City Council unanimously approved a grant agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on Monday that will help fund a dredging project at the Harbor Island boat launch. The $90,000 grant will cover a portion of the estimated $220,000 project.
The city has scheduled the project for this coming spring.
"We need to keep the waterway open," Mayor Geri McCaleb said. "The combination of low water and a lot of silt doesn't look good."
City leaders have said the boat launch brings in an estimated $50,000 a year.
"We actually have bids in hand, and we have a low bid that's come in a little less than $220,000," Project Manager Julie Beaton said. "They feel good about that number."
The last time the boat launch was dredged was in 2001 at a cost of $62,280.
City Manager Pat McGinnis said the dredging project was originally slated to take place during the city's 2011-12 fiscal year.
"The $220,000 was for the last budget year and we didn't get to it," he said. "You are getting the biggest bang for your buck by doing it this spring."
Based on a preliminary survey earlier this year, nearly 90 percent of the launch channel had less than 3.5 feet of draft, making it a challenge for boaters.
Also on Monday, City Council approved the rates for the 2013 boating season at the Municipal Marina. McGinnis said there will be a slight change for transient overnight slips, but no change for seasonal charter fishing slips.
Check out the price fee schedule for slips by clicking on the PDF document below: