Officials are seeking an engineering team to complete the design, preliminary engineering, environmental studies and construction drawings for the pier. It would extend from the mouth of the Boardman River.
The city has a $232,000 grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust to fund studies that will determine whether a pier is feasible.
"I can't identify another town our size that sits on the Great Lakes that doesn't have a public pier," said Mayor Michael Estes, who is among supporters of the idea of a public fishing pier in the city. "I see this as a huge attraction, both to our residents and our visitors."
Applications by consultants are due June 12. The proposed pier's location has drawn some criticism.
"It's just the wrong spot," said former city Commissioner Deni Scrudato, who docks a boat in the Boardman River. "There's no parking, there's no easy access for people with wheelchairs and physical limitations, and there's no easy access to emergency services."
Commissioner Ross Richardson, who shares Estes' desire for the pier, also said the Boardman River location may be too far away from the city center and parking. Richardson said he's been assured that the consultants will examine all concerns.
"There are real questions about how accessible it is there and if it's not accessible, how much use is it going to get," Richardson said.
Ryan Matuzak, who represents the Grand Traverse Sport Fishing Association on a study committee, said committee members are excited by prospects for a pier.
"It's an opportunity for more than just the fishermen; it's an amazing opportunity for the entire community," Matuzak said.