The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer council pushes progress on Western Gateway Trail


April 2, 2019


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Bessemer — The Bessemer city council voted Monday evening to accept responsibility for a pending $9,222 state grant that would provide surveying funds for the continuation of the Western Gateway Trail.

The council also voted to approve a related contract with Coleman Engineering Company of Ironwood, since it is engineering the trail project.

If received, the grant will fund final surveying of a planned trail route through land that Pat Steiger of Bessemer has agreed to sell to the state.

“This is the easiest grant we’ve ever gotten,” said Loper, who said authorities called and said, “We’ve got this money.”

Loper said Coleman Engineering staff worked with the Western Gateway Trail Authority to apply for the grant.

The Western Gateway Trail so far runs from the Montreal River to Bessemer.

Under questioning from council member Linda Nelson, Paul Anderson of Coleman Engineering said his company currently is working on a design process for continuation of the Western Gateway Trail from Bessemer to Ramsay.

Anderson said related bids are expected to be put out in the coming winter, with trail construction anticipated in 2020.

In addition, Anderson said, his company is planning an extended trail route from Ramsay to Wakefield. Once that is complete, he said local funds will need to be raised to match potential grants.

As for the ultimate creation of the eventual route from Ramsay to Wakefield, Anderson said, “We’re probably four to 10 years out.”

The council also:

—Voted to pass on to the planning commission an updated marketing strategy prepared by the Be Bessemer committee, formerly known as the branding committee. Mayor Adam Zak suggested adding some Bessemer School District statistics, as well as a statement that the town is a great place to raise a family.

—Voted to adopt Resolution No. 2017-25 “to waive interest and penalty associated with failure to file property transfer affidavits” and Resolution No. 2017-26 “to adopt procedures for granting and moving real property exemptions.” Loper said adoption of the resolutions was a state requirement.

—Voted to hire four summer workers at $12 per hour, up from $10 per hour last summer.

—Voted to update the city’s rental inspection fee schedule, so that it includes a $50 missed appointment fee, as well as a $50 re-inspection fee for a one-hour minimum period, with an additional $25 charged for each extra half-hour period.

—Heard from Loper that she will survey landlords in Bessemer to determine the demand for rentals in the city. She said the information will help the city to work with property owners and developers to create more rentals as needed.

—Discussed some pending revisions to the City Charter.

The council will meet next on April 15 at 6 p.m. in the council room of the Bessemer City Hall. A hearing on a zoning code that addresses the prohibition of recreational marijuana businesses will take place during that meeting. The public is welcome.


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