State, feds say no to city park plan

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 1:39 PM

However, Ferrysburg City Council still hopes to keep the project afloat.

Council directed City Manager Craig Bessinger earlier this week to research the cost of modifications that would put the project in good standing with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The DEQ and Corps of Engineers both denied the city’s request to dredge sand out of Spring Lake at the end of Doric and to place it onshore to form a public beach area on the 44-by-65-foot city-owned lot, which is on the north side of Spring Lake immediately south of Lakeview Drive. The city also wanted to grade the lot for an easy approach to the water.

A Dec. 9 letter from the DEQ stated that the project as proposed would adversely impact wetland on the property.

The Corps of Engineers determined much the same.

“Your project may cause adverse impacts to wetlands, aquatic organisms and water quality in Spring Lake,” according to John Konik, chief of the corps' regulatory office for engineering and technical services.

Bessinger said it’s time to revisit the drawing board.

“They don’t want any dredging,” he said. “They want a boardwalk to get to the water’s edge. We’re going to look at what the options are and how we can revise our application to get approval from the DEQ and Army Corps.”

Both agencies indicated they prefer a public beach in the upland area and are opposed to grading.

Bessinger said the costs, which are unknown at this time, could play a huge part in the project’s fate.

To date, the city has spent $2,700 to prepare the application it sent to the DEQ and Corps of Engineers, with the help of a marine contractor. The North Bank Communities Fund kicked in $1,400 for the project.

The project as proposed was expected to cost about $4,000.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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