Scottville fish cleaning station closed due to repair costs.

August 18, 2022

Scottville fish cleaning station closed due to repair costs.

SCOTTVILLE — The City of Scottville has closed down its Riverside Park fish cleaning station until the city is able to pay for repairs. City Manager Jimmy Newkirk said the grinder motors and the computers that operate the station are no longer functional. He said records indicate that the equipment was put in place about 2006 and has never been updated. Newkirk became city manager in 2021.

Newkirk said the station has actually been closed since October. However, a recent Facebook post by a local campground stated that the fish cleaning station was closed but did not explain why, implicating that the city manager just closed the station for no apparent reason.

“The issue with the fish cleaning station is like many of the other recreational facilities in Scottville,” Newkirk said. “The taxpayers and residents in the city are paying for services that are mostly used by non-residents. At this time, we just can’t afford to repair the fish cleaning station.”

Newkirk said the city commission has been exploring charging parking fees for the boat launch and fish cleaning area to help create more income that will go right back into that facility.

“The Scottville fish cleaning station is the only free fish cleaning station along the Pere Marquette River,” Newkirk said. “It’s not unusual for the station to get used by Lake Michigan fishermen who bypass the Ludington Loomis Street Boat Launch station because there’s a use fee.”

Newkirk said repairs are likely going to cost over $30,000, which is not in the current city budget.

“We are certainly open to suggestions of how we can pay for the repairs,” Newkirk said. “We just wish that before a social media post is made by a reputable business that the owners seek out all the facts first.”

Newkirk said that he’s already been approached by some fishermen who are willing to help monitor the station for limited use.

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