The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

City commissioners pleased with late-year economic news


December 28, 2018


Ironwood — There were smiling faces on Ironwood City Commissioners Wednesday as they discussed economic developments in the late year that will benefit the area.

“A number of things came our way,” city manager Scott Erickson said as he began listing some of the recent accomplishments, including $10 million for Copper Peak, $1.5 million from the state to assist Waupaca Foundry, Inc., in locating in city’s industrial park, $280,000 for the Miners Memorial Heritage Park mountain bike trail, $2 million for Gogebic Community College and funding for the third phase of the Iron Belle non-motorized trail, from Bessemer to Ramsay.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation said last week the Waupaca Foundry project is expected to generate total private investment of $4.3 million and create 61 jobs. Ironwood was chosen over competing sites in Arkansas and Wisconsin, MEDC said.

The company will locate in the former speculation building on Liberty Street. The building had most recently been used by Scandinavian Log Homes.

The city is offering a 12-year property tax abatement valued at $375,000 in support of the project.

Erickson said Wednesday he and Community Development Director Tom Bergman will continue to work with MEDC on developing and carrying out a strategic economic plan for the western Upper Peninsula.

Erickson said there has been a great deal of work going on behind the scenes to yield the late 2018 results.

Bergman previously said discussions between Waupaca Foundry and the city had been going on for the past four months, as the company conducted job fairs in Ironwood and Marenisco.

All the good news has come after the devastating announcement that the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco would close in early December, which resulted in a loss of around 200 high-paying jobs.

One of those Ojibway employees was city commissioner Joe Cayer Jr., who was fortunate to stay in the area when he accepted employment at Aspirus Ironwood Hospital.

Mayor Annette Burchell and commissioners thanked Erickson and the city staff for helping make the year end on such a solid note.


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