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KNHP, Advisory Commission review 2012, plan for 2013

Pflaum: 2012 a ‘banner year’

October 17, 2012
By KURT HAUGLIE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET TOWNSHIP - Over the past construction season, Mike Pflaum said employees of the Keweenaw National Park Service or local contractors worked on several projects in the Calumet unit of the park costing about $1.2 million, much of that going to local contractors.

During his report to the KNHP Advisory Commission, park superintendent Pflaum, said the roof on the Coppertown USA copper mining museum on Red Jacket Road was replaced with $116,000 of federal funds used.

The roof stabilization project for the Paine Webber building on Fifth Street in Calumet should be completed in November, Pflaum said. That project was a combination of $90,000 in federal funds and some funding from the Calumet Downtown Development Authority.

Article Photos

Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Mike Pflaum, Keweenaw National Historical Park superintendent, gives his report Tuesday during the regular quarterly meeting of the KNHP Advisory Commission. Also shown is commission member Allan Johnson.

Windows at the KNHP warehouse No. 1 have been replaced, Pflaum said, and that project cost $652,000.

At the Keweenaw Historical Center, across Red Jacket Road from the park headquarters building, Pflaum said windows were replaced and external woodwork was repaired for $321,000.

Pflaum said about $30,000 was spent on this summer's Youth Conservation Corps program, and that has a local benefit, also, because it provides paying jobs to local youth.

"The impact of that YCC program is great," he said. "We're hopeful that program can continue."

Pflaum said besides the federal funding which went into local construction projects, some of the park's partners also spent money on projects.

"We had a banner year," he said.

Despite that good news, Pflaum said for next year there is uncertainty if there will be any construction projects.

"Some of the wells are drying up a bit," he said.

Pflaum said although there is uncertainty in Washington, D.C., about the next federal budget, the park still has funding available.

"We are authorized to spend up to last year's level," he said.

However, Pflaum said National Park Service officials have told him to try to spend less than was spent last year, which means there may be cuts after Jan. 1, 2013.

"We're being as frugal as we can over the next several months," he said.

Pflaum said a team of industrial archeology students from Michigan Technological University is surveying the Italian Hall site this weekend. The survey is being done as part of the preparation for the events to recognize the centennial of the 1913 copper mining strike.

"We're working to do everything we can to get that site looking good for the 1913 strike centennial," he said.

Pflaum said the park's Calumet Visitor Center is on autumn hours now and is open Thursday through Saturday.

Pflaum said during the summer, the visitor center peaked at 300 visitors per day with an average of 150 visitors per day.

Visitors enjoyed what they saw, Pflaum said.

"We continue to get overwhelmingly positive comments," he said.

At the end of the meeting, Amy Berglund, regional representative for Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, said the senator enjoyed his visit during the 20th anniversary celebration of the KNHP.

Berglund said Levin doesn't think Congress will implement sequestration of federal funds as has been discussed recently.

"He's pretty certain they will avoid sequestration," she said.



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