Ironwood City Commission makes proposal for water study in heated meeting


July 24, 2019


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Ironwood — Citizen’s Tempers flared during Ironwood’s City Commission meeting on Monday.

Ironwood resident Paul Grbavcich expressed his dissatisfaction on how he feels city officials have not addressed Ironwood’s water quality.

“You did not answer these people’s questions, you were not prepared, you people don’t care,” he said. “You people do not care about this water.”

Grbavcich referenced a water quality workshop on July 9 which he said the citizens were ignored and not allowed to voice their concerns.

“When you sat in the Women’s Club Room there were 30 to 35 people in there and you sat with your backs to these people,” he said. “You could not even look at them eye-to-eye.”

Mayor Annette Burchell responded and said she sat at the end of the table so she was able to see the entire audience.

Commissioner Jim Mildren also commented about the city’s previous water workshop and said it was a “great meeting” which was very informative.

“I was able to talk with four or five other Ironwood residents who presented me with their serious concerns over the water, then I hear from the city staff,” he said.

Mildren said the workshop might not have been the most conducive way to have an exchange of dialogue due to the size and setup of the room.

After meaningful discourse with citizens, and state of Michigan employees, Mildren said he came away with a changed viewpoint.

“When I went into that meeting, I had no idea that I would be supporting a water filtration system, and here we are today taking a proposal,” he said.

The commission approved obtaining a proposal for a preliminary engineering study for a pump station including water filtration improvements.

In other business:

—The Mayor appointed Cathryn Flory to the Downtown Ironwood Development Board.

—The commission vacated a portion of north-south alley in block one of the Sunnyside Addition.

—The commission approved awarding Western UP Recycling to clean up scrap metal at the Department of Public Works and reimburse the city $40 per ton of iron and brass at $1 per pound.

—The commission approved establishing no overnight parking in the city owned lot on the northeast corner of McLeod Avenue and Norfolk Street. City Manager Scott Erickson said permits will be available for a fee. Commissioner Joe Cayer voted against the parking restrictions.

—The commission approved city staff to apply for a Rural Development Grant under the Disaster Relief Act for the purchase of two Ironwood Public Safety Department squad cars and an excavator for the DPW.

—The commission went into closed session to discuss contract negotiations with the IPSD Officers Association affiliated with the Police Officers Association of Michigan.


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