2013-05-18 / Top News

City, Businesses Pledge Money for Dredging

By Stephanie Fortino

Businesses will contribute at least $25,000 to help the city fund a state dredging project of the Mackinac Island Marina, announced city alderman R. Daniel Musser III Wednesday, May 1, to city council, and the council said it would fund up to $14,000.

The city was approached by the Michigan Waterways Commission to fund half of the upcoming dredging project, a cost not to exceed $40,000, in a letter Mayor Margaret Doud read aloud to city council Wednesday, April 24. After council members raised concerns about the city’s ability to afford such an expense that day, the matter was tabled until their next meeting so Mayor Doud could gather more information.

She spoke with Gary Marowski, the chair of the Waterways Commission, to better understand why the city was asked to fund half the dredging project when other communities, such as St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, were not. On Mackinac Island, the state owns the harbor and marina.

“Technically, our harbor did not need to be dredged,” Mayor Doud told the council May 1. “The only thing that needs dredging is the marina, to get the big boats in here, especially the sailboats [that] enhance the Island with business” during the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac and the Bayview Yacht Club’s Port Huron-to-Mackinac Island race.

The Department of Natural Resources asked the city to contribute money to the dredging because of its positive economic impact to the Island.

“I agree we should participate in some way,” Mr. Musser said. “The boat races are iconic things to the Island, to the state, and I think helps all of the summer businesses here.”

As the president of the Mackinac Island Convention and Visitors

Bureau (CVB), he solicited contributions from members, and received $1,000 pledges from Island House Hotel, Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, Arnold Transit Company, Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, Horn’s Bar, Chippewa Hotel, Hotel Iroquois, Doud’s Market, and Windermere Hotel. The CVB has pledged $15,000. The Mackinac Island Community Foundation has also been asked to contribute $1,000, he said, and if its board approves, the total amount pledged would be $26,000.

Mr. Musser said that city contribution will not exceed $14,000, less than half the state-requested $40,000, and hopes to receive other pledges, in addition.

“I feel strongly,” he said, “that we have to go ahead with the deal with the state,” Mr. Musser said.

Council resolved to spend no more than $14,000 on the dredging effort.

City council scheduled a joint meeting with the Board of Public Works tentatively for Wednesday, May 8, at 4 p.m. at Community Hall. The meeting will address the city’s moratorium on issuing sewer Residential Equivalency Units as the Mackinac Island sewer facility is near capacity.

The Mackinac Island Fire Department was given approval to purchase a skid unit from Gaylord-based Puroll Equipment Company.

“It’s basically a 200 gallon water tank that goes on the back of the pickup truck that we have with a pump unit built in,” said assistant fire chief and councilman Sam Barnwell. It affords firefighters the ability to put out small blazes, such as brush fires. The pump also has the ability to draw water from the lake at 300 gallons a minute in areas without hydrant access.

The dual-purpose unit will cost approximately $14,000 and was included in the budget. The equipment will sit atop a refurbished truck the department acquired free from the state.

Mackinac County Clerk Mary Kay Tamlyn sent a letter to the city describing the Community Action Agency request for 0.25 mill on the ballot for the August 6 election, which has not yet been approved by Mackinac County Board of Commissioners. The revenue gained from the millage would help senior citizen services Meals- On-Wheels and In-home Care. The county commission will vote on the proposal Thursday, May 9.

Regarding the possibility of an August election, audience member Richard Lind asked if the vacant council seat left by the late Armin Porter could be filled at that time. Mayor Doud responded that the seat must remain unfilled until the end of Mr. Porter’s term, and council member Anneke Myers clarified the seat could have only been filled within 20 days of the vacancy by appointment or special election.

Silver Birches owner Liz Ware sent a letter to council requesting 15 bicycle licenses for her business, stating, “Although a notice of the [bicycle redetermination] meeting was posted, no requirements, process, or instruction on how to obtain new bicycle licenses was posted, nor is it readily obtainable online or within city offices. It is also my understanding previous license holders received letters with information needed to renew licenses and to request additional ones if so desired.”

Mrs. Myers suggested Ms. Ware’s letter was “premature” as Silver Birches does not yet have a business license. Ms. Ware’s letter was placed on file.

John E. Green Company will extend the sprinkler network to the new back stairwell of the fire hall. The project is quoted not to exceed $2,150.

Council members thanked Mr. Musser for his service to the city. He was appointed to the city council last summer to fill the unexpired term of Dan Wightman and is not seeking election May 7.

City engineer Dennis Dombroski approved a banner for WDIV Channel 4, Detroit, during the Detroit Chamber Policy Conference Tuesday, May 28, through Friday, May 31, saying the sign met the city code.

The request was first presented at the April 24 council meeting, but did not include other necessary information, such as sign dimensions.

More temporary motor vehicle permits were also granted at the council meeting May 1. Grand Hotel received two permits for the delivery of the MASCO Art Collection over the course of three days from British Landing to the hotel; Mission Point Resort received five permits for propane delivery, annual spring cleaning, and a dumpster truck; J.T. Underground was granted one temporary permit for a pickup truck for the company to bury AT&T phone lines at six residences throughout the Island; one permit was granted for stump removal at Mr. Musser’s residence; and Belonga Plumbing was issued one permit for a backhoe to unplug a residential drain field. Boy Scout Troop 127 was granted two temporary trailer permits to move supplies from the boat dock to Fort Mackinac over seven days, starting Memorial Day.

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