KNHP funding in limbo

CALUMET TOWNSHIP – The recent events in Washington, D.C., regarding changes to the tax code and budget issues means funding for the Keweenaw National Historical Park is a bit uncertain now, according to Tom Baker.

Baker, KNHP management assistant, gave the superintendent’s report Tuesday during the KNHP Advisory Commission meeting in the absence of Superintendent Mike Pflaum.

Because of the uncertainty of what will be happening in Congress, Baker said funding for the park is stalled.

“There’s not much movement in Washington, so we’re still under a continuing resolution,” he said.

Park officials will continue operating as usual until it’s known for certain what the funding situation will be, Baker said.

In October, the KNHP Advisory Commission and the Franklin Township Board of Trustees entered an agreement, which will allow the park to purchase the Quincy Smelting Works site in Ripley, and Baker said park officials are working with township officials to get the site removed from the Torch Lake Superfund site.

Baker said restricted covenants, which define how the site can be used in the future, were recently signed and recorded at the Houghton County courthouse, which is one of the final steps needed for de-listing.

“That’s a huge step in the process,” he said. “Hopefully, within a year it should be a done deal.”

On other topics, Baker reported:

nominations for two openings on the advisory commission are moving through Washington, D.C.

the Calumet Cultural Landscape report is available for viewing on the park’s website,

the National Park Service is moving to a new financial system, and that will affect KNHP.

requests for documents and research assistance from the Keweenaw History Center across Red Jacket Road from the park headquarters is “brisk.”

there are several projects park employees would like to undertake, but they are on hold until the funding situation becomes more certain.