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Rotary Club commits $50K to proposed new waterfront park

Submitted by on November 12, 2019 – 12:34 amNo Comment

The Rotary Club of Alpena Monday, made a significant donation to a new proposed riverfront park.

Rotary members presented Friends of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary with a check for $50,000 toward what is being called the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Waterfront Park.

The public park along the Thunder Bay River would be constructed behind and to the northwest of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center at a cost of approximately $4.3 million.

The $50,000 check from the Rotary Club will go toward the $433,000 needed as a local match for a possible state grant of $3.9 million. The City of Alpena is basically acting as a fiduciary for the project, on behalf of the Friends group, which is responsible for raising the local match.

“In the Rotary tradition, it’s important that our work benefits all members of our community and has a lasting impact,” said Chuck Sherwin, Rotary Club president. “Our members look forward to not only helping to raise the needed funding to leverage such a large project, but to also roll up our sleeves and help in the design and construction as well.”

While the city is not contributing cash toward the project, a portion of the local match would be donated by the city as in-kind services. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has provided the city with a letter of intent to fund the project.

If the project continues forward, construction would likely begin next summer and be completed by the end of 2021.

The park plan, which is subject to change, currently calls for 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.