Village fails to reach agreement with union

BARAGA – The Baraga Village council went into closed session to discuss the Department of Public Works Teamsters union contract and health care resolution.

Village Manager Roy Kemppainen said he went through a negotiation session with them Jan. 3.

“I had a proposal (from the union) to bring back to the council and the council didn’t accept it as the union had given it to me,” Kemppainen said. “They want me to go back to the union with a counterproposal. So they just authorized me to go back with something else.”

The union contract consists of five DPW employees and one office person.

A work session for the Baraga Village 2013-14 budget will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The fiscal year for Baraga village begins March 1. The session is open to the public.

Kemppainen said the purpose of the session will include making a list of projects that have been under consideration for adding to the budget.

“It wouldn’t be to take action on that budget. It’s pretty much to go over things, like putting Global Information Systems into the water budget,” Kemppainen said.

After the meeting, Kemppainen will make another draft of the budget that ensures proposed projects line up with the available funds.

“Once we get that done we’ll schedule a public hearing to present a finalized budget for comment,” Kemppainen said.

The village also discussed the need for a designated official to sign paperwork for federal purposes on revolving loan programs for low to moderate income individuals.

According to Kemppainen, the employer of the low- to moderate-income individual would have said person fill out paperwork which would then be sent on to the village council. The signature of the designated official is needed as verification the paperwork had been received.

“The village, as far as I know, doesn’t have a designated official,” Kemppainen said. “What I was thinking is that you could make me the official and maybe (Department of Public Works Superintendent) Bill Marlor as the alternate in situations where I can’t do it.”

The board approved a motion to make Kemppainen the designated official and Marlor the alternate.

The Baraga County Historical Society is currently applying for a grant for a new computer and some construction work.

“I want to get a resolution from the council that would support them in their grant applications and then I can write them a letter of support of our behalf,” Kemppainen said.

The board approved the motion to send a letter.

Also heard at the meeting was a report from Bill Marlor about the recent goings-on at the DPW. According to Marlor, there were 80 hours of snow-related activity.

“That’s not much for December,” Marlor said. “When the demand is low, that’s when maintenance gets caught up.”

There was also 114 hours spent on vehicle maintenance and a few more spent on water/sewer related equipment.