Girls softball coming to Ramsay Field


– The Gogebic Miners girl’s softball team will be playing at Ramsay Field next year. The Bessemer Township board voted 4-0 on Monday, to allow the school district to use its field for home games starting in spring of 2022. Township Supervisor Jeff Randall said he was on “cloud nine” when superintendent of Bessemer Area Schools Dan Niemi and a couple school board members approached him recently to request use of the field. “I thought it was a neat idea,” Randall said. “They said the infield is perfect for what they need. The size of the infield is perfect for what they need.” He said the township has been having trouble finding a use for the field and even considered turning it into a dog park. “One of the problems we have always had was that it was always too small for some leagues and too big for other leagues and (Bessemer officials) said it was the perfect size for junior high and high school softball. This is the perfect size,” said Randall. “I’m thrilled to hear it.” For girl’s softball, the infield is regulated to not have grass. Randall said that is what the township has and why it is perfect.

The district proposed township and the school district would share costs to redevelop the field. According to Randall, there are a few minor repairs to the concession stand – it could stand to be repainted and the bleachers are overgrown and would need boards. He said fencing needs to be placed in front of the dugouts to protect the players. “There are no boards on the bleachers, but the foundation is there for them,” Randall said, when board treasurer Hope Tarnaski questioned if they were safe. The bleachers were damaged by a flood years ago, according to board member Sue Roberts. In order to repair the bleachers, Randall said the township would have to have its department of public works remove all the tree overgrowth and get some boards fastened down to the foundation.

The township has posts and clamps for the fencing, but would need to order the fencing itself, Randall said. “I don’t see any issue with ordering that,” Tarnaski said. “I mean, isn’t that what we have that ball field for. This is like awesome. … I say lets do it. Let’s get this thing going.” Randall said he does not have an estimate of the costs to bring the field up to speed. Tarnaski suggested they paint the dugout with the team colors. The dugout is currently painted with white trim and has old stone work from the WPA. Roberts suggested a decal with the team logo on it on the sides.

The board is looking to find a new auditor and possibly a new auditing firm after learning that its auditor Debbie Bradford, of Rukkila-Negro and Associates, passed away from COVID-19. Randall said he received a call on Friday informing him of her passing and that the firm would not be able to offer its services to them because of her passing and that of another employee. The township is expected to complete its audit within six months of the end of its fiscal year — March 31, so the township must have an audit done by the end of September, Randall said. Debbie Janczak, township clerk, said she felt this would count as an extreme circumstance and try to request an extension of time to complete the audit from the state.

The board also:

—Approved the purchase of a new lawn mower engine. The engine work will be done by Bessemer Small Engines for $2,978. However, the township will receive $500 back after returning the engine core. —Hired Elizabeth Gray to do monthly deep cleanings of varying rooms at the township hall and weekly cleanings of the bathrooms. The monthly cleanings will cost the township $100 and will take three hours. The weekly bathroom cleanings will cost the township $55.

—Reappointed Jody Jurakovich and Steven Selin to the planning commission upon the recommendation of Randall.

—Accepted and placed on file water quality reports from the the township and the Gogebic Range Water Authority

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