Wakefield receives $7,000 grant for tire disposal

By IAN MINIELLY iminielly@yourdailyglobe.com WAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP

— The joint clean-up effort between the city of Wakefield and Wakefield Township has received a $7,000 grant to dispose of old tires. Township supervisor, John Cox, said the last time they collected tires they sent out four semi loads of tires. He expects with the inclusion of Wakefield, they will receive more tires this time, which will jump-start area beautification. Cox also said the Western U.P. Recycling company in the industrial park is seeking to expand in the Renaissance Zone. Meetings are ongoing regarding the potential expansion. More changes are in the works for the industrial park. Charter Communications said it could not provide internet, so Cox is meeting with the county and Northern Michigan Universityfor rural internet service. One of the goals of the board has been getting internet to the park and Cox said it looks like they will finally achieve it. The township formerly contracted with the Ironwood blight officer, but due to an increase in duties, Cox will begin carrying out blight responsibilities. Cox said he will begin cruising the township, checking out properties and sending out letters to homes out of compliance. “We send a letter first, with a prescribed time for remediation. If the first letter and date go unmet, a second letter is sent. If the second letter does not result in compliance, the sheriff is sent to visit the homeowner. If none of those efforts bring the property into compliance, the issue is taken to district court,” he said. Cox said quite a few people go through the first three steps of the process, but only one person has forced the issue and required a trip to court for remediation. The same person, according to Cox, has fought the issue four years in a row. The board is receiving training on master plan production. The board intends to develop its own plan, without hiring an outside consultant. Cox said the township is not under the gun to get the plan finished and they want to make sure the township residents’ voices are incorporated. Cox said the township will be unable to open snowmobile trail 11N because of the the inability to complete the linkage with other trails. There are easement issues and the township is actively looking for alternate routes to finish the trail. A small copper mining bill is on Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for signature, after introduction by State Sen. Tom Casperson. According to Cox, the bill was a joint effort by both parties and Cox testified as to the importance of the bill for local townships. The new law establishes a separate regulatory regime over small native copper mining operations, which generate less that 75,000 tins of waste rock per year. The bill preempts local governments from imposing additional regulations and restrictions that have hampered mining, according to michiganvotes.org. The bill passed the state Senate 24-11 on March 9. It passed the House 74-35 April 25. The township hired Austin Ahonen for grounds clean-up, signage, brushing, spring cleanup and other miscellaneous jobs.