SNAP for veterans, DNR trail repair progress, August millage renewals, and more
Houghton County Board, July 13, 2021
MSU Extension District 1 Director Paul Putnam updated the board, specifically about veterans being eligible for SNAP benefits.
During Vice Chairperson Tom Tikkanen’s committee reports, he updated the board on the state of DNR trail repairs. The trail between Lake Linden and Dollar Bay still won’t be open this coming winter, but funds are lined up for the repairs and engineering is underway. The Pilgrim River Bridge repairs are underway and are expected to be completed for this season.
Commissioner Glenn Anderson encouraged people to vote in favor of the Canal View (Houghton County Medical Care Facility) millage and Hancock’s recreation millage coming to vote on Aug. 3. Ballot language and other information are available by clicking here.
Airport Manager Dennis Hext had generally positive news for the board, including the application for a third $1 million grant from the FAA for operating costs, available as pandemic relief.
The board’s only significant new business was a resolution to support the UP Area Agency on Aging’s 2022 Annual Implementation Plan. They also approved an MOA appropriation for the MSU Extension for $9,341.25.
During the open public comment section, 4 people spoke up with concerns or opposition to the wind turbine development in Houghton County. One person announced a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on July 22, at South Range Elementary School where a lawyer will outline what legal options the group has to oppose the turbine project. Another person asked the board members what their personal opinions on the towers are. Koskela, Janssen, and Anderson said they weren’t in favor of the development. Tikkanen said people should “not roll over” and fight it with all legal methods. Britz said he’s concerned about the long-term impacts of the turbines, but also the energy future of the country, and that he is “still being educated.”
Another person spoke about supposed “election shutdowns” they learned about from Facebook, and distributed an email to the board members, and made some nonspecific allegations against Senator Ed McBroom. They also presented negative information about maintenance by Election Source, which supposedly destroys election records. Later in the public comment period, Steve Delongchamp from Election Source explained the maintenance did not impact any election records and has been routine for elections every two years for the last twenty years, and refuted other allegations as well.