Council approves upgrade resolution


Journal Ishpeming Bureau

MARQUETTE — The city of Negaunee will seek $94,735 in grant funding from the Michigan Strategic Fund to upgrade the facades of two downtown businesses.

The Negaunee City Council voted unanimously to authorize a resolution for the application of Community Development Block Grant funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The money, if received will be used for facade improvements at Smarty’s Saloon at 212 Iron St. and Tino’s Pizza at 220 Iron St., according the the CDBG application.

“The activities associated with the project include facade reconstruction including the removal of awnings and windows, installing new storefront and windows, clean and tuck-point brick and repair exterior masonry, repaint front and side facade, paint metal work, heal interior at new windows install new signage and awning.”

The property owners will match the federal funds with their own funds and the city will pay $4,737 in grant administration activities, an agenda supplement states.

Prior to the vote, a public hearing was held to secure citizen comments on the grant, no one commented at the time of the public hearing.

The council also unanimously approved appointing the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission as the grant administrator for the block grant.

In other business, the council also unanimously approved a traffic control order prohibiting parking on the west side of Baldwin Avenue adjacent to LaCombe Field.

Negaunee Police Chief Jay Frusti requested the council to consider the TCO in a July 5 memo to interim City Manager Gerald Koski after a report of a young child almost struck by a passing vehicle in the area.

According to the memo, a temporary TCO had been implemented in the area after Frusti conducted an investigation and concluded that parking along the west side of Baldwin Avenue in an area 209 feet south of Water Street created a visual obstruction resulting in a hazard for pedestrians.

Frusti said “no parking” signs had already been placed in the affected area.

Councilman Jason Wallner said feedback he has heard from residents indicates that may need time to adjust to the change.

“Some of the public comment that I heard is it’s going to take some getting used to for folks here in town,” Walner said. “But overall, I think this is a good plan.”

Mayor Don Gladwell said he has seen the potential for several incidents in that area when parking was allowed, but he is pleased by the initial response he has seen.

“I want to thank the general public this past Pioneer Days,” Gladwell said. “Everybody I saw pulled up, immediately saw the signs and pulled right on through. I have not heard any complaints, and that was where I would expect to hear them — at the alumni softball games. I think this is long overdue, and I am glad we are finally doing it.”

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is