The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer seeks public input on Bluff Valley Park renovation


January 19, 2018

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

RON ZALESKI, Bessemer Parks and Recreation Committee member, and city council member Linda Nelson look over the work already done to clean up invasive species in Bluff Valley Park Thursday in the auditorium at Bessemer City Hall.


Bessemer - Bessemer City Manager Charly Loper had an idea to invite the public to do more than comment on the direction of the city's desired renovation of Bluff Valley Park.

Loper said she noticed during master plan discussions how integral the park was for many people and their identities with Bessemer.

With that in mind, Loper's brainchild evolved into a public-sourced idea factory originating in the minds of the community, not only Bessemer, but those surrounding communities in the area because they also have residents using the park.

On Thursday in the city hall auditorium, Loper provided a blown-up map of the park, pictures of the individual components within the park, a suggestion box and opportunity for Dave Rowe to discuss the pond and Ron Zaleski to discuss his clean-up efforts.

Zaleski described some of the things Thursday evening he has discovered on the property over the years. Last year they found an old well, with water right to the brim and this year an old metal object no one can figure out. Zaleski even took the object to the historical society and no one could identify the object.

Zaleski also said Rowe's students are good workers and have really made a difference cleaning up the park since they joined the effort in 2015.

Kelden Witt, Bessemer resident, said his hope is to reroute some of the trails to come to the bluff so it is more accessible. Allen Archie told Witt he has a trail-making book from some earlier life adventures and they can figure out the trail requirements and make Witt's idea a reality.

Loper said people can provide their comments directly to city hall, where the display will continue for the next month in the hallway outside of the library, or they can visit the city's new website and make anonymous comments there.

Loper said they wanted to make sure the comments online were not for public display, which would free people to speak their minds without any fear of repercussions.


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