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North Dickinson bonding proposal passes

Dana Ferguson

IRON MOUNTAIN — North Dickinson County School District voters approved a $300,000 bonding issue and Sagola Township voters endorsed millage renewals in Tuesday’s primary election.

The school proposal received 400 yes votes to 211 no votes. The 1 mill levy, or $1 per 1,000 in taxable property value, will help finance two new buses and technology upgrades and equipment over the next three years.

With approval of the bonding issue, the school board intends to drop an almost equal amount from its sinking fund millage, which can only be used for building projects.

Sagola Township had three millages up for renewal on Tuesday and all passed easily:

— 1 mill, or $1 per $1,000 of taxable value, for two years for fire protection, raising an estimated $50,870 when first levied in 2021, approved 221 yes to 66 no.

— 0.75 mills, or 75 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, for two years for ambulance protection, raising an estimated $38,150 when first levied in 2021, approved 227 yes to 57 no.

— 1 mill, or $1 per $1,000 of taxable value for four years for road repairs, raising an estimated $50,870 in the first year, 2021, approved 195 yes to 91 no.

With only a handful of races contested, a total of 5,345 ballots were cast in Dickinson County, representing a turnout of about 25%.

In the Democratic primary in the 1st Congressional District, Dana Ferguson of Negaunee drew 1,304 votes in Dickinson County, while Linda O’Dell of Petoskey received 744 votes. Ferguson won the nomination with 64.2% of the vote district-wide.

Ferguson — who will challenge U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, in November — said his campaign is focused on union labor, green jobs, and a revitalization of infrastructure

Unopposed in the Republican primary, Bergman received 2,678 votes in Dickinson County.

In contested township races Tuesday:

— Breitung Township had five candidates in the Republican primary for four trustee seats. Paul J. Taff received the most votes with 533, followed by incumbent Aaron Rochon, 505; Ben Peterson, 477; incumbent Rich Wales, 470; and incumbent Brent Johnson, 462.

— Breen Township had three Republican candidates for two trustee seats. Travis Woodward, 140 votes, and Mick Reynolds, 115 votes, prevailed over Kimberly L. Cary, 44 votes. There will now be a three-way race in November, with Kevin E. Cary qualifying for the ballot with 18 votes in the Democratic primary. In the Republican primary for Breen treasurer, Katie Dixon defeated Claude Siders, 120 to 66. In a Republican primary for constable, Brian Farwell defeated Brenda R. Cary, 112 to 59.

— In the Waucedah Township Republican primary for constable, Danny Kelly prevailed over Dave Wilcox, 62 to 31.

— In a late result from Iron County’s Mastodon Township, Jan Lemke, the incumbent clerk, turned back a Republican primary challenge from Jim Erickson, 88 to 58.

Partial results from Iron County were posted late Tuesday night, while Dickinson County reported its complete results just before midnight. A high number of absentee ballots pushed tallying work into Wednesday in some areas of Michigan.

In Iron County, the only contested race for a county office on Tuesday’s ballot was for an Iron County Road Commission seat. Incumbent Ernest J. Schmidt prevailed over Ray Margoni in the Democratic primary, 709 to 634.

Iron County voters approved a new one-mill property tax levy Tuesday to support the county’s central 911 dispatch service. The county-wide results showed 1,868 yes votes to 864 no votes.

In conjunction with the new millage of $1 per $1,000 of taxable value, a telephone surcharge of $2.70 per device will be eliminated, according to Iron County Central Dispatch.

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