Downtown alley to close for Power of Words mural


Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – The alley adjacent to Blackstone Pizza Company in downtown Iron Mountain will be closed to through traffic from this Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 25 to allow work on the “Power of Words” mural.

Members of the Iron Mountain City Council approved the closure during their Monday meeting.

Iron Mountain City Manager Jordan Stanchina pointed out that the northern part of the alley will remain open throughout the project so Anderson, Tackman, and Company has access to its parking lot.

However, the rest of the alley must be closed so workers can set up a scaffolding, he added.

Stanchina explained that Iron Mountain native Mia Tavonatti will be overseeing the art project, which will be based upon the word “believe.”

Council member Bob Moraska said that while he supports the project, he would have liked to see a preview of what the mural will look like.

“For any projects like this in the future, I’d like to see what I’m voting on,” he said.

Council member Ted Corombos voiced concern that the mural may not be located in a highly visible area.

Stanchina noted that the alley, located between E. Hughitt Street and the Downtown Plaza parking lot, contains the “biggest blank canvas” in the downtown area.

According to the Power of Words website, Tavonatti and her team of professional mural artists will be working side by side with local artists and students on the project.

In other business, the council:

– Allowed an exception to the city’s ban on private wells so a resident at 1200 East E Street can have access to adequate water pressure.

Stanchina said that the resident currently shares a well with a resident at 1234 East D Street, but he would like to install his own.

Due to the elevation of the resident’s home, the city could only provide 28 to 30 pounds of water pressure, which is below the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s recommendation.

– Awarded the Blaine Street storm sewer project bid to T & G United in the amount of $33,337. The project will include the installation of catch basins and a storm water pipe on Blaine Street between Williamson Street and Devereaux Street. Construction should start on Aug. 15 and last about two weeks.

– Approved the purchase of a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup truck for the cemetery at a cost of $1,800.

– Approved a change order for City Park’s Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant in order to move the deer pen fence adjacent to the pond.

– Scheduled a public hearing to rescind the city’s old sign ordinance for Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Stanchina explained that this action is necessary to ensure that the new sign ordinance is enforceable.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is