Steps taken in marina project

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Steps were made toward the city’s long-awaited Bishop Park transient marina Monday, but the project is still a long way from becoming a reality.

City Council members Monday approved hiring Plymouth-based Soil and Materials Engineers Inc. for the first two phases of the project, which include drafting bid plans and environmental sampling for dredging of the contaminated sediment at the planned site along the Detroit River.

The two phases together will cost about $93,000, and will be paid for by grants from the Downriver Community Conference, Downriver Brownfield Consortium and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A contractor for the dredging can then be hired by April and dredging can begin by July, City Engineer Mark Kowalewski said, though construction on the docks still is far off.

“The earliest is probably two, three years away, the construction,” Kowalewski said. “If we’re lucky.”

Councilman Daniel Galeski asked City Administraor Todd Drysdale if the project, which also relies on matching funds from the Tax Increment Finance Authority fund, still made fiscal sense, as property values have diminished.

The TIFA fund is supported by gains in taxes and subsidizes improvements in defined districts. Drysdale said the fund should be able to pay for the project, as the council has secured matching funds from TIFA for the past three years.

The marina project had been discussed in the city for decades as a way to bring foot traffic into the city’s downtown through use of its waterfront, but was formally begun by the council in 2008 when it paid $40,000 for an engineering study to research the project’s feasibility.