Busy agenda for Ishpeming’s City Council

A number of items were discussed at the Ishpeming City Council meeting Wednesday, including ways to make improvements to the city’s streetscape.

The council approved extending a gateway enhancement and streetscape improvement grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation until next July.  The project involves re-paving streets in the downtown area.  Work stopped on the project in November.

“Hopefully it’ll be done even sooner than July,” Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown said. “But because up north here we have frost problem, and you can’t drive the trucks on the roads if the frost is heavy and there’s thawing because it could damage the roads, so the contractors don’t want to commit to getting the job done with a start date in April or May because they don’t know if they’ll be able to get the trucks on the road.  They may have to wait until June if the weather’s bad, so it’s just a being cautious factor.”

The city can only use funding from one MEDC grant at a time, and because of this the council asked Marquette County and the Marquette County Board of Commissioners to take control of a facade grant that would improve seven buildings downtown.

“So it was either the county help us or we weren’t going to get the grant,” Slown said.  “It’s very important for the city to get these facades improved.  There’s seven major buildings in the downtown that are going to be improved with this facade grant.  It’s over a million dollars worth of total funding between the grant and the private property owners match, so it’s really going to enhance the downtown.”

“I’m really greatful to the county for stepping up and helping us out.”

Other items on the agenda included approving the fire department’s grant request for a new fire truck, adding $8,000 to the budget for restoring the Carnegie Library, and reducing the cost of the Partridge Creek storm sewer project by almost $50,000.