New Pizza Place: Ontonagon EDC loans seed money to Silver City business

Vanessa Dietz/Daily Mining Gazette Ontonagon County Economic Development Corp. members learned a new business will open in Silver City. Pictured from the left around the table at Wednesday’s meeting are Richard Bourdeau, Nancy Hillier, Pat Tucker, Ted Baird, President Sue Preiss, Alan Ralph and Skip Schulz.

ONTONAGON — A new pizzeria will open soon, thanks to a loan from the Ontonagon County Economic Development Corp. (EDC).

EDC President Sue Preiss said the “pizza place” will be in Silver City. Silver City is the town closest to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, a popular destination for local residents and tourists.

With a revolving loan of $82,000, Carl and Tonya Panveno will open the new business in the former Foothills restaurant.

A hearing regarding the loan will be held at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, immediately preceding the Ontonagon County Board meeting in the County Courthouse.

The EDC also heard about a couple of other business ideas from one of its members.

Member Skip Schulz said he found a use for material generated by loggers.

“This is black dirt,” Schulz said, having recently spread some of the material around his home. “I didn’t know it would turn into mulch so fast.”

Schulz thinks someone should bag the material and sell it.

“The concept of the business is to take advantage of a waste by-product that we have in Ontonagon County,” Schulz said. “That is, the wood chips that come from the logging operations, cutting of wood along roads and power lines. The main expense for this business would be purchasing the bags and manpower. Manpower is jobs.”

Schulz also promoted an idea to develop a push mower with the help of Michigan Tech to be mounted on the front of a four-wheeler.

“People are looking at ways to use their ORVs,” Schulz said. “With a simple attachment to the front of the ORV, the grass is not being compressed. The concept would be great for an Ontonagon County fabricating business.”

In other news, Preiss said she wrote letters of support for the Ontonagon County Airport and Highland Copper Co., but she refused to provide copies to the press, saying she’d have to consult an attorney.

The EDC will meet next at 4 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Ontonagon Township office to approve its next annual budget.