Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer supports Highland, welcomes clerk-treasurer Lake


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Bessemer — The Bessemer City Council voted on Monday evening to approve a resolution supporting efforts of Highland Copper Company to construct and operate a mine in Wakefield Township.

Mayor Adam Zak announced that the resolution was prepared in response to the Canadian company’s direct request from Bessemer and surrounding communities.

“They were able to get fully permitted for the mine in Wakefield,” said Zak, who added that the company compiled much of the needed funding by selling shares of the White Pine Mine.

He added that company officials also are working with Michigan in hopes of receiving grant funds.

The aim, said the mayor, is to construct the mine in 2025 and begin operating it by 2026.

Zak concluded that he and other local city managers also are conferring with “an interested developer” in relation to potential housing to accommodate hundreds of persons expected to be employed during the construction and operational phases of the projected mine.

In other news, Councilwoman Linda Nelson introduced Mandy Lake in her first meeting as the new clerk/treasurer. She began working for the city on Oct. 2.

“We’re very, very excited to have her on board,” said Nelson.

Council members also:

—Voted to authorize City Secretary Samantha Dorr to alert Xcel Energy of the need to address the city’s remaining U.S. 2 light poles before the winter season. “It’s been a year,” said Nelson in relation to project approval in October of 2022. Councilman Terry Kryshak included in the motion that the communication with Xcel also be put in writing and sent, possibly via registered mail.

—Voted to authorize the mayor and clerk/treasurer to sign a letter of engagement to hire Rukkila, Negro and Associates of Houghton, Michigan, at a cost of $23,000 to address the city’s next audit of the fiscal year that ended on June 30.

—Voted to authorize the clerk/treasurer to establish a city election commission, so as to approve the city’s election workers, per state rules.

—Voted to approve the first Phase II withdrawal of $361,099 from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund at the request of Darren Pionk, project manager for C2AE, a Michigan engineering firm with U.P. offices.

After discussion in a closed session at the end of the meeting, the council also voted to begin negotiations with two candidates for city manager, both from Michigan. In a separate special meeting before the regular meeting, council members had interviewed three candidates. The third candidate was from the east coast.

All Monday votes were unanimous with all members present.

The council’s next regular meeting will be on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. in the council chambers of the Bessemer City Hall. The public is welcome. Meetings also typically are posted on the city’s Facebook page.