The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer council to seek mediation


Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

THERE WAS not an empty seat in council chambers in Bessemer Monday evening. The council sent the ordinances back to the planning commission again and learned there is a potential investor in the medical marijuana business that is looking at Bessemer, but who is being cautious because of the lack of decisions.


Bessemer - Charly Loper, city manager, brought forth a recommendation under new business that the council seek the assistance of a professional mediator. The mediation is designed to assist the council in working together and in getting along better. The council supported the appeal by Loper 4-1, with Al Gaiss opposing the measure.

The council voted to approve Change Order number 3 regarding the Water and Wastewater system improvements plan to improve storm water removal in the Yale area of town. Loper said Neil Nelson, DPW, brought her to Yale during the melt and showed her how bad Yale flooded and how necessary it was the storm water system be upgraded. The agreed upon modification will cost about $16,000, but the city will first seek payment for the job through the United States Department of Agriculture.

A single bid came in within the time frame and costs to inspect the cities sewer pipes. Tunnel Vision bid $175,000 to conduct sewer pipe inspection and the council accepted the bid.

During the second reading of the proposed noise ordinance, a member of the public disrupted the meeting, insulted his neighbors and their children, blasphemed repeatedly as a self-proclaimed atheist while lobbing insults at the intelligence of the council regarding his expertise to speak on noise ordinances and their ignorance of the same. Kathy Whitburn, mayor, was forced to suspend the meeting so the man could be removed from chambers, but he left on his own when the meeting was stopped.

The council had the first reading of a new odor ordinance, the second reading is scheduled for the Aug. 21 council meeting. The police power and zoning ordinances regarding medical marijuana were kicked back to the planning commission, which meets Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. After Linda Nelson reminded the council any changes that happen require the council to return the proposed language to the commission.

Nelson admitted when a member of the audience said this is just another stall tactic that, "it very well might be." The council did not disagree with the requirement as Nelson handed out copies to the members. When the ordinances were thrown back to the planning commission, keeping the council from bringing the ordinances up for approval or rejection, Richard Duncanson, a local medical marijuana provider, left the meeting.

Someone in the packed house reminded Nelson and the council how last December they were not keen on following the rules when it came to giving out employee bonuses with public money. The council agreed 5-0 to return the ordinances to the planning commission and taking them back up Aug. 21 at the next council meeting.

Under new business, Loper is sending out a request for proposals to update the city's website and briefed the council on the values of some local city owned lots. The council approved allowing Loper to begin the process of putting the different lots up for sale.

One of the three pumps required to supply the city with water is down and the city agreed to purchase and have installed a new pump. Likewise the city agreed to authorize the purchase of library shelves for the children's section of the city library.


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