The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

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Gogebic-Iron airport to receive $650,000 fire-rescue vehicle


October 11, 2018


Bessemer — It appears Gogebic County will receive a $650,000 fire and rescue vehicle for the Gogebic-Iron Airport at a cost of $8,125.

The county board of supervisors on Wednesday approved a resolution authorizing a funding application for the vehicle.

Airport manager Mike Harma noted a federal grant will cover most of the costs of the 1,500-gallon fire truck. Iron and Gogebic counties will split the local $16,250 match.

County board member Joe Bonovetz, of Bessemer, said an emergency exercise in the county determined a smaller truck the Federal Aviation Administration wanted to approve for the airport would have required trips to the Ironwood Township hall for water. He said that would be prohibitive in the event of a crash at the airport.

He said the airport in Ironwood Township is the first small one to receive such a state-of-the-art firefighting-rescue truck.

The vote to apply for the grant was approved 5-0, with Dan Siirila and Jim Oliver absent.

The board also approved a new three-year contract with McKenzie, Talaska and Muskett for public defender services.

The county will pay the law firm $110,000 for 2019, $115,000 for 2020 and $120,000 for 2021.

While there is no increase in the current rate charged by the firm, James McKenzie said the state has approved a $53,000 grant to cover added requirements which include providing an attorney for a defendant’s initial District Court appearance. Also, an attorney must consult with a defendant within 72 hours of a charge.

The grant to Gogebic County will actually be $163,000, but only $53,000 will go for public defense.

Gogebic County Circuit Court Judge Michael Pope recommended the McKenzie firm be renewed for the contract.

McKenzie said the firm is required to carry malpractice insurance as part of the agreement, but no such claim has been filed in the past 20 years.


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