Anti-wind vote petition OK’d


DEC 13, 2018 | JOSHUA VISSERS | The Mining Gazette

L’ANSE — Township clerk Brian Jentoft confirmed he has verified 410 signatures for the petition for a referendum on the zoning ordinances concerning wind turbines in the township at Wednesday’s Township Board meeting.

Now the board must decide on when the election will be held and the language for the ballot.

“I’m against having a special election because of the expense,” said treasurer Kristine Rice.

The board estimates a special election in May would cost the township about $3,000. However, the next regular election might not be until November of 2020.

“The voters basically said they wanted this, and I don’t think anybody wants to wait until August or longer,” said supervisor Peter Magaraggia.

A resolution with proposed ballot language is being prepared by the board’s legal counsel and is expected to be ready for the next regular meeting on Jan. 9. The board decided to table the matter of when to have the election until then.

A small group of people at the meeting requested a street light be installed at the corner of Indian Cemetery Road and Roth Road.

Jeremy Forcia was there with his children, Kobe, 6, and Kaylee, 5, who get picked up there by the school bus in the winter when the bus cannot turn around on Roth Road, which is a dead end. Forcia said he is been looking for the right authority to be able to grant the request, from the county, to the school, and finally the township.

The board unanimously agreed to approve the request and talk to the power company about installing a light for the bus stop.

Wallace “Buddy” Sweeney took his seat on the board for the first time, replacing Brian Kissel. Sweeney was also appointed unanimously to replace Kissel as the board’s liaison to the planning commission.

The township’s attorney advised the board it was OK to have Sweeney, a village resident, join the Planning Commission because he is the board’s liaison. However, that still leaves Roy Kemppainen and Joan Bugni, both village residents, on the board.

Legal opinions differ on whether or not this is acceptable or if one of the members should be replaced with a resident of the township outside the village. The board took no action.

At the recommendation of legal counsel, the board will also establish a zoning board of appeals, a three- to five-member board with two alternates, appointed by the Township Board. According to Magaraggia, it will require a public hearing which will be set up in the future.

The township also opted out of recreational marijuana sales, at least for the time being.

“The state doesn’t even know what they’re doing yet,” Magaraggia said.

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