City awarded dredging funds

MARQUETTE – The city of Marquette will receive additional state assistance for the first phase of the Presque Isle Marina renovation project, which is scheduled to begin this spring.

Under an agreement and resolution issued last week by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the state will cover the full cost of dredging in the marina basin.

The first phase of work is set to include dredging, as well as the demolition of the marina’s south pier.

The Michigan Waterways Commission was already set to fund half the project, and the state will contribute an additional $169,358 to the dredging, though the city must still fund the pier demolition.

The agreement will be presented for approval to the Marquette City Commission at its meeting this evening. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in commission chambers at city hall.

The state money is being allocated as a part of Michigan’s emergency harbor dredging plan and comes in response to Great Lakes water levels at near record lows.

Karl Zueger, Marquette’s assistant city manager and director of community services, said this morning that the state funding is more than welcome and that it shouldn’t have much of an impact on the project timeline.

“There’s really no change with what we’ve got going at this time,” he said. “We’re still planning on getting the project done this summer or this spring, and we anticipate phase two next spring.”

The second phase is scheduled to include the construction of a new boat launch, bathroom facilities and a fish-cleaning station, as well as resurfacing of the parking lot. That portion was also set to be funded this calendar year, but those funds were redirected to statewide emergency dredging.

The harbor is clear of ice and Zueger said the city hopes to have the agreement with the state finalized within a week.

Zueger said he hadn’t been anticipating additional state funding for the marina work. State Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, and state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, were integral in convincing the state to include the city project, according to Zueger.

Under the agreement, the state will contribute $408,817 for dredging, while the city will be required to pay $69,142 for the pier demolition.

The city has contracted with Veit & Co. of Rogers, Minn., and Zueger said that once work begins, the project should take about 10 weeks to complete.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.