The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood prepares to hire new city manager


September 15, 2022


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Ironwood — Ironwood’s search for a new city manager appears to be near completion.

City Commissioner Jim Mildren said at Monday’s meeting that the commission will announce the new city manager soon. No name was announced.

He thanked the Michigan Municipal League for its assistance in finding a qualified candidate for the city manager position. The position was left vacant in June when Scott Erickson resigned. He has continued to work as city engineer; while Public Safety Director Andrew DiGiorgio was named interim city manager.

In his report, DiGiorgio gave an early notice to the public that the city will have its second water main flushing of the year on Oct. 2-7. DiGiorgio said that bottled water will be available at the public safety department on these dates. He said that the city started flushing its mains some years ago and they’re starting to see positive effects, such as less discoloration in the water.

DiGiorgio said that Jake’s Excavating and Landscaping is finishing their study of the water service lines in the city. He said that as a result of the contractor’s inspections, Ironwood will receive a $3 million Drinking Water Asset Management Grant to replace their lead service lines with copper. The city commission approved a $87,778 payment to Jake’s Excavating for their work on this project.

DiGiorgio also reported that the Gogebic-Iron Wastewater Authority recently received a “significant” $20 million grant and $5 million low-interest loan for a partial rebuild of the treatment facility in Ironwood. The treatment facility is jointly owned by the cities of Ironwood and Hurley, and Ironwood Township.

DiGiorgio called attention to the fact that the city’s fall cleanup days will be Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8-11 a.m.

City residents who provide photo identification will be able to dispose of their unwanted items at Ironwood Public Safety Department building on 123 W. McLeod Ave. on these dates and times.

Erickson told the commission that the city’s biggest project of the year – a rebuild of Francis Street from Greenbush to Lowell streets – is nearing completion as of Monday. He said that the intersection of Francis and Lowell streets would be closed on Monday and Tuesday as works install the new water and sanitary sewer mains.

With the Francis Street project almost out of the way, Erickson said that city staff are already planning their next big project — a rebuild of Hemlock Street — for 2023. The city commission authorized a resolution to submit designs for this project to the Michigan Department of Transportation for their approval.

The city commission also authorized a seventh payment to Flowtrack Mountain Bike Trails in the amount of $29,126 for their work on mountain bike trails in Miners Memorial Heritage Park. This payment was made with a combination of Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant funding and local funds.

At the city commission’s next meeting, Erickson said that Flowtrack plans to request a completion extension for the project so they can continue working on a skills course and some downhill runs over near Iron King Dog Park on Bonnie Road into 2023.

Erickson also provided an update on the city’s plans to open a new water treatment facility in Ironwood Township. The city commission reviewed the floor plan for the water treatment plant in January and authorized bids for the project through mid-July. However, the commission rejected all bids, as Erickson said that the responses were “significantly overbudget.”

In efforts to make the costs more manageable, Erickson said that the project has been split in two phases. In the first phase, a contractor will build the shell of the building and construct the pumping station portion. The city commission authorized bids for this portion after returning from closed session at its Aug. 22 meeting.

The city is using over $9.6 million in United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development funds on this phase of the project. Erickson said that funding for the next phase have not been identified yet, but city staff are searching for additional funding from the USDA for phase two. He also that the state of Michigan is a possible funding source as they are receiving large amounts of federal dollars.

Erickson said they hope to find a contractor that will be able to start work on the first phase of the water treatment plant in January or February 2023.

The city commission also:

—Awarded three bids to Tiziani Sand and Gravel for sand and gravel, including a $29,670 bid for 3,000 tons of street sand, a $9,890 bid for 1,000 tons of ditch sand and a $16,830 bid for 1,500 tons of road gravel.

—Adopted a resolution governing the 2022 Comprehensive Deer Management Program. DiGiorgio said this program has few changes from the ones that the commission passed in previous years.

—Authorized bids for various water and sewer parts needed for the general inventory of the water department.

—Authorized bids for a double line stop on the West Aurora Street water main.

—Awarded a quote to Harma’s Lawn and Property Service to clear the 16-inch water main easement west of Lake Road.

—Adopted a resolution making a Municipal Employees’ Retirement System plan available to the new Pat O’Donnell Civic Center Manager, Jay Kivisto.


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