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Markkinen Bill Could Help Replace Keweenaw County Road Commission Garage

The Keweenaw County Road Commission could be a little closer to replacing its aging maintenance barn.

A bill sponsored by State Representative Greg Markkanen has passed the state House and Senate, and has been sent to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for consideration.

The century-old building in Mohawk failed a safety inspection in 2016, with numerous structural, electrical and mechanical issues. Some of the commission’s equipment is too large to bring in to the building, so repairs need to be performed outside.

Building a new garage will cost $1.5 million. Remodeling the current barn would cost $300,000 more. But, a 1909 state law limits road commissions to 15-year financing on purchases of new property.

Markkanen’s bill would enable road commissions to finance property purchases over as much as 30 years – the way other units of government can.

That could make financing a new facility more affordable.

Markkanen is scheduled to appear on this Sunday’s Copper Country Today program.

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