Communities in Michigan that have river or lakefronts like the idea that people will sail into their town and park their boats while shopping, eating or just enjoying other recreation amenities in the downtown area.
Ideas become a reality with a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Program Grant.
The City of Saugatuck recently received a $90,000 Waterways grant, half the cost of converting a single metal dock at Coghlin Park into a 20-slip Shoppers Dock. The city also received a $20,000 grant for the dock plan study.
“Waterways grants are important,” said Kirk Harrier, Saugatuck’s city manager. “We also built a boat launch with one. We couldn’t do these types of projects if we didn’t get this type of assistance.”
The new daytime floating dock on Kalamazoo Lake is 129 feet long with finger piers accommodating boats up to 30 feet at the park’s south shore. One boat slip is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible.
The new docks have received good reviews from the locals and those visiting the area.
“There was no delineation for slips with the old dock,” Harrier said. “It was like having a parking lot without any parking lines. Separate slips now make it easy to get more boats in there. We’re maximizing the space so everybody can park.
“It’s absolutely beautiful and has exceeded all my expectations.”
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