The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Hurley council supports ICORE, tightens drain rules


November 15, 2018

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

Mike Fauerbach, left, provides an update on trail progress to the Hurley city council Tuesday. Seated, from left, are: mayor Paul Mullard and clerk/treasurer Stacey Wiercinski.


Hurley - The Hurley City Council Tuesday authorized members of the Iron County Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts to continue working toward their ultimate goal of expanding a nonmotorized trail from the Montreal River to Cary Park or beyond.

So far, said ICORE member Mike Fauerbach, the unnamed, paved trail runs about 300 feet from U.S. 51 to the Montreal River, where a bridge provides access to Ironwood's Iron Belle Trail.

Fauerbach said ICORE hopes, at a minimum, to continue the trail from the highway to Hurley's Cary Park. Meanwhile, he said a temporary passage now exists to that location, by way of gravel alleys and Gold Street.

In order to continue the official paved trail to the park, Fauerbach said ICORE must (a) approach the Canadian National Railroad in hopes of purchasing "the old Canadian National right-of-way" for use in the trail expansion and (b) apply for state grants to help fund the cost of purchasing the land and creating the extended trail.

Even if that all occurs, Fauerbach said ICORE still will face the remaining challenge of raising enough funds to cover a 50 percent match for any potential grant(s).

In addition, he said additional funds are needed to address upgrades relating to the existing paved trail. "Right now, we're getting a lot of complaints that there's no parking there," he said of the trailhead next to U.S. 51.

Hence, Fauerbach said ICORE members hope to create a small gravel parking lot next to the trailhead, so that persons using the trail can avoid parking on the highway, the grass, or on nearby streets or behind neighboring businesses. They also want to set up additional trail improvements such as kiosks.

Alderman Steve Lombardo urged Fauerbach to proceed with planning the parking lot and other upgrades such as kiosks. He also suggested working with city attorney Ray O'Dea, who agreed to approach the CN regarding purchasing its old right-of-way.

In a Wednesday phone interview, Fauerbach said his group does not know yet exactly how far it can extend the trail. "It depends on how much they (railroad officials) are willing to sell and on how much they will charge."

He said ICORE, which is based in Mercer, has $5,000 in reserve so far toward its many plans, but added much more will be needed, even with state grants factored in.

For that reason, ICORE plans to launch a capital campaign in the near future. "It's one step at a time," said Fauerbach.

He said the existing paved trail was made possible with financing from a "bridge the gap" campaign after land was purchased by the city with a grant from the Gogebic Range Health Foundation.

Stricter drain rule

In other news, the council amended an ordinance that allowed for only a small fine for building owners that violated city rules in relation to proper run-off from roofs.

Council members voted to charge a noncompliance fee of "not more than $100," plus litigation and attorney costs, and to allow for additional charges for each continuing day of noncompliance.

City clerk/treasurer Stacey Wiercinski said Wednesday the amendment will not go into effect until related advertising occurs in the near future.

She said some businesses in Hurley have flat roofs with drains attached to the city's sanitary sewer system, and they cause overflows during rain events.

"We need to start enforcing those businesses that are not compliant," she said, adding that roof drains must connect to the storm sewer system.

The city also conducted a public hearing on the next fiscal year budget, but quickly closed it when no questions were offered. Afterward, the council voted to approve a resolution of the new budget.

At the end of the meeting, the city went into a closed session to discuss "potential litigation." Wiercinski said no other information about that session could be shared at this time.


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