Senate panel OKs Stamas bill to designate part of U.S. 23 as ‘Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway’

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday approved Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation to permanently honor former Rep. Peter Pettalia, who died in 2016 in an accident while traveling down to the Capitol for session.

“Pete was a good friend and a commonsense public servant who did his best to improve the lives of the people in Northern Michigan,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “He loved his family, his friends, the local community and the entire state. Pete was passionate about life and enjoyed traveling throughout the Sunrise Side and along Heritage Route 23.

“Naming part of that route through Pete’s home county would be a fitting tribute to a life well lived and the tremendous impact he had in his community. Although he is missed by those who knew him, he will never be forgotten.”

Senate Bill 622 would designate the portion of U.S. 23 in Presque Isle County between Maple Drive and Misiak Highway as the “Peter A. Pettalia Memorial Highway.”

Pettalia served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2011 until his untimely death in September 2016. He previously served as Presque Isle Township supervisor for 16 years and as a volunteer firefighter for the East Grand Lake Fire Department for 15 years. Pettalia was a member of several Presque Isle and Alpena area organizations and enjoyed spending time with his wife Karen, two children and two granddaughters.

The bill would have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. Under state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation can place markers indicating the name of a memorial highway only “when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining those markers.”

Rep. Sue Allor, R-Wolverine, has introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives.