Bessemer Township adopts several resolutions
RAMSAY - The Bessemer Township board met Monday to discuss support for several resolutions.
The first resolution focused on poverty guidelines and exemptions on property taxes for qualifying individuals and families.
"We deal with this every year," said Township Supervisor Jeff Randall. "It allows, as state law requires, those that fit the poverty guidelines can apply for exemption or a portion of exemption from their property taxes."
Randall said it has to be updated each year to match the poverty guidelines set by the government. The board passed the resolution without opposition. Trustee Beverly Ikola was absent.
The Gogebic Range Solid Waste Management Authority is currently seeking a grant for a recycling program in the area.
"Part of the grant requires approval, by letter or resolution, to be included in the application package for the grant," Randall said.
Randall said two things are important to list in the letter-support for the authority to seek the grant and notice that the township would be willing to participate in a recycling program. If the grant is received, local match would come from the authority, he said.
Bessemer Township hopes to eventually get at least a dumpster or two to handle recycling for the township if the grant goes through, Randall said.
Randall said many people in the township have said they have things in their garbage that could easily be recycled. "They wish we had some sort of program," he said.
"I hope that, like Wisconsin, Michigan moves forward with recycling so that it makes it more advantageous for recycling to happen," Randall said.
The grant would also provide information about the program to the public.
"The grant would help educate the people on what recycling is, the benefits, how to recycle, what is recyclable ..." Randall said.
"I think it's a good thing for sure," said clerk Debbie Janczak.
"I absolutely agree," Randall said. "I think we need to move forward, especially as the state makes this kind of stuff available for us."
"We can't be 'Pure Michigan' unless we make an effort," joked Trustee Hope Tarnaski.
The board also approved a resolution stating that effective wolf management solutions are needed in the Upper Peninsula. Once the resolution is amended to fit Bessemer Township's specifications and wording, it will be sent to the appropriate legislators, organizations and state departments.
A letter was received asking for resolutions of support for a proposed non-motorized mountain bike trail to be developed in the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon County.
The letter said the goal is to make the Porcupine Mountain Ski Area into a year-round facility and provide another reason for tourists to visit the western U.P.
Tarnaski said the chambers of commerce throughout the western U.P. have been working together to develop projects like this, to tie the entire area together even more.
"These chambers are coming together from all across the (western) U.P., from the Keweenaw to Ironwood, and they're trying to work together as the western Upper Peninsula as a whole," she said.
"I believe that working together we can get a lot more done," she said.
Janczak said that the use of the Porkies has greatly increased in the last couple of years, and this is just another step.
"I think that this is great," Tarnaski said of the plan to create the bike trails.
In a motion from Tarnaski, supported by treasurer Jerry Grenfell, the board approved a resolution for the project.
In other business, the board approved expenses for a public works employee to attend the 61st annual U.P. Wastewater Operators Conference on May 12 and 13, to renew his wastewater certification.
The board also approved the fiscal year 2016 budget draft.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 23.