A REGULAR MEETING of the Board of Chippewa County Road Commissioners was held in their office located at 3949 S. Mackinac Trail, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on May 9, 2013.

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m. followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

PRESENT:  Commissioners Timmer, LaJoie and Ormsbee, Manager Laitinen, Office Mgr. Decker, Clerk McDowell, Surveyor Wiggins, Foreman McConkey, Foreman Pesola and Foreman Erickson.

ABSENT:  Assistant Engineer Deatrick, Chief Mechanic Avery and Union President Hopper.

Chairman Timmer approved agenda as presented.

MOTION by Commissioner LaJoie SECONDED by Commissioner Ormsbee that the Payroll in the amount of $107,027.98 and Vouchers in the amount of $421,243.97 be approved and authorized for payment from the County Road Fund subject to audit.


MOTION by Commissioner Ormsbee SECONDED by Commissioner LaJoie to approve the minutes from the Regular Meeting held on April 25, 2013.



Jesse Knoll thanked crews on Sugar Island for a great job in taking care of the roads.


Foreman Pesola

  • Performing state and county guardrail repairs
  • Working on general road maintenance

Foreman Erickson

  • Performing shoulder work on our gravel roads
  • Working on a major washout on Sugar Island
  • Brushing on various roads
  • Working on our seasonal roads
  • Moved screen plant to our 15 Mile and M-129 pit
  • Clearing work on Ridge Road south of 7 Mile Rd

Foreman McConkey

  • General road maintenance
  • Brushing on Hanna Road
  • General equipment maintenance
  • Crack sealer working on Drummond Island

Surveyor Wiggins

  •  Working on emergency DEQ permits for the washout which occurred

    on Sugar Island.

Office Manager Decker

  • Announced safety meeting to be held on Tuesday, May 14th

beginning at 7:30 till approximately 3:30.

  • Installation of new phone system for office and garage will begin today.
  • Working on compiling documentation showing expenses incurred for  road washout on Sugar Island.  These expenses could be reimbursable because of the Governors declaration of a state of emergency.
  • Continue work on preparing an up to date equipment listing.



  • Prescribed burn has been scheduled for along M-28 near Soldier’s Lake today by the Forest Service.
  • Reported on Straits Area Council Meeting which was held on Tuesday.  CRAM Director John Niemela’s report was very positive in regards to transportation funding.
  • MSHA training was held last week on Wednesday and Thursday very good instructor.
  • Been tracking and providing comments/questions regarding SB163.  This bill involves many changes to the environmental protection act as it relates to county drains and public utilites.  It would also make changes to the highway exception and wetlands act, which was the basis for our case with the DEQ.  If the changes to the highway exception act where to pass it would negate our case.
  • Reviewing Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society final plans for new parking arrangements at the Whitefish Point, which look good.  There is no funding involvement from us.
  • Attended Whitefish Township meeting to help explain the process for local road improvements.  It was a very encouraging meeting and they are interested in possible agreements for some road projects.
  • Have sent Township Road Agreements to Sugar Island Township for Whitehead Road and 3 Mile Road and to Bruce Township for 13 Mile Road.
  • Seasonal weight restrictions were lifted on Wednesday, May 8th at 8:00 a.m.  Some of the shaded gravel roads are still a little soft but overall everything has healed up well. 
  • Inquired about the potential for a joint meeting with NOAA, Great Lakes Commission and E.U.P. Regional Planning to allow them the opportunity to do a presentation on the proposed Sugar Island Causeway project.  The Sugar Island Board would also be invited.  Meeting scheduled to be held on May 23rd at 10:00 a.m.
  • Annual Safety Meeting will be held next Tuesday beginning at 7:30 a.m.  Have a good agenda set and welcomed any Board members who wish to address the staff.
  • Riverside Drive from 9 to 15 Mile is on schedule for a mid June bid letting.


Manager Laitinen gave an update on Resolution #2013-01, which was tabled from our last meeting.  He indicated he has had no further contact with Sault Tribe in regards to the dollars originally promised.  He stated he has had a lot of discussions with MDOT Local Agency programs and have potentially identified $112,350.00 for this project.  These would be federal funds and because of this it was necessary to add additional documentation to our bid package. The bid letting for this project will now be in July with a completion date of November 1st.

Manager Laitinen recommended leaving Resolution #2013-01 as unfinished business.

MOTION by Commissioner LaJoie SECONDED by Commissioner Ormsbee to approve and encourage Office Manager Decker to attend the Finance and Human Resource meeting to be held in Frankenmuth May 14th and 15th.


Notice of U.P. Road Builders Meeting to be held in Copper Harbor June 12th and 13th was presented. 

Manager Laitinen presented request to receive our annual fuel, oil and culvert bids. 

Discussion ensued regarding language for our fuel bids.

MOTION by Commissioner LaJoie SECONDED by Commissioner Ormsbee to authorize Manager Laitinen to take bids as requested.


Office Manager Decker explained our annual procedure for chloride purchases with our townships.  He indicated in the past we have shared in dust control for 1/3 of the cost up to $1,000.00.  Each township communicates to us the number of bags they need and then are responsible for distributing these to their residents.  Some of the townships prefer to utilize these funds for application of a brine solution.  Bag chloride and brine application were discussed.

MOTION by Commissioner Ormsbee SECONDED by Commissioner LaJoie to approve participation with the townships for dust control as described.



Commissioner Timmer reviewed key issues discussed during CRAM Board Meeting.  He indicated CRAM is looking at improvements to a teleconferencing system which would allow Board members who have a distance to travel or who cannot attend because of other reasons to still join in.  They are also looking at performing training and webinars online.  CRAM Board discussed concerns with communications audit and asked that CRAM Director, John Niemela discuss issues in regards to problems on timeframes for project listings with MTOT Local Agency, blended rates for over hires and hiring of a staff engineer.


Commissioner LaJoie expressed his appreciation for a great job our staff continually is doing. 

Commissioner Ormsbee inquired to if the new hires had started yet.

Manager Laitinen stated the Homestead Road paving project is scheduled to begin preparation work the week of May 20th with possible paving on May 28th. 

Manager Laitinen thanked crews who worked very diligently on the washout on Sugar Island.


Mr. James Garlitz indicated no water problems occurred this spring on the south end of Homestead Road where the new road lift was completed last fall.  He commended Road Commission on a great job.  He did inquire about an area where the phone company did excavation near Homestead and Bradshaw which has created a problem area. 

Foreman Erickson stated that the Sugar Island foreman would be taking care of this today.

There being no further business to come before the Board Chairman Timmer adjourned the meeting at 8:53 a.m.

__________________________    ___________________________
Christine A. McDowell                 Richard B. Timmer
Secretary for the Board              Chairman