L’Anse manager gets new 4-year contract

L’ANSE – The L’Anse village council approved a new contract for Village Manager Bob LaFave at Monday night’s regular meeting.

LaFave came to L’Anse five years ago, initially with a one-year contract, and he’s wrapping up a four-year deal now. The village council Monday went into closed session to discuss a new deal and offered him another four-year contract, starting July 1, with a raise. LaFave accepted, and the council unanimously approved it upon returning to open session.

LaFave’s base salary will go from about $57,000 this year to about $62,000 for the first year of his new contract, with $1,500 raises each consecutive year for the duration of the contract.

“Thank you for everything you do for us, Bob,” said Cheryl Dingeldey, council president, during the meeting. “I truly appreciate it, and I believe the community sees the improvements and the progress we’ve made in the last five years here.”

Also during Monday’s meeting, the council approved a raise for Mike Bianco, volunteer fire chief for the village. The position had been paid $270 per month since at least 2006, and Monday the council increased the amount to $400 per month.

Both LaFave and Bianco’s raises will be factored into the upcoming fiscal year’s budget, which is expected to be approved at the 6 p.m. June 24 meeting.

“I think we’ve done marvelous work for the village today,” said Jim Hulkonen, village council trustee. “We need to keep going forward, and this is one way to make sure we do.”

In other business Monday, the council:

approved renewing appointments to the Downtown Development Authority for Steve Koski, Matt Elmblad and Tom Racette.

heard from Greg Fish, village water and wastewater superintendent regarding some communication issues with sewage lift stations that had been fixed as of earlier Monday. Some of the modems with the phone system will need to be replaced, though, and a price quote is pending.

heard thanks from Trustee Leann Davis to village workers and volunteers for the Baraga County Lake Trout Festival on Saturday.

“It was one of the nicest ones we’ve ever had, and I think the largest crowd,” she said. “I’d like to thank everyone involved that did anything.”