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$3.9M grant for large waterfront park/improvements behind NOAA

Submitted by on September 17, 2019 – 12:56 amNo Comment

A natural playground, an amphitheater, two pavillions, up to four sports courts, trail construction and enhancements, parking improvements, a fountain, outdoor seating areas and more could be part of a new waterfront park on the backside of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center.

The City of Alpena is working with Friends of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary to obtain a nearly $3.9 million state grant for the project, which requires a local match of about $433,000. Sanctuary members are working with community partners to raise those funds.

The municipal council Monday night, agreed to proceed with the grant process, on behalf of the city, the sanctuary and property owner Jeff Konczak. Konczak has expressed support for the project, however a lot of details still need to be worked out, including who will be responsible for long-term upkeep on the outdoor amenities, such as a new parking lot and the sports courts.

In addition, the city and Konczak need to agree on a lease or easement for the property. The city must have legal access to the land since the funding is for a public project, and since the city is the applicant for the grant.

If the city receives the award, construction would likely begin next summer and be completed by the end of 2021. Some aspects of the plan are subject to change.

While a portion of the project would be constructed behind the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, a large number of amenities would be located on the northwest side of the property.