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Bessemer enacts freezing water lines policy, eliminates ordinance


September 9, 2021

BESSEMER — A policy to reimburse residents some of the cost for freezing water lines was enacted, and an ordinance dealing with the same issues was repealed, following a public hearing during Tuesday’s Bessemer City Council meeting.

The new policy will reimburse residents for 50% of their expenses to thaw frozen water lines, up to $100. In order to qualify for the reimbursement, the property owner must have observed any let-run directives, have a structure that is heated and regularly inspected, and left snow above the water line. The policy notes however, that a single walkway shoveled over the water line area is acceptable. Residents can only receive one credit annually.

The council also approved a new ordinance repealing the old ordinance, which is replaced by the policy.

A sand bid from Tiziani Sand and Gravel in Ironwood was approved after some discussion as the bid came in over the city’s budget.

“I only got one bid back from the sand bid and I did send it out to a couple of places that I knew do sands,” said city manager Charly Loper. “It is over budget they’re bidding $20,220 and our budget for both sand and salt is only $14,000. We kind of need sand and our company that we had been working with — Hellman’s — is no longer doing it. “

Mayor Adam Zak said that it was unfortunate that they only got one bid. Councilman Terry Kryshak agreed, saying that he knows there are other companies in the area that do sand.

Loper said it was bid out two ways. She said they bid it out where the city would provide the sand and the company would screen it or they would provide the sand. The bid from Tiziani’s is for providing the sand. She said that the city of Ironwood is using Tiziani’s also.

The council discussed seeking additional bids, but ultimately approved Tiziani’s bid unanimously with all council members present.

“It’s over budget, but we were probably well under budget last year with the amount of sand we used,” said councilman Rob Coleman.

“The only thing that really sucks about it is that we have our own sand to screen and this is for buying sand which we really don’t need,” said Zak.

Zak suggested that they start looking for someone to screen sand for the city next spring.

Residents may have noticed that their water bill has a past due amount on it. This is a result of a computer glitch after a power failure on Aug. 30. The power was disconnected for about an hour after a dump truck got tangled up in the power lines while working on the U.S. 2 project. The water bills were in the process of being printed when the power outage occurred.

“When we turned it back on to continue printing, it put all those bills that had not been printed as past due,” said Loper. “It did not add the past due fee. It just put it as though you had missed a payment.”

The council discussed a request from the owner of 604 Third Ave. to eliminate the readiness to serve and garbage fees as he is in the process of demolishing the house in order to have a bigger yard for his adjacent property. The council said they will have Zak inform the owner of the city’s policy that the garbage fees are stopped upon purchase of demolition permit and the readiness to serve will cease as soon as the structure is demolished.

Following the closed session, a motion was made for Loper to reach out to the owner of potential land for expanding the cemetery with an offer that was discussed in the closed session.

The council also:

—Approved posting internally for a heavy equipment operator. Loper said the listing will be posted for two weeks, before going public. However, if no one is interested internally they can notify Loper of the lack of interest internally and move ahead with filling the position externally sooner.

—Approved a policy requiring city employees who lose their driver’s license to report it to the city. Loper said this policy was required by the city’s insurance policy.

—Approved paying for Loper’s expenses to go to a city manger meeting in Ishpeming. The expenses include $110 for hotel and $140 for travel expenses.

Voted to request a counter offer from the Marchello’s for the Mill Street purchase, following a closed session. Loper said that part of Mill Street was built on private property and the city is trying to acquire the land the road is on.

—Approved a bring your own device policy for employees, and city council and committee members who use their own electronic devices, while prohibiting them from storing city info on their own devices.


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