Dickinson Repays 2017 Exhibition Center Construction Loan | News, Sports, Jobs


IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County has repaid a loan it approved in 2017 for a mixed-use building added to the exhibition grounds in Norway.

At a meeting on Monday, the county board noted a $178,790 payment to the Upper Peninsula State Bank, as authorized at a parks meeting on April 4.

In 2014, the former Al’s Appliance building in the 500 block of Main Street in Norway was donated to the Dickinson County Fair by the Ebeling family of Norway. As fair officials sought to use the dismantled metal structure, the county council authorized a loan of up to $250,000 to complete the project.

While the fair council maintained payments on the 15-year loan, it had the county’s backing in the event of late payments.

At the April 4 meeting, the county council decided to use its $112,908 share of Michigan’s 10% adult marijuana excise tax to help pay off the loan. The remaining balance of $65,882 is being paid with funds from the Federal American Rescue Plan.

Among other uses, the building has been leased for immunization clinics conducted by the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department.

The county council also committed $108,875 in ARP funds to replace the roof of the grandstand at the fairgrounds. Lake State Roofing is providing a membrane roof to replace a leaking metal roof, Commissioner John Degenaer Jr. said Monday. The expenses were approved at a March 9 meeting.

In another action on Monday, the council:

– Indicated there will be no increase to its commitment of $288,000 in ARP funds to the County Roads Commission to help repair Cheese Factory Road in Breen Township, even though the work may cost up to $400,000.

– Approved the purchase of a 2017 Ford F150 pickup truck for $16,400. The truck was leased under a Michigan All-Terrain Vehicle Law Enforcement Grant that provides $300 per month, but the dealer is unable to continue the lease. The county plans to lease a new vehicle in the next budget cycle and then reuse the 2017 truck.

— Entered into an agreement with HealthBridge for employees at no cost to the county for the first two years, when it will be reviewed. Health Bridge Financial Inc., headquartered in Grand Rapids, supplements an employer’s health plan by helping participants manage and pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson recently joined the HealthBridge provider network.

– Learned from Commissioner Barbara Kramer that Lake Antoine Park Partners will host special events at the county park this summer, including eight movie nights.

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