No special deals

To the Journal editor:

As you may be aware, there is pending action at the Marquette City Commission to provide special access to a rowing club.

In March of this year the city, commission directed staff to draw up an agreement whereby a private club would be allowed to build their clubhouse at Founder’s Landing.

As a city tax payer I know how dearly we have paid for this priceless asset. I want to be clear; I am not opposed to expanding recreational boating in Marquette. In fact, I support such an initiative.

If the supply and demand of water access indicate the need, I encourage such growth. I have seen hundreds of harbor cities across the world and none offer better recreational boating than Marquette.

The city of Marquette offers a deep water port and almost no commercial shipping. This beautiful waterfront is one of the reasons people choose to live and pay taxes in the city of Marquette. I should add, it is also one of the reasons people choose to live just outside the city (and not pay city taxes).

The new push is to allow this club special access at the Cinder Pond Marina. The plan is for the rowing club to pay for an addition to the new Cinder Pond Marina building. I should add, when you look at the budget, most of the funds come from grants that really belong to the city tax payers.

I can see no rationale for such an action. All other boat owners pay dearly for their water access. The city’s two marinas are not the only option for boaters. Private groups have built slips and storage facilities at the association dock, the fish dock and the Yacht Club. Are we telling these groups that row boats are superior?

So, I recommend a public forum evaluate the need for additional facilities. Clearly, any such expansion of assets should be under the city’s control. City residents should pay for storage based on square footage. Non-residents should also have access if available albeit with an up-charge.

So, again, I urge you to look into this situation. Don’t let the city commission grant special lake access to a private club. Make your feelings heard. Write your commissioners. Tell your neighbors.

Sign the petition at the Facebook page, Marquette Citizens for City Lakeshore Preservation. An uninformed and silent electorate will get what it deserves.

John Sonderegger

Marquette