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      Public study for Fire Hall resolution

      The City of Ishpeming's deteriorating fire hall took center stage at the council meeting.

      Firefighters say they need a new fire hall, but some on the council are concerned about the three million dollar price tag. The Wednesday meeting was packed with many firefighters waiting to find out what the council is going to do about the fire hall.

      Council members are keeping their options open, but focusing on what the public wants. So to the public it goes! Council members passed a resolution directing the city manager to conduct a study to gauge public support of a millage for a new hall.

      Ishpeming Mayor Pat Scanlon says every option should be looked at.

      "The issue at hand, however, is that we have a floor that is not in imminent danger but everyday is getting worse. So while we need to do the right thing, we need to do it somewhat expeditiously," said Scanlon.

      The discussion comes after reports that the fire hall building is deteriorating. Building engineers have said the structure of the floor can't hold the weight of the trucks, and that the basement is covered in groundwater.

      Councilwoman Claudia Demarest says combining facility services with Negaunee needs to be thoroughly assessed.

      "Is there any way we can feasibly build one facility for everyone?" asked Demarest.

      The city is also pursuing grant money for combining public safety services with the city of Negaunee.

      Councilman Michael Tall says they should do everything possible to get state funding.

      "It can be done. Is it easy? No, it's a lot of work, it's a lot of time, but it's something that can't be overlooked," said Tall.

      Fire Chief Ed Anderson and firefighters are still holding out hope that the public recognizes their need for a new fire hall.

      "It's nice that it's out in the public right now. We really need the public's input on this whole situation. It can be very expensive, and the public really needs to get involved with it," said Anderson.

      Council members also decided to go ahead with the Phelps PILOT project that will turn what use to be Phelps school into an income-based, multi-housing facility.

      Construction is expected to begin in the fall.