Ishpeming City Council approves USDA loan proposal for building improvements

The city of Ishpeming is taking another step at securing funds to help improve some of the city’s buildings.

The Ishpeming City Council approved a proposal for a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan at its meeting Wednesday night.  The city could receive over $ 1 million dollars for maintenance improvements to the police and fire station.  A loan was seen as the best way to finance improvements since the city continues to have financial issues.

“We have to maintain our facilities,” Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown said.  “You can’t operate a police department with no heat or if we have an electrical problem–somebody gets electrocuted or the building catches fire–we have to do basic maintenance on the building.”

“The USDA is the best alternative for the city because they can provide us with a low-interest rate loan with a long term repayment so that (it) minimizes the cost to the taxpayers.  We’re not proposing any new millages associated with this.”

Improvements include a new furnace, electrical and plumbing maintenance for the fire station, and a new elevator in City Hall to make the conference room ADA accessible.

Slown said he hopes to have final word on if the loan is accepted in about a month.