'Life After the Deck', Waste Management contract renewed, construction updates
Houghton City Council, Sept. 8, 2021
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The organizer of the Verna Mize Triathlon from this summer is looking at also organizing a winter triathlon that would include running, biking, and skiing. The event would be slightly more expensive to host, but sponsors seem to be enthusiastic, according to the organizer. The same person is also working on a proposal for waterfront-facing signage representing the City of Houghton.
City Manager Eric Waara updated the council about work around the city, including the new roof on the pavilion at Kestner Park, leaks found in the water system during work on College Avenue, the building of a long-stay hotel next to Goodwill, and paving projects around the city.
Work on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge continues, but both northbound lanes should be open for a couple of weeks starting at the end of this week. When they start working on the two yet unfinished lanes, the plan is to only close one of four lanes at a time.
Work on the new pier is progressing with sewer, water, and storm sewer work in September, and then pilings will be driven until the weather shuts down the site.
Waara pointed out that for all the headaches around the city, the construction represents about $20 million in investments, with only a fraction of it coming from the city’s bank accounts.
Working with a consultant, a public engagement session is being scheduled for Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. That’s an off-week for the council. An agenda and location have yet to be set. Remote access is not currently planned.
The contract was extended as-is with the intention of possibly re-bidding the service or changing the contract during that time. The contract originally had a 3% increase per year in it. Councilor Brian Irizarry asked if there was a viable alternative to Waste Management, and City Manager Eric Waara said there wasn’t at this time. The vote to extend was unanimously in favor.
The hearing will take place at the Sept. 22 council meeting. The grant will cover a little more than half the cost of a new patrol vehicle for the police department, leaving the rest of the cost to the city.
Other Houghton news:
Fall clean-up dates will be Oct. 1 through Oct. 31.
Parade of Nations will take place Sept. 18, with an altered parade route from Franklin Square to Kestner Park, due to bridge construction.