Breitung looks at paving priorities

QUINNESEC – Now that Breitung Township’s 2014 road paving projects are completed, the township board is looking at which roads need attention in 2015.

The board discussed the issue at its Monday meeting.

Township Superintendent Joe Rogina explained that it has been cost effective to concentrate on roads in one specific area of the township each year. This year, that area was Quinnesec. Next year’s target area is the northern part of the township.

Proposed roads include Trader’s Mine Road from the Iron Mountain city limits to Schettler Drive; Scott Drive just east of M-95; Sunset Drive from Trader’s Mine Road to approximately 500 feet north; and Collins Road from U.S. 2 to approximately a half-mile east.

Township Supervisor Denny Olson said that he would like to get other board members’ input on what roads should be repaved. In the meantime, Rogina will start getting some cost estimates.

Bids for the projects will hopefully go out in January, Olson added.

In other business, the board:

– Heard public comment from John Nowicki, who was representing the Dickinson County Bike Path Committee.

Nowicki said that the committee is in the early stages of looking at a bike path between Quinnesec and Norway. The proposed path would run on the north side of U.S. 2 and provide access to the Fumee Falls area. Nowicki said that the committee would not be seeking any funding from Breitung Township, but it might ask to use some of the township’s property.

– Agreed to keep the millage rate at 4.2 mills for 2015.

– Approved a request from the Dickinson County Road Commission to abandon Neumier Drive, which runs north off of Kimberly Road. Resident Terry Lundin and Verso Paper initially requested the abandonment.

– Were unable to come to a decision on whether or not Township Assessor Joan Nelson should be hired as the township’s deputy zoning administrator on a one-year trial basis. There was a tie vote, with Township Clerk Samantha Coron and trustees John Gaudette and Russ Garrett voting for the hire, and Olson, Township Treasurer Carol Taylor, and Trustee Mary Beth Dixon voting against it. Trustee Ben Peterson was absent from the meeting.

Coron stressed that the township needs a deputy during the times that Rogina, who serves as the zoning administrator, is out of the office. Both Olson and Taylor pointed out that Nelson has been working for the township for less than a year. They thought that the board should wait until after Nelson’s first year review before giving her more duties.

– Allowed Nelson to attend a two-day seminar for continuing education in Escanaba on Sept. 17 and 18. The township will cover the costs of registration, mileage, meals, and two nights of lodging. The item is budgeted.

Coron, Taylor, Gaudette, and Garrett voted in favor of the motion, while Olson and Dixon voted against it. Both Olson and Dixon questioned the need for two nights of lodging.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is