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New Members Appointed to Houghton City Planning Commission

The Houghton City Planning Commission has three new members.

After considerable discussion at last night’s meeting, members of the city council appointed Norma Veurink and Ben Civaola as citizen representatives.

They replace incumbents Brad Baltensperger and Jennifer Julien. Baltensperger’s request to continue was deemed not to have met the city’s application requirements. Julien had initially notified the city that she did not wish to continue, but later filed an application.

Joan Suits will take over the role of city council representative on the Planning Commission, replacing councilor Mike Needham.

The council approved three requests for Michigan Department of Natural Resources Spark grants. Money could be used to build a roof over the West Houghton Park ice rink, rehabilitate the Bridge Street basketball courts and add pickleball court outlines, or make upgrades to the Chutes and Ladders playground at Kestner Park. 

The DNR will approve no more than one grant per applicant. The program is highly competitive, and there is no guarantee that any of the three applications will be approved.

The Houghton Fire department will welcome three new members: Stuart Tolsma, Maxwell Beard and Elizabeth VanHeusden. Tolsma and Beard are Michigan Tech students.

The council also made a number of committee appointments. Contact the city office for more information regarding those positions.

The city’s attorney has been asked to attend the council’s first meeting of 2023, as discussions about the potential conflict of interest involving councilor Jan Cole continue. Cole is related to the owner of a downtown building who is suing the city, and she helps manage the facility.

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