BOC confirms membership for potential Kaliseum steering committee

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners is hoping it will soon have a helping hand in overseeing operations at the county-owned Kaliseum Recreation Complex.

At a special meeting last Wednesday, June 5, commissioners voted, 6-0, with one member absent, to increase the membership of a proposed Kaliseum Steering Committee from seven to nine people.

The steering committee, which would work with the facility’s director and help provide long-term planning and oversight, is set to include representatives from various local governmental entities, including Economic Development Commission, Kalkaska Public Schools, Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, the Kalkaska County Commission on Aging, the county’s Parks and Recreation, Kalkaska Area Hockey Association, a pool supporter and two at-large members.

According to District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, chairman of the county board, the various commissioners seemingly had their own, unique ideas on what groups or individuals should make up the new steering committee.

District No. 2 Commissioner Leigh Ngirarsaol added that it was important to include an EDC representative on the commission, while District No. 5 Commissioner David Comai noted the need for new ideas regarding the Kaliseum and consideration of a pool in a separate building.

Overall, Fisher said commissioners had a “very lengthy” discussion on the potential makeup of the steering committee, with the special meeting lasting nearly three hours.

“It’s about doing it right,” he added.

It is hoped that the steering committee will provide more consistent, long-term leadership and oversight in matters regarding the Kaliseum, as terms for committee members will be longer than commissioners and overlap to help provide a measure of continuity, when compared to the county board, with all seven commissioners up for reelection every two years.

And, Fisher is also hoping the steering committee is able to hit the ground running, with important decisions needing to be made before commissioners vote to put a funding request back on the ballot this fall.

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