Wakefield Township eyes closer relations with city
January 11, 2020
By P.J. GLISSON
Wakefield — The city of Wakefield and Wakefield Township are taking steps to work more closely in the future, with an eye to reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
Wakefield Township Supervisor John Cox told the Globe Wednesday that City Manager Rob Brown and Mayor Dale White both attended the Tuesday evening meeting of the township’s Board of Trustees.
According to Cox, both city officials requested that the township engage in greater collaboration with the city.
“So, we’re going to have a joint meeting,” said Cox, adding that it has not yet been scheduled.
“We’ve always had a pretty good relationship with Wakefield,” added Cox, who has been the township supervisor for about a dozen years.
By combining forces, he said everyone can minimize “duplication of effort” and also work toward attracting more residents and new business and industry.
“This is a great place to live,” said Cox, citing low housing costs, quality of life and a safe environment.
In related news, board members also voted to extend the township’s contract with the city for services that include fire protection, Lakeside Cemetery, parks, lights, and the Wakefield Public Library, for a total cost of $23,097 in the 2020-21 year.
The three-year agreement will end in the spring of 2023 after increases of $692 in the second year and $1,406 in the third year. The park payments include an annual donation of $500 to be split equally between the Fourth of July and Fireworks committees.
As part of the agreement, the township also will designate all library penal fines by township residents for the benefit of the library.
In addition, the township will make a one-time payment of $3,000 as a matching contribution toward a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant that will fund a refill station for self-containing breathing apparatus for the city’s volunteer firefighters.
Board members also:
—Voted to appoint Township Clerk Mandy Lake, who is also a board member, as an alternate to the Gogebic Range Water Authority.
—Voted to approve a contract extension with the Gogebic Range Solid Waste Authority.
—Voted to approve a summer tax collection agreement with the Wakefield-Marenisco School District.
—Voted to extend the contract of auditor Karl “Gus” Ahonen, CPA, of Makela, Pollack and Ahonen, PLLC of Ironwood.
—Learned from Cox that signs warning against excessive noise will be installed soon on snowmobile trails. “Once those signs are up, there will be enhanced enforcement,” he said.
—Learned that the Gogebic County Road Commission will plow two miles of Snowmobile Trail 8 (old M-28) during the current season for use by vehicular traffic. Cox said snowmobilers may continue to use the same route, but will have to limit their travel to the side of the road.
—Voted to hire Silver Creek Excavating to engage in snow removal around the township hall.
—Heard Cox praise local residents for paying their taxes responsibly. “We did not have any residential foreclosures,” he said of the past year, adding that industry taxes also were paid.
The board’s next regular meeting will be on Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wakefield Township Hall at 414 N. County Road 519.
The board also will have a workshop on the next fiscal year budget, along with a discussion of future goals, on Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. in the same location. The public is welcome at both sessions.