Wakefield Township sees many changes, much potential

Wakefield Township Supervisor

Wakefield Township Supervisor WAKEFIELD TOWNSHIP – Wakefield Township survived 2020! The residents and businesses saw many interesting and amazing things and surely took everything in stride. Below is an update on a number of things that happened in the township.

We started off the new year with receiving a copy of our finalized master plan. After many months of hard work by our summer help, Board of Trustee members, Planning Commission members, and the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region, we have a comprehensive plan on where the township is now, where it has been historically, and where our residents would like us to proceed. This completed master plan is available on our website, wakefieldtownship.com, for all to access.

As a result of information from the master plan, board members would like to increase our internet accessibility and are working towards having a joint meeting with the city of Wakefield, with whom we share many resources. Also, earlier in 2020, an internet tower was approved to be placed on the Wakefield Township Hall property to start the expansion of internet accessibility. We partnered with GogebicRange.net to construct a 150-foot internet tower, capable of providing internet service to our Industrial Park and to many residents and businesses within the Thomaston area that did not have internet access before. Internet expansion within the township will continue through the next couple of years, so that we can hopefully provide service to all areas of the township.

Right after the COVID pandemic started, we had the township hall side parking lot paved. This was a nice addition to our updated lighting that was put in a couple years ago and the new handicap-accessible door from last year. This now provides a safe and seamless area for our board members, taxpayers, and voters to access the hall. It also seemed to be a nice resting stop for visitors to stop and locate where they were at when going to the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park.

If you took a ride down North County Road 519 any time from spring to fall this past year, you would have noticed the increased traffic and all the different license plates from places like New York all the way to Washington, on their way to the park. It appeared that while all the COVID restrictions were in place, people found solitude in spending time outdoors and many visited the Porkies. Wakefield Township holds one of the entrances to the largest state park in Michigan, with the other entrance located in Ontonagon County. If you haven’t visited the Porkies yet, you won’t regret the drive out there to check out one of the many waterfalls, the views from the Presque Isle River bridge, or the walk down the steps to access the beach and Lake Superior.

After many years of service, three dedicated Board of Trustees members decided in the spring that they wanted to retire. Retiring members included John Cox, Supervisor; Joan Dalman, Treasurer; and Jim Spencer, Trustee. Much progress and many large projects were completed in the township with these members, and they were also supportive in making decisions to help neighboring townships and cities. August and November elections determined the next board to include Mandy Lake, supervisor (previously clerk); Jennifer Ahonen, clerk; Denice Laessig, treasurer; Jerry Niemi, trustee; and Rob Drier, trustee. Unfortunately, Trustee Jerry Niemi passed away and left us all too soon in December. His open position has been filled by Mike Heikkila, long-time resident of Thomaston. The new board members are a mix of history and new ideas.

Overall, Wakefield Township offers many amenities to many different people. Our goal as a township is to provide a safe, clean, and affordable place to live and a place to have a successful and thriving business. We hold the history of what we used to be in the past, and we support economic growth and new ideas to make our future. If you have any questions about living or moving to Wakefield Township, or would like to start a business here, please contact Mandy Lake, Supervisor, at 906- 364-0669, or email supervisor@wakefieldtownship.com.