Pavilion renovated at Little Trout Lake

MARQUETTE – The Marquette County Board recently approved spending $13,300 to cover utility improvement costs in the effort to renovate the pavilion at Little Trout Lake at K.I. Sawyer.

In November 2012, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources approved Marquette County’s application for a $45,000 Recreation Passport grant.

Under the project plans, a vacant and obsolete pavilion and concessions building at Little Trout Lake Park will be converted into a restroom and bath house.

The deadline for work to be completed is July 30, 2015. As part of the grant application, the county board previously approved a resolution committing to pay 25 percent of the grant as required matching funds.

County officials expect the project to cost more than the grant and match amounts and the county board agreed in February 2013 to allocate up to $20,000 additional funding to complete the project.

Steve Schenden, director of operations at Sawyer, recently sought county board approval to allocate funds to the project.

“Since the grant was received, the county has become aware of some additional costs required to reconnect utilities to the pavilion,” Schenden said in a memo to Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch.

Schenden said the sanitary lift station serving the park needs to be completely rebuilt. County staff recommended installing a septic tank and a drain field, given that the lift station serves only the park and the cost of a septic system was estimated at $10,000, compared to $30,000 to rebuild the lift station.

“It would be cheaper and we’ve got the permission from the Department of Environmental Quality to just put a septic tank and drain field down there in that area,” Schenden told the board.

The recommendation was accepted and approved by the county board. The funding will come from the K.I. Sawyer Water and Wastewater Capital Improvement Fund.

In addition, Schenden said electric service needs to be re-established to the renovated building, but funding to do so was not included in the grant.

“The electric service has been cut to that area,” Schenden said. “That was part of when Upper Peninsula Power Co. took over that service, anything that wasn’t metered they cut off and abandoned.”

UPPCO estimated the cost for reconnecting that service to be $3,302. Money for the work would come from the Little Trout Lake line item in the budget.

A motion to approve the expenditures was made by Commissioner Deborah Pellow and supported by Commissioner Steven Pence. The vote was unanimous.

“It’s a nice place over there,” Pellow said.

County board Chairman Gerald Corkin said, “It’s a good project to get done. It’s a nice park.”

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.