IM to seek state grant for city park

IRON MOUNTAIN — Michigan’s Spark Grants program will award $65 million in 2023 for public outdoor recreation projects and Iron Mountain is among the communities trying to get a share.

City Manager Jordan Stanchina said an application will be submitted by the Dec. 19 deadline for the first round of funding, likely focusing on City Park.

“There is no match required,” he told the city council Monday. With $15 million available statewide in the first round, applying may be a “shot in the dark,” he added.

City Park projects could include trails and handicap-accessible playground equipment, but input will also be sought from the parks and recreation committee, Stanchina said.

Applicants can request $100,000 to $1 million. First-round funds will be distributed by the end of January. Second-round funding up to $25 million will be distributed in the spring and third-round funding up to $25 million will be handed out in the summer.

Dickinson County, meanwhile, plans to seek Spark assistance for a bathhouse replacement and possibly other work at Lake Antoine Park.

The program is part of the Building Michigan Together Plan, a $5 billion state infrastructure bill signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in March. It’s made possible by federal aid in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden in November 2021.

In other action, the Iron Mountain council:

≤ Learned Iron Mountain Public Schools has applied for a school resources officer grant through the Michigan State Police Office of School Safety. The grant would cover half the cost of the school’s resource officer for three years, which would lower the city’s liaison officer millage by 50%, Stanchina said. In 2022, the levy was 0.4456 mills, or 45 cents per $1,000 taxable value. The Michigan Legislature has provided $25 million for the program, although priority will first go to schools without an officer.

≤ Recognized its practice of providing holiday gift cards each year by adding the benefit to the city’s administrative policy manual. The new policy states that during the first week of December, current employees and board/commission members appointed by the city council will receive a $25 gift card, with the city manager to determine where the cards are purchased. In recent years the city has purchased “Chamber Cash,” which is redeemable at most Dickinson Area Chamber member businesses. A value amount of $20 had been in place since 2009.

≤ Heard council member Ken Clawson report the 2023 Upper Peninsula History Conference is scheduled for June 23-25 in Dickinson County. Updates will be available at https://www.hsmichigan.org/learn/conferences/upper-peninsula-history-conference.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today