The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Village of Ontonagon receives $900,000 grant



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OntonagonOntonagon Village Manager Joe Erickson told the village council Monday the village will receive a $900,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to study the sewer system.

Erickson said he has received a notice of the grant approval and expects the grant agreement documents to be in Ontonagon in the next few weeks.

The Stormwater, Assessment and Wastewater grant will provide the $900,000 to devise a sewage, collection and treatment plan. The village could receive an additional $500,000 to map the storm sewer system to give the area a good infrastructure and data base.

The village, particularly on River Street, has had serious storm sewer overflows in times of hard rain.

Erickson said it is important that residents attend a meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. as part of a Small Harbors case study. The session will be at the Community Action Building. Residents will be asked to give input into the vision of the harbor. Erickson said the goal of the session will be to get an understanding of the impacts of the harbor on the Ontonagon area.

The village will be looking for a new employee in the department of public works. Jim Meagher, a 26-year employee, has announced early retirement. Erickson said the job will be posted and applications accepted through Michigan Works.

The council held a special meeting to work on its purchase policy. The policy addresses spending limits and procurement procedures. A new section was added to the existing policy. It  provides a qualified bidder list.

The village will seek qualified service vendors annually to be posted on the village website. All jobs to be bid will also be listed on the site and others not listed on the qualified bidder list can also bid on jobs. Council member Tony Smydra said that after spending time studying the existing policy, the village was not in violation of its recent bid award.

Village president Ken Waldrop said the special meeting was an important learning experience. “We were following our policy even though we did not know it,” he said.

The vacant lot on River Street now has two owners. Erickson said Rich Ernest and  Randy Dishaw, both with businesses bordering the lot, each paid the money to buy their halves and the deeds will be signed.

In other action, the village approved a resolution acknowledging the application of the Ontonagon Area School Booster Club for a charitable gaming license and heard a report on several  blighted lots in the village by Gunnard Kyllonen.


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