Hoag steps down from council

MANISTIQUE – The Manistique City Council is one member short following the resignation of veteran councilman and former mayor Jack Hoag.

The resignation was made official during the city’s regular council meeting Monday night, and the city has already begun the process to fill the vacated seat.

“He stepped down and the city is taking in letters of interest,” said City Manager Sheila Aldrich, adding letters of interest for the open seat will be accepted until Oct. 10.

Hoag’s replacement will be appointed to the council and will carry out the remaining two years of his term. By city charter the vacancy must be voted on during the next regular election, however, the deadline has passed for a candidate to be placed on the ballot this November according to state election law.

The council also voted to move forward with applying for a Downtown Infrastructure Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. That grant would be used to replace the water and sewer on Walnut Street from Oak Street to Pearl Street.

The estimated cost of the project is $350,000. The grant requires a minimum 10 percent match from the city, and the council committed to providing a 10 to 20 percent match.

“We would probably pull that from out major streets and then our water and sewer,” said Aldrich, adding the city may also chose to approach the Downtown Development Authority for funding.

Last week the council met to approve the the replacement of the 24-inch storm sewer on Cedar Street, which was not included in the city’s original reconstruction plan.

According the plan sets maintained by the city, the storm sewer was replaced in 1994. However, the city has no as-built plans from the 1994 construction project and was unaware the the storm sewer had not been replaced until the pipe was uncovered during the current project.

“I do not know why the decision was made at that time,” said Aldrich, adding she believed the decision was financial.

Aldrich also noted the road itself is on schedule and paving is expected to begin next week.

In celebration of the near completion of the road project and Mansitique’s homecoming game, the Manistique Merchant’s Association will be having a special set of sales today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prizes, such as televisions, will also be raffled during the event.