The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Forestry committee rejects taking over Gile Park


Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

GILE PARK, seen here Tuesday, will continue to be owned by the city of Montreal after the Iron County Forestry and Parks Committee voted against having the county assume responsibility for the park's maintenance.


Hurley - Citing the fear of establishing a precedent, the Iron County Forestry and Parks Committee voted Tuesday not to take over the maintenance of Gile Park from the city of Montreal.

"I'm still against it, for the simple reason we could set a precedent," Supervisor Jim Kichak said. "It looks good, but down the road it won't look good because there's going to be other towns that are going to want to dump their parks or whatever on us."

Iron County Forestry and Parks Administrator Eric Peterson agreed with the committee's concern of a precedent being established.

"How do you turn down the next town that comes along," Peterson asked.

Representatives from the city of Montreal had approached the committee in August about the possibility of the county reacquiring the property from the city, which was having trouble keeping up with the cost of maintaining the park.

"Back when we received it from the county we had a lot more people employed with the city of Montreal," Montreal City Councilor Leola Maslanka said at the time. "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."

She said the city had made improvements to the park, but was having trouble with routine maintenance, such as keeping the grass mowed.

"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)."

Peterson said Tuesday the city doesn't charge fees for the use of the park's boat launch, and that would likely be a way to generate the needed revenue. The idea was also raised at the meeting about additional volunteers helping with the park.

In other action:

- The committee directed Peterson to get an estimate for the amount it would cost to assess the value of several county properties outside the county boundaries that are being considered for a potential land swap with Joe Francois.

-The committee also approved the department's preliminary budget, which will be sent the county board's finance committee.


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