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Bessemer council gets good news on US 2 potholes


March 19, 2019


Bessemer — The Bessemer City Council received good news Monday regarding the stretch of U.S. Hwy. 2 that goes through town.

City manager Charly Loper told council members that the Gogebic County Road Commission is beginning to patch the numerous potholes existing in all four lanes of the highway.

“The road won’t be perfect, but it’ll be a little better,” said Loper regarding the holes that stretch from about Steiger’s Home Center on the east to the Housing Project on the west.

“We all know what we’re going through in Bessemer with the potholes,” said council member Rob Coleman, who asked for the subject to be added to Monday night’s agenda. “In my lifetime, I’ve never seen it this bad.”

When Loper announced the efforts at remediation, Coleman said he hadn’t heard better news in a long time.

“The city is not responsible for U.S. 2,” said Loper, explaining that while the road commission is responsible for highway maintenance, the Michigan Department of Transportation is responsible for replacing the highway when the time comes.

Marijuana zoning ordinance

In other news, council members voted to accept the first reading of Ordinance No. 372, which intends to amend the current zoning ordinance to prohibit recreational marijuana establishments in the city.

The ordinance reads, in part, “No use that constitutes or purports to be a marihuana grower, marihuana safety compliance facility, marihuana processor, marihuana microbusiness, marihuana retailer, marihuana secure transporter or any other type of marihuana-related business authorized by the Act, that was engaged in prior to the enactment of this Ordinance, shall be deemed to have been a legally established use under the provisions of the City Ordinances; that use shall not be entitled to claim legal nonconforming status.”

The Michigan legal community typically spells marijuana with an “h” instead of a “j.”

Loper said Monday’s ordinance vote is the second step in the process of prohibiting marijuana business. Council members already voted at a previous meeting to prohibit marijuana enterprise, but have been advised by legal experts to back that up with the pending zoning ordinance.

The council’s vote included the intention to offer a related public hearing at the time of the ordinance’s second reading. A final council vote then will take place.

FEMA funds

The council also learned from Loper that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has confirmed it will provide the city with $47,000 to repair damage that occurred during the 2018 Father’s Day storm.

“That’ll fix up a lot of the issues we’ve had,” said Loper.

The city council will meet next on March 27 at 6 p.m. for a budget workshop. The session will take place in the council room of the City Hall, and the public is welcome.


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