November 2017

As you read this, most (if not all) of the local road projects should be complete. However, I still feel compelled to apologize one more time for all the inconveniences caused by the sheer number of projects this season. If you’re a local or have been in the area at all this summer, you know what I’m talking about and if you’re new to the area or just passing through, I hope you will enjoy all of our recent traffic improvements. There is more to be done but we are going to have to wait until next construction season for those projects. Stay tuned.

On a more somber note, the area has just experienced two significant weather events (within the same week) that caused not only property damage, but an unfortunate loss of life as well. The good news is that City staff responded very well to both events and I am both happy and proud of the work that they were able to accomplish under harsh terms. Our lakeshore north of East Fair Avenue was hit especially hard but we are doing our best to keep it accessible to the public and we are developing plans to repair and/or improve what we can.

On the bad news side of things, two lives were lost when two people ventured too close to the large waves caused by the storm on the north side of Presque Isle Park and were washed into Lake Superior. Although this type of storm is infrequent, it happens often enough and most, if not all, locals are very aware of the Lake Superior’s intensity and avoid putting themselves in this kind of danger. As a matter of fact, Lake Superior is more like an ocean or sea to us instead of a lake. We do our best to educate and warn as many people as possible, including denying access to those areas that we deem dangerous. Unfortunately, no matter how much we post signs, lock gates or warn people, there are still the few who don’t take it seriously.

Please enjoy the beauty of Lake Superior but also respect it’s power and unforgiveness.

September 2017

Welcome back NMU students, faculty and staff. It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to go back to school, but we all enjoy having you around and contributing to the great community that we live in. However, I do have to apologize for the state of some of our streets especially those around campus. We made every effort to be further along in the construction process but, typical of many construction projects, things happen to change the best laid plans. In this case, the culprit has been mostly the weather as it has been wetter than expected which slows much of the work. The good news is that it all should be done before the snow flies (which roughly translates to the end of October).

You will also likely notice a lot more construction taking place than is the norm for this time of year. Supported by the progressive view of the City Commission, we are taking advantage of the many new opportunities that are being presented to us to encourage new development. I can honestly say that much of this is being driven by the construction of the new Duke LifePoint hospital in the more centralized location near downtown.

The City Commission’s approach has been to be “partners” in as much of the development as we possibly can. This makes it much more advantageous for everyone to contribute to the success of everything that we do here in the City. As a partner, I feel strongly that a development’s success is our success and, in the case of NMU, what is good for the University is good for Marquette.

One last word to those coming to Marquette for the first time, either as a student, visitor or even those of you returning to the City, please respect Lake Superior. The lake is beautiful and sometimes wondrous to look at but it is also much like a sea and can be very unpredictable, especially in the fall and winter months. Please enjoy the view, but stay safe.

July 2017

Well, we’ve officially begun the summer season but if you’ve lived around here long enough you know that could mean anything from cool to hot and wet to dry weather. It looks like we’re in for cool and wet which can’t, and won’t, prevent us from doing what we do here in the U.P. For many of us, including those of us who run the City, it often means cramming all of our winter made plans into action during the few short months of summer. But before I say anything further, I feel that I need to reiterate my previous apology (in the last newsletter) for any inconvenience we are causing by all the construction taking place. Especially the traffic congestion that is caused by detours. Sorry about that.
No matter the inconveniences, it looks like our summer is shaping up in fine Marquette style with our calendar filled with usual array of festivals, parades and events. The Fourth of July holiday is right around the corner and all indications are that the parade and fireworks organizers are at full speed to make this year’s events the best ever. I happen to have an inside track through one of our City Commissioners who is at the tip of the fireworks spear and I can tell by his demeanor (and just knowing him) that he will not fail.
On another note, the construction of the new Duke LifePoint Hospital is on schedule and moving along very nicely. Because we are responsible for the road projects surrounding the new hospital we are essentially “partners” with DLP in this project. We continue to meet and share information on a regular basis and are very confident that, once competed, the project will have a tremendously positive impact on the entire community.
-Mike

May 2017

We are over a month into spring and to most people that means sunshine, budding trees and flowers and more pleasant weather. To us it means a busier time with a multitude of work including, but not limited to, the opening of parks and beaches, the cleaning of streets and multiuse paths and, of course, construction.
Our two major road projects have been put out for bids and the US41/M28 Bypass and Seventh Street project have already been awarded. In case you didn’t get a chance to see one of my earlier reports, this project involves two roundabouts on the bypass, a third one on Baraga near the new hospital construction site as well as the re-construction of Seventh Street as it nears the bypass intersection. The other major road project involves the building of three more roundabouts in north Marquette. Two on Wright Street at the Lincoln Avenue and Sugarloaf Avenue intersections with the third at Presque Isle and Fair Avenues.
I apologize to all of you for the traffic congestion that this might cause but, in the end, it will vastly improve the traffic flow and safety for all who traverse our City streets and sidewalks.
I have mentioned in previous musings the many projects that have or will be occurring in the City and it seems that more are coming in every day. I’d like to take credit but the truth is that Marquette has taken on a life of its own. What staff and the City Commission can take credit for is recognizing the opportunities when they come. It seems that each new project is something a little out of the ordinary, causing all of us to think a little differently than we normally do.
A common theme among many cities in Michigan is that we should be looking at creative ways of accomplishing the success of the City. In other words, make it easier and more attractive for people to live, work and develop here. I’m thankful that the City Commission and staff see it that way as well.
-Mike

March 2017

Well it’s March and we are all enjoying an unusual reprieve from the harsh winter weather. But, if you been around here long enough, you know it’s only a reprieve and we’ll soon be back out with our shovels and snow blowers.
The last time I wrote, I mentioned that everything seems to be moving along smoothly and I’m glad to report it still is. However, much like my last job, as the old stuff goes out , the new stuff comes in. In this instance, it seems like the new is coming in faster than the old is going out. Which is good in our case because it represents the continuing positive trend in growth and progress.

One of the new directions that the City has recently initiated is a full examination of energy efficiency within our own facilities and public utilities. Recent state legislation, enacted in August 2016, now allows municipalities to take advantage of a lease program to finance new infrastructure that will result in energy savings. The legislation is called the Tax Exempt Lease Program or TELP. It’s great for us in that it allows us to finance energy saving infrastructure projects (which, by the way, are all almost in our Capital Improvement Plan already) over any number of years to a maximum of 20 years. It won’t be counted as debt (which is important to our financial stature) and the best part is that all the improvements will be paid for by the dollars saved in energy costs.

In other words, we are paying for all the improvements with money that we are already spending on energy. The initial study is expected to be completed by July of this year, but all of our preliminary information suggests that it will be successful. This could ultimately be a win-win-win in that we will be more energy efficient, be able to improve infrastructure and more efficiently spend tax dollars, which I’m sure everyone would agree is a good idea.
Hopefully in one of my near future articles I will be able to report a successful effort. See you next time.
-Mike

January 2017

Hello again. Although not official at the time of this writing, winter is here and the City continues to hum along in spite of the weather. All of our road projects are completed for this year with most of the building construction projects closed in and ready for inside work. The only exception that I can think of is the hospital project that still has a lot of steel to go up, but that work will also continue through the winter.
Speaking of buildings, the City Commission recently conducted a tour of the new Public Works facility on Wright street and I have to tell you that it is very impressive. Our contractor, along with City staff, has done a very good job designing a building that will serve the public very well long into the future.
Public Works crews have rotated into their winter operations which primarily deal with snow removal and, especially, keeping our streets clear and safe. I don’t want to miss this opportunity to remind drivers (especially those of you that
are not familiar with winter driving) to adjust your driving to the weather conditions. As a retired Police Officer, I can tell you with some authority that there is a “learning curve” when transitioning from dry pavement driving to driving on the snow. We always commented on the need for drivers (even locals) to “retrain” themselves after the first snow of the year as there is a big increase in traffic crashes during the first few days of snowy conditions. It usually results in unhappy drivers but happy vehicle repair shops. Also, don’t forget the City-wide winter parking ban. Vehicles are not allowed to be parked on any City streets from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. from Nov. 1, 2016 until April 1, 2017.
Well, that’s it for now. We can look forward to another busy summer in 2017 as we have several high impact road construction plans on the table and new building projects in addition to those already in progress. Stay warm for now.

November 2016

Well, fall is upon us and winter is fast approaching. However, if you’ve been around long enough, you know that doesn’t slow us down. By now most of our street construction projects are either done or winding down, the new hospital foundation is in and the new Board of Light and Power Energy Center and City Service Center are rising from the ground. You may be wondering about the City Service Center and its seemingly massive size. It’s actually very close to the size of the previous center with one major difference, the front office space is two stories instead of just one. There are some changes, rearranging if you will, of some of the work areas in the back and the largest portion is the storage area for all of our equipment and is very similar to the old. Still impressive though and we should all be proud that we can support such a facility.

Getting back to road construction, if you thought this past summer was maybe too much, I’m giving you fair warning that next summer may be even busier. We have some very aggressive plans and may very well become the traffic circle (roundabout) capital of the U.P., if not the state. We plan to construct six new ones within the City limits. Three have received quite a bit of public attention because of their relation to the new hospital and the remaining three, while always in our plans, have not.

Two of the three that are related to the new hospital will be located on the US 41/MI 28 by-pass. One will be at Grove Street and the other will be about one quarter mile west to accommodate an entrance to the new hospital campus. The third will be directly south on Baraga Avenue. I should also mention that many of the side streets in this area will also see improvements as well.

Two of the remaining three roundabouts will be on Wright Street; one at the Lincoln Avenue intersection and the other at the Sugarloaf Avenue intersection. The third will be at the intersection of Presque Isle and Fair Avenues.
It’s an aggressive plan, but the timing is right and the roundabouts will be huge improvements to safety and traffic flow. So I hope you will all bear with me as it is progresses. As always, it’s all good for Marquette and our community.

September 2016

The last time I wrote summer was just beginning and we were all looking forward to warmer weather. Now, summer is almost over and I’m not so sure we’re ready for the cold stuff just yet. It certainly appears that the good weather has helped us along with all of our projects. All seem to be moving along just fine with one, Clark Park, completed and open. If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, please stop by. It is quite impressive and my thanks to Michele Butler and the Lambros family for making it a reality.

At the time of this writing we are just finishing up on our annual budget. Our fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 and the City Commission is set to approve the 2017 budget at its regular meeting on Sept. 12. That said, it was not an easy budget and the 2018 budget is looking even more difficult. People will ask, how can that be so with all that is going on? The simple answer is that revenue is not meeting the expenses of day to day government and, unlike the Federal Government, we are not allowed to go into debt. We must balance.

Not many people realize that over 50% of the properties in the City do not pay property taxes or are not taxable. Much of the new construction falls into this category and the projects that do pay taxes are under a “Brownfield” plan which directs their taxes right back into the construction project in the form of infrastructure. It’s all good in that it helps revitalize contaminated or blighted sites and creates a positive long term outlook. However, the short term problem for us is that no revenue goes into our general fund for day to day operations.

All of this is compounded by our rising expenses, much like those incurred by normal homeowners. Utility costs (power, water and sewer) go up for us just like everyone else. Not to mention the ever-rising costs associated with healthcare, retirement and other benefits. The good news (if you can consider it that) is that we are not alone and most municipalities in the state are in the same predicament. Staff will be working hard over the next several months to explore options and keep the City Commission and public informed.

July 2016

Happy Summer everyone and I hope it’s all going well. From my vantage point, all is going well for the City of Marquette. As a matter of fact, very well. Everything that I’ve written about in previous newsletters seems to be coming to fruition. Our old Service Center on West Baraga Avenue is gone and there has been extensive site work completed for the new Duke LifePoint hospital. The site for our new Service Center on Wright Street (which we unofficially refer to as the CityPlex) is cleared and the footings have begun. Construction of the BLP Energy Center, also on Wright Street, is well under way and, adding to all that, the new Clark Park on Lakeshore Boulevard near Presque Isle is almost complete.

Which brings me to my next point: Traffic and, especially, truck traffic. My office has begun to receive calls of concern from city residents. As we have tried to express in many different methods of outreach, this increase in truck traffic was not unexpected. Construction vehicles will be more prominent with the multitude of new construction that is occurring in the City all at the same time. Unfortunately, with this type of growth comes some inconvenience and I hope that everyone will tolerate it with me. All of this is good for the City and I ask for patience and understanding.

As a matter of fact, there used to be a time when summer around here meant less traffic- not so much anymore. In the past, when university students went home for the summer and high school students went their separate ways, vehicle and foot traffic went with them. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending how you look at it), that is all replaced by new faces and vehicles in the form of visitors and tourists. This summer it will likely be compounded by the influx of workers related to the new construction projects.

Again, I must repeat these are all good things and I’m happy to be a part of it. So if you are new to the area or visiting, welcome and I hope you enjoy your stay. If you are permanent, like me, let’s notch up our patience and tolerance levels and enjoy the experience. As I mentioned before, it’s all good.

May 2016

Happy Spring everyone. I hope this message finds everyone enjoying a very welcome season. To continue the theme from my last message, we here at the City are still pushing ahead with our major projects; however, we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. The Duke LifePoint Hospital construction is on schedule with a groundbreaking planned for May 26 at the site of the outdoor ice rink next to the old Service Center on Baraga Avenue. The Department of Public Works has moved into temporary facilities on Baraga Avenue and Wright Street. With that in mind, as I write this bids are going out for the construction of the new Service Center on Wright Street. Once done, a final Guaranteed Maximum Price will be presented to the City Commission on May 31. If approved, construction is slated to begin on June 1. Like I said, there is light. My thanks and appreciation for the fine work (and suffering) done by City staff to bring everything successfully to this point.

There is still a considerable amount of work left to be done by City staff as we move ahead with our part of the construction of new traffic routes and other infrastructure surrounding the new hospital. In case you haven’t heard, the tentative plans call for the realignment of South Seventh Street to coincide with a new roundabout on the bypass at South Seventh Street and Grove Street. An additional roundabout will be added about a quarter mile west of that intersection to allow easy access to Baraga Avenue and the new hospital. And just to top it off, we are planning another roundabout just north of that one on Baraga Avenue. So if you like roundabouts it’s good news. If not, you may have to adjust as best you can. The overall consensus is that roundabouts work very well.

Construction of the new Clark-Lambros Park on Lakeshore Boulevard near the Dead River is underway and should be completed later this summer. By all indications this will be a really nice addition to our City park system and will offer a new destination for those wishing to enjoy the lake and beach. My thanks to Michele Butler and the Clark family for their generous contribution to the City.

One other construction project worth keeping an eye on is the work being done for the new Board of Light and Power Energy Center on Wright Street. I say this not because the actual construction may be of interest to watch, but the transport of the three new large gas fired generators might be. The generators are massive and require very large and extremely slow-moving trucks for transport. Their arrival will likely require road closures and other unique accommodations to get them to the site. Even more interesting is the method used to transport them to Marquette from Finland and offload them. Our capabilities are limited for such a task and there are only two options. One is to offload from a ship at the site of the Shiras Steam Plant on South Lake Street. The other is a beach landing somewhere in the area of East Wright Street near the Superior Dome.

From my perspective, it’s all good news so go out and enjoy summer in Marquette.

MarquetteMI.Gov

1 week ago

City of Marquette - Municipal Government

Thanks City of Marquette - Municipal Government employees for your support to this great community and the United Way of Marquette County ... See MoreSee Less

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A work session has been scheduled for Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. between the City Commission and Planning Commission to discuss the recommended Land Development Code (LDC) amendments regarding recreational marijuana licenses. The City Commission approved an ordinance in October allowing recreational licenses in the City and the Planning Commission has held four work sessions to discuss how to accommodate these licenses into the LDC.

The Planning Commission approved the recommendations after a public hearing held at their meeting on Jan. 7.

For the full text of these recommendations, as well as illustrative maps and a breakdown of the full public process regarding this topic, please visit marquettemi.gov/marijuana.
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The City of Marquette has a part-time position available for a Clerical Aide/Election Support in the Clerk’s Office. This position averages up to 29 hours per week. Must be available to work a flexible schedule Monday through Friday. The hiring rate is $10.75 /hr and includes paid time-off benefit. Applicant must have previous office experience, good customer service skills, be proficient in Word & Excel and type 40 wpm.

Applications and a job description are available at www.marquettemi.gov or in the Human Resources Office located at 300 W. Baraga Ave. Applications will be accepted through January 24, 2020. EOE
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Contact Info

City Hall:

+1 906-228-0435

300 W. Baraga Ave., Marquette, MI 49855

Municipal Service Center:

+1 906-228-0444

1100 Wright St., Marquette, MI 49855

Tourist Park Reservations:

+1 906-228-0465

 

Hours

City Hall:

M-F: 8 am - 5 pm

Municipal Service Center:

M-F: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

Police and Fire on duty 24/7

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