New fire trucks and recycling bins for the city | News, Sports, Jobs
MARQUETTE — The Marquette Municipal Commission had two proclamations to make and debated two hot topics at its regular meeting scheduled for Monday.
The first proclamation was to recognize April 29 to May 5 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Week.
“I don’t think people realize some of the issues surrounding this topic, I encourage everyone to do more research and examine more of the educational information you can find,” said Pro Tem Mayor Cody Mayer. “These events are also happening here in UP.”
The proclamation states that during Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Week, the city will commemorate the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, continue to shine a light on this issue, and promote policies that will help address this pervasive and tragic problem.
The second proclamation made was to recognize the 25th anniversary of the Marquette Symphony Orchestra and to officially recognize its contributions to the Marquette community.
“I think Marquette is very lucky to have a community asset like the OSM. They have provided so many amazing opportunities for the community, community members and local musicians over the past quarter century. I hope they have another 25 years of success, and many more years beyond that in the community,” said Commissioner Evan Bonsall.
The next order of the day was to present a motion on the purchase of a new fire truck. The fire department is currently using a 2004 Pierce Arrow XT fire truck that has exceeded the average useful life of 15 years and is experiencing frame corrosion issues. Stewards said they saw the truck up close and it was breaking down. The cost of the truck would be $829,080.61, paid at time of order. The funds to pay for the truck would come from the American Rescue Plan Act. The motion passed 6-1, opposed by Commissioner Fred Stonehouse.
While Stonehouse agreed that a new fire truck was needed, he was concerned about the city’s deficit. “We also have the big gorilla in the room, which is the $2 million deficit that we have in the next budget. We have 1.8 to 1.7 million ARPA dollars available that could partially fill this hole. If we use ARPA money to buy a fire truck, we have nothing to help plug that hole,” he said.
The delivery time is estimated at 22 months for the truck.
The final piece of activity was a residential grant for curbside recycling carts. The city applied for and was awarded two grants: the Recycling Infrastructure Grant from the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the Residential Curbside Recycling Cart Grant from the Recycling Partnership . The grants provide 64-gallon recycling carts at no cost to city residents.
The total budget for the project is $355,200, including $344,000 for the acquisition, assembly and distribution of the carts and $11,200 for education and awareness. EGLE’s Recycling Infrastructure Grant and Recycling Partnership’s Residential Recycling Carts Grant will provide $251,000 and $93,000 for the carts, respectively. The Recycling Partnership’s Residential Recycling Cart Grant will also provide $6,200 for education and outreach and the remaining $5,000 of the education budget will come from the city’s existing solid waste management fund budget. The project includes Universal Cart Distribution which automatically provides a cart to every residential household that is eligible for garbage service.
“I’m on the cart side. I think we need to increase recycling if we’re going to stand here and say we’re making progress on environmental practices at Marquette, we need to push for them,” said Commissioner Jessica Hanley.
Stonehouse was concerned that residents could not store the carts at their residence, as they are quite large containers. He also noted that such a large cart is not necessary for one- or two-person households.
“I don’t think this is the right thing for the government to impose on its citizens,” said Stonehouse.
Bonsall echoed Stonehouse’s concerns about storage and the containers being too big for most households. He commented that he thought it was not an efficient use of public resources, even though it did not use city money.
The motion to accept the cart grants passed 4-2, with Bonsall and Stonehouse opposing.
For those who do not want to use the carts, the alternative option for recycling will be to bring the recyclables to the transfer station.
A driver’s license will need to be provided to show that the resident lives in the city. The intention is to distribute the recycling carts this fall.
Taylor Johnson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is [email protected]