Douglas Officials Looking At Possible Dredge Spoils Facility At Schultz Park
As the City of Douglas continues to study the possibility of building a floating marina off the coast of Wade’s Bayou Memorial Park, there is also the question of, “What are we going to do with the spoils if we dredge?,” reported Douglas City Manager Bill LeFevere during Monday’s council meeting.
Looking at the most cost-effective and most-accessible option, the city and city-contracted engineer Edgewater Resources are seriously proposing to put a dredge spoils facility called Contained Disposal Facility, or CDF) - at Shultz Park.
“We are going to need to know what are the capacities (of the park and the park’s topography to support a CDF),” LeFevere told the council about recent discussions he’s had with Edgewater.
Douglas officials responded positively to last month’s Edgewater marina presentation, including the engineer’s notion of using silt material to create sound berms to place on the median strip that separates the I-196 highway and the park.
Edgewater’s other idea of placing an in-lake CDF - the sediment of which would be used to build islands in the harbor near Shultz Park - was shot down by Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials at a Kalamazoo Lake Harbor Authority meeting last month, saying the location of the islands went against environmental regulations.
The only existing CDF in the area, the one at the private Tower Marine marina, has in past years been the subject of litigation between owner RJ Peterson and Douglas, and is not appropriate for the needs of the rest of the community, say city officials.
In his marina proposal, Edgewater Resources engineer Greg Weykamp said he envisions water trails connecting the Douglas waterfront, and in particular calls for dredging from the Red Dock patio bar to Wade’s Bayou so that boaters could, with ease, get to and from the marina.
Dredging would necessitate a CDF, which would have to be built in accordance with State of Michigan regulatory standards so that the material can be safely contained and de-watered as environmental experts say the Kalamazoo Harbor does have low-level contaminants.
While the proposed CDF at Shultz Park would be part of the marina project, it would also be part of the overall Edgewater long-term siltation mitigation program for the harbor.
The Kalamazoo Lake Harbor Authority hired the engineering firm for that long-range plan, with the cities of Saugatuck and Douglas each contributing $37,500 for it.
Douglas also previously contracted Edgewater to conduct a master plan that includes harbor and waterfront development.
And along with the CDF, Edgewater has also proposed putting a silt trap in the waterway near the park for easy access as part of the long-term plan.