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Baraga County increases employee wages

December 11, 2012
By STEPHEN ANDERSON - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

L'ANSE - The Baraga County Board of Commissioners approved wage increases for elected officials and non-union employees at Monday night's regular meeting.

The sheriff, prosecuting attorney, clerk, treasurer and equalization director will all receive $1,200 more per year, while Probate Court Juvenile Probation Officer John Block and Probate Court Juvenile Counselor Anni Gregor will receive $600 increases.

"Hourly employees are (increasing) 25 cents an hour," Board Chair Mike Koskinen said.

No further discussion took place on the topic.

Among an array of brief agenda items, the board also heard an update from Michigan State University Extension District Coordinator Mike Erdman about MSU Extension at the state level and in Baraga County.

"Statewide we have 184,574 youth involved in 4-H, so it's still a very valid, growing organization," Erdman said of one of MSUE's staple programs.

So far six Upper Peninsula counties have signed the Memo of Agreement with MSU Extension, while three have not yet (Keweenaw, Gogebic, Dickinson counties) but are expected to.

"I don't think, Mike, we're that interested in what's going on in the other counties. We're interested in what are you doing in Baraga County for $90,000?" Koskinen asked.

Erdman explained that MSU Extension Educator Paul Werner, based out of L'Anse and representing the western U.P., is a board member of the Baraga County Convention and Visitors Bureau. He's assisted several local people in starting businesses, he's trained several people at the BCCVB on web search engine optimization and he's holding regular economic development workshops, among other things.

In other business, the board:

approved a resolution to exempt Baraga County from the provisions of 2011 Public Act 152 for the calendar year 2013, per the provisions provided in Section 8 of PA 152.

approved a resolution agreeing to an updated Western Upper Peninsula Alliance Interlocal Agreement with Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties.

reappointed Dan Whitman to a three-year term on the Baraga County Extended Care Corporation Board of Trustees. Two other terms are expiring soon and Denise LaPointe and Ilene LaPlante are not seeking renewal. The positions will be advertised.

approved Jim Krenek as the U.P. State Fair Authority Baraga County 2013 appointee. Daune Smith was the appointee from 2009-12.

reappointed Nick Lindemann to the Board of County Road Commissioners of Baraga County. He will fill a six-year term after filling in previously for two years.

appointed Baraga County 911 Director Bob Larson to the U.P. 911 Authority Board.

approved advertising bids for medical examiner facilities. Jacobson Funeral Home is currently serving that purpose, but it must be bid out annually.

approved receiving $11,535, which is less than the original note amount, back from a rental rehab property in which the owner had to move into an assisted living facility.

approved a 2013 budget agreement with Baragaland Senior Citizens. Commissioner Gale Eilola informed the board last year's actual revenue was $429,000 and actual expenses were $415,000. This year's budget is for $430,000.

approved the 2013 meeting schedule, for 5 p.m. the second Monday of each month, except for Jan. 7, Oct. 8 and Nov. 4.

approved Dec. 20 as the date for the county employees' Christmas party.



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