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The March 17, 1997 Township Board Meeting Report

This section is very unofficial -- just observations of Your Editor.

It was Saint Patrick's Day, but the March 17th meeting of the Township Board was dominated by red, not green -- firetruck red.

Firechief Mike Radigan and a handful of our stalwart volunteer fire department members, present at the at the Township Hall for their monthly meeting, joined in the Board's meeting (all members and deputies present xcept for Treasurer Gerry Johnson) and used the occasion to present their case for upgrading the department's equipment. Chief Mike reported that the lovable old jeep fire truck had been retired from service because it was simple too unsafe to operate anymore. The big pumper, dating from the early 1980's, and the thirty something tanker on loan from the DNR, are both in reasonably good mechanical condition, but carry very little water. The 500 gallon tanks in each are pumped dry in about three minutes. The firemen said this lack of adequate tankage severly limited their ability to fight fires.

They said they were exploring the possibility of acquiring a used 2,000 gallon combination tanker/pumper and adding onto the Firehall to accomodate it. Total cost was as yet unknown, but the firetruck itself was anticipated to exceed $30,000. They asked how such a project could be financed and were advised that Township voters would need to authorize additional tax millage. Clerk John Clarkson noted that each mill of tax levy was now generating about $13,000 in annual tax revenues. (My 1996 winter and summer tax bills show a total of 46.26 mills, of which 4.886 mills, or about 11%, was for Township operations, including the Fire Department.)

Supervisor Boggio encouraged the Department to prepare a long term plan for the operating and capital needs of the department, prioritize it, and return to the Board for further discussion. Clarkson noted that no 1997 elections were currently scheduled.

Chief Radigan reported that the Department planned to install five or six "dry hydrants" this summer in various Township locations. The hydrants would be connected to water bodies and would be utilized by the Department to refill the firetruck tanks. This is especially critical in areas remote from the hydrants connected to the new water system pipe, and in the winter when truck access to water bodies is difficult.

Supervisor Boggio reported that Assessor Bob Taylor had decided not to purchase the tax assessment computer software authorized at the Board's February meeting.

The Board acknowledged two generous and welcomed gifts to the Township. John and Ruth(Opland) Dawson donated an American flag, flown over the US Capitol, for use at the Township Hall flagpole. Fred Kellow donated a TV and VCR for the Township Hall.

Jim Boggio reported that Bill Jackson, our cable TV benefactor, had requested the Board to consider allowing the placement of the cable satellite receiving dishes, now surrounding Bill's Harbor cottage, at the Township Solid Waste Facility site. The request would include renting a portion of the Township building on the site to house the system's electronic equipment. Bill would pay for the resiting of the dishes and the installation of the cable connecting the dish station to the cable network. Board members were receptive to the proposal and authorized Jim to work out an agreement with Jackson for Board consideration.

Trustee Peter Van Pelt, who is also the newly elected President of the Keweenaw Historical Society, reported on the status of the Society's quest to secure the soon to be abandoned Coast Guard Lighthouse property. He said Congressman Stupak's office had advised against pursuing the property through legislation, as had been done at Whitefish Point, and instead rely on the administrative route. In the latter case the Federal Department of Interior would dispose of the property, offering it first to other federal agencies, then to the State, then to the County and finally to the Township. Peter said the Society had good support for its request at the Federal and State levels. Supervisor Boggio said that the Township was in support of the Society's request and would turn the site over to the Society if it were offered to the Township. Peter added that the Society had not given up on the legislative remedy, feeling it might be less cumbersome, and was pursuing the matter through Senator Abraham's office.

The Board unanimously adopted a budget for the Township for its fiscal year beginning April 1, 1997. The adopted budget contained a few revisions made to the draft budget by the Board at its special budget workshop on February 14th. Total budgeted expenditures for all funds are up $4,548 ( you don't need to add any zeros..this is Eagle Harbor ) or 3.5% over the 1996 Budget. The only significant additions are $10,000 set aside to remedy some long persistent drainage problems in the Second and Third Street area, a couple of thousand dollars to correct some structural problems in the old Township School, and $3,600 for adjustments in Township official compensation.

Eagle Harbor Township 1997-1998 Expenditure Budget Summary
Fund 1996-1997
9 Months
General 56,685 31,939 45,323 69,070 +12,385 +22%
Cemetery 4,000 1,706 1,883 2,975 -1,025 -26%
Water 31,840 14,514 18,860 26,205 -5,635 -18%
Liquor 570 225 279 258 -312 -55%
Solid Waste 21,820 19,210 21,585 21,430 -390 -2%
14,375 8,312 10,105 13,900 -475 -3%
All 129,290 75,906 98,035 133,838 +4,548 +3.5%

Following the adoption of the budget, the Board unanimously approved increasing the monthly compensation for the Supervisor, Clerk and Treasurer from $350 to $450. The compensation for trustees remains at $70 per meeting.

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