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Harbor project moves forward

Mayor authorized to sign contract for next phase

April 14, 2009
By Audrey LaFave

GLADSTONE - The city of Gladstone Monday night authorized the mayor to sign the second of three contracts the city needs to enter into phase two of the Harbor Point Improvement Project to begin.

City Manger Mike Wiesner and Gladstone Parks and Recreation Director Nicole Sanderson will now be able to begin work with an engineering firm on a project that has been in the works for more than two years.

The Harbor Point project will include installing fish cleaning stations and restrooms as part of a comprehensive plan to make aesthetic improvements to the city's navigational aid site on Lake Michigan.

Article Photos

The Gladstone Harbor, above, should have a new project break ground soon. The city received $325,000 total from three grants to begin the Harbor Point Improvement Project, which has been planned and in the works for over two years. New improvements include installing fish cleaning stations and restrooms, utility upgrades and new boat slips as well as sidewalk installation. The harbor project is part of a comprehensive plan to make aesthetic improvements to the navigational aid on Lake Michigan. (Daily Press photo by Audrey LaFave)

"If you sign the contract tonight we can start engineering," said Sanderson. "These two grants match each other, even with the MNRT coming in later."

Other improvements include utility upgrades like electricity, water and sewer, installing more new boats slips and replacing old ones in the harbor, and sidewalk installation.

Gladstone was awarded $100,000 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust fund in December for the project as well as a $150,000 grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust in November and a $75,000 grant in July from the Department of Environmental Quality.

Sanderson said the project will go into the design phase after Wiesner works out a contract with an engineering firm of the commission's choice. Wiesner said he hopes to bring the engineering contract to the next commission meeting.

"So in two weeks we should be able to have a timetable," Wiesner said.

Sanderson said Gladstone will be working hard to find what will meet their specific needs by checking out how other communities have succeeded.

"You either do it right or you don't do it," she said. "We will be taking trips with the engineers to see what's working best for other communities and ultimately what will work best for us."

Sanderson said the dollars are given out by the state and sometimes are earmarked for certain types of use.

"It's still very lucrative for the city to apply for these grants," said Sanderson. Even with dire economic straits, the state must give out these types of improvement grants, so if Gladstone did not receive the money some other community would, she explained.



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