Marquette Board of Light and Power seeks ideas to repurpose former Shiras Steam Plant site

The plant in South Marquette has been demolished; the vacant lot is located on the waterfront off South Lake Street.
Site of the former Shiras Steam Plant, now demolished, off South Lake Street in South Marquette.
Site of the former Shiras Steam Plant, now demolished, off South Lake Street in South Marquette.(WLUC)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 11:02 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - What should go in place of the old Shiras Steam Plant?

The Marquette Board of Light and Power is now looking for your ideas on what to do. Around 30 people showed up at Wednesday night’s MBLP work session to give their ideas.

They ranged from a public park to a boat launch or even a dog park. City of Marquette Citizen Volunteer Margaret Brumm had a different idea altogether - an elevated walkway.

“My vision is to keep as much of the natural terrain as possible but to allow people to have an elevated view,” Brumm said.

Inspired by The Midland Canopy Walk in Midland, Michigan, Brumm said it could give sightseers a chance to check out Marquette’s natural beauty.

“I remember when I was up at the top thinking how great this would be in Marquette because the higher you go the more you can see of the lake, the boats coming and going, all the beautiful stuff people want to come here to see,” Brumm said.

Not just anything can be built there. The MBLP said it cannot build any retail locations on this site. The state also has to approve any plan before it is final.

“With the state, there are restrictions on that, anything we do down there would have to be some amendment to the deed and the couple of bottomland agreements that the site has,” MBLP Executive Director Tom Carpenter said.

The MBLP explained that it wants to keep hearing ideas. It added the best way to give yours.

“Come to one of our board meetings,” Carpenter said. “It’s the first step, you can present it right to the board kind of get that moving.”

The MBLP said it is still cleaning up the site while working with the state to certify it for recreational use. The board added it expects this to take another year at least before plans to repurpose this waterfront area can move forward.

The MBLP is not a contractor and would have to consult the City of Marquette to help finalize any idea and set up construction.

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