Interesting developments on the hospital relocation front.
Last week, Dana Young, an official out of Nashville identified as Duke LifePoint’s site selector, told the Lake Superior Community Partnership that the site survey team had narrowed the search for a new MGH location down to two sites–one in the city of Marquette, one in Marquette Township.
Three smart, well-connected civic leaders who were at the meeting said the message was unambiguous, unmistakable. And they were surprised that the official was so candid about the process especially since MGH has been so hush-hush about it.
But clearly MGH is not calling the shots here; its the folks in Nashville, the home of Duke LifePoint, who are making the important decisions.
Talk to Marquette City Manager Bill Vajda, though, and he’ll tell you he hasn’t been informed that it’s down to two locations. He doesn’t believe it.
And check with Jason McCarthy, the planner and zoning administrator for the Township, and you’ll hear the same thing. He doesn’t buy it.
So was Young mistaken in his presentation to the Partnership? Seems unlikely. He’s doing the work on the ground here.
Was he lying? That’s not a good way to endear yourself to some of the shakers and movers in the community.
Maybe it’s gamesmanship. Was he deliberately trying to set up a desperate, give-em-whatever-they-want competition between the city and township? Cynics might think so.
Was he speaking without authority? It’s possible.
Or was he simply telling the truth as he saw it last week? Also, possible. In fact, likely.
Regardless, it’s a big deal. A $290 million big deal with huge ramifications regardless of where the hospital ultimately locates.
Speaking of which, the Marquette Golf Club board meets Wednesday. On the agenda: the visit to the golf course last week by the hospital site survey team. Does Duke LifePoint want to buy part of the golf course? Is the golf club, which is saddled with debt, interested? Would the members vote to sell?
Stay tuned. Things get interestinger and interestinger.
Who wants to be a City Commissioner in Marquette?
Mayor Bob Niemi, Fred Stonehouse and Don Ryan are all leaving at the end of the year which means three spots will open up.
But so far only one candidate, Mike Conley, has taken out a packet to file for candidacy.
At least a couple of marijuana-decriminalization candidates have previously expressed interest in running; so far nothing from them.
A group hoping to elect a young, progressive slate of candidates hasn’t made a move yet, either.
There’s plenty of time to file, though. The deadline is April 22, and all you need to get on the ballot is 25 signatures.
Activity at Upfront had locals excited last week. The lights were on at the shuttered former restaurant, nightspot and banquet hall, leading some to believe that maybe it was re-opening. Or it had been sold. Or….
Turns out there was concern about frozen pipes and the fire suppression system at the club. Workers were there to take care of it.
A spokesperson for Upfront still insists, however, that something may be in the works. We’ll believe it when we see it.
Speaking of frozen, go out and take a look at the administrative building at the Cinder Pond Marina in the Lower Harbor.
See that large, horizontal crack on the right side of the photograph? That’s new. It apparently happened last week during a cold spell. And there are other smaller cracks, as well.
The Parks and Recreation Department has moved equipment and files out of the building, condemned it temporarily and is now waiting for a structural engineer to show up and take a look.
How serious is the problem? They don’t know yet. But from the outside it doesn’t look good.
Okay, so it’s 25 degrees and the snow’s coming down an inch an hour. That means it must be time for Frosty Treats on Third Street to make its seasonal opening.
Right you are.
After all, spring’s right around the corner. Monday’s opening was actually a week later than usual, but you can hardly blame the owners for the delay. This has been a cold winter; they had to wait for things to warm up a bit.
That empty space at Peter White Public Library where Tu Kaluthia used to serve delicious food and drinks is still up for grabs.
Other businesses in town have made inquiries about it but the library hasn’t been able to reach an agreement with them yet.
The library would like whoever operates the café to keep it open 40 hours a week. That’s been a sticking point.
That, and the fact that the café operator isn’t going to get rich in the location.
The library is still eagerly looking for an entrepreneur. So are library patrons.
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