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Kingsford to seek AARP grant for pickleball courts

KINGSFORD — The city of Kingsford plans to apply for an AARP Community Challenge Grant of $20,000 to construct pickleball courts in Lodal Park.

The idea came from city resident Andy Wiltzius, who approached the citizen’s advisory committee. The city will provide up to $5,000 in matching funds. The grant application is due April 12.

In the past, the city has tried to get money for pickleball courts through a Michigan Recreation Passport grant. Last year the city applied for a project in the amount of $180,000, which included a $135,000 grant and a $45,000 local match, for the pickleball courts and to replace aging playground equipment at Lodal, but they were not approved.

Pickleball is a ball-and-paddle game played over a net on a badminton-sized court. It is one of the fastest growing recreational sports in the country.

Iron Mountain has pickleball courts on Stanton Street.

In other business, the council:

— Agreed to modify a purchase agreement for a property at Breen and Beech streets to give the owner a one-year extension for construction. In the original agreement, the owner had one year from purchase to begin construction and one year to complete construction, once it was underway. Because of the pandemic, construction costs have increased substantially and it is difficult to find a contractors, according to city manager Mike Stelmaszek. The owners hope to have the basement completed this summer, he said.

— Approved a part-time employment agreement with assessor Amy Payant until her position is filled. The agreement goes one week after the new employee is hired to make sure the transition is smooth. Stelmaszek said the position has been advertised, with one qualified applicant responding so far.

— Approved the hiring of no more than three part-time employees for the summer.

— Learned rubbish collection will begin Monday, April 19, in the Ford Addition, then proceed to the Heights, Garden Village, Breitung and outlying areas. Jeff DeMuri, public works director, said the department will also be collecting leaves, brush and garden waste. Only one pass will be made.

— Was updated on a $1,000 deposit, authorized at a special meeting March 22, to reserve a 2015 4 x 4 plow truck. The remaining $64,000 will be paid when the unit is available in early to late summer. At the special meeting, DeMuri requested to purchase the truck for sale in Vermont. The cost of a new truck would exceed $200,000. A truck purchase is included in the 2021-22 capital improvement budget.

— Approved a modification to correct a slight error in the purchase agreement on the sale of property to G&E Realty at Breen and Beech, adjacent to a new restaurant opening soon.

— Approved a request to hold the Fourth of July parade on July 3.

— Approved road closures on streets around the Kingsford High School during graduation on May 29 and the U.P. Finals track meet on June 5.

Marguerite Lanthier can be reached at 906-774-3500, ext. 242, or mlanthier@ironmountaindailynews.com.

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