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Kingsford hires new public works supervisor

KINGSFORD — The Kingsford City Council has hired a public works superintendent, filling a roughly year-long vacancy.

Jeff DeMuri, who was Florence County’s highway commissioner for 12 years and has 11 years’ experience with engineering firms, will join the administrative staff Sept. 2, City Manager Tony Edlebeck said.

DeMuri’s starting salary will be $65,000. He comes to the city from Coleman Engineering of Iron Mountain.

The superintendent oversees operation and maintenance of Kingsford’s water and sewer systems, as well as streets, refuse collection and municipal parks and buildings. Edlebeck and senior public works staff have handled those duties since Justin Wickman resigned to take a private sector job.

Meanwhile, the city continues to advertise for a city manager in anticipation of Edlebeck’s retirement. “We’re in search phase,” he explained. “There’s no definite timeline.”

The search now is to ensure a smooth transition, Edlebeck said.

In other news, the city:

— Has accepted a Safe Routes To Schools grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to improve walking access to Woodland Elementary School and Kingsford Middle School/High School. The project includes walking paths or sidewalk improvements on Pyle Drive, Hooper Street and Breitung Avenue.

The grant will cover construction costs estimated at $490,000, but the city is responsible for design and engineering fees paid to Coleman Engineering. Bidding will take place through MDOT in September, with construction likely next year.

— Will conduct a managed archery deer hunt on designated parcels in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, securing up to 65 antlerless permits. The three-month hunt begins Oct. 1. This is the 10th year

for a hunt but the first in which baiting will be prohibited under restrictions related to chronic wasting disease.

— Has approved the purchase of a 2020 plow truck with a stainless steel box from U.P. Truck Center of Quinnesec at $157,109, the lowest bid that met specifications.

— Is advertising a vacancy on its Police and Fireman’s Pension Board. The council adopted a resolution of appreciation for Bruce LeBlanc, who served 21 years on the board and is moving out of the area.