NEGAUNEE - The three outgoing Negaunee City Council members were honored at the council's regular meeting Thursday night.
The terms for Steve Perucco, Tom Stanaway and Jim Thomas will end at the end of November following multiple years of service from each.
"It's not a fun job," said Councilman Richard Wills, addressing the three departing members. "I think you all find that out sooner or later. It's been a pleasure to serve with all three of you."
Outgoing Negaunee city council members Steve Perucco, Tom Stanaway and Jim Thomas were honored by the council at Thursday night’s meeting for their years of service on the council. Their terms expire at the end of November when the three newly elected council members will take their seats. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
Councilman Paul Maino also thanked them.
"They are three very dedicated, hard working individuals," he said. "I hope down the road they come back again."
This was the final regular meeting for the current council before newly-elected members Michael Van Straten, Michael Haines and Diana Menhennick take their seats in December.
In other business, the council voted to approve the 2010 city budget, which has been worked on during eight sessions. Council members, however, expressed concern that the crisis for Negaunee is far from over.
"I don't think we cut enough. We're going to have to be amending this budget shortly because we are in a serious state of financial distress," said Mayor Paul Gravedoni.
The council received some good news on their electric rates for the coming year. According to City Manager Gerald Peterson, the city will be receiving some money into its electric fund, $61,791 from UPPCO as part of the city's share of a power plant sale and $200,000 in May 2010 as an adjustment from WPPI for lower power costs in 2009.
Using those funds, the council voted to lower electric rates $0.125 per kilowatt hour for all customers, a savings of about $8 per month on average.
"This is really good news," Peterson said. The city is also anticipating lower electric rates in coming years because of the city's partnership with WPPI, which is expected to begin paying off soon.
The council also voted to begin cutting off service to Negaunee cable customers who have not made the switch from the old cable system to either of the choices on the new tiered system. Around 100 customers have not indicated a choice in the switch.
The council also approved a rewrite to the city's zoning ordinance, which has been worked on by the planning commission for the past 10 years.