Marquette Township Board sets major agenda items

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Township Board set the schedule for its annual plan of work during a work session Tuesday at the Marquette Township Community Center.

Among items for consideration for the year are the retirement and replacement of Fire Chief Ron DeMarse, the township’s police services contract with the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, the Public Works Department and phase II of the township’s water project, the capital improvement program, fire department apparatus maintenance and replacement, the Peter White Public Library millage and the 2019 budget.

Members will also hear an update at the next regular board meeting on Tuesday about the search for DeMarse’s replacement. He is set to retire on May 31.

At its March 20 meeting, the board will briefly discuss information that members would like clarified in the township’s contract with the sheriff’s office.

During its second meeting in April, the board scheduled a discussion on public works and phase II of the water project.

According to its website, the township currently serves over 1,100 metered customers and supplements its groundwater by purchasing treated Lake Superior water from the city of Marquette.

The contract with the city expires in 2028, Marquette Township Manager Randy Girard said.

Trustee Dave Wiegand said the water in the township should be a topic of conversation because the township has decisions to make.

“We need to take a look at what happens with the city contract or what we think is going to happen; there are two or three options,” Wiegand said.

“We haven’t even decided what we want to do yet. Do we want to pursue a water independence thing or do we want to pursue a contract with the city? We haven’t made that decision yet. We need to talk about that at a board level and decide what information we need, because that will be at least 30 to 60 days just to get information.”

At its May 22 meeting, the board will discuss the township’s capital improvement program.

For its meeting on June 19, the board is scheduled to discuss apparatus maintenance and replacement for the Marquette Township Fire Department.

Girard said if there were a new millage to be established, he recommends the funds be directed toward maintenance of existing equipment and replacement when necessary.

“Because we are seeing that the pieces of equipment we have now are starting to age and need extensive repairs, we’ve got one going on now. That’s why I propose going for apparatus maintenance and replacement. We need a fund to draw from, (for that),” Girard said. “The bigger concern that I have is the frontline stuff, the pumpers and the tankers that we routinely run.”

The board opted to enter into budget discussions during its first meeting in July, as its last scheduled item.

Township Supervisor Lyn Durant said the township plan of work is a living document.

“This can also include any board education or any speakers you want to have come in,” Durant told the board. “It isn’t just about the main things that we have to discuss. There can be offshoots of this, more information.”