Effort for new bridge launched, ARP funds committed toward patrol cars, cybersecurity strengthened
Houghton County Commissioners, Nov. 16, 2021
Changes to the county courthouse employees contract included updating gender pronouns, adding mother-in-law and father-in-law to the definition of immediate family, and adding up to 6 weeks of parental leave (two paid, four unpaid).
The county airport employee contract was updated to include Good Friday as a holiday and increase the clothing maintenance stipend by $200/year.
Both contracts updated the pay raise schedule, too.
The board voted unanimously in favor of purchasing five new patrol cars for the county sheriff through the state bid system using money from the American Rescue Plan.
Someone from Laurium Labs has pitched a cybersecurity suite to augment the IT services already provided by the in-house IT employee (not at this meeting).
The board voted unanimously in favor of spending $3,360 on the service without expanding on what that service included.
No documentation was included in the board packet for this item.
Commissioner Tom Tikkanen told the board that Michigan would be receiving $10 billion in funds through the newly passed infrastructure bill, and he would like to see some of that come to Houghton County for a second bridge crossing the Portage Waterway.
Commissioner Glenn Anderson said that he had found that the area north of the bridge is the second-largest area, by population, in the continental U.S. serviced only by a single bridge.
The board voted unanimously to draft a letter to MDOT and state legislators to pressure them to consider committing funds for an additional bridge.
The board approved the sale of a lot of land attached to the county airport to Copper Island Academy for $5,000.
The county board also approved compensation for the Houghton County Road Commissioners, which was informed by the state of Michigan that their compensation had to be approved and appropriated by the board of commissioners.
Dick Storm submitted a letter to the board expressing his disappointment that the board is no longer streaming their meetings via Zoom.