Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer to have fireworks on 4th of July


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Bessemer — The city of Bessemer will have a fireworks display on the Fourth of July. The city council granted the Fourth of July Committee a permit for the show at Monday’s council meeting.

According to council member Linda Nelson, who spoke on behalf of the Fourth of July Committee, the exact location of the fireworks will not be disclosed until the evening of the show, as they don’t want a large crowd there because of social distancing.

“Our goal is to make sure everyone is safe,” she said. “We do not want any social gatherings, but we wanted to be able to do something.”

Nelson said they will make everyone aware of the location a couple hours before the fireworks display via Facebook. She said there might be a few more “small surprises.” The fireworks display should last about 20 minutes, she said.

“We just want to have a little something for everyone to enjoy. It may not be the traditional ‘Thunder on the Mountain,’ but it will be a sparkle, boom, and light show in the sky,” Nelson said.

In other matters, representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation attended the meeting at the request of Mayor Adam Zak, who was hoping to be able to get MDOT to help finance some of the cost of placing stamped concrete on the area between the sidewalk and U.S. 2 as part of a planned 2021 reconstruction of the highway through the city.

Zak said MDOT had previously offered to place small medians on U.S. 2 on both ends of the city, and asked MDOT official Dave Bradley if the state would pay for stamped concrete instead of the medians.

Bradley said MDOT could pay for the medians because they would serve a purpose, as it would help slow traffic. The stamped concrete on the shoulder of the roads would just be an aesthetic and MDOT does not pay for aesthetics, adding that would have to be city funded.

Bradley said MDOT was unaware the city was even interested in its offer for medians on both ends of town.

“I think that was brought up as a concept for traffic calming and reducing speeds,” he said. “It was an idea that was brought up, but we never got any direction or feedback that it was desired seriously. ... It was not discussed in great detail.”

Zak said that the city council had said they liked the idea and had been waiting to see a plan.

“It didn’t need to be discussed in detail,” said Zak. “You told us if we wanted it we could have it. I know we have reached out to you guys saying, ‘Where is the plan, where is the design?’”

Terry Kryshak, mayor pro tem, said that it was a surprise to him as well that the medians were not built into the plan, and suggested that the city search for more grants to help with the stamped concrete.

Nelson also said that she would like to see a plan.

“It’s not that we can’t add medians. It is just that I am surprised,” Bradley said.

Zak said that it was obviously just a miscommunication between the city and MDOT, because they have been waiting to see a plan to hash out all the little details.

“When you are dealing with a small council like this, the only way you are going to get us is at a meeting realistically,” Zak told Bradley. “I guess just for future reference I would recommend if you want city input from city officials, come to a meeting.”

Deon Corullo, of Corullo Forest Products, spoke with the council of his desire to purchase the adjoining plots in the industrial park that are currently owned by the city.

“At our current location we are just out of room for growth so that’s kinda what we’re looking to expand as,” said Corullo.

Corullo said his woodlot now is about four acres. They would be looking to add at least another three acres.

According to Kryshak the city has invested about $7,000 more per lot to get the properties ready for development through surveying and engineering.

Corullo said the “lure” of the lots is that they are virtually connected to the company’s current property.

“We appreciate your business, we want to help you expand your business and grow your business” Kryshak said, adding there may be other properties available in the industrial park that are not contiguous to Corullo’s property, “but they might work even better for you at a much lower cost.”

Corullo said that the idea of the land being contiguous is for machinery that they could easily drive from one lot to another.

The council decided to table the sale until after it receives readiness studies that are underway.

The council also:

—Voted to reappoint member Beth Steiger to the housing commission.

—Postponed condemnations of 304 E. Lead St. and 212 2nd St. to allow the owners time to fix the problems on the properties.