Manistique council, DDA look at future

MANISTIQUE — It began in 2006. The Manistique City Council and the city’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) got together for an all-day goal-setting session. It’s been been done almost annually ever since. Monday was no exception. Some of the time is devoted to catching up, to finding out which goals have been realized, which are still to be accomplished and which are just not practical. But the five council members and the five of the DDA members said they are committed to creating a strong and bright future for their town.

One of the DDA’s newest and most popular projects is the new Manistique Lakeshore Campground. It opened last summer to rave reviews. The 2018 season is already shaping up to be a success with 2,500 nights already reserved. That’s about a quarter of the available sites for the entire season from May 1 into October.

The DDA also anticipates beginning improvements on the Manistique Marina. Coleman Engineering’s Kevin Trevillian, the city’s engineering firm, said the project will include new bin walls, floating docks and razing an outdated building and replacing it with parking and sidewalks “We hope to begin the $3 million project near the end of the boating season and work on it through the winter and finish it up in early summer of 2019,” said Scott Nowak, also of Coleman Engineering.

DDA members offered suggestions for short-term goals including resolving drainage issues at the intersection of Veterans Drive and U.S. 2. High on its list is completing the 3.5 mile Walk Manistique Project that will create a walking path that circles the city from U.S. 2 and the Manistique River, along the river to Elk Street, through Central Park, along Lakeside Road, past Emerald Elementary and south, ending up at east entrance of Manistique’s Board walk. It also wants to develop public parking for the new Blanchard Park.

As for long-term vision, the DDA wants to improve street lighting, expand the campground and blacktop the parking area at Traders Point.

As for the city, it’s looking at continuing to address blight, complete CUPPAD’s Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) project, install new street signs, improve water/sewer infrastructure, update its website and pursue goal-setting with the Schoolcraft County Board for the immediate future. More economic development, a bike path, a garage for the Department of Public Works, a new city hall and a vacuum truck are also long-term goals.

The council also held its regular meeting Monday. Council accepted a house at 711 Oak St. to be used to house paramedics. “We have a crew of 22,” Public Safety Director Ken Golat said. “But only three live in Manistique. Most of the rest come from below the bridge. We direly needed a place for them to stay.” The city had been housing paramedics at the Community Center, but the building didn’t have hot water or showers. The Janet Bruhn Jeffcott Revocable Trust of 2003 donated the house to the city. Jeffcott is the former mayor of Manistique.

In other action, the council adopted the Municode ordinance which brings all of the city’s ordinances up to date and in line with Michigan’s legal code. The last update was done in 1988. It also approved final payment and closeout for the M-94 repaving project finished last summer..