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Manager hire, tractor purchase to be considered by Marquette Township Board

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Township Board will continue its efforts to fill the township manager position during its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. today.

Trustees will consider scheduling a work session to discuss the current city manager contract and propose any necessary changes.

The board has conducted interviews with four candidates for the position since Nov. 23, the most recent with former township supervisor Dennis Liimatta on Friday.

No decision has been made as to whether to extend a conditional offer of employment to Liimatta.

The previous three applicants — who included former Newberry Village Manager Jennifer James-Mesloh, Marquette Township Public Works Supervisor Jon Kangas and Department of Natural Resources Trails Coordinator Ron Yesney — were each turned down by the board in three separate votes during a Nov. 25 special meeting.

Current city manager Randy Girard is scheduled to retire in June.

The board will also consider the purchase of a tractor that would be used for snow removal and summer material handling, according to an agenda supplement.

The proposed $88,610 purchase would replace existing equipment, which according to an agenda supplement “has reached the end of its useful life.”

A seven-member committee comprised of employees from the Building and Grounds and Public Works departments, management, and a member of the township board participated in research on the equipment, which would consist of a small wheel loader with an 84-inch wide snow blower attachment and snow push box.

“Staff has conducted research into heavy-duty, construction-grade options and has narrowed the focus to a wheel loader with bucket, blower and push-box attachments. This option exceeds prior budgets, but is far more suitable for the needs of both Building and Grounds and Public Works,” the supplement states. “The proposed equipment is expected to perform far more efficiently than the current equipment while withstanding the pressures of the duties expected of it. As a result, we anticipate reduced maintenance costs over an increased life expectancy, assuming proper operation.”

A total of 50% of the proposed purchase will be funded with $44,305 from the township’s Metro Authority-Vehicles Fund, $22,152.50 from the Wastewater Fund-Vehicles and $22,152.50 from the Water Fund-Vehicles.

The only competing bid received for the equipment was $110,085.

The board will also consider scheduling a work session for 2020 strategic planning during the meeting as well as a request for contracted services from the Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team.

Board members will enter closed session “connected with the negotiation of a collective bargaining agreement,” prior to adjourning the meeting.

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

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