2017-05-11 / Front Page

Work Underway at Epoufette Bay Site

By Stephen King

Most of the land on the point has been cleared, with an old building and debris removed, for a new boat launch facility that the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is installing at Epoufette Bay. Some dredging has taken place and sheet pilings are being installed, with most of that work expected to be completed by this fall. Matt Fogg of Fogg Marine Construction updated the Hendricks Township Board of Trustees on the project at their meeting Wednesday, April 26.

Mr. Fogg expects the facility to be completed and open to the public by next spring. The tribe received a grant of about $610,000 from the Great Lakes Fisheries Trust Fund for the work.

The public will be able to launch boats there, but the docking portions will be reserved for Sault Tribe commercial fishers. There will be room for five vessels. The launch ramp and parking areas will be open to the general public.

Hendricks Township board members past and present have expressed their support for the project, noting that the increased access to the abundant sport fishery in the immediate area should be a boon to local businesses. This includes the campground that the township owns on Epoufette Bay.

Board Will Put Millage Renewal to Vote

The township is now fiscally sound, the board noted, but if able to renew a one-mill tax for operating expenses, the money could be put to good use for the township. The tax amounts to roughly $15,000 for the township per year and, if renewed, could continue another four years. This tax was implemented some years ago when the township was facing financial hardship, with the idea that this money would shore up the finances. That plan has succeeded, and the township no longer faces that hardship.

The board discussed whether to ask voters to renew the tax. Supervisor Howard Hood noted that without the money, the township could survive, but he and the board members also said that, with the one-mill renewal, there are many things the money could be used for. Board members noted various projects in the township that the money could be used for, and Trustee Bill Cheeseman summarized the discussion by saying, “It’s up to the voters to decide.”

Township Mowing Contract Awarded

Peggy Benoit was awarded a contract for mowing the parks, cemeteries, the township hall property, and other township properties. One of two bidders for the project, she will charge $12.50 per hour. The other bidder, a landscaper from Gould City, proposed a plan that would amount to about $35 per hour.

For many years, Art and Dorothy Mills have done the work for the township, but are not able to continue.

While the township had asked for bids only on mowing, the board noted the Mills had done much more work, such as installing a dock, checking on the parks, and other small duties. At this time, the board decided to go with the bids on just the lawn care, and deal with the other work later. The board will ask the winning bidder if she will also do the other duties the Mills had been doing, at her same pay rate.

Fire Department Runs

Hendricks Township Fire Chief Bill Cheesman reported his department had three runs last month, all for medical assists.

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