Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer city council hears sheriff's report; discusses land offer

BESSEMER - Gogebic County Sheriff Peter Matonich was first on the agenda for Bessemer's city council meeting on Monday night.

Matonich said the sheriff's department has been adding some new services or is currently in the process of doing so.

He said the county still has a very active drug team and that the department also added a new corrections officer in 2014.

Gogebic County is currently training officers on a new statewide information system, which allows the county to access statewide records in the event of an arrest, Matonich said.

He said, as part of the system, there are tablets in the patrol cars and they are implementing an e-ticket system.

Matonich said the Michigan State Police should be on the system in the next few years, once their current contract is up.

"Eventually it will be the system for the state," he said.

Matonich was also asked about emergency back-up plans.

In referencing the recent power outage, he said "All emergency service providers have back-up" when something like that happens.

"When the power went out, we didn't have enough employees to answer phones," Matonich joked.

The council thanked Matonich for all the work the sheriff's department does.

"We're appreciating the work you're doing," said councilman Al Gaiss.

Other business

The council also denied an offer from Duane and Janet Olson to buy an 105 acre land parcel from them.

In discussion, a few council members said the land had been clear cut recently so it was not really beneficial for the city to buy the property.

Instead, as originally planned, the city will just have a recreation use land easement in place on the land, said city manager Mike Uskiewicz.

The board also:

-approved the dates for the board of review for the first week of March in a 4-1 vote, with opposition from Nelson who will not be able to make those dates as she has to work.

-heard city manager Uskiewicz's report regarding an Eagle Waste tour he, mayor Butch Semmerling and councilman Doug Olsen recently took. Uskiewicz said it was a very efficient operation and Olsen agreed.

"One person was doing the work of three," Olsen said.

-heard comment about a recent water authority meeting from Olsen.

-listened to a short report from Bessemer Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Whitburn regarding plans the group is putting in place. Whitburn will give a presentation about the chamber at the next meeting.

The next city council meeting is on March 2.

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