THE SEARCH CONTINUES

Panel to interview city manager candidate

MARQUETTE — The Negaunee City Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. tonight at the Negaunee Senior Center prior to its regular meeting to conduct an interview with a candidate for the open city manager position.

The candidate, who has requested confidentiality, has been the city clerk since 2014 of a town in Nebraska that has a population of 1,209.

He graduated from Central Michigan University with a master’s degree in public administration in 2011. He will be the fourth candidate to be interviewed by the city council.

The city has been searching for someone to fill the position since former City Manager Jeff Thornton entered into a separation agreement with the city effective March 9.

Following the interview, the council will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

According to the agenda, the council will hold a discussion on the proposed closure of the truck route that runs through the city’s downtown.

Several city residents have lodged complaints at recent council meetings, citing renewed concerns about safety after a Negaunee Middle School student was hit by a car — suffering minor injuries — as she walked across Teal Lake Avenue in September.

Residents and business owners have raised concerns about noise and air pollution and road wear and tear caused by heavy truck traffic.

A report requested by the city council breaks the route down into two different parts.

Route No. 1, branches off of the state-owned Business Route 28 allowing access from west Main Street to Marquette County Road 480, specifically using Pioneer Avenue and Rail Street.

According to the agenda supplement, the roads in question do not bring in any additional revenue to the city for road upkeep and maintenance by being designated as a truck route.

Abandoning this portion of the truck route may result in a downgrade of County Road 480 by the Marquette County Road Commission from a primary road to a secondary road, an action which in turn may reduce the funds the MCRC devotes to upkeep, the report states.

Route No. 2 follows Teal Lake Avenue south to West Main Street, then Jackson Street and Silver Street before continuing along Business Route 28 to the Ishpeming city limits.

Closure of this route can only be done via a process involving interested parties including the state of Michigan, Marquette County Road Commission and surrounding municipalities.

Closing route No. 2, according to the report would also have negative financial ramifications for the city, because the state currently pays for painting or curb and road resurfacing, any overhead traffic or signal lighting, all roadside signs, the Rail Street viaduct repair and maintenance, storm sewers and associated pipes replacement and road replacement.

In addition to the increase in these expenses, the city currently receives $30,048 for minor maintenance on the state-owned roadway for minor patchwork, cleaning storm sewers, snow removal and salt and sanding, the report states.

Agenda items also include a 2018 city budget discussion, bids on storage racks for the fire hall, and cemetery paving bids.

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