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Hancock City Clerk Retires, Ward III Council Seat Filled

The city of Hancock says farewell to an employee who has worked for them for over four decades.

City Clerk Karen Haischer has retired after nearly 43 years of service, with 35 of those years in the position of clerk and treasurer.

In her letter to the city, Haischer says she began as a billing clerk in 1974 under then-city manager John Sullivan.

At their December meeting Wednesday, the city council passed a resolution honoring her service.

The new city clerk is Hancock-native Mary Babcock.

City Manager Glenn Anderson says Babcock has been training for the position and will begin her duties officially on Tuesday.

She has a Bachelors degree in Accounting and has worked as a Controller for a concrete company in Minnesota before returning to the area and working in Michigan Tech’s payroll department and, most recently, Northern Hardwoods.

Anderson said there were 18 applicants for the position, four were interviewed.

There’s another new face on the Hancock City Council.

The Ward III position will be filled by long-time Hancock resident and property owner Paul LaBine.

LaBine is a graduate of Michigan Tech with a Master’s Degree in Statistics and a law degree from Chicago.

He expects to be able to bring his mathematics and legal expertise to local government.

His appointment was approved by the city council and he will be sworn in at their January meeting.

The Hancock Fire Department’s new fire truck will be delivered one week from today.

Members of the fire department will travel to receive training on the $360,000 pumper, and then bring the vehicle back.

Councilman and Hancock firefighter Ted Belej said the new truck utilizes a compressed air foam system in conjunction with water, providing better fire suppression.

The hoses are also much lighter because of the system, making it easier for crews to manage.

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club has launched a capital campaign with a goal to raise $90,000.

City Manager Glenn Anderson said the club is looking to raise $60,000 for a tractor and attachments for trail maintenance.

An additional $20,000 would go toward the Sisu Bridge replacement.

The mission of the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club is to promote the sport of cross-country skiing in the Keweenaw Peninsula for both youth and adults and to provide stewardship of the Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids trails in Hancock.

The city of Hancock is expecting to receive funding from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for its beach dock project.

The DNR trust fund grant of $294,000 would be matched with $106,000 in local funds.

Hancock City Manager Glenn Anderson said the project was scored 35th out of 132 projects by the DNR.

The awards still need to be approved by the state legislature and signed by the governor.

The funds should be available later in 2017 and the design work on the project is expected to start in February or March.

In other business, the council approved new 3-year tentative contract agreements with the AFSCME Police Supervisory Union and the POAM Police Union.

The council also made City Council appointments to various committees, as wells as approving re-appointments to the city’s 2017 committees, commissions and boards.

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