County Board considers well work in Eagle River

Photo provided by Keweenaw County One of the two well pump buildings at Mt. Horace Greeley, showing the need for repairs, is seen here.

EAGLE RIVER — The County Board voted to move ahead with capping the wells and repairing the buildings at Mt. Horace Greeley, located on the Lizzadro Farms property in Houghton Township, after well tests came back negative for coliforms and E. Coli, and lead results were within acceptable levels.

On Feb. 6, County Board Chairman Don Piche received a letter stating the properties on which the buildings and pumps are located are the subject of two deed easements granted by former property owners, the Petermann family, to the federal government.

The base, wells and pump houses were deeded to Keweenaw County by the government, and the Lizzadros believed the buildings and wells had been abandoned by the county, and either the county was to remove the buildings and cap the wells, or the Lizzadros would do it.

The county had not considered the wells or their buildings on the site abandoned but did admit neglect and have been attending to them since.

On June 4, Keweenaw County Building Inspector Eric Bjorn conducted an inspection of the pump houses for the two wells, which supplied water to the former Calumet Air Force Radar Base. The results of the inspection revealed a pipe leaking back into one of the buildings, a roof leak on the cinder block building that houses the electrical service for the wells, roofs in need repair or replacement, and all buildings in need of a fresh coat of paint, Bjorn’s report states.

At the Aug. 15 regular meeting, the board discussed moving ahead with necessary work on the wells and buildings.

“The question now is do we spend the money to cap the wells and get the buildings fixed up,” said Piche. “Now that we (have) all the information, we’ve got to approve that we’re going to cap the wells for future use, right? And we’re going to also move forward to get the buildings repaired.”

Piche suggested that rather than spend money on hiring an engineering firm, the county should ask Bjorn to come up with a plan by which they can move ahead with the next phase of the project.