City working hard to get marina set for summer

While the extended winter weather is frustrating and many local government officials are dealing with the adverse effects of it, it could actually be a blessing in disguise for the city of Marquette.

That could be the case at least in relation to the major problems that were discovered last month with the Cinder Pond Marina service building.

A large crack running the length of one wall and a cracked foundation were found March 12, and the building was condemned the next day.

Long-range plans call for constructing a new building in its place, but the boating season is drawing near and there needs to be some facilities in place for those who rent slips, including both seasonal and transient boaters.

This is where the lingering snow and cold can help – giving the city a little more time to get something in place.

What is planned is demolition of the building and set-up of two trailers to serve as temporary facilities. Included will be a trailer to provide bathrooms, showers and a lounge for boaters, and another trailer serving as administration offices, sales office and storage.

Short-term needs also include getting the water, fuel and electric utilities that go into the building re-routed to the pier system.

City officials hope to have the building razed, utilities operational, and the trailers all set to go by June 1.

That’s a month later than the normal marina operating season opener of May 1, but because of the weather it’s unlikely boaters will be in any hurry this year to get their boats in the water anyway.

The work to be done won’t come cheap, either, with the temporary fix estimated to cost nearly $160,000, and a new facility – which the city hopes to have ready for the 2016 boating season – costing about $945,000.

Hopefully insurance will cover a good share of the project, although other sources will probably need to be tapped. Perhaps there are some state Waterways Commission grants available, which the city commission approved applying for at this week’s meeting.

Regardless of how it is funded, the city appears to be on the right track with its efforts to provide the necessary facilities to operate the marina in a safe and efficient manner when good boating weather finally arrives.