Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood City Commission backs road funding proposal

IRONWOOD — The Ironwood City Commission went on record this week supporting the May 5 Michigan ballot proposal that would increase the sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent to fund transportation improvements.

Mayor Kim Corcoran said Proposal 1 would provide safer roadways for Michigan, which ranks among the bottom states in the condition of its roads.

In addition, the mayor said there are 19 “structurally deficient” bridges in Gogebic County alone that need repairs.

The resolution in support of Proposal A says Michigan has relied on “Band-Aid, short-term fixes for our roads, instead of investing enough money to fix our roads for the long-term.”

The resolution also says the road and bridge projects would generate 15,000 high-paying jobs to the state.

If Proposal A passes, “...every penny we pay at the pump in state gas taxes is guaranteed to go to transportation,” the resolution concludes.

Proposal A will be voted on statewide.

The commission supported the Proposal A resolution 4-0, with David Sim absent.

In the past decade, the city commission, under the guidance of city manager Scott Erickson, has initiated a street repair program that will continue this summer with $2 million of street repairs under the special millage city residents approved last fall.

While a few years ago about 70 percent of the streets in Ironwood needed repairs, Erickson said Monday, “About 90 to 95 percent of our streets will be in good shape after this summer's project is done.”

In November, Ironwood voters approved a special millage to resurface 10 miles of streets. All 10 miles of will be tackled this summer.

The vote was 832-651 to levy 2 mills for the bonds to be repaid over a 10-year period, for about $1.4 million in street work.

The street millage replaces the former millage for Memorial Building renovation project, which expired.

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