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Hamilton Avenue work on Kingsford’s docket

Council member’s letter draws heavy criticism

October 2, 2012
The Daily News


News Editor

KINGSFORD - The western portion of Hamilton Avenue will be resurfaced in 2013 under a Michigan Department of Transportation contract approved Monday by Kingsford City Council.

The cost is estimated by MDOT at $200,000, including the city's share of $40,000.

Bidding is scheduled to be announced Friday, said City Manager Tony Edlebeck. Construction will likely begin in June 2013, after the end of the school year, he added.

The project begins at Union Street (near Flivver Field) and runs west for four blocks to North Boulevard. Curb replacement is included (as needed), along with sidewalk ramps at intersections.

The project was selected for funding under the state's Small Urban Program, which distributes federal transportation funds in areas with a population of 5,000 to 49,999.

In other action Monday, the council:

- Authorized Edlebeck to submit a grant inquiry through the Central Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission (CUPPAD) to bring sewer and water service to portions of Carpenter Avenue (M-95) south of Nelson Paint Co. and north of Grede Foundries.

- Heard Kingsford Public Safety Sgt. Brian Metras, representing the officers union, criticize council member Brian Smeester for a letter published in the Sept. 24 Daily News. In his letter, Smeester made a number of claims against the union, including an accusation that it would "stretch figures" to argue against forming a public safety authority with Iron Mountain. Metras said Smeester's letter was "highly inappropriate" and misleading to the public.

- Heard council member Dennis Baldinelli say Smeester's letter was "extremely disrespectful" to the council and public safety employees.

- Heard Mayor Michael Flaminio say he is serving on the council "to represent the people." Smeester has not used "proper channels" to make his arguments, he added.

- Heard Smeester say he respects the public safety employees as "good people" and respects his fellow council members as well.

- Approved a zoning variance request from Chad McCole for a setback on a residential garage at 812 Michael St. There were no objections from neighbors.

- Authorized a fireworks display at Flivver Field during the Friday, Oct. 12, varsity football game in conjunction with the Kingsford High School band's annual night show.

- Heard Edlebeck report that the archery deer hunt is under way within city limits. The city is planning a managed harvest this fall of 100 to 150 antlerless deer from designated parcels of seven acres or more.

- Heard Jon Engel, a new city resident, object to the city's ban on pit bulls, saying it has placed an unnecessary emotional burden upon his family to be separated from their pet. (Council member Cynthia Dixon-Miller noted that it was Engel's responsibility to be aware of the city's ordinances. The ban, which has been in effect since 1987, was reviewed and upheld by the council in June, with Baldinelli saying the council's first obligation is to protect its citizens.)

- Heard resident Mark Wiederrecht again ask the council to repeal the city's ban on pit bulls, saying it is "just plain wrong" and criminalizes good citizens.

Jim Anderson's email address is



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