2011-06-09 / News

St. Ignace DDA Slates Several Projects for Completion

By Karen Gould


On State Street, Phil Blank of Northwoods Electric removes one of two downtown St. Ignace streetlights for testing. By the end of June, the Downtown Development Authority will have all of the downtown lights retrofitted with an induction lighting system. The new system requires less energy and will save money. The lights will be whiter in appearance and be less glaring for drivers. On State Street, Phil Blank of Northwoods Electric removes one of two downtown St. Ignace streetlights for testing. By the end of June, the Downtown Development Authority will have all of the downtown lights retrofitted with an induction lighting system. The new system requires less energy and will save money. The lights will be whiter in appearance and be less glaring for drivers. A five-foot-tall steel fence will provide a safety barrier around St. Anthony’s Rock, an age-old landmark between downtown State Street shops and the old railroad grade in St. Ignace. The safety project, to be completed in late June, will require 180 feet of black fence and a locked gate. It is designed to protect the public from pieces of the rock that may crumble with age. It is formed from brecciated limestone in an ancient sea, the same as Sugar Loaf and Arch Rock on Mackinac Island.

This and Wawatam Park, street lighting, and a new fence at Marquette Mission Park have been under discussion by the St. Ignace Downtown Development Authority (DDA) over the past month.

In September 2010, a chunk of the St. Anthony’s Rock fell during a heavy rain and the fence will keep people at a safe distance and prevent anyone from trying to climb it. The rock once had a wooden stairway to the top, where a bandstand was built.

During a special meeting, Thursday, May 26, the DDA accepted a bid for $8,620 from Robinson Fence Company of Pickford. The Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority will pay for half of the project cost and the DDA will pay for the remaining $4,310.

Chief Wawatam Dock Revitalization Project

The major revitalization of the city’s Chief Wawatam Dock likely will be completed by August. The dock served the old railroad ferries that transported trains and cars between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace until the tracks were abandoned by the state in 1984. The DDA began developing the site into a park and viewing area five years ago.

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is providing a $134,000 grant for the park project.

A splash pad will be installed by Miracle Playground of Okemos for $60,000, and a brick walkway will lead visitors around the park. The DDA had sought bids for both brick pavers and stamped concrete, expecting the concrete would cost much less cost, but there was only about a $3,000 difference so bricks will be used. Board member John Ruegg had supported using durable bricks since the project got underway, arguing that any concrete path would crack and would require more maintenance and repairs.

Low bid for the brick path was Wilcox Construction of Cedarville for $40,740.

Extension of the lighted boardwalk and installation of the lighthouse and a fishing pier have already been done.

When the park is completed this fall, the conversion to a significant feature in the city will include new features that will characterize the community’s historical heritage and blend it with children’s activities, fishing opportunities, a family picnic area, and sweeping views of the water and Mackinac Island. The area will be handicap accessible.

Downtown Street Lighting Project

The DDA is in the process of retrofitting 93 streetlights downtown. Northwoods Electric of Moran was awarded the project in April, but has delayed the work because the manufacturer has made improvements to the induction ballasts. The improvements will not change the cost of the work, which is $25,282.50 and includes spare fixtures, said Deb Evashevski,

DDA director. Cloverland Electric Cooperative is contributing about $3,000 to the project.

Residents will see a difference in appearance of the lights once the system is installed. The lights will be whiter and will be directed more toward sidewalk, with reduced glare to drivers.

The retrofit process would take place on-site and the new lights are expected to be in place by the end of June.

The new induction lights will come with a five-year warranty. The lighting will have surge protectors and overheating protection. The lights will draw 100 watts, compared to 245 watts now required from the highpressure sodium lights currently in use. The DDA estimates the city will save about $6,500 a year. The new lighting system is estimated to pay for itself in about four years.

Museum Fence

The DDA will add a wooden splitrail fence along the north side of Marquette Mission Park and Museum of Ojibwa Culture. A survey of the property and the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce property nearby was conducted by surveyor Neil E. Hill of Mackinac County Land Surveys for $1,500. The fence will match the existing fence that runs along the front of the property. The fence will discourage visitors from walking on private property between the museum and the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce. Community Educational Program

The DDA and the St. Ignace Police Department are sponsoring the free program Wednesday, June 15, at Little Bear East Conference Center, that will provide education to businesses on theft prevention and robbery. Employees will learn what to look for when cashing checks and counterfeit money, how to spot identification theft, and other criminal activity. Two sessions are offered, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Chief Wawatam Park Development Project and Cost

Fishing platform, 40-foot by 10- foot wooden area, $90,000

Splash pad for $60,000

Brick Walkway, 10-foot wide, 600 linear feet, $40,000

Historical and interpretive signage, $17,000

Children’s education areas, $15,000

Engineering work, $15,000

Water lines and pea stone, $10,000

Lighting and electrical work, $10,000

Picnic tables, benches, trash area, $7,000

Landscaping, $6,000

Total Estimated Cost, $278,000

Funding Sources

DDA, $33,000

Mackinac County $10,000

Jack and Beverly Swope Family $10,000

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, $10,000

City of St. Ignace Boardwalk Fund, $5,000

St. Ignace Department of Public Works in-kind labor, $5,000

St. Ignace Kiwanis Club, $5,000

St. Ignace Lions Club, $3,000

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, $134,000

Kellogg Foundation, $38,000

Department of Environmental Quality, $25,000

Total Funding $278,000

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