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Council takes no action on authority change

July 9, 2011
By JOHANNA BOYLE ( , Journal Ishpeming Bureau

ISHPEMING - No action was taken regarding the inter-local agreement on the Ishpeming Area Joint Wastewater Treatment Authority at Wednesday's Ishpeming City Council meeting.

The council had received a letter from Ishpeming Township, the other owner of the authority, regarding some recommended changes to the agreement. Three recommendations from Ishpeming Township included allowing a representative from the city of Negaunee to take a trustee position on the treatment authority board, implementing term limits for board members and returning 50 percent of the authority's deferred revenue to the city and the township.

"I simply think if it's not broke, we don't need to fix it," said Mayor Pat Scanlon, who made the motion to take no action regarding the inter-local agreement.

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Councilman John Stone agreed.

"The authority keeps the politics out of it. I'd like to keep the politics out of it," he said.

Currently, the authority board consists of two representatives from the city of Ishpeming, two representatives from the township and one independent position filled by the Marquette County Health Department.

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With the city of Negaunee becoming a large customer of the plant, one of the concerns Negaunee had was not having a vote on the authority board.

Both of Ishpeming's representatives, Angelo Boisio and Jim Bertucci, recommended no changes to the agreement.

"Having a person represent us as a neutral is a good idea," Boisio said of the independent position.

Boisio said if Negaunee had wanted a vote on the board, the city could have paid the same initial investment Ishpeming and the township made in the plant.

"They do have a representative on the board. He has a space on the agenda to speak at any time. We listen to him, he's a very good guy... As far as giving him the right to vote, if they put in their money, that's no problem. Until that time I don't see any reason we would jeopardize our position as the city and to our taxpayers in changing it," Boisio said.

In other action, the council voted to create a Public Safety Building Committee to help guide the council in making decisions on repairs to the fire hall and police building, which needs a new roof, has water leaking in the basement and there are concerns over the strength of the fire hall floor.

The committee will consist of the city's building authority, the fire chief, the police chief, the Department of Public Works superintendent and the mayor.

Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401.



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