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Boss Snowplow plans IM expansion

IRON MOUNTAIN — Boss Snowplow plans an expansion that will add 24 jobs within two years at its manufacturing facility north of Lake Antoine.

The company is seeking a tax break on the $12.5 million project. Iron Mountain City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the request for 6 p.m. Aug. 3.

Meeting by teleconference Monday, the council confirmed the project is eligible for an Industrial Facilities Tax exemption for up to 12 years, providing a 50% reduction in local property taxes.

Boss plans to spend $3.5 million to construct a building of 45,000 square feet, plus invest $9 million in machinery, equipment and furnishing. The expansion, which includes a new paint system and robotics, will allow for greater efficiencies and increased production. Along with the 24 new jobs, it should retain 15 jobs, according to the company’s application.

The city is prepared to allow the exemption, but also wants Boss to refrain from filing any assessment appeals to the Michigan Tax Tribunal for the duration of the IFT exemption. No agreement has been reached on the stipulation, as the company continues to consider it, City Manager Jordan Stanchina said.

“They’re going to take a review of it,” he told the council.

Two years ago, the city sought a similar concession from Systems Control on an IFT exemption for a $9.9 million project bringing at least 100 new jobs. Eventually, the parties agreed to just a three-year ban on Tribunal appeals.

In another matter related to Boss, the council accepted a bid of $34,357 from Dun-Rite Asphalt of Marinette, Wis., to seal and fill cracks in the Boss-Toro parking lot, which is the site of a former city landfill.

Under terms of a grant paid to remediate the property, the city maintains ownership of the lot and leases it to the company for parking, Stanchina explained. The city continues to investigate whether it might be able to surrender ownership, he said.

The only other bid was from Asphalt Doctor of Iron Mountain at $36,496. The council decided against a mastic coating that would have added nearly $5,000 to the cost.

In other business, the council:

— Heard Police and Fire Services Director Ed Mattson encourage the public to contact the department with concerns about side-by-sides or other off-road vehicles traveling city streets. While such traffic is permitted for trail access, there are regulations, including the need for operators to be licensed. Mayor Dale Alessandrini said he’s witnessed several incidents that raise safety worries. “I think our police have to crack down on it a little bit,” he said.

— Discussed traffic hazards related to portable basketball hoops, with Mattson saying “if there’s a problem we’ll address it.” Alessandrini said it appears some hoops aren’t being pulled off the road at night. “I don’t think a public street should be a playground,” added council member Ken Clawson.

— With the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in Dickinson County, agreed to wait another two weeks before deciding whether to make any changes in amenity access at city parks. For now, restrooms will remain open.

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