Ontonagon Council addresses bridge lighting, truck buy

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Ontonagon Village Council members discuss potential safety issues. From right to left: John Hamm, Tony Smydra, Bruce Seid, Marcia Aho-Black, Ken Waldrop, Joseph Erickson, Don Chastan and Elmer Marks.

ONTONAGON– The Village Council approved two plans to improve public safety and reduce costs in the village during its Monday meeting.

The council unanimously approved a plan to replace lights on the M-64 bridge after complaints from drivers.

The new lights will be retrofitted in near the bridge and the nearby pathway.

“We’ve had a number of complaints from people coming around the corner about how bright the lights are,” said Council President Ken Waldrop.

With the change, the brightness should be similar to downtown Ontonagon, he said.

Later in the meeting, the council unanimously approved an early complete payment for a loan taken out to purchase a new fire truck saving $21,244 in interest. The council also suggested planning for foreseeable replacement needs.

“The rescue truck needs to be replaced, and I think if we work with them (the firefighters) to maybe schedule that for 2020 a couple years out,” said Village Manager Joseph Erickson.

The idea would be to have a new vehicle ready to go fitted as requested ahead of time and rotate the vehicles, so emergency equipment is continuously being updated.

“They can spend a year to two years just spec-ing out the truck for what they want, the custom build, so that takes time, and this way it will get in the plans…so we can plan for updating that equipment on a regular basis,” Erickson said.