to maintain the park.

“Back when we received it from the county we had a lot more people employed with the city of Montreal,” Maslanka said. “We are currently down to two full-time employees and as much as we love the park — it will always be the Gile Park — we’re asking that you would consider taking the park back.”

Since taking over the park, she said the city has made a number of improvements to the it — including building benches and planting trees, removing the riprap from around the flowage to make a beach, improving the bathroom facility and other structures, as well as other improvements.

The city had been increasingly relying on volunteers to help maintain the park, Maslanka said.

“We have made a lot of improvements, as best we can,” Maslanka said. “But we just find we’re falling behind with trying to do (maintenance and upkeep).”

If the county did take over control of the park, it would be responsible for mowing and other maintenance and would get whatever revenue is generated from pavilion rentals.

Maslanka said the city might be able to continue plowing in the winter.

While the county officials were supportive of exploring the possibility, they had several concerns before proceeding.

Iron County Forestry and Parks Administrator Eric Peterson raised the possibility of setting a precedent where other towns wanted the county to take over their parks.

There was also concerns about the amount of manpower needed to maintain the park, as someone drives by everyday and opening the bathrooms.

Some people on the committee felt there was a work around to some of the resource requirements, but Maslanka said the city would send more information on how much time was spent maintaining the park.

Peterson also said the county needed to consider maintenance needs down the line. Maslanka said she wasn’t aware of any impending maintenance needs.

There is a need for a new dock, Maslanka said, but the city did have one that needs to be assembled and installed.

The committee is expected to discuss the decision at September meeting.

In other action:

—The committee approved the annual contract with the local snowmobile and ATV groups to maintain the county’s snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle/UTV trails.

—The committee referred a proposed land swap between the county and Joe Francois to the county’s attorney to determine what the swap would entail if the county did decide to pursue the opportunity.

—While no date has been set, it was reported there is a public information session planned for later this month to provide updates on the Saxon Harbor repairs.


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