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City’s 2016 tax roll may be seized Questions raised on missing documents By PENNY MULLINS EagleHerald news editor/ digital director

MENOMINEE — The city is in danger of having its 2016 tax roll seized by the Michigan State Tax Commission because of changes made by the current assessor to remove the land value adjustments. At the same time, other questions have been raised about the work done by assessor Mari Negro because of the lack of documentation the

city should have in its possession. In an Oct. 4 letter from Kelli Sobel, Michigan Department of Treasury, she writes to Interim City Manager Rob Jamo: “As you are aware, an initial AMAR review was conducted in your local unit. A corrective action plan was submitted by your local unit and approved by the State. A follow up review was conducted that indicated some or all of the items from the original review had not been corrected.

“A follow up review was conducted on 6/28/2016. That review indicated: Land adjustments without reason were removed rather than documented potentially causing significant assessment roll problems. “Because of the serious nature of the issues found in the follow up review, a recommendation will be made to the State Tax Commission to assume jurisdiction of the assessment roll for your local unit in order to ensure corrective actions are completed and the assessment

roll for the 2016 year is correct. In accordance with State Tax Commission policy, enclosed, you are being provided 21 days from the date of this letter to provide information to the State Tax Commission for their consideration,” Sobel wrote. The state had already seized Menominee’s 2015 tax roll because it had not been signed by an assessor of record. The problems with the 2015 tax roll came after former city assessor Jill Schwanz took a medical leave of absence and was later terminated. Robert Desjarlais, an assessor from Menominee County, was hired part-time

Finance Committee scheduled to meet with outgoing assessor By PENNY MULLINS EagleHerald news editor/ digital director

MENOMINEE — Seven of the Menominee City Council members attended the four committee meetings Tuesday evening, and even though all of them had beeninformed during in March 2015 to help out in the assessor’s office, but left before the roll was signed. Tuesday, Jamo was

the day that the State Tax Commission may step in to “assume jurisdiction” of the city’s 2016 tax roll, little was said. Steps were taken, however, to set up a Finance Committee meeting Oct. 19 with Mari Negro, the outgoing contracted city assessor, as well as to bring to See ASSESSOR, A3

asked by the EagleHerald to respond to the letter from See TAX ROLL, A3

N.C. braces for more flooding

Death toll in U.S. from Hurricane Matthew hits 34


EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Maritime scene

LCS ships moored at Marinette Marine are set off against the colorful sunrise Friday.

Air, water quality resolution not adopted by board

Some Menominee County commissioners feel signing it wouldn’t help stop mine By LISA M. REED EagleHerald staff writer

STEPHENSON — Despite comments from more than 30 residents, the Menominee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday choose not to move forward a Resolution of the Environmental Protection of Air and Water Quality in regards to Aquila Resources’ plans to build a metallic sulfide mine in Lake Township. Commissioner Ray Williams said the resolution does not fall within the duties of the board. He said the board is to manage the budget for the county and not to make decisions about who is and who is not good business to be here. “So with that, I can’t see us, maybe it’s not illegal, but it’s certainly not within our means within the county board,” he said. Commissioner Gerald Piche said the resolution doesn’t specifically state opposition. ‘It basically tells a lot of the con-

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scientific about the process, even though there was a lot of people there. It’s only about the permitting process,” he said. “I don’t think anyone on this board disagrees about the air or water quality, but a resolution such directed to the DEQ that has such a meaningless effect, that’s where the issue lies within this board.” Meintz said the resolution doesn’t say anything about science and the air.



Bretl, Cecelia Diercks, Jacqueline M. Harske, Dorothy Knutson, Germaine L. Krejcarek, Norman McGuire, Marjorie Peterson, Darwin Umnus, David 5

cerns. I don’t think anyone in this room, even those in favor, can argue the concerns anyone has,” he said. “I think as far as the Menominee County Board, we should show that we are concerned about our air and water. Otherwise, what do people think of this board here, that we don’t care? That’s my feeling.” Piche added he feels the resolution is strong, details the concerns of county residents and was done in a fairly professional manner. He felt the board should sign it just to say they do care. Commissioner Bill Cech said Michigan is a mining state. “What the DEQ says is what’s going to happen, of course. If there is anything we can do to make sure things work well for the county, I’m for it,” he said. Board Chairman Charlie Meintz said the DEQ’s purpose at last week’s hearing was “purely scientific.” “The DEQ would not give any credit to any speech or presentation given at that meeting that wasn’t

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“This issue is with our senators and representatives. We can waste our time signing resolutions.” John Nelson Menominee County commissioner

He said the board doesn’t have the knowledge and wishes there was a resolution to show the board cares without getting into whether mining is right or wrong. Commissioner Jan Hafeman agreed. “I am not opposed to clean air and water, that is important, but this is not the place to do it,” she said. Commissioner John Nelson said the board would be wasting its time if it signed this resolution. “There are no loopholes, and they don’t care what we think. That’s the honest to God truth, it’s frustrating,” he said. “This issue is with our senators and representatives. We can waste our time signing resolutions.” Senator Tom Casperson and State Rep. Ed McBroom have both stated they are in support of the mine if it can meet the state mining requirements. On Sept. 27, the Marinette See MINE, A3



Healthy Life: Exercising while upset increases heart attack risk. A7 Sports: The Stephenson boys took second and the Menominee girls third in the GNC cross country meet. B1

GREENVILLE, N.C. — A state trooper shot and killed an armed man during a search for flood victims in a tense and dispirited North Carolina, and thousands more people were ordered to evacuate as high water from Hurricane Matthew pushed downstream Tuesday, two days after the storm blew out to sea. Matthew’s death toll in the U.S. climbed to 34, more than half of them in North Carolina, in addition to the more than 500 feared dead in Haiti. In Greenville, a city of 90,000, officials warned that the Tar River would overwhelm every bridge in the county by sundown, splitting it in half before the river crests late Wednesday. Evacuations were ordered there and in such communities as Goldsboro and Kinston, as rivers swelled to some of the highest levels ever recorded. Tens of thousands of people, some of them as much as 125 miles inland, have been warned to move to higher ground since the hurricane drenched the state with more than a foot of rain over the weekend during a run up the East Coast from Florida. An angry Gov. Pat McCrory asked people to stop ignoring evacuation orders and driving around barricades on flooded roads: “That is unacceptable. You are not only putting your life danger, you are putting emergency responders’ lives in jeopardy.” In the hard-hit town of Lumberton, along the bloat-

TODAY: Cloudy with chance of showers. HIGH: 59 LOW: 31

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