By JIM ANDERSON
IRON MOUNTAIN - State Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, is asking Dickinson County to take a longer look at proposed state legislation that would mandate a minimum level of service for indigent criminal defendants in each county.
Last month, the county board stated its strong opposition to House Bill 5804, introduced by State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills. The county said the bill creates an unfunded mandate that further burdens county governments.
McBroom, who received a letter from the county board on the issue, attended Monday's board meeting and asked for patience.
"I hope you withhold some judgment yet," he said.
McBroom said the legislation is mainly driven by concerns about the level of service from public defenders in certain urban counties. Possibly, there will be little impact on counties such as Dickinson, where there is a higher quality of defense, he said.
McBroom said many details of the legislation must yet be worked out.
In other action, the board:
- Authorized an updated agreement of understanding between the Dickinson County Senior Center in Iron Mountain and the Dickinson-Iron Community Services Agency. Under the agreement, the agency and council will split the costs 50/50 to purchase, lease or repair equipment for the kitchen.
- Approved an amendment to the Ford Airport resurfacing project contract, increasing the cost by $17,890. The modifications include replacement of a pedestrian gate. The county's match is 5 percent, or $895. Northeast Asphalt Inc. of Appleton, Wis., is the main contractor on the nearly $1.5 million Federal Aviation Administration/Michigan Department of Transportation project. Under the initial contract, the county was to provide $57,047 in funding.
- In connection to the airport project, authorized airport manager Tim Howen to solicit quotes for the sale and removal of approximately 8,000 tons of milled asphalt from airport property.
- Authorized Howen to purchase 250 tons of sand for Ford Airport from Midwest Asphalt of Kingsford (the only bidder) in the amount of $10.90 a ton.
Jim Anderson's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.