Adams board talks cemetery, water bills

BALTIC – Frustrated residents complained about issues ranging from cemetery issues to speed signs and water bills Monday evening at the Adams Township Board meeting.

Atlantic Mine resident Harold Heikkinen wanted to clarify the costs of being buried in the Atlantic Mine Cemetery, particularly for veterans who he thought should not have to pay anything at all.

Board member Debbie Pindral explained the fee structure, which will be posted on the township website. She said veterans do not have to pay for their plots, but like everyone else, someone does have to pay $100 to $250 per person to be interred there. While other factors are involved, it’s cheaper if the body is cremated.

“You own the lots,” she told Heikkinen. “We charge for the burials. It’s two separate items,” adding in addition to the burial fee, a burial permit or death certificate is required to enable the cemetery to keep track of who’s where.

“We have the cheapest rates around,” interjected Treasurer Nancy Immonen as the conversation continued.

All the talk did nothing to make Heikkinen feel better.

“Too much B.S. involved,” Heikkinen muttered before leaving.

Several Baltic residents were concerned about getting more 25 mile-per-hour signs up along busy residential roads, which board member Dave Mattila said he would try to resolve.

“I will talk to the road commission about getting those signs up,” Mattila said. “I will personally do it to make sure those signs get put up.”

While waiting for the Houghton County Road Commission to install signs the township had purchased, a township worker erected them instead, which resulted in the county taking them down.

Residents saw a need for the signage because of speeders tearing through areas where a lot of children live, play and board the school bus.

“People are going too fast down the roads,” said Baltic mom Kari Bellin-Sloat. “This is a big problem. There’s too many children in that neighborhood. We shouldn’t have to worry our children will get hurt,” adding even truckers use the route which has no sidewalks.

She and others said some people don’t even stop for the school bus which has some residents keeping track of license plates of law breakers.

The school kids wait for the bus outside the home of David Archambeau, who wanted to know why he’d been charged for using for almost twice as many gallons of water before the township put in a new system with more accurate readings.

“My wife and I are just trying to figure this out,” he said. “We’re not the only ones.”

Supervisor Gerald Heikkinen, who is not related to Harold, assured Archambeau he would look into his claims and those of anyone else who contacts the township office regarding similar billing problems.

“You’re the first person who brought it to me,” Gerald said. “I will get with you, David.”

Pindral added, “Unless people come forward like you did, there’s nothing we can do.”