Township Office and Transfer Station Closed November 24th & 25th

The Watersmeet Township office and transfer station will be closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The transfer station will reopen on Saturday, November 26th at 8:00 a.m. and the office will reopen on Monday, November 28th at 9:00 a.m.

A Ghoulishly Great Time at Watersmeet Fire Trucks and Treats

The 2nd annual Fire Trucks and Treats was another success with over 125 trick or treaters visiting the fire station, local police and ambulance and residents’ car trunks along 1st Street.

Along with local residents, several cars arrived from Hope Lutheran Church where the children were able to “fish” for their treats from poles, Watersmeet Bible Church provided fresh hot popcorn and the ISCCW Lakeguards served hot dogs, chips and drink to all participants.  Local students also offered face painting to the kids.

The Watersmeet Fire Department Volunteers thank all those who turned out to “Trick” and to “Treat”

We look forward to 2023!

 

Gogebic Santa’s Headquarters Seeking Santa Helpers

The Christmas Season is approaching fast and Santa’s Headquarters is underway. Santa’s Headquarters is a project to support those in need of gifts for their children at Christmas. We extend to you an invitation to support this outreach program.

The effort in 2021 served over 350 children in Gogebic County. Last year families received: A $70 gift card for groceries, 1 large toy for each child, 1 blanket per family, stocking stuffers, toiletry items, toothbrush & toothpaste, and hat and mittens for each child.

Any family in need may fill out a form and return it to the Department of Health and Human Services office in Bessemer. The complete address is on the bottom of all forms. Forms may be picked up at various locations in the following cities: Ironwood, Bessemer, Wakefield and Watersmeet, along with St. Vincent DePaul, MSU Extension Office and Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency. The deadline for returning forms is November 11th, 2022. It is very important that all families register.

Those who wish to donate $15.00-$20.00 unwrapped gifts will be able to do so at locations listed below. Interested persons are asked to pick an age-appropriate gift tag from the Christmas tag trees at one of the following locations and return the gift to the same location. Deadline for returning gifts is December 3rd at close of business for each location.

This year we also have set up an Amazon wish list so that anyone that wants to shop online can choose an item to purchase off the wish list and it will be sent directly to our organization. The link to the Amazon wish list is: https://bit.ly/Gogebic-Santa

 

Participating gift locations are:

Participating gift locations are:

Coleman Engineering
Ironwood City offices
Marenisco Town Hall
Dairy Queen – Bessemer
Our Lady of Peace Church
Community Mental Health
Trinity Lutheran Church
Incredible Bank in Ironwood
Flagstar
Maurices
Westgate
Nordines
Tribal Offices
Aurora Athletic Club
Gogebic Medical Care Facility
North Lakes Community Clinic
Watersmeet Township Office
Watersmeet Health Clinic
Northern Waters Casino
Higher Love
UP Beat
Suffolk Street Eatery
Gogebic County Senior Center
Mattson Family Chiropractic
Gogebic County Federal Credit Union
Wakefield News
Bessemer Pick & Axe

Gift distribution will be at the Gogebic County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Building on December 7th. Distribution will be at the Watersmeet Community Center on December 8th. Each family will be assigned a number and a time to come to pick up their things to minimize gatherings of people.

Monetary donations may be sent to:
St. Vincent DePaul, Attn: Santa’s Headquarters, 108 S Marquette St., Ironwood, MI 49938

For any questions or to drop off toys and/or gifts you have collected contact: Erin Ross, MSU Extension: rantae@msu.edu or 906-364-2055

Ashley Dennis, MSU Extension: hampston@msu.edu or 906-364-4074

Pat Niksich, Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency: niksichp@gocaa.org or 906-667-0283, #31 Amanda Niemi, MDHHS: NierniA@michigan.gov or 906-663-6200

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Watersmeet Sisters to compete with TEAM USA at the Pankration World Championships in Athens, Greece!

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT:  Watersmeet Sisters to compete with Dave Sixel and TEAM USA at the Pankration World Championships in Athens, Greece!

 

Dave Sixel has been a 50+ year Martial Artist and has now been recognized to become Team leader of Team USA.  “I was an athlete in 2000, when we competed and received the gold medal at the 1st World Championships. It is now coming full circle where I can give my U.S. athletes the opportunity that I had,” Dave said.

Along with Dave, there will be qualifying athletes from throughout the United States, even as far away as Hawaii. Dave will also be bringing two Watersmeet sisters that have been involved with him for over 6 years and they will show and prove they have what it takes to become world champions.

The Peterson sisters, from Watersmeet, Michigan, Haley, age 16, and Nicole, age 14, are both excited and honored to represent the Red, White, and Blue as they travel to Greece with Team USA. They will be competing in the Pankration World Championship that is being held in Greece February 2023. Haley and Nicole have trained in the art of Pankration for over 6 years and have become accomplished brown belts in their sport.

This past year Haley was one of 92 students from a staggering list of 1,300 to do an on-site internship with NASA at the University of Texas. While there she worked on the Mars Rover Team and has accepted to return in December to work on LunaSats.

The younger of the two sisters, Nicole, challenged, and successfully tested out of the 8th grade after only sitting through 1 quarter of learning to move up to the 9th grade. She is currently a straight A Sophomore at Watersmeet High School.

In their free time both sisters display their kind and humble demeanor by volunteering to help Dave Sixel teach self-defense classes as well as to try and help their high school Quiz Bowl and Robotics teams achieve victory. Both Haley and Nicole are in The National Honor Society as well.

Your support and sponsorship would go a long way to help these amazing young ladies achieve their dreams that they have worked so hard for.  Dave, an exceptional coach, has an excellent track record of producing several Northwoods Martial Artists that have competed and became World Champions!

The competition will take place in Athens, Greece, which is the birthplace of the original mixed Martial Art of Pankration. The dates will be February 17-19, 2023. This world championship will host 47 different countries.

TEAM USA is a non-profit 501 3c organization where its athletes are self-funded. Haley and Nicole Peterson, from Watersmeet, are seeking donations and sponsorships. If you are interested, please contact Dave Sixel at davesixel@yahoo.com or 715-617-6170.

 

Dave Sixel
Team USA Pankration President
9th Degree Grand Master Black Belt
715-617-6170
davesixel@yahoo.com

www.SixelsSevices.com

Watersmeet Fire Department Emergency Response Call Statistics – October 2022

Watersmeet Fire Department Emergency Response Call Statistics
2022

MonthEMSFireAutoSnowmobileATVTotal Runs
Year To Date19024780213
October18400022
September13000013
August23200025
July21510026
June12400016
May25540030
April23200025
March15201016
February19013019
January21014021

GREAT NEWS!!! High Speed Internet is Coming in 2023

Great News!

Last week we sent out a very pessimistic report on the status of fiber optic internet for Watersmeet Township.  We had not received any updates from Highline in quite some time and we anticipated the worst.

Well, all that changed on Friday, September 16, 2022.

On Friday, the Watersmeet Broadband Task Force had a virtual meeting with Bruce Moore, Highline CEO.  Bruce let us know right away that Watersmeet is DEFINITELY getting Fiber Optic Broadband in 2023!!  The crews will begin laying the fiber optic in the ground in June 2023.  They expect to have the first of three rounds laid by August 2023.

Currently, 40% of Watersmeet households (347 homes) paid the $25 deposit and signed up for Highline.  One of the main reasons we are getting fiber optic before the rest of the western UP is because of the high percentage of households that already signed up!

What Does this Mean?

Fiber optic internet is considered the gold standard of internet.  It is very reliable, fast and not affected by weather.  Here are some of the specifics:

  • Speeds to be up to 1 gigabyte per second download and up to 500 megabytes per second upload
  • No data caps
  • Set-up fee of approximately $99
  • Service pricing to be around $99/month which includes a modem/router
  • $29/month additional for a digital phone line may also be available

What Can You Do to help?

Improving internet service to all of Watersmeet has been an important issue for many years.  It is vital to our economic growth.  Highline and the Watersmeet Task Force is asking every Michigan property owner to go to the HighlineFast web page, click on “Sign Up” and enter your property address. If your address does not appear in the drop-down list, it may help to leave off the leading letter in your address. For example: 3928 instead of N3928.  (If it still does not appear, select an address closest to you and you can correct the information when Highline contacts you). By entering your address, you are letting Highline know you are interested in their service. It is not a commitment to subscribe to their service.  You do not need to enter any credit card information.

After signing up, you may be contacted by Highline to confirm your address and/or to request a $25 deposit (which will be deducted from the $99 set-up fee) to confirm your commitment in installing internet service. This deposit assures service and may also prioritize installation.  Installation fees this low are likely predicated on scheduling the installation crew and fiber optic runs to the homes for these advanced service commitments for the initial service offering.  It is expensive to deploy/bury fiber optic cable, installation costs would likely increase once crews leave our area.  Highline has an aggressive deployment schedule across the UP.

*It is possible that not ALL residences/businesses in the Watersmeet Township are included in the RDOF auction results area.  That is why it is SO IMPORTANT for all residents to sign up on the Highline web site.  Highline has indicated that if enough residents in these areas sign-up for interest they may be able to include service to these “edge areas” during the initial installation phase.  The only way they will know that you are interested is for you to SIGN UP!

Visit Highline’s website for addition information (https://highlinefast.com/internet). Highline Internet is also available on Facebook or call them at 888.212.0054.

Private Roads

If you live on a private road – an easement will likely be necessary.  This is a legal document that gives Highline permission to lay the fiber underground on your private road.  This will be similar to the utility easements already on file for your property.  Please look out for any mailers concerning these easements.

More Info to Follow

In the next few weeks, we should be able to share with all of you the listing of Township roads for each wave of fiber optic installation!

We will be updating the Township website regularly with progress reports and news concerning Highline.  Please spread the word to your neighbors to sign up for the Township updates to be sure to hear all the latest fiber optic news!

As the situation develops with Highline, your Task Force will post updates as appropriate.  Should you have any questions, please contact Trustee Yvonne Clark at trustee1@watersmeet.us.

Thank you,

Watersmeet Broadband Task Force
Bob McGuffin
John Oliver
Greg Clark
Yvonne Clark, Trustee

Watersmeet Township High-Speed Internet Update

Background

In 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctioned off large parts of rural America in a program called the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). This program sought to subsidize the buildout costs for high-speed internet in areas of the country that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive for an internet provider to bring service.  In December 2020, the FCC announced that a company, that would be later known as Highline, won the auction for Watersmeet Township. Under the terms of the RDOF auction, winning providers have 6 years to complete the buildout in the areas they were awarded.  Highline pledged to run fiber optic lines underground to a large part of Watersmeet Township.

Soon after this announcement, the Watersmeet Township Broadband Task Force sought to engage Highline in an effort to move Watersmeet Township to the front of the buildout schedule. In 2021, it appeared that goal was achieved as the Task Force was informed that Watersmeet would be built out in 2022. This exciting news was communicated to the Watersmeet Township residents through various means including the Township website.

Following Highline’s announcement, many Watersmeet Township residents signed up for Highline’s fiber optic service and paid a $25 deposit.

Current Status

As 2021 turned into 2022, it became evident through the lack of permitting with the Gogebic County Road Commission, that the promise of a 2022 buildout was in jeopardy. The Task Force requested an update from Highline during the 2/16/2022 Watersmeet Township Trustees Regular Meeting. Highline CEO Bruce Moore confirmed that our promised 2022 buildout had been pushed to 2023. The link to the minutes of that meeting is here.

Since the February 2022 board meeting, the Task Force sought to secure Highline’s commitment for a 2023 Watersmeet buildout.  To date, we have been unsuccessful. The Task Force also sought to secure a commitment from Highline for ANY buildout timeline within the 6-year requirement window which spans from 2022-2028. We have been unsuccessful. The Task Force asked Highline to provide those that submitted deposits with an update and an avenue to obtain a refund if desired. As of this writing, we are unaware of any communication from Highline to our residents.

At present, our position is that Watersmeet Township will be built out and receive fiber optic internet service some time before the end of 2028, but we don’t know when.

Present Internet Alternatives

For those that still seek highspeed internet without caps, we know of two alternatives-

Northern Michigan University (NMU) provides a cellular based internet service with speeds up to 25 megabits per second (MBPS) with no data caps. The web address for their service is here: NMU EAN.  The requirement for their service is good line-of-sight from where their transmitter is on their cell tower to wherever you would site their receiver on your property.    A sub-optimal line-of-sight will lower your internet speeds.  Currently NMU transmitters are located by Roger’s Bar and in downtown Watersmeet.  NMU can assist you in determining the viability of their service at your property.  NMU provides modest speeds but at a reasonable monthly rate (approximately $40 per month).

Starlink is another alternative for high-speed internet. Their satellite-based internet has been available to consumers for over a year. On the Cisco Chain, download speeds have been observed varying between 30-200 MBPS. As more satellites are launched (at present there are approximately 1,400 satellites in use) speeds should continue to increase. A requirement for Starlink is an unobstructed view of the northern sky. The Starlink app for your phone can determine if a site is appropriate. It is a system designed to be self-installed. Starlink can be ordered here. While slightly pricy ($599 equipment cost and $110/month for service) it has proven to be very fast and reliable.

As the situation develops with Highline, your Task Force will post updates as appropriate.  Should you have any questions, please contact Trustee Yvonne Clark at trustee1@watersmeet.us.

Thank you,

Watersmeet Broadband Task Force
Bob McGuffin
John Oliver
Greg Clark
Yvonne Clark, Trustee

Transfer Station Closed on Sunday

The Watersmeet transfer station is now closed on Sunday.

Beginning Monday, September 12th, the hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Closed Wednesday and Sunday.

The transfer station is available to Watersmeet Township residents and homeowners only.  Owners of vacant property are not permitted to utilize transfer station services.

Vehicle window stickers are available at the Township office.  Please provide your utility bill as proof of residency and/or home ownership.

Notice of Public Hearing – Zoning Board of Appeals

The Watersmeet Township Zoning Board of Appeals will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday September 7, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. in the Watersmeet Township Community Center, N4689 1st Street, Watersmeet, MI.  The purpose is to consider a variance request by Mr. Stephen Freundl to allow construction of a garage on his lakefront lot.  N3603 Channel Rd.

The public may express its views at this hearing or send written comments to:  Chairperson, Watersmeet Township Zoning Board of Appeals, PO Box 306, Watersmeet, MI 49969 by Monday September 1, 2022.  Documents associated with the variance request may be examined during normal business hours at the Watersmeet Township offices, also located at N4689 1st Street.

THE COMMUNITY CENTER IS HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE.

Agenda