Letter to Residents
Download the Letter – SPRING 2020 LETTER TO RESIDENTS
April 8, 2020
Dear Wakefield Township Resident
I hope this letter finds you well and that you are staying safe by following the COVID 19 recommendations and executive orders by the President and the Governor. Wakefield Township residents have always been a hardy bunch and I’m sure we will all get through this bump in the road. The Township Board is fully functional with business being conducted by email, teleconference, and other various platforms that are new and some that have been around for some time. We are communicating and holding meetings with local, state, and federal leaders more than ever before, updating ourselves, asking questions, etc. Technology is amazing and allows us to do our jobs during this crisis. I meet weekly with the 911 Emergency center and the Western U.P. Health Department. Listed below is an update so that you will be fully informed.
- Our very popular Spring Cleanup is postponed or may have to be canceled or until the executive orders are lifted. This was done for a number of reasons but mainly for the safety of our workers and residents and also because the Western U.P. Recycling is closed for now.
- Garbage pickup will remain on schedule, but the transfer station is closed.
- Our May and June Board Meetings are cancelled. Special meetings will be called if necessary. With that, the Board wants to be completely transparent in our operations. Therefore we are going to expand information on our already informative website to include minutes, bills, agendas, etc. You can visit us at wakefieldtownship.com You can reach any member of our Board at the numbers listed on the bottom of this page if you have questions-we are here to help you.
- Good News – The Board has approved a Communications Tower Agreement with Gogebic Range. Net to provide and enhance internet service to an area from approximately Bingo’s on M-28 to CR 519 North to Jackson Creek and the Thomaston/Johnson Rd area. This is a partnership that we have had for many years and it has worked well. The township, private partners and Gogebic Range. Net will be sharing in the cost of a 150 ft tower which will be built on the West side of the township hall. We are hoping that the construction will be completed in July, and no later than December. We realize that many areas of the township still are without service and our long range plan is to work to provide service for all of our residents. Certainly in times like these, available broadband internet can be a valuable tool.
- Good News. The Master Plan is completed and is out for public review for 63 days. You may recall that most of you participated in a questionnaire that was done door to door and online. We had nearly a 50% participation rate which is outstanding for any type of survey. Your comments and answers are valuable, the Board and Planning Commission takes them seriously and the information guides us in our planning. You can read the 52 page document on our website.
- Some road projects had to be cut back because of the higher than projected costs of Hot Asphalt Mix and Chip Seal. The Gogebic County Road Commission is concerned about a cut in the gas tax revenue they receive since most everyone is not traveling. We are hoping that we can complete what we planned.
- Good news. The ORV/UTV trails will remain open, however they will not be maintained. Please use caution when traveling and follow all COVID-19 protocols. Large groups of riders would be an example of not following the guidelines. Also boating is permitted, again following the social distance guidelines.
- Porcupine Mountain Park is open for visitors but the MDNR is closing state parks on a case by case basis, especially ones where the COVID-19 guidelines can’t or aren’t being followed.
- The election protocols are changing by the day, and many decisions may change the process in voting. Please go to our website and check out the election information that will be posted as we receive the information. If you do not have the internet, the changes will be published or broadcast by media outlets.. Call Clerk Mandy Lake if you have further questions 906-364-0669.
To their credit, the news media spends a lot of time reporting on the virus and what has been decided by our federal, state, county and local governments. You may not have known this, but these officials had three choices according to a MIT article:
One involves extraordinary restrictions on free movement and assembly, as well as aggressive testing, to interrupt its transmission entirely. That may be impossible now that the virus is in over 100 countries, but it is the model we are following.
The second is a vaccine that could protect everyone, but it still needs to be developed and is estimated it will be available in 6-12 months.
The third is potentially effective but horrible to consider: just wait until enough people get the virus. If the virus keeps spreading, eventually so many people will have been infected and (if they survive) become immune that the outbreak will fizzle out on its own as the germ finds it harder and harder to find a susceptible host. This phenomenon is known as herd immunity.
So you can see we face some tough choices and hopefully what we are doing will work, but this virus will end one way or another. In the meantime, since we are so sparsely populated our yard, garden, house projects; and other outdoor activities will keep us busy. And as always this is a time to thank the first responders, health care folks, our grocery and other store employees and business owners who keep their businesses open, your public workers and servants, and anyone else that I have forgotten. The efforts of those, allow us to live with minimal disruption. Stay safe.
Very Truly Yours,
Wakefield Township Supervisor