Breitung needs more volunteer firefighters

QUINNESEC — Breitung Township is seeking more volunteers to join its fire department and will reach out to residents through a direct mailing and information on the township’s website and the fire department’s Facebook page.

Department policy calls for at least 45 firefighters on the roster, Fire Chief Jeff Iverson said, but membership now is at 31. Firefighters are spread out between the department’s three stations in Quinnesec, East Kingsford and the northern part of the township.

The township board on Monday voted 6-1, with Township Treasurer Carol Taylor opposed, to pay up to $1,400 to CJ Graphics of Kingsford to design a postcard with firefighter recruitment information and mail it to township residents. Taylor said she thought township staff could do the work in-house.

Although the response rate is expected to be low, the mailing will complement recent recruitment efforts on the township’s website and in its summer newsletter, Township Superintendent John Gaudette said.

Anyone interested in joining the fire department can call the Breitung Township Hall at 906-779-2052.

In other business, the board:

— Supported a request from Bill and Samantha Neuens for the Dickinson County Road Commission to abandon Roy Street in East Kingsford. Samantha Neuens is the Township Clerk and a member of the board.

The Neuens said in a letter to the board they are the only ones with a home on that street and the only ones who use the street, which is gravel and “has an appearance of an alley rather than a street.” If the abandonment is approved, they will turn the street into part of their yard, they said.

Township staff confirmed there are no utilities nor plans for water main installation in the area, Gaudette said.

— Approved a formal agreement with the city of Kingsford regarding the township using city water to service customers in the West Breitung area of Hoadley Avenue and Maple Street. Although Kingsford has been supplying water to this area since the 1930s, there never was an agreement detailing each municipality’s responsibilities, Gaudette said.

With an agreement in place, the municipalities can move forward later this year or in the spring with a project to relocate and upgrade the 1930s meter pit and add a new water main in the West Breitung area.

— Applied for a $4,000 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality scrap tire cleanup grant for 2019. The program has been successful in the past, Gaudette said, with 1,136 scrap tires collected from township residents so far this year. The limit is 2,000 tires.

— Supported a grant application submitted by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for improvements at the Piers Gorge unit of the Menominee River State Recreation Area.

— Accepted a formal resignation letter from Township Assessor Joan Nelson, listing her last day as Oct. 5. The board previously was under the impression she would leave this month.

— Allowed board members and Gaudette to attend the Michigan Townships Association “On The Road” seminar Oct. 10 in Harris. The township will cover the cost of registration and mileage, as well as per diem payments for trustees.

— Went into closed session to discuss a confidential, written legal opinion regarding township personnel and employee compensation issues.