By JIM ANDERSON
KINGSFORD - Forty-seven deer were culled from the Kingsford herd in the 2013 archery hunt, city council members learned Monday.
The city had acquired up to 100 antlerless permits from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, but this year's harvest was held down by poor weather, said Tony Edlebeck, city manager.
The managed hunt, which drew 32 participants, took place Oct. 1 through the end of the year. The city will likely conduct another hunt in partnership with the DNR beginning in the fall, Edlebeck said.
This year's harvest compares to 59 in 2012; 107 in 2011; and 25 in 2010, the first year of the program.
In other action Monday, the council:
- Showed no inclination to change the city's policy of discouraging traffic through Lodal Park in the winter. In a letter, Grant Street resident Don Nurmela had asked the council to reconsider, and plow the park roads. Edlebeck explained there are complaints about dog droppings accumulating in the park - particularly on the ball fields - that must be cleaned up in the spring. There is also a risk of malicious damage to the fields from vehicles, he said.
- Heard council member Michael Flaminio, a retired public safety officer, discuss a recent decision from Dickinson County Prosecuting Attorney Lisa Richards that Flaminio committed no violation by voting as a council member on a collective bargaining agreement with the Kingsford Public Safety Officers Association in July 2011. Initially, Richards had indicated to the city that a violation did occur, but she withdrew that determination after receiving additional information from the city's labor attorney, John H. Gretzinger of Grand Rapids. The initial opinion was prompted by a request to the prosecutor initiated by council member Brian Smeester. "I'm not going to vote on anything that changes my pension," Flaminio told Smeester, accusing his fellow council member of "chasing ghosts" and hurting the city's credibility and wasting taxpayer money in the process. Smeester became angry when Mayor Dennis Baldinelli allowed no response, but repeated the accusation that Smeester had wasted taxpayer money. After the meeting, Smeester said he has serious concerns about the long-term burden on taxpayers from city pension obligations.
- Heard Edlebeck report that conversion to a radio system for the city's water system telemetry should be completed soon. The project is being done by P.J. Kortens & Co. of Appleton, Wis., at a cost of $23,218. The radios will replace wireless telemetry currently secured through Niagara Telephone Co. (Cirrinity), which is discontinuing the service effective Jan. 31. The new system will have no ongoing fees, as opposed to the current $420 monthly charge.
- Approved a request from Smeester to place the city's annual budget on the city's website.
- Noted that the city's next meeting will be rescheduled to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, to avoid a conflict with Martin Luther King Day.
Jim Anderson's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.