Dickinson seeks grants for Antoine upgrade


News Editor

IRON MOUNTAIN – Dickinson County is pursuing state grants to improve Lake Antoine Park, focusing first on replacing the current restroom/shower building.

The estimated cost for new restrooms and showers, including demolition of the current building, is $275,000.

“I think this is something we have to do,” said Commissioner Joe Stevens, who chairs the county’s parks committee.

Commissioner Barbara Kramer cited results from a recent Lake Antoine Park survey in which respondents rated an upgrade of the showers and bathrooms as the most-needed improvement. The potential project received a score of 3.56 out of a possible 4.0.

“People did see a definite need,” Kramer said.

After holding a public hearing Monday, the board expects to decide tonight how much money to request. A session is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Ford Airport, with the main topic an update on airport business.

Commissioner Ann Martin asked for the delay on the park decision, saying the required county match needs more study.

Initially, the county had hoped to include electrical upgrades, but the estimated cost of more than $155,000 puts that out of reach for 2013.

As it stands, Controller Kay Pascoe said, the county is proposing a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund project of $327,790, which would require a minimum county match of nearly $82,000.

The work includes a new restroom/shower facility and some other improvements, including a beach mat ($1,500), concrete sidewalk ($6,000) and children’s fishing pier ($10,000).

The board decided Monday to proceed with a separate DNR Recreation Passport Grant application for playground equipment. The estimated cost is nearly $36,600, with the grant covering $26,000 and the county providing a cash match of $7,500 and in-kind labor of $3,075.

Bob Werner, chairman of both the Dickinson County Planning Commission and the Dickinson County Bike Path Committee, spoke in favor of the grant applications at Monday’s hearing.

In other business Monday, the county board:

– Voted 3-2 to reject a request from the Carney Lake Association for financial assistance for continued milfoil control. Jean O’Dette, secretary/treasurer of the association, said $44,000 has been spent since 2003, including $33,000 through special assessments on the riparian owners. A request from the Carney Lake Association for milfoil funding was rejected during the board’s 2013 budget deliberations last fall. A total of $7,500 was allocated to assist milfoil control this year, split equally between Lake Antoine, Sawyer Lake and the Hamilton Chain of Lakes – all part of the county parks system. Commissioners John Degenaer Jr. and Stevens voted Monday to provide $1,000 for Carney Lake (similar to what has been provided in some past years) but Chairman Henry Wender and commissioners Martin and Kramer voted no.

– Approved a resolution to retain counsel for the purpose of issuing bonds not to exceed $525,000 for purchasing 911 emergency dispatch equipment. County voters on Feb. 26 authorized a new levy of 0.4 mills for three years to improve and operate the 911 system, including replacement of console equipment purchased in 1991.

– Scheduled a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, concerning an application for a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to assist in acquiring two new police vehicles and accessories. The county is seeking total assistance of $18,000.

– Authorized advertising for applicants for two openings on the Dickinson County Road Commission; one opening on the Western U.P. Substance Abuse Service Coordinating Agency; six openings on the Dickinson County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority; and two openings on the Dickinson County Planning Commission.

Jim Anderson’s email address is janderson@ironmountaindailynews.com.