Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 20, 2013

City boat launch upgrade delayed one year

TRAVERSE CITY — Area boaters will have to wait another year before they’ll see the benefit of an upgraded boat launch on the Boardman River.

The Michigan Waterways Commission recalled over $9 million in marina and boat launch improvement grants statewide, including $156,200 promised to Traverse City. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources redirected the money toward emergency harbor and channel dredging because of low water levels in the Great Lakes.

“We’ve been told all grants will be reinstated next year, so the project has basically been deferred from 2013 until 2014,” said City Manager Ben Bifoss.

Loss of the Waterways Commission funding led the city to reject a $40,000 Coastal Zone Management grant on Tuesday. The grant would have added permeable pavers, rain gardens, and other devices to reduce storm water runoff and erosion at the launch site adjacent to the Grandview Parkway bridge over the river. Bifoss said the city was advised to decline the grant instead of asking for a delay.

Bifoss was told by Coastal Zone Management it also would reinstate its grant for 2014.

The rest of the project funding, $143,750, will come from the city’s parking fund to pave the adjoining parking lot.

The project, scheduled to begin in the fall, would have widened the turn around area, replaced the ramp, and added a small canoe and kayak launching dock at the end of the city’s northern boardwalk on the river.

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