WHITEHALL – The City of Whitehall is expediting the dredging of its city marina in hopes it will be ready for the boating season.
The city is facing a crisis at its marina because of record low water levels in Lake Michigan and White Lake. Waters levels around the city marina’s docks are down to four feet.
Last Tuesday, the city council approved the expenditure of $7,500 for engineering of an expected $182,000 dredging program at the marina.
The council approved an engineering proposal by the firm, Prein&Newhof.
The city has applied for $182,000 in Emergency Dredging funds to remove 5,200 cubic yards of sediment and the grant has been tentatively approved pending legislative approval of the 2013 Emergency Dredging Plan. The $21 million plan to dredge 49 public owned harbors was approved by the Senate March 7. It was approved by the House Appropriations Committee last Wednesday.
The city’s dredging project is expected to deepen the water from four feet to around six and a half feet so larger boats can use the marina.
City Manager Scott Huebler told the council Tuesday that the city already has the dredging permits because they had initially planned to dredge the marina last year. That plan was put on hold because of an environmental cleanup as a result of a leak from the marina’s fuel storage system.
“We should be way ahead of the others (harbors and marinas),” Huebler told the council about the process of getting the marina dredged.
The city manager hopes the marina could be dredged by Memorial Day Weekend, the traditional start to the boating season.