City plans statue for local man

MARQUETTE– If you have spent some time in downtown Marquette, you have probably seen a dapper dressed man out helping up keep the charming town, that would be Phil Niemisto.

Phil tends to the Pocket Park four times a day seven days of the week, which takes a lot more than just planting flowers. The next big project done to the park- won’t be put together by Phil, but of Phil. With aims to be done in October, Phil Niemisto will have a statue.

“It’s a great way to commemorate Phil and all the hard work he has done for many many years in the downtown,” DDA, Promotions & Event Coordinator Tara Laase-McKinney said. “He’s lived in Marquette his whole life and he loves Marquette dearly, and we love Phil as well. We love seeing him everyday, rain or shine he’s out.”

The DDA has created a Go Fund Me page to help raise money for the statue. The project needs around $6,000 more before one local artist can start sculpting Phil for a second time.

“So he will be seated in the chair somewhat like this, so it’s going to look like he is telling someone a story that is standing on the sidewalk,” local artist Earl Senchuk said. “When he is sitting like this anyone that comes and sits next to him it will be a photo op.”

“Well I will have another buddy,” Phil Niemisto said. “I don’t hang around in here much unless I’m working. I still need more flowers in here, in my opinion I do, it took a long time it wasn’t something that went easy.”

As of January the park is named Phil Niemisto Pocket Park. Phil said every time he visits the park he is always moving around doing something. Seeing the statue sitting will be a new picture many have not seen Phil doing.