Ludington Council agrees to transient dock grant terms
Written by Ludington Daily News   
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 21:33

Out-of-town boaters will have easier access to downtown Ludington thanks to a grant to pay for 50 percent of building a new transient dock at Ludington Municipal Marina.
 
The Ludington City Council agreed to terms Monday for the $239,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Commission. The funds carry some strings, which include giving the DNR the right to approve plans before the city can seek bids for the work, and to set rates for the new dock, as it currently does for the rest of the marina.

The city will also be required to participate in the State Harbor Reservation System, which will charge boaters an $8 reservation fee and a $3-per-night slip fee. The city has had its own reservation system and charged a $5 fee.

The DNR would also be provided one seasonal boat slip at no charge if the city accepts the agreement.

City Manager John Shay said the change in reservation systems may cost the city about $1,500 a year, but that it may also save the city about $3,200 a year in costs associated with accepting credit card payments.

Also during its meeting Monday, the council also agreed to join the Michigan Small Harbors Coalition, a group forming to ensure proper harbor dredging by the federal government.

The Michigan Small Harbors Coalition, according to Shay, is proposing that all federal tax money in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund be used for harbor maintenance, and has said about half the money generated by the tax are currently diverted to other uses by the government.

There is no cost to join the coalition at this time, Shay said, but he added that future dues may be about $200 a year to pay for lobbying efforts.

Councilor A. Pete Engblade asked if the council would be obligated to pay the dues if it approved the agreement.

Shay said members would be required to pay dues, but said the council could leave the coalition in the future if it did not want to pay those dues.

The council also voted Monday to amend rules for use of the city’s marina. Among the changes are: allowing marina officials the right to assign more than one boat to a slip, advertising will not be allowed, pet waste must be cleaned up by the pet’s owner, and parking any trailers in the marina parking lot and overflow lot will not be permitted.

 
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