Ishpeming City Council talks budget and energy

ISHPEMING — The Ishpeming City Council held a special meeting Monday morning to discuss a number of items. Budget and energy were two of the discussions on the table.

The budget introduced to the council at the meeting included preparations for the upcoming 2016 water system project and the 2nd Street roundabout projects. One point of discussion within the budget was whether the council should allot approximately $46,000 to make the position of assistant clerk full–time.

City Manager Mark Slown and Finance Director Jim Lampman both expressed the need for help with the increased workload at City Hall since the elimination of the city clerk position in February. Some council members questioned if the idea was a step in the right direction for the city.

“We eliminated the clerk’s position to save money, which we did do, and I know I mean it took up a lot of work for you, and if it’s getting to the point where it’s too much, why did we do it then? We would have been better off staying in the position we were in,” said Councilman Joseph Juidici.

The 2015 budget will see further discussion and public hearing at the City Council’s meeting on November 5th. The city also unanimously passed resolution 2014-4, which was designed to help address the ongoing energy situation in the Upper Peninsula.

“The city may in a position to help out by providing some land for new power generation operations of one kind or another, and we’re investigating those possibilities,” said Slown.

The resolution was passed to provide incentive to energy producers to explore options for building in the city, possibly utilizing fuel sources such as waste forest products.

Slown also received his first annual review as City Manager at the meeting, and was given an exceedingly positive review by all present.