By NIKKI YOUNK
NORWAY - Members of the Norway City Council have officially given their approval to the Safe Routes to School grant that was recently awarded to the city and Norway-Vulcan Area Schools.
The council also agreed to pay for project engineering costs not to exceed $35,000.
Norway Elementary and Middle School Principal Brad Grayvold told the council that the $391,085 grant will allow for the reconstruction of several sidewalks, as well as educational programs.
"It's a good day for the city of Norway and Norway-Vulcan Area Schools," he said. "Students will be able to take a safe route to a safe school."
Grayvold added that the grant awarded to Norway is the largest Safe Routes to School grant that he is aware of.
A representative from Coleman Engineering, which is serving as the city's engineer on the project, said that he would like to get started on the project as soon as possible in order to meet the Michigan Department of Transportation's deadlines.
Sidewalk construction could start as soon as early June.
Mayor Jeremy Oja requested that maps of the sidewalks to be reconstructed be available to the public at Norway City Hall.
Targeted sidewalks include parts of Section Street, Walnut Street, Fourth Avenue, and Second Avenue.
In other business, the council:
- Decided to pay only $2,000 in dues to the Dickinson Area Partnership instead of the full $4,000. Several council members felt that Norway, as a municipality with a smaller population, should not pay as much as Iron Mountain, Kingsford, or Breitung Township pay.
Council members Oja, Mark Bubloni, and Dr. Paul Hayes voted in favor of the motion, while council members Lee Meneghini and Chris Gotstein voted against it.
Dr. Hayes also suggested that the Dickinson Area Partnership come to a future council meeting to address the topic.
- Vacated the right of way on two alleys next to Danielson's Greenhouse. However, the city will retain the right of way on a small portion of one of the alleys so a neighboring resident can still have access to his garage. Danielson's Greenhouse will pay a $500 property transaction fee to complete the process and take ownership of the alleys.
- Approved a license agreement with Holy Spirit School to place a new school sign on city property. City Manager Ray Anderson said that it was recently discovered that the old school sign was on city property.
"Since the existing sign had been installed and operated on city property for a number of decades, we do not foresee any issues with council approving this document," he added.
Oja was the only council member to vote against the motion.
- Reminded residents that the winter parking ban, which restricts vehicles from parking on streets overnight, is now in effect. Council members also pointed out that vehicles are prohibited from blocking sidewalks.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.