Marquette lighthouse park postponement doesn't jeopardize grant

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A delay in developing Marquette's new lighthouse park did not jeopardize any grant money, city officials now say.

At a meeting Tuesday night, the Marquette Planning Commission voted to postpone further discussion about the project until its February meeting. Several citizens voiced disapproval for the plans, which they say adversely affect their properties and the flow of traffic in the area.

Before a vote was taken, city staff warned the commission that even a 30-day delay would put about $375,000 of grant funding in jeopardy and push the project back a year. The commission still decided to wait on moving forward.

According to Dennis Stachewicz, Director of Community Development, the city had applied for a Coastal Zone Management Water Trail Access grant, but that request was rejected in August prior to the meeting.

"However, we had an internal communication breakdown and the staff present at the meeting were unaware of the decision," said Stachewicz, in an email to TV6 Thursday morning.

"The staff that was at the meeting was not aware of that denial, I was and I take responsibility for not sharing that properly, however, we do have other funding that does have time constraints on it," said Mike Angeli, Marquette City Manager.

The lighthouse park is expected to be on the Planning Commission's Feb. 5 agenda.

The plans for the property surrounding Marquette's iconic red lighthouse on Lake Superior include reconstructing the multi-use path which currently runs along the shore; eliminating the old Coast Guard Road; and extending Arch Street toward the lighthouse property.

The City of Marquette originally gained control of the lighthouse property two years ago from the U.S. Coast Guard. The city has $1 million designated for the project. That money has to be used within two years.

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