December Newsletter 2017

Download the PDF version: NEWSLETTER DECEMBER 2017


M-28 will be closed next summer so that the Jackson Creek Bridge can be removed and replaced, and the approaches upgraded. When the project is completed the public will have a safer and wider bridge. Details of the dates construction will take place will be available on our website, and the MDOT Website. The MDOT released the following statement regarding this: “The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be replacing the M-28 Bridge over Jackson Creek throughout the summer of 2018. The project will likely begin in late April and be completed by late October. The investment of approximately $2 million dollars will include construction of a new bridge that has two 12-foot lanes, two 10-foot shoulders and will require a full detour of M-28. The detour will extend easterly along US-2 from the intersection with M-28 in Wakefield to M-64 (North), and northerly along M-64 to the junction with M-28 near Merriweather. The existing bridge was built in 1932, and the current condition of abutment foundations are a major factor with the reconstruction project. The history of improvements includes joint replacements and concrete repairs in 1965, with modifications and paving in 1975. The full structure was painted and another paving project was completed in 1985 and 1986. Emergency bridge repairs were required in 2016, in conjunction with another resurfacing project. The project will be managed by MDOT from the Crystal Falls Transportation Service Center. If you have questions or would like to further discuss this project at any time, please contact the TSC Manager, Dan Kari, PE. Be patient during construction and plan your travels accordingly next summer. Most importantly, safe travels!”

Plans for garbage pickup, emergency service and other issues are being worked
on. Part time residents should be aware of this and plan accordingly.


As you already may have known, in April 2017, Wakefield Township changed contractors from Waste Management to the Gogebic Range Solid Waste Authority. The main reason for the change was the cost was lower for the next three years. Other reasons include the automatic payment with your credit card, and to support our local business. Your garbage rates will not change from the current level for the period of the contract. Initially there were a few problems in a few areas, but we hope that your continuing experience has been a good one. If you have any issues, want to subscribe to the service, or would like to order up a dumpster for a major cleanup project please call them directly at 906-932-0600. During the spring period of road weight restrictions, GRWSA thought that they would be able to pick up those restricted road areas with a pickup type truck. This did not work very well, and it appears that we will be using the system that we used with Waste Management. As we get nearer to that April 2018 date, the township will send you notification of the plan for those areas that are affected.


Our annual spring cleanup will be held on Friday, May 18, 2018 (9:00 am.-4:00pm) and Saturday, May 19, 2018-(9:00a.m. until 12: 00 p.m) at Western U.P. Recycling Center located at North 519 and Planter Rd. Tires will not be accepted this year, however items like in the past will be accepted. We will be sending a letter to full time residents about the cleanup, others can visit our website for specifics.


Tuesday December 12, 2017 – 5:00 p.m.

This meeting is for errors and omissions, principal

resident exemption and to consider poverty exemptions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 – 4:30 pm.

(Organizational—not for public tax appeals)

Tax Appeals

Monday, March 12, 2018- 9 a.m.-12:00 and 1-4 p.m

Tuesday, March 13, 2018- 9 a.m.-12:00

Wednesday, March 14, 2018- 6 p.m.-9 p.m


The State Tax Commission is requiring that local governments re-assess at least 20% of the property in their jurisdiction each year. Occasionally our assessor will be doing a field review of your property. If you would like to set up a specific time for entry onto your property or do not want entry onto your property please call our assessor Melissa Prisbe 906-364-2910 and she will discuss that and any other issue regarding assessments. If you are planning to build and are wondering approximately how much your tax will be, we have put a link on our website to a state tax calculator to compare your tax rates with other towns or if you want to find out how much tax on your new garage, new house or addition would cost.


We would like to remind those who are building or adding on to their existing homes to call the Clerk 364-0669 or visit our website for a permit application. Our permits are the most reasonably priced in the state and we are asking for your compliance in this matter as well. Failure to obtain a permit may result in enforcement of our zoning ordinance which authorizes up to a $100 per day fine for not obtaining one. 


We encourage everyone to view our website. You can find news, applications for building permits, absentee voter forms, phone numbers, zoning ordinances, economic development information, links to businesses in Wakefield Township, recreational sites, a calendar of events, meeting minutes, and some nice pictures of our area. Our address is 


A mini-audit(F-65) of our township was done this past year. The township is in good financial shape accordingly to our auditor, Karl Ahonen, from Makela, Pollack and Ahonen. The township fund balance is $547,093. This would give us at least 2 years of operation in an emergency, which is much more than recommended. Last year we spent $5,000 less than our revenues and we paid all our loans off.


George Dalbeck Logging

George Dalbeck logging continues to expand its presence in Wakefield Township. This summer he constructed a new weigh-in-scale building and has increased his employee count from 13 to 19 in the past year. In addition, he has purchased and cleaned up the blighted properties in the area around his business. The township is impressed by his commitment to the community.

Big Snow Resorts (Indianhead/Blackjack Hotel/Casino Project)

Big Snow Resort is looking forward to bringing guests from near and far to Wakefield to enjoy everything that winter has to offer. They are celebrating their 40th anniversary at Blackjack Mountain this year and Indianhead is ready to open on November 24 and Blackjack on December 15. There are many new and exciting additions, including terrain-based learning, night skiing at Indianhead Mountain, and Yeti Snow Forts at both Blackjack and Indianhead Mountains. Big Snow Resort continues to strive to be the best winter escape in the Midwest, with not only amazing skiing and boarding, but beautiful snowshoe trails, onsite snowmobile rental, updated comfortable lodging, great food and drink, and fun events and music planned throughout the season. For an update of all the activities you can visit them on the web at

Highland Copper Highland Copper Company Inc. is a Canadian exploration company focused on exploring and developing copper projects in the Upper Peninsula. Recently Highland has located its offices in Wakefield and with the increase in the price of copper, has reenergized their plans to making the mine a reality. The updated feasibility study will be completed in the first half of 2018 with construction plans to be implemented in the second half of 2018.The township anxiously awaits the opening of this mine and continues to support this project.

Extreme Tool and Engineering

Extreme Tool continues to move forward in our industrial park. Most recently, they completed paving of parking lot which really helped finish up the curb appeal of their facility. Extreme’s employee’s as well as clients appreciate the investments they continue to make, and a paved lot will certainly be appreciated in both the winter and spring. They plan further internal improvements this winter to their molding facility on Chippewa Drive, and significant infrastructure investments in their molding plant in 2018. Sales for 2017 were up 30% which challenged their systems and people, but have paved the way for future success. According to Owner Manager Mike Zacharias “Extreme Tool is Proud to Manufacture in the Wakefield Township Industrial Park! “

Western U.P Recycling and Verso Corporation

This diverse operation in our township has been very successful since its opening. Having the metal recycling business in Wakefield Township keeps our area free of abandoned cars and other metal recyclables. The rainy weather for the past two years has made it difficult for those in the timber industry. Despite that, the company has kept their workers employed. The township appreciates their continuing sponsorship of our spring cleanups;it has been a very successful effort for our community and we are grateful to have them here in our township.

Lake’s Flower Cabin

2018 will mark the 8th greenhouse season for Lake’s Flower Cabin. It’s been a summer of updates once they closed the doors in early July for the season. Next spring you will see a new greenhouse full of even more plants, a new circle drive for more customer parking, and some new landscaping. Lake’s Flower Cabin is the largest greenhouse center in the Western U.P. with 5 greenhouses full of annual and vegetable plants, hanging baskets, perennials, trees, and shrubs. You may have seen their flowers around the different communities this year. The hanging baskets in the City of Ironwood, and the flowers in Wakefield, Bergland, and Ontonagon, were all grown here last spring. If there are any questions on what Lake’s can do for flowers or events for your business, organization, or household,

call Mandy at 906-364-0669, or email at:

Northland Basement Waterproofing

Located at 111 Commercial Lane, just off Highway US-2, Northland Basement Waterproofing offers the following services: Basement Waterproofing, Crawlspace Repair, Foundation Repair, Commercial Foundations, Concrete Lifting and Leveling, Sump Pumps, Radon Gas Mitigation, and Insulating Services. You can contact them at 906-224-1055.

Gogebic Range.Net

The township’s partnership continues with internet provider Gogebic Range. Net, and very soon broadband will be available for many parts of the township with higher speeds. This will help our residents as well as new businesses who may like to locate here. Importantly is the fact that, for the first time, our Township Hall will have broadband availability.

Contact Information —Clip and Save

Assessor – Melissa Prisbe – 906-364-2910

Blight Officer – Call Supervisor John Cox – 906 224-3721

Boiler Inspector – Chuck Poole – 906-235-3547

Building Inspector – Donald Saari – 906-364-1277 (cell) 906-364-1277

Building permits – Clerk, Mandy Lake – 906-364-0669

Burn Permits –, or 906-353-6651

Electrical Inspector – Brandon Ingersoll – (906) 295-1335

Garbage collection – Gogebic Range Solid Waste Authority at 906-932-0600 or the clerk at 906-364-0669. Monday is collection day.

Indianhead Subdivision Sewer Hookups – Paula Koruga – 906-224-1092

Plumbing Inspector – Craig Cole – 906-235-8417

Power and Street Lighting – Xcel Energy Outage-800-895-1999. Street Light Outage

or call-800-628-2121. If you prefer, you can call the supervisor at 906-224-3721.

Road Commission – 906-667-0233

Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Control – Jim Finley – 906-663-4512

Wakefield Public Library (free to township residents) – 906-224-5236

Website and

Western U.P. Health Department (Well and Septic Permits) Phone: 906-667-0200

Zoning Administrator – Donald Saari – 906-932-5979 (cell) 906-364-1277



Robert Drier, Michael Heikkila, Jennifer Ahonen all 1-1-17 to 1-1-

19 alternate Fritz Kirchner,


John Cox 10-1-19, Eugene Vittone 10-1-18, Jeff Pikka 10-1-19


Russ Korpi 10-1-17, Jerry Niemi 10-1-18, Craig Talsma 10-1-20


Mandy Lake; Alternate – John Cox


Donald Saari/John Cox


Jerry Niemi, Paula Koruga, Eugene Vittone


Effective Date: October 1, 2017

Paula Koruga—Three-year Term Expires October 1, 2018

Jim Spencer—Three-year Term Expires October 1, 2018

Craig Talsma—Three-year Term Expires October 1, 2020

Dale Marten—Three-year Term Expires October 1, 2020

Denice Laessig—Three-year Term Expires October 1, 2019


Tim Macken and Jerry Niemi; Alternate Members-John Cox to

Tim Mackin, Jim Spencer to Jerry Niemi


Mike Zacharius, Tim Moon, Tim Lynott, Jim Williams, Joe

Hilborn, George Dalbeck, John Cox

If you are interested in serving on any of these Boards, please contact the Supervisor.


If you pay your taxes by mail, please enclose payment stub or the real estate index number(s). We are no longer automatically sending a receipt. If you wish to receive a receipt, check the box indicating this on the stub of your tax bill and return it with payment. Payments must be postmarked by February 14, 2018 to avoid penalties.

If you prefer to pay in person, I will be available:

Friday, December 29, 2017 9:00 AM–12:00 PM at the Twp Hall and

1:00 PM—5:00 PM at my home office

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 9:00 AM—12:00 PM at the Twp Hall and

1:00 PM—5:00 PM at my home office(last day before penalties are added)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 9:00 AM—12:00 PM at the Twp Hall and

1:00 PM—5:00 PM at my home office(last day before tax roll is turned over to the County)

You may pay your taxes at my home office anytime that I am available. Call first: 224-8201

Joan Dalman, Treasurer