Union to fund IM baseball field project

IRON MOUNTAIN — Big improvements are in the works for Ranger Field, thanks to the efforts of Laborers’ Union Local 1329.

A new scoreboard, dugouts and concession stand are planned for the baseball field at the end of Kent Street, with labor to be provided by apprentices guided by Local 1329 staff. The value of the project is more than $30,000, said Anthony Alessandrini, the union’s secretary-treasurer.

The only condition is to allow a renaming to LIUNA Field, recognizing the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

The name Ranger Field apparently originated with the former Iron Mountain Ranger baseball team, City Manager Jordan Stanchina said.

The city council approved the project Monday.

“It’s more money than the city could ever budget for,” council member Bill Revord said.

The dugouts, which restrict views of the field, will be demolished and rebuilt in a more fan-friendly way. A new concession stand will be located near the backstop and nearly $14,000 will be spent on the new scoreboard.

The field is home for Iron Mountain High School’s baseball team and also hosts Little League for ages 13 and up.

In other action Monday, the city council:

— Accepted a donation from Friends of City Park that may go as high as $35,000 to replace accessory playground equipment. “These items will be a great addition to the park and also help to improve safety,” Stanchina said. A whirl-a-round, seesaw, cocoon and fire truck are among the planned acquisitions, but vendors will be contacted before a final list is made. Friends of City Park hosts the annual Saturday in the Park summer fundraiser. A dog park area and a splash park are other possible additions that are in the early stages of planning.

— Adopted a resolution to accept a Michigan Recreation Passport Grant of $58,000 to reconstruct the East Side tennis courts. The city’s anticipated match is $20,000.

— Awarded a bid of $39,317 to Vermeer Wisconsin of Little Chute, Wis., for a Vermeer BC1200XL wood chipper. The price includes $3,500 for the trade-in of the current chipper, which is nearly 30 years old and in need of repair. A reliable chipper will reduce man hours and equipment costs for completing brush collections, Stanchina said. A bid of $33,759 for a Morbark Beever M12R chipper did not meet the city’s specifications.

— Opened two bids for 2018 paving work, with the lowest coming from Bacco Construction of Iron Mountain at $380,552. Payne & Dolan of Gladstone submitted a bid of $403,817. The budgeted estimate was $364,611. The bids will be reviewed by staff before a recommendation is made. About 9,575 feet of paving is planned.

— Awarded a two-year audit contract to Green Bay, Wis.-based Schenck for $16,850 in 2018 and $17,150 for 2019. The only other bid came from Anderson-Tackman & Co. of Iron Mountain at $22,000 a year.

— Agreed to seek bids for the sale of a surplus fire truck. After recently buying a 1992 E-One Quint ladder truck, the city has four trucks, including a Pierce model of about the same age that now can be sold.

— Reappointed Jim Petroff as a city representative on the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Wastewater Treatment Authority.