The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wakefield passes five-year MDOT maintenance contract


September 10, 2019


Wakefield — The Wakefield City Council on Monday renewed a five-year state trunkline maintenance contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The approval was addressed via the passage of Resolution 265, which covers the maintenance period of Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2024.

The state defines a trunkline highway as “a road, highway or freeway under the jurisdiction of the department, and usually designated with an M, US, or I preceding the route number.”

State trunklines in this region include M-28 and U.S. Hwy. 2, and directly east of here, M-64 and U.S. Hwy. 45.

According to a report by city manager Rob Brown, the contract with the state allows the city to continue providing assets such as employee labor, equipment, facilities, supplies and administrative services toward trunkline needs. The state then reimburses the city for the related cost.

Maintenance refers to all seasons, including snow removal in winter and a variety of activity in other months, the report said.

The state prioritizes non-winter work in the following three categories:

—critical, including issues such as traffic signals and bridges;

—high priority, including guardrail and fence repair;

—mowing and brushing.

Each of the three areas includes many other issues.

Citywide power outage to be scheduled

In other news, Brown reported that the city is expecting to spend $2,300 to repair its electrical substation in relation to damage incurred during a lightning strike last week.

The strike caused a citywide power outage before dawn on Sept. 3, but city officials reported that it had been resolved quickly due to efficient staff action and the substation’s own protective system.

Brown, however, said that when further, comprehensive repair is scheduled, the city will notify in advance the general public, as well as local medical facilities.

According to the city manager, the expected repair will require a citywide power shutdown of about an hour, and he hopes to schedule it around midnight to minimize disruption of routine utility needs.

The substation is located at 702 Sunday Lake St.

The council also:

—Approved a resolution and scheduled an Oct. 14 public hearing in relation to the city’s intent to vacate a portion of Peters Street in anticipation of the city then posting half of the vacated area for sale at a minimum bid of $500. Kyle Ellison would acquire title to the other half. The hearing will be at 5:30 p.m., as part of the city council meeting scheduled for the same date.

—Heard from Brown that Wakefield Township is continuing to have problems with vulnerable water lines, one of which he said broke three times in two months. He added that the township, the city and the Gogebic Range Water Authority are working together toward a resolution by next spring. Wakefield City Mayor John Granato suggested that the township seek related grants to help offset costs.

—Approved two $50-off coupons for use in the Eddy Park Campground as a community promotion toward fundraising in relation to Bessemer’s Pumpkinfest.

Coffee with Council, which provides local citizens an informal means of mingling with city officials, will be held on Saturday from 9-11 a.m. in the council room of the municipal building.

The council’s next regular meeting will be on Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the council room. The public is welcome.


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