IM council discusses unsafe home

By LINDA LOBECK

Staff Writer

IRON MOUNTAIN – One resident expressed her appreciation at Monday’s meeting to the Iron Mountain City Council for its efforts to get something done with a home that has been in poor condition near her property.

Joanne Hady, of 932 East H St., had talked with the council at the July 7 meeting about the condition of a home at 940 East H St. The council had promised to look into it and contact the Dickinson County Code Commission officer to look at it again.

“I appreciate all the discussion you had about this and that you took my concerns seriously. I appreciate your efforts, and that they have had a positive effect already with the lawn being cut,” Hady said.

Mayor Dale Alessandrini said that he had talked with the county code officer following the last meeting and that the home has been cited as being inhabitable. Some of the things that have been cited were the roofing, siding and unsafe wiring. All the areas cited must be taken care of in 30 days.

“You can’t keep putting patches on patches on the roof – you have to completely replace it. It all has to be re-done or it has to be torn down. The owner had received written notification of the citations last week,” Alessandrini said.

He added that the code officer had cited everything he could do by law.

“I’m glad he (code officer) is taking the initiative to get something done,” noted Councilman Bob Moraska.

Alessandrini felt that the solution would be for these types of properties to be picked up by the council if they would have a land bank in the county. He added that they will be meeting with the county board members to further discuss doing this.

If this is done, the properties that are in poor condition that go to the state for a land sale could be picked up by the city to be taken care of properly.

City Manager Jordan Stanchina agreed. “We will restart discussions on this with the county. There was a lot of misunderstanding about what a land bank involved when they talked about it before and voted not to do it.”

“They (county board) don’t understand the whole concept of a land bank. We want to try and set up something that would benefit the city and clean up these properties,” Alessandrini added.

At Monday’s meeting, the council opened two bids for 2014 paving projects – with both bids over the city estimate of $225,000 for 5,300 feet of paving.

The bid from Northeast Asphalt of Appleton, Wis. was for $278,311 and Bacco Construction Co. of Iron Mountain for $262,496.50.

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Stanchina noted that he was comfortable with selecting the low bidder, Bacco Construction Co., for the work. He added that they will now have to reduce the areas planned for paving since the bids came in higher than budgeted.

“We may have to trim some from what we originally planned to do. It’s a matter of sharpening our pencil and seeing what we can do this year,” Stanchina said.

The local paving is down a bit this year due to the city’s commitment of $35,693 for Hydraulic Falls Road and $63,996 for Park Avenue from East A Street to D Street and Margaret Street from the city limit to Grant Street. The city budgeted a total of $325,000 toward street paving this year.

For the second time, the council is putting a charter amendment ballot proposal to voters concerning the compensation for council members. Stanchina noted that the current pay of $10 a meeting was set in 1985 by the charter.

At Monday’s meeting, the council approved a motion to put a proposal on the ballot for $30 a meeting with a cap of $1,500 a year for council member compensation.

Stanchina had gathered information from both the cities of Norway and Kingsford regarding the compensation that their council members received. In Norway, council members receive a monthly salary of $50 and $100 for the mayor. In Kingsford, council members receive $40 for a regular meeting and $30 for a special meeting and the mayor receives $53 for a regular meeting and $40 for a special meeting.

During council comment time, Councilman Bill Revord brought up a concern about a pigeon dropping problems in a business in the second ward. The pigeon droppings are coming through onto the sidewalk. The business had power washed the area once, but it didn’t get rid of the pigeons.

“There are three respiratory diseases you can contract from droppings. I think this is a health concern and something needs to be done,” Revord said.

He added that the area where the droppings come from is starting to sag and they need to address what’s going on above that area.

In other action, the council:

– Appointed the Zoning Board as the appeals board for the city for the International Property Maintenance Code. The council also reappointed Wilfred Sauld to the Zoning Board for a three- year term. The board still has one vacancy that needs to be filled.

– Heard from Moraska that the Saturday in the Park, the fund-raiser for City Park, will be held on Saturday and he hoped that everyone would come down and support the park. The event is held from 3 p.m. to midnight and will include music, food, games and other activities for the entire family.

– Authorized the city manager to purchase the disc golf basket at a cost of $6,170.

– Gave approval to exceed the spending limit of $5,000 on the bidding for used skateboard park equipment from Marquette County. The motion was not to exceed the sealed bid with the budget left in the DNR Trust Fund for this last project at the City Park.

– Approved an adjustment to the administrative salary step schedule of 1.75 percent this year with the two part-time employees in the police department received a 2 percent increase since these employees were missed last year. Stanchina said that this is in line with what the council is proposing with the collective bargaining units.

– Went into closed session to discuss collective bargaining and no action was taken after coming into open session.

Linda Lobeck’s email address is llobeck@ironmountaindailynews.com.