Marina Redevelopment Project Overview
The Boyne City F. Grant Moore Municipal Marina operations currently consists of a 46 slip marina (plus broadside tie-up), two boat launches, a fish cleaning station and a public pier used for both fishing and short-term shoppers dock. The 46 slips are comprised of fixed and floating docks of various sizes used for both seasonal and nightly rentals at a 50 percent ratio. The public pier, the fish clean station, and in some cases the boat launches (for City property owners) are free services provided by the marina for public use.
Almost 20 years of planning, researching, public input meetings, state and federal permitting processes, etc. have been undertaken to date. The City is currently in the process of applying for a federal grant to upgrade the marina by replacing all of the current dock structures, adding additional slips, upgrading all of the infrastructure (electrical service, water, and fire suppression); bringing everything up to current standards. If successful, this grant, coupled with grants funds already approved by the Michigan State Waterways fund, will bear more than 67% of the estimated $5.4 million total project cost. The remainder of the cost would be in the form of a bond, taken out by the City of Boyne City, to be paid back from the marina fund which is derived from marina user fees. If the grant is approved, there should be no need for other major improvements and marina profits would be held for future maintenance.
City staff, along with its engineering firm looked at the proposed expanded marina’s projected revenue performance using past performance and industry standards, economic impact, etc. The City also brought in a separate outside financial consultant to investigate the bond option, using the last 5 years of the marina’s financial performance and projections provided by the engineering firm and staff, to see if this was a viable plan to pursue. All of the information gathered leads to a net revenue from marina operations themselves that could support a 15 – 20 year bond payment.
The redevelopment project would include:
- replacement of all of the existing aging docks that have not been recently replaced.
- providing new electrical and water service to all of the docks.
- adding a pump-out station.
- construction of a new floating wave attenuator to protect all of the interior docks which will also add some protection to the public pier (aka shoppers dock or fishing pier) when the wind is out of the north.
- adding 44 (or less) new slips for both seasonal and nightly rental. The majority of the new piers are either 25’ - 30’ in overall length with a few longer ones to accommodate larger vessels or doubled up smaller vessels to maximize their use. We anticipate that any new slips will be rented at the same 50% ratio of seasonal to nightly as our existing state grant funded facility.
What is NOT included in the plan being submitted for the grant are:
- the mooring field to the north (near the ball field) that is shown on the 2019 permitted plan
- expansion of the bathroom / shower facilities or additional parking spaces designated for marina use. Through research it has been determined that the current marina facilities are ample to handle an increase in users and the ratio of bathrooms/showers would be in line with other marinas in the area. Boyne City is currently one of, if not the smallest, municipal marinas in northern Michigan when it comes to slip counts.
City commissioners and staff are working to try to balance the needs and desires of the community and park users with a sustainable, financially viable project; a viable grant application that will give the City the best chance at obtaining the grant funds; and the public’s interest in recreational boating. To accomplish this, we are investigating ways to slightly reduce the scope of the project, focusing on the a reduction of the docks to the north; eliminating some of the upright posts; and we are also having conversations with the Boyne City Fourth of July committee to ensure there is no negative impact affecting the long established fireworks event.
City staff has researched grant opportunities (both repair/replacement and expansion) for many years and continue to do so. The cost alone of replacing the existing marina and providing a new wave attenuation is estimated at approximately $3 million (+/-) dollars. We have not come across any in the past and are not aware of any others currently or coming up in the near future that have this large of a granting capacity for a project of this nature and with a match requirement of less than 50%.
Questions and comments may be directed to the harbormaster by emailing Barb Brooks, calling 231-582.0336 or stopping by City Hall.
Marina Expansion History…the last 20 years.
Many residents and visitors inquire each year as to what is happening with the marina and are the plans for expansion in the future.
The City has had discussions regarding the future of the marina, maintenance and expansion discussions for many years. In 2003 the City hired an engineering firm to delve into the matter a little deeper with first a wave climate study to better understand the conditions we are dealing with at this end of the lake.
Also in 2003 the same firm, after many meetings with the public, interest groups, various city boards and the City Commission, they provided the City with a draft master plan in 2003 and a Final Master Plan in 2005. Abonmarche evaluated the existing and potential demand for boating facilities on Lake Charlevoix relative to existing and planned marinas and boat launching facilities. In addition to an existing private marina south of the City, and a possible new marina development south of the City's boat launch. The emphasis of their study is on the availability of facilities to accommodate boaters who would visit the City if adequate facilities were available. The Abonmarche group inventoried existing and known, planned marinas within Lake Charlevoix and interviewed owners to gather data on slip sizes, amenities, occupancy rates, waiting lists, and planned improvements. Abonmarche also interviewed Harbor Masters at nearby Lake Michigan municipal marinas to determine destination patterns of visiting boaters as well as destination preferences. Finally, Abonmarche reviewed the past three years of operating data for the marina to determine the overall financial performance of the facility and have helped determine whether future improvements are economically viable. They used their experience with the other Michigan public marinas to review and evaluate the marina's performance to suggest improvements. The master plan included several options using a rubble mound breakwall system. After further discussions and public input, an additional plan was introduced by the community and discussions for a floating breakwall option. The floating breakwall was thought to be more advantageous and desirable, both financially and esthetically. The City Commission requested that the wave attenuator (floating break-wall) option be added for further studies by Abonmarche.
In 2007 a formal joint permit application was submitted using proposed Marina Plan “M”. After many DEQ meetings and DEQ public hearing, the permit application was formally denied in 2009 by the DEQ. The US Army Corps of Engineers never took action on the application after the denial from the DEQ. The DEQ listed approximately ten items of concern as a basis for their denial. Several of the items just needed minor tweaking, some were deficiencies in the submitted application and probably the area of most concern was the amount public trust waters and public navigation impairment.
Based on the denial process the City (Commission support) exercised its rights to appeal the denial. Through the appeal process there is opportunity to meet with representatives from the DEQ and DNR (Fisheries Div.) better understand each others positions and negotiate some of the sticking points of the denial. Out of these discussions, representatives of these agencies stated that they believed the City had a project that could be permitted; it just needed to be tweaked. Without an urgent need to have a project permitted, this negotiation process went on for about two years. These discussions resulted in a revised 2010 draft plan.
While working on the plan in 2010, the City Commissioners, as well as citizens expressed concerns regarding the financial aspects of completing a marina improvement project. The City Commissioners have stressed that the marina should be financially self sufficient. The economy, fuel prices, and real estate market were also playing a role in the feasibility for the marina plans. Due to these concerns, the City inquired whether there was a possibility of expanding the marina using an incremental approach. At the same time representatives of the Waterways Commission and DNR Parks & Recreation Division also encouraged the City to look into a plan that could be built in phases. With the economy and limited funding, Waterways representatives stated they were looking for smaller projects or individual phases of a larger project to fund. Proposed phases are reflected in the 2010 draft plan.
In 2011 the City received a grant from the Michigan Waterways to replace the City’s Day Dock (Shoppers’ Dock / Fishing Pier) and renovate the five fixed piers at the marina. Again, the City hired an engineering firm to work with the City to obtain permits and draw up the engineered plans needed to do so.
In 2012 we formally submitted the 2010 draft plan for joint review by the DEQ and the USACE. Because of the low water levels, the DEQ felt the plan would not be valid without dredging. Dredging was not a part of the original 2007 permit and was not part of the public notice; therefore the DEQ suggested we just file a new permit application. In order to not jeopardize the funding for the project listed above, the City opted to reduce the permit application on file to address the current project which doesn’t require dredging and submit a new application using the revised a 2013 Plan that has been developing over the past year and addresses the need to dredge. This proposed plan and permit application is currently under discussion.
2017 - Plans have been completed and a joint DEQ and USACE permit has been obtained. Funding options are currently being examined and possible project phasing to come up with the best way to move the project forward so it is sustainable for the City.
2018 - Phase I of the expansion was completed