Baraga Co. closes on new preserve near Covington

L’ANSE — Baraga County will hold a ribbon-cutting Wednesday to commemorate the opening of a new scenic park.

Last week, the county, in cooperation with the Superior Watershed Partnership, formally closed on the acquisition of 1,184 acres in Covington Township. The forest land includes 4 miles of frontage on the Sturgeon River. The purchase was assisted by a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant.

A dedication ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., Clerk Wendy Goodreau told the county board at Monday’s meeting.

The next step will be pursuing a grant to fund a study on best uses for the site, Goodreau said.

In other action, the board:

• Approved the equalization director’s 2024 tax rate request. The 8.5338 operating mills will be levied July 1. In December, 0.9928 mills will be levied for seniors and 1.9856 mills for roads.

• Appointed Shelley Lloyd to the Baraga County Jury Commission to fill the vacant third position. Lloyd, a Republican, joins Republican and Democratic members already on the commission. The county Democratic Party had not provided nominees, according to a letter from the 12th Circuit Court.

• Accepted with regret Ethan H. Johnson’s resignation from the Baraga County Economic Development Corp., where he had served as treasurer.

• Approved the purchase of computers and software for the probate court. Computers include a laptop and a second monitor. The software is being shared with the Houghton County family court. The $2,985 cost will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

• Approved funds for cybersecurity recommendations. Recommendations from Baraga Telephone had included installing multi-factor authentication and a security awareness training subscription, and education on how to avoid phishing scams. The three-year package will cost the county $5,872.58, and be paid from ARPA funds.

• Approved a $21,800 bid from Michael Whitman Construction to replace the roof on the sheriff’s department pole building.

• Approved resolutions supporting a significant increase in funding for Michigan 2-1-1 and the creation of the Snowbelt Transit Commission. The commission, which would be a collaboration between Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, would be focused on acquiring and preserving the abandoned rail line from the Michigan/Wisconsin border to White Pine, while also keeping the multi-use trail system intact.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today