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Houghton County Board of Commissioners Approve 2016-17 Budget

The 2016-17 budget for Houghton County is approved.

The Board of Commissioners passed the annual General Appropriations Act at their regular meeting Tuesday.

The budget passed 4-1, with Commissioner Scott Ala casting the only “No” vote, after suggesting the board consider setting money aside each year to pay for a new jail.

The kitchen renovation at the old jail is nearly complete. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

 

The residents of Baltic are concerned about motorists speeding through their town.

Additional 25 mph speed limit signs were reportedly put up by Adams Township but they were taken down by the Houghton County Road Commission.

County Road Engineer Kevin Harju said the township did not follow the proper procedure for having signs put up and they needed to be taken down before winter.

Baltic resident David Fox presented a petition to the board which requested the signs be returned.

Fox was directed to the Houghton County Road Commission to try and work out a solution.
The struggle with NorthCare Network continues.

Houghton County Commissioner Tim Palosaari reported that payments made to the coordinating agency are not being dispersed to substance abuse services as directed.

The board agreed they would halt payments to NorthCare for the time being.

The county plans to get a legal opinion from an attorney on how to proceed.
A mass of tires from a site in Painesdale are now gone.

Houghton County came into possession of the site last year through a tax foreclosure–and with it some 26,000 old tires.

The Department of Environmental Quality took away about 22,000.

The last of the remaining 4,000 tires were removed on Monday.

The county is seeking a grant from the State of Michigan for the cleanup.
Never leave home without it, even if you’re visiting the Houghton County Courthouse.

Credit cards are now being accepted at several offices in the courthouse, including the Clerk’s office and Register of Deeds, Probate/Family Court, the Marina, the Treasurer’s office, the Building Department and the county is working on setting up the Sheriff’s Office.

Those using a credit card at the courthouse will pay a three percent convenience fee.
Preliminary reports are that attendance was up at the Houghton County Fair.

Final numbers have not been released, but despite some weather concerns going into the fair, there was an estimated 1.2 percent increase in attendance.
The Houghton County Board of Commissioners were divided on an appointment to the Department of Health and Human Services Board.

The board is responsible for the operation of the Houghton County Medical Care Facility.

Commissioner Tony Pintar made the motion to reappoint Christy Hilgers.

There have been no other applicants for the position.

Board Chair Al Koskela said he has had input that there should be someone from the medical field on the board and suggested the issue be tabled until December.

Pintar expressed his concern that someone from the Tea Party could end up on the board and affect the operation of the Medical Care Facility.

Hilgers’s appointment failed 3 to 2, with the board’s three Republican members voting against it and Democrats Pintar and Scott Ala in favor.

The county will advertise for additional applicants for the position.
All Houghton County Courthouse staff will undergo Active Shooter Training next month.

The half-day training session will take place on October 25th.

Emergency Manager Jack Dueweke said this training will add to the security measures already in place.
The next two monthly meetings of the Houghton County Board of Commissioners will fall on alternative dates.

The October meeting will be on the 4th and November’s meeting will be on the 8th, which is also Election Day.

Normally, the board meets on the second Tuesday following the first Monday of the month.

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