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Iron County approves MSU Extension pact

October 26, 2011
By NIKKI YOUNK - Staff Writer , The Daily News

CRYSTAL FALLS - Iron County will continue to work with the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension office for 4-H and educator services.

A Memo Of Agreement (MOA) between MSU Extension and the board was approved by a vote of three to two at the board's Tuesday meeting. Commissioners Wayne Wales, Bev Camp, and Carl Lind voted in favor, while Commissioners Rosalie King and Fran Wills voted against.

Mike Erdman of MSU Extension explained that for an annual payment of $34,545, the county will receive a part-time 4-H coordinator and a full-time educator in a specialty yet to be determined. No secretarial support is included.

Although the county will continue to have access to an economic developer through MSU Extension, the developer will not spend nearly as much time in Iron County as previous developers have.

Since previous MOAs between MSU and the board have cost about $75,000, Erdman suggested that the board use the savings to finance a county-based economic developer.

King said that she would like to have both a 4-H coordinator and an economic developer. However, she wondered if there was enough money in the county budget to support the two.

In other business, the board:

- Approved a resolution exempting Iron County from Michigan's Public Act 152 for the 2012 calendar year. The bill requires local government employees to pay more for their medical insurance.

Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano spoke to the board on behalf of the county employees. He pointed out that Iron County employees receive lower wages than local government employees elsewhere in the state, and that a "one size fits all" approach is not the way to go.

- Approved to publish the draft amendment to the county park ordinance so the public can review it prior to a public hearing on the issue. The amendment would allow the board to remove the park designation on a parcel of land south of County Road 424. If the designation is removed, the board could allow easement use of the parcel to resident Blaise Andreski in exchange for a parcel of Andreski's land near the Michigamme Reservoir.

- Approved to publish the draft amendment to the Iron County Solid Waste Plan so the public can review it prior to a public hearing on the issue. The amendment would allow any waste carrier to enter or leave the county.

- Approved a credit card to be issued to Wales for county use. King and Wills voted against the motion.

- Appointed Ben Smith to the Iron County Human Services Board for a three-year term. Wales, Camp, and Lind voted for Smith, while King and Wills voted for incumbent Patti Peretto.

- Approved to release benefits to former Corrections Officer Scott Bray. His last day of work was Sept. 27.

- Agreed to keep the same form for the annual evaluation of the Iron County Administrator.

- Accepted the 2011 Iron County Apportionment Report.

Nikki Younk's e-mail address is



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