DuPont is the new Village Manager, MEDC loan forgiven
Written by Bruce Johanson
Interim Manager William DuPont is now the regular Ontonagon Village Manager, as of the Sept. 13 Ontonagon Village Council meeting.
Following the closing of the posting, the personnel committee had reviewed the applications. The choice was boiled down to two candidates, however, it was determined that only one of the two final candidates met the minimum requirements for the position. The personnel committee recommended offering the position to Willliam DuPont. This was moved by Trustee Elmer Marks Jr., supported by Trustee Mike Rebholz and this was carried with a no vote from Trustee John Hamm.
Village President Tony Smydra remarked that DuPont, a former bank manager, has worked wonders with the village’s finances and cleaned up a number of loose ends that were left by previous village administrators. The council, for the most part, were quite pleased with the progress that has been made in the months since DuPont was appointed as interim manager on a temporary basis. In the months that he has been in charge of administering the village finances, he has managed to recover owed funds, caught up with MERS back payments, and built a good working relationship with other village employees for a more harmonious working climate.
With the hiring of DuPont as village manager, the position for which he was originally hired, that of clerk/treasurer is now officially vacant. The council will now have to post the clerk/treasurer position. Kori Weisinger has been working as the acting clerk/treasurer since DuPont was moved to the interim manager’s position.
Other matters that came before the council:
OMH Hospital MERS update: Interim Manager Dupont reported that the Village still owes MERS $121,689.94. A payment of $70,081.77 was made on Aug. 1 and a further payment of $60,845.15 was made on Sept. 10. The Aug. 20 payment of $60,802.43 is remaining past due. DuPont informed Council that this should be made by the end of September and this will catch up with all past due payments at this time. DuPont also informed Council that the proposed buy-outs are taking longer than originally expected but are expected to be in the hands of those qualified to take part by the end of September.
Agreement Addendum, Marina Grant: This spells out the specific terms of the Marina Dredging grant. A new ending date of Dec. 31, 2022, is part of the agreement and the village may receive $256,000 for the cost of the dredging
It was also reported by the new village manager that:
The Michigan Treasury Department owes the village $42,374.81 in revenue-sharing funds. This was money withheld because of delinquent reports. DuPont said that he has been going round and round with Treasury about this money for months and the Treasury Department finally agreed to release some of the funds to the village. Of the amount owed, $16,026.38 was withheld for reasons other than the delinquent reports. DuPont is trying to ascertain the reason for Treasury holding these funds, however, the village will be getting $26,348.43 which would have been forfeited.
MEDC loan: It seems that the village took out a Community Development Block Grant loan back in 1998 and the balance owed was $193,647.48. Fortunately, the MEDC has forgiven this loan as of Aug. 19.
Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (CLFRF): The village has received a letter from the Treasury Department on Sept. 3 approving the request that was made for CLFRF funds in the amount of $130,836. These funds must be spent on specific projects that deal with infrastructure. The current plan is to use this money for expenses associated with the Tin Street Lift Station Project.