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Marina to increase in size in South Haven

Marina patrons in South Haven will have a larger building for a common area, showers and restrooms thanks to a grant made through the Michigan State Waterways Commission.

A grant for $814,200 has been granted to the City of South Haven for improvements to the North Side Marina. The city's matching revenues for the project will come from its marina fund. Revenues from marina operations make up the fund. City tax dollars will not go into the improvements.

The grant will cover 50 percent of the cost of building a new restroom and offices at the marina. The building will expand from 900 square feet to 3,100 square feet. It now has a customer service desk and one room for an office.

City officials worked with boaters and neighbors to come up with the design of the building. The project has been in the works for several years.

The city hopes to see the project under way by Labor Day, says Paul Vandenbosch, of the city harbor commission.

The city anticipates that the construction of the new facility will result in higher numbers of seasonal and transient, or overnight, boaters using the North Marina facility for many years to come, says Brian Dissette, City Manager.

"For the past few years the city's marina, along with most private marinas along Lake Michigan, have seen falling slip rentals due to a variety of factors, like the cost of fuel, bad weather, and the economy," Dissette says. "It's our hope that constructing a new facility, which provides better restrooms, showers, and accommodations, along with providing barrier free facilities, that we will see increased slip usage and greater numbers of boaters using the North Marina."

The Michigan State Waterways Commission is responsible for the acquisition, construction, and maintenance of recreational harbors, channels, docking and launching facilities, and administration of commercial docks in the Straits of Mackinac.

Writer: Kathy Jennings
Source: Paul Vandenbosch, South Haven

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