Ann Johnson


Eagle Harbor Web

An unofficial source of Eagle Harbor, Michigan news, views and information.

Hola Amigos. Como estan Ustedes?

Ann Johnson At Work

AJ's Letter

Ann and Gerry Johnson are Eagle Harbor veterans and astute observers of the local scene. Luckily for us, Ann is also a wonderful writer. Their quarterly "letter to taxpayers" is a Harbor institution, eagerly anticipated and read by many Township property owners, especially those who are yet to make Eagle Harbor their permanent home. A big "Thank you" to Ann and Gerry for contributing their letter to George's Eagle Harbor Web.

March, 1998. News from the Johnsons at Eagle Harbor.

Spring News From Your Eagle Harbor Correspondents.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Hola Amigos. Como estan Ustedes? Considering the effects of El Nino on our UP weather, maybe it is time to start speaking Spanish so we can ask politely for him to disappear. Just when we were getting used to the idea of spring, the Lion of Winter roared in with high winds, blowing snow and bitter cold. The buds were beginning to swell on the trees and there were rumors of a robin sighting and crocuses poking up. This should change all of that.

The March Township Board meeting was last night and after a hearing on next year's budget, business was conducted as usual. The budgets were approved. The General Fund budget is predicated on the passage of a renewal of three mills for operating revenue that expired with the collection of the 1997 taxes. An election to approve the three mills is planned for this summer, along with the election of a Trustee to complete Peter Van Pelt's term until the general election in 2000. Nancy Sherk has been serving as the appointed trustee until the election.

The budget for the water department was discussed at length at the work session last week. The $50 per quarter fee was originally imposed for five years to raise the $120,000 of matching funds for the construction of the new pump station and distribution lines. The goal has been met, but the water committee and engineer are looking now at the second phase of updating the water system that will require more seed money to attract grants. They will be giving the Board a recommendation by the next meeting concerning the continuation of the special fee. The fact that the water system was built in the thirties and never had more than a few band-aids applied through the years as the village grew, poses serious problems for the near future unless the upgrading is continued.

The Board of Review is meeting this week. The members have had time to work on laptop computers, play some cards and talk, talk, talk. (I would say "gossip", but men don't do that, do they?) In other words, there has not been a steady stream of complaints or inquiries. Our assessor, Bob Taylor, flew in from North Carolina for the sessions, and is being accused of bringing the storm with him from the South.

After advertising for resumes of applicants for the position of general maintenance person for the Township, only one person formally applied with an impressive resume-he was our Clerk, John Clarkson. John is a licensed contractor and has been doing much of the necessary repair and minor construction work for awhile. He was formally hired at the Board meeting following the recommendation of the search committee. His first assignment will be to bring in estimates for the proposed addition to the Township office building which would enlarge the office and meeting space and add a public restroom. The outhouse in the park next to the fire hall would be removed, as requested by the Health Department.

Another appointment was made at the Monday meeting. We are pleased to announce that you will continue to be greeted and assisted by Clarence Bach at the solid waste facility during the spring and summer. Three applicants were considered and we hope David Murphy and Gary Tallon will be alternates, trained by Clarence and available when he needs a backup or assistance. A bulletin board will be at the site to keep us all informed of events.

NOW-no more nice guy-time to get serious about the condition of the shortcut road from US 41 to M-26 at Koop's corner. It is a disaster, and long overdue for resurfacing. We had been told something would be started last year, but plans fell under the weight of the previous winter's snow and the County budget for plowing. This year there is no such excuse. Plowing has been at a minimum. In fact, February broke the previous all-time record for the least snow-less than eight inches. We need to let the County Road Commission know that it is our turn to have some money spent on this main road into our Solid Waste Facility and the northern area of the Township. No wonder residents of Gratiot Lake and the Medora Lake area complain about coming to the village. The road is a hazard. Keweenaw County Road Crews do a fantastic job of keeping the roads clear through the winter. We appreciate everything they do, so write to the Commission at Mohawk with your compliments as well as our demands for attention to the shortcut road.

The purchase of the additional land at the cemetery and the lots on Sixth Street is complete. The County will reimburse us for half of the Sixth Street property. Consideration is being given to increase the price for burial sites in the cemetery this summer.

The fire truck issue hasn't been forgotten. There will be public hearings about the establishment of a special assessment district to cover the cost during the summer when more people are here. Before the hearings can be set, additional information is needed from the fire department. Specifications must be given for a more accurate cost of the equipment desired. It has definitely been established that it would be a diesel truck. Trustee Don Keith brought convincing facts to the Board of Trustees of the superiority of diesel engines over gasoline engines for this purpose. Don researches in depth such questions that arise.

Since the last newsletter, we have had news of the death of Dr. Kendall Sauter last December. Dr. Sauter and his wife, June, have been summer residents up on the hill near the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse. We must also sadly report that Patty Asselin's son, Danny Labeski, was in a serious snowmobile accident several weeks ago and is still in serious condition in a Duluth hospital. Our prayers are with those dear friends.

The aerobics group continues to meet most mornings. We are looking forward to the return of more enthusiasts. We need more interaction and fresh discussion, i.e. "gossip". It makes the workout go more quickly. Also, we miss the once a week coffee after the session that ruins about half our efforts by adding unnecessary calories. Come back Xuygen, Mary Lou, Mary, Pat, and all the rest!!

Frequent visitors from the woods now are deer, a huge porcupine, and a large grey fox. Beaver are building in the streams and being trapped out to prevent damage to the area. Reports of moose sightings are common. These critters all thought spring was here-now we can only hope it will soon be here to stay. We await your return to this magical place and a summer of relaxation and friendship.

Ann and Gerry

Ann & Gerry Johnson
HC 1 Box 280 B
Eagle Harbor, MI 49950

Ann and Gerry Letter Archive:

November, 1996
January, 1997
March, 1997
November, 1997
January, 1998

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