$10K donation to buy new helmets for Hancock FD

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Hancock Fire Chief Bill Lepisto tells the Hancock City Council about an anonymous $10,000 donation to the department at Wednesday’s council meeting. The donation will be used to purchase new fire helmets for the department.

HANCOCK — An anonymous Hancock resident is covering the cost of the Hancock Fire Department’s new helmets.

Hancock Fire Chief Bill Lepisto announced the $10,000 donation at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

At a budget hearing last month, Lepisto announced a budget of $23,782 for the coming fiscal year. The donor requested the money go towards the 22 Bullard fire helmets the department had asked for in its budget. The fire department will cover the remaining $1,132 set aside for the helmets with money it raised through two dances last year, Lepisto said.

“It was pretty exciting, and for them to listen to the meeting and know what we need,” he said. “They want to stay anonymous, so that’s what we’re doing.”

The department had previously applied for a grant to cover the cost of the helmets. There has been no word on the status of the grant, Lepisto said.

Lepisto plans to begin ordering the new helmets in November and December, when the current ones expire. Turnaround time is about six to eight weeks.

To avoid having to replace the new helmets at the same time, Lepisto plans to stagger the order times. He plans to order 12 at the end of the year, and the remaining ones in January and February.

In other action, council:

• Approved applying for and implementing a Michigan Shared Streets and Spaces grant. The money will be used to continue the sidewalk from Fir Street up Elevation Street to Campus Drive, to help Barkell Elementary School students and Mission Point residents. The grant will cover 100% of the cost.

• Postponed the approval of the city master plan until June, as two councilors had excused absences from Wednesday’s meeting.

• Approved a notice of award to FA Industrial Services for $577,626.32 for work to be completed on North and Prospect streets through a Category B grant. The project will include sewer work on the intersection of Birch and Prospect streets, where there had been issues with flooding basements. It will also allow the Houghton County Fair to close off the new addition on Prospect Street for handicapped parking to provide easy entrance, City Manager Mary Babcock said.

Authorized the opening of a new bank account with High Point Community Bank for the Strategic Site Readiness Program Grant Award. The city was awarded a grant of more than $969,000 in January for the new Business and Technology Park.


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