TRAVERSE CITY — The Great Lakes Fisheries Trust notified Traverse City officials they will receive a $249,100 grant for a feasibility study and design drawings for a 550-foot fishing pier into West Bay next to the Boardman River.
Some commissioners recently said they don’t want to move ahead with the pier until problems with Clinch Park and its new splash pad are resolved. Both the pier and Clinch Park renovation are phases of the city’s overall bayfront plan.
Commissioner Jeanine Easterday said the city first needs to revisit and update the bayfront plan with public participation and resolve the question if the end of Clinch Park Beach next to the river outlet is the best place for a fishing pier.
“There’s a lot of concern it is not an appropriate place to put a pier, so a study would help us answer that question,” Easterday said. “But if we don’t want a pier, why would we accept a grant?”
City Manager Jered Ottenwess told commissioners Friday in a memo that he will schedule a discussion of the bayfront plan, its current progress and proposed next phases in mid-January. Ottenwess said he will lay out steps to simultaneously address commissioner concerns about Clinch Park construction, public discussion of the bayfront plan, and moving ahead with a study of the fishing pier concept.
“I think it makes sense to reset and talk about the bayfront in a broader context and the grant makes this a good time to do it,” Ottenwess said.