City manager interviews, budget, Lake Bancroft pavilion to be considered

NEGAUNEE — The Ishpeming City Council will consider which city manager candidates will move forward for a second interview during a 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday at Ishpeming City Hall.

Councilors were asked in a memo Friday to rank three candidates who previously underwent initial interviews to determine which of the candidates they would most like to see for a second interview.

The three candidates left in consideration are Kelli Truver, a former Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, city manager who currently lives in Arizona; Fred Ventresco, currently the town manager of Sandisfield, Massachusetts; and Jack Ardaugh, an attorney out of Illinois.

After the first round of interviews were conducted May 29, the city tendered an offer to Jon Kangas, who served as the Ishpeming’s Department of Public Works director from 2009 to 2017. Kangas, who currently serves as the Chocolay Township manager, declined the offer and instead accepted a DPW position in Marquette Township.

Of the remaining four candidates, Sean Hobbins, who currently works as a management analyst in the city of Marquette, withdrew his name from consideration, according to a city council memo.

As separate agenda items, councilors will also discuss proposed wages and benefits for the city manager position, and consider several budget amendments, one of which will bring the city’s projected 2019 general fund deficit from $171,800 to $232,660, according to an agenda supplement.

Councilors will also consider extra work associated with the Lake Bancroft Park Pavilion, which is currently under construction on a parcel adjacent to the park near the corner of Spruce and West Euclid streets.

G.E. Builders, the contractor hired for the $547,000 project, discovered a foundation from a previous building on what will be the east wall of the new structure.

The property is the former site of the Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. office building. Eagle Mine purchased the property from Cliffs in 2008 and used the office building that was on the property until 2012. The building was razed by Eagle Mine in August.

The cost for the additional work, including excavating, trucking, additional labor and fill material, is roughly $4,250.

The council will also consider a proposal not to exceed $9,600 from GEI Consultants for engineering design and construction services associated with the replacement of 250 feet of sanitary sewer in the alley south of Pearl Street between First and Second streets, with a sanitary structure added to the Second Street end, as well as replacement of 900 feet of sanitary sewer near the Park Street Lift Station and installation of six new manholes.

The proposed project is expected to cost $170,000, according to a letter from GEI project manager Brian Fabbri to interim City Manager James Lampman.

The engineering work would begin immediately upon council approval and execution of the engineering contract, the letter states.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.