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March 21, 2019 11:53 pm

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State Grant Will Help Saugatuck Improve City's Floating Dock System

The City of Saugatuck aims for a bigger, better and more organized facility at Coghlin Park’s public floating dock with the help of a State of Michigan grant worth a total of $180,000, which comes with a 50 percent match requirement of $90,000.

Saugatuck City Council passed a motion Monday night to have City Manager Kirk Harrier submit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterway Grant In-Aid for Infrastructure Improvements before April 1.

The proposed dock system would replace the existing single dock pier, located at the southwest corner of Griffith and Culver streets and serves to promote increased access and boating opportunities to the Kalamazoo River, said Saugatuck officials.

City representatives and visiting boaters alike are delighted about the prospects.

“The shoppers’ dock progress made in the last two years is excellent news! Having grown up boating on Lake Kalamazoo, this future harbor addition is a massive improvement over the decades of ‘no parking’ signs we’ve all faced (in the boating community),” Holland city resident Doug Petter said in his memo addressed to the Saugatuck council, the content of which he reiterated during Monday’s meeting.

“The shopper’s dock will be an asset to the community that will be so appreciated by so many from our community,” noted Petter.

As it stands, the city has a one-lane boat launch, but availability and parking on city streets is very limited during the busy summer season.

The intent of an expanded and improved floating dock system is to provide transient slips for day use for boats under 24 feet in length and 8 feet in beam.

The proposed design configuration consists of finger piers on both sides of the main pier for a possible 20 boat-slip total.

Overnight stays will not be an allowed use and shore stations for power and water will not be part of the accommodations.

“The state has awarded us the engineering component of this; they are highly likely to approve the infrastructure component as well,” Harrier told his council about the prospects of securing the grant.

“This is a transient dock that brings a lot of people to town for shopping, eating, drinking and such,” said Saugatuck City Council Member Bill Hess.

The floating dock system proposal is a different entity than the four boat slips Saugatuck city owns at the end of Griffith Street and which the city contracts Sergeant Marina to manage on behalf of the city as well to deal with those boaters.

In exchange for 60 percent of earnings, Sergeant Marina schedules transient docking rentals for the general public and provides it with various amenities at its property, namely, potable water, electricity, and access to the bathroom and shower.

State Grant Will Help Saugatuck Improve City’s Floating Dock System

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