The rehabilitation project began in 2008. It will culminate in the next few years with the lengthening of piers, widening of slips and updates to the electrical system.
Mike Morphey, with engineering firm Abonmarche, presented plans to the City Council on March 4, highlighting the need for addressing safety and bringing facilities up to code.
Decking on the floating docks is in poor condition, Morphey said, and could present trip hazards. Signage on the docks interferes with the rise and fall of the floating docks with changes in water levels, he said. The floating docks do not currently meet ADA-accessibility compliance. Some wires from the electrical system, installed in 2005, hang beneath the docks.
Abonmarche provided a detailed report to the City Council, but implementing the plans will occur over time and with the help of outside funding.
Public Works Director Derek Gajdos said the city will likely revisit the marina improvements in early 2020, before applying for a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Program grant, likely in April of that year. Even with the grant funding, the cost of the project would likely require a “significant city dollar investment,” Gajdos said, and the grant entails a 50 percent city match in funding.
The project’s first phase in 2008 saw the replacement of the original fixed docks, increased slip widths, rip-rap restoration, ice suppression system installation and promenade sidewalk replacements.
In 2013-14, seawall construction, removal of regulated materials and other repairs were undertaken. There were holdups due to the discovery of regulated soils and the high cost of landfill disposal, according to Abonmarche.
Regular maintenance work will occur at the marina this summer, Gajdos said.
The City Council in January approved changes to the marina’s rates to increase occupancy and cover operating costs. The city recently adjusted checkout times at the marina from 3 p.m. to noon.
The Municipal Marina, located at 101 N. Harbor Ave., features 57 slips and amenities including electricity, pump-out, water, ice, restrooms, showers and public telephone.