Ludington will ask DNR for help with west avenue project

March 10, 2014
The area that the proposed grant will fund is in blue.

The area that the proposed grant will fund is in blue.

LUDINGTON — The city will be asking the state of Michigan to help out with a proposed project to reconstruct the west end of Ludington Avenue and Stearns Beach. City Council approved a request to apply for $300,000 with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund during its regular meeting Monday night.

Action by council was taken following a public hearing on the $483,800 project.

Proposed West Ludington Ave. project.

Proposed West Ludington Ave. project.

The proposed project would include construction of a new concrete walkway running from the west end of Ludington Avenue to the existing breakwater leading to the north pier lighthouse. It would also include installation of a new promenade area at the west end of Ludington Avenue.

The city has already received $51,000 in funding from the Community Foundation of Mason County and the Consumers Energy Foundation.

A recently installed handicap accessible walkway at Stearns Park can count towards $35,000 of the city’s matching grant with the DNR.

The grant application deadline is April 1 and the city would find out if it receives the grant in November. The city’s previous grant applications for the project have been turned down by the DNR.

Don and Penny Miller, 804 W. Ludington Ave., expressed their concerns with the parking and traffic patterns in the area. Penny thanked the council for the work its members have put into the project, however.

Resident Deb Del Zoppo said she was concerned the view of Lake Michigan may be blocked.

City Manager John Shay responded to some of the concerns. He said that parking is actually going to be extended in the south parking lot. He said additional parking would also placed on the west side of Stearns Outer Drive.

Shay said vegetation in that area would be no taller than 2 or 3 feet, addressing concerns about people not being able to enjoy the view.

A citizen raised a concern about the cost of the project.

“We have already received some funding there and have had conversations with some of our corporate neighbors,” Shay said. “We have looked at fund raising initiatives. One idea is selling name plates to help raise those funds.” Shay said the intention is to cover most of the local match through private donations.