Phase one of a major renovation of the Presque Isle Marina is getting a big boost from state funding sources.
The Marquette City Commission this week approved an agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in which $169,358 of state funds will be used for dredging the marina this summer.
In addition, the Michigan Waterways Commission earlier committed to pay 50 percent of phase one, which has a price tag of about $477,000. Besides the dredging, this phase includes demolition of the south pier of the marina, which has become obsolete.
The city will be responsible for the pier demolition, which is pegged at about $70,000.
Work is expected to begin soon on the project, which is long overdue at the marina that has served recreational and fishing boaters well over the 40-plus years since it was built.
Besides piers that are rusting and lacking proper foundations, the launch ramp has outlived its life-span and will be replaced in the second phase of the renovation project, which the city hopes to get funding to complete next year.
Future phases will include replacing the other two piers, bolstering up the marina breakwater, improvements to buildings and the parking lot and landscaping.
City officials lauded the state for kicking in the extra funds for dredging. Also recognized for their efforts on behalf of the city receiving the funds were state Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, and state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba.
The city has shown a strong commitment to carrying out all the phases of the project and restore the 97-slip marina that serves the Upper Harbor to a fully functional, modern facility.
Hopefully, the state will continue to back the multi-million dollar project in future years, as will our politicians in Lansing.
Being situated on the shores of Lake Superior, it's important for a city such as Marquette to have top-quality facilities providing recreational access to the lake for residents as well as visitors to the area.