MARINETTE — The Marinette Historic Preservation Commission decided Monday to forward its plans for the cleaning and restoration of the Isaac Stephenson statue on Riverside Avenue to the City Council for consideration. 

Restoration of the statue has been a topic of concern for the commission for some time, following the discovery that a portion of Stephenson’s midriff has become tarnished and afflicted with bronze disease, a corrosion process that requires treatment. In the commission’s July meeting, Commissioner Jim LaMalfa was asked to speak to a restoration expert and develop a detailed proposal and breakdown of the project’s cost and time estimate. 

LaMalfa was absent Monday, but Commission Chairperson Daniel Kallgren explained that he had spoken with the restoration expert and been given a timeline and cost estimate. Work on the statue would begin the first week of September, with a completion date around Sept. 26. This schedule would be weather-dependent, Kallgren added, as temperatures must be around 60 to 70 degrees for optimal “repair, restoration, cleaning and application of appropriate patinas and sealers.” The project would cost around $2,980 — however, Kallgren said he was still waiting for a more formally-formatted proposal. 

Mayor Steve Genisot said he had received a call recently from Precision Iceblast Corp. regarding an interest in the statue’s cleaning. Kallgren said he would prefer the project be handled by someone with experience working with art. 

“I’d rather stick with one person throughout the whole process,” Kallgren said. “I’d hate to have something untoward happen to the statue.” 

Following some more discussion, the commission decided to forward the full proposal, once received, on to the City Council for consideration. No action was taken. 

In other business, the commission discussed possible images for proposed, decorative vinyl wraps for electrical boxes on city property. Ward 8 Alderman Jason Flatt previously suggested the use of vintage postcards from his personal collection, or a high-resolution, panoramic historical image of Riverside Avenue that might lend itself to being turned into a wrap for the box, and Kallgren decided to sit down with Flatt to look through images for possible use and develop an initial layout for presentation. 

On Monday, Kallgren said he and Flatt narrowed the images down to “a good handful,” but as Flatt was unable to make the meeting, no presentation was available yet. Kallgren asked if the commissioners would like some kind of descriptive text on the box or some other type of image. 

“We’re looking for input,” he  said. 

Following some more discussion, the commission decided to move forward with four to six historical photos to try out. The city plans to start with a single vinyl wrap around the electrical box at the base of Hattie Court, before moving forward with any other boxes. The project costs about $500.