New land has been annexed in Houghton county. The Sharon avenue lot that currently exists in Portage Township, will move into the city of Houghton’s jurisdiction. The land from the lot will be set aside until plans can be developed for the county to build a new jail and county sheriff facilities. The project was a primary goal of Houghton county’s late sheriff Brian McLean.
The commission also voiced frustrations with MDOT’s handling of the Portage Lift Bridge’s maintenance work. MDOT has chosen to not work 24/7 on the bridge, resulting in more traffic jams in downtown Houghton and Hancock. The work on the bridge started back up only a couple weeks ago during peak tourism season for many businesses around the region. Workers are continuing to work as quickly as possible to finish maintenance on the bridge.
The board would also discuss the purchase of the John Deere excavator currently being leased by the county. The board approved the purchase of the equipment at 38,200 dollars. If the county had chosen to renew the lease for newer equipment the county would end up paying more over the term of the new lease. By purchasing the excavator the county will be responsible for maintenance to the machine, but according the county’s mechanic the excavator should have a few more years of solid work ahead of it.