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Local News Summary - May 24, 2023 Edition

Engineering firm gives funding for water system presentation at Village of Hillman meeting
Chris Schenk, from the engineering firm of Hubbell, Roth and Clark Inc, attended the May 16 council meeting for the Village of Hillman to explain the process for obtaining funding for an $11 million water system project in Hillman. The seven-year plan includes an additional backup well, new water mains, water system looping and replacement of the elevated water storage tank. He anticipates the project will result in increased water volume, increased water quality and lower levels of iron.

To apply for grant funding, the village must first apply for a 40-year loan from the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy with an interest rate of 1.875 percent for drinking water projects. If no grant is awarded, the loan would require an annual payment of $404,000. That equates to about $107 per user per month, however, Schenk explained the village does not have to accept the loan if no grant funding is awarded.

“We don’t know how much grant money we can get until the end,” he said, adding that figure would be available in October.

According to Schenk, the grant application will be for 70-80 percent of the cost of the project. The economic characteristics of Hillman, he said, will add a lot of points toward eligibility for the grant. His goal, he said, is to keep user contributions to the project at about $10 per month, and the council voted in favor of pursuing the extensive project, beginning with the application for the loan.

MCCOA to phase out carry-out meals
At the May 18 meeting for the Montmorency County Commission on Aging, Harmony Lewis, director of MCCOA, said carry-out meals from the centers will be phased out by June 1. The option is being phased out because the public health emergency for COVID-19 has ended.

“A lot of people In Hillman depend on it,” said Elaine Ableidinger, board member.

She was informed those now accustomed to carry-out meals will have to enroll in the home-delivered meals program if they do not want to attend congregate meals at the centers. Lewis said most area counties have discontinued carry-out except Presque Isle County, which has a drive-thru.

Kelly Robinette, Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency, said the decision to discontinue carry-out should have taken place on May 11 when the emergency ended. She said NEMCSA would have to approve the plan to discontinue the service.

Tigers split with Cardinals
The Hillman Tigers split double-header games against the Johannesburg-Lewiston Cardinals in Hillman on May 19. Hillman’s Trenton Taratuta kept the Cardinals scoreless through four innings of game one while the Tigers chalked up 11 runs against Joburg’s starter, Rily McVannel, and his relief pitcher, Will Boden. Cardinal Collin Lake averted a shutout when he dashed home on a sacrifice from McVannel, taking game one to a final score of 11-1, Tigers.

Game two saw a series of pitchers for Hillman. Edwin Hardies started on the mound, and the Cardinals found early success with an RBI in the top of the first on a single-turned-double for Colin Basinski that scored McVannel. The Tigers answered with a single from A. J. Jones that scored Brenden Rouleau, but Hillman’s score would stand until the bottom of the fourth.

The Tigers put Cuyler Schultz in to pitch in the top of the second. He gave up five runs in the third before Evan Crane took his place. The Cardinals would score again on a groundout from Tanner Basinski before Hillman could get out of the inning. The Tigers faced the stellar pitching of Colin Basinski throughout the game.

Joburg’s Boden scored in the fourth inning, and Hillman’s Rouleau went to the mound, giving up one more run with bases loaded. Crane brought the Tigers closer with a single and RBI in the fourth, but a fifth-inning bunt from Boden resulted in an infield home run on errors that scored two. As darkness descended, Taratuta doubled for a Hillman RBI, and a sacrifice fly from Braylon Firman added another, taking game two to a final score of 11-4, Cardinals, in the fifth.

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