By JIM ANDERSON
KINGSFORD - Dennis Baldinelli is Kingsford's new mayor, returning to a post he most recently held in 2007.
Baldinelli succeeds Michael Flaminio, who was elected mayor pro tem by his fellow Kingsford City Council members Monday.
Baldinelli previously served as Kingsford's mayor in 2007, 2006, 2004 and 2003. After a two-year absence from the council, he was elected to his current term in November 2009.
At Monday's city council reorganization meeting, Baldinelli was nominated for mayor by council member Cynthia Dixon-Miller, with Flaminio supporting.
There were no other nominations and Baldinelli was elected in a 4-1 vote, with council member Brian Smeester dissenting.
Both Baldinelli and Flaminio expressed appreciation to the community and its officials for their support.
In other action Monday, the council was informed that the city's grant application for Lodal Park tennis court improvements was denied. The city was seeking a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Recreation Passport grant of up to $45,000 to help rebuild the park's four courts.
City Manager Tony Edlebeck said the state received 82 applications and 19 projects were funded.
"They're encouraging us to reapply next year," he said, noting that the city might improve its chances by placing greater emphasis on the need for the courts in hosting regional school tournaments.
Statewide, the grants totaled $735,100, the DNR said. Grants awarded in the Upper Peninsula were:
- Bay de Noc Township (Delta County), Bay de Noc Recreation Park Playground Renovation, $35,700.
- Maple Ridge Township (Delta County), Memorial Park Upgrades and Renovations, $30,600.
- City of Munising (Alger County), Lynn Street Tennis Court Renovation, $20,200.
- Garden Township (Delta County), Garden Township Park Family Picnic Area, $39,900.
- Marquette County, Little Trout Lake Park Pavilion Renovation $45,000.
- Tilden Township (Marquette County), Tilden Township Recreation Complex-National Mine Playground, $27,600.
- Village of Lake Linden (Houghton County), Lake Linden Park Campground Renovations, $38,100.
Money for the parks grants is derived from the sale of the Recreation Passport, which in 2010 replaced the resident motor vehicle permit (MVP) - or window sticker - for state park entrance.
In other council business:
- Edlebeck reported that an ongoing archery hunt within city limits has culled 46 deer from the Kingsford herd. Under rules of the hunt, participating archers must harvest three antlerless deer before taking a buck. In addition to having to first take three antlerless deer, archers must use their own Michigan buck tag when harvesting an antlered buck. All but several of the deer taken so far have been antlerless.
- City hall and public works offices will be closed on Monday, Dec. 24; Tuesday, Dec. 25; Monday, Dec. 31; and Tuesday, Jan. 1. There will be no garbage collections on those dates, said Justin Wickman, public works superintendent. During each holiday week, Monday and Tuesday's collections will be made on Wednesday. The rest of the week will be collected one day later than the normal collection date.
- Mark Spencer was reappointed to the Kingsford Planning Commission.
- Smeester, during council member's privilege, again voiced his support for a joint Iron Mountain-Kingsford Public Safety Authority. He said he is pushing for the authority solely for economic reasons and fully respects members of Kingsford Public Safety. A joint committee of the two cities continues to review the possible consolidation, so far offering only a preliminary concept.
Jim Anderson's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.