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The Final Houghton County Commission Meeting for 2021

The last county commission meeting for the year approved new mental helath board members, the early stages of a steering committee and updates to the opiod crisis settlement by the county. To start the meeting Commissioner Koskala recognized correspondence from the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard responded with a no, in reference to the county’s efforts to limit recreational boat traffic under the bridge during peak traffic times.

Commissioner Tikkanen thanked Jeff Ratcliffe from KEDA for help in making contacts for the early stages of a steering committee for a new expanse across the Portage Canal. Initial members will include commissioners Tikkanen and Anderson, representatives from municipalities near the canal, MDOT’s Rob Tervo and Vince Bevins, and two professors from Michigan Tech, Tess Ahlborn and Stanley Vitton. The first step is a feasibility survey to understand the possible locations and sites for a new way across the waterway, what that development could take the form of, and the potential cost of construction.

The board also accepted the appointment of Julie Farmer and Richard Herrala to the Copper Country Mental Health Board. And while final figures have not been relayed to the county in the opiod crisis settlement. Houghton can anticipate receiving a quarter percent of the 15 percent that will be allocated from the total settlement for the state. Houghton County’s settlement relies on the acceptance of all other counties partnered in their lawsuit led by Michigan Attorney Sam Bernstein.

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