Local projects included in state funding bill

COPPER HARBOR – Two Keweenaw County projects were among those funded by a state funding bill approved last week.

The bill, signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday, funds 76 recreational acquisition and development projects statewide, as well as 49 emergency dredging projects.

Money is being set aside for the emergency dredging of Lac La Belle State Harbor as well as upgrades to the Copper Harbor Playground.

Jordan Byelich, waterways state development program manager with the Department of Natural Resources, said the harbor was chosen for dredging because of shallow depth in the channel, which connects Lake Superior to an interior lake.

“It wasn’t necessarily anything beyond that, but making sure that channel had adequate depth and width for recreational boats,” he said.

Funding for the dredging is projected at $70,000, although that amount can still change, Byelich said.

“Until there’s actual design, it’s going to be very difficult to involve a confident cost with that,” he said.

Byelich said it has also yet to be determined whether the state or Army Corps of Engineers would handle the project.

“We’re working as fast as we can to produce the most efficient, best result here,” he said.

The Copper Harbor Playground Project seeks to install a new set of playground equipment made from recycled materials and with features such as a log slide designed to evoke nature. As of mid-February, the project has raised about $120,000 of its $145,000 goal.

Other projects in the Upper Peninsula include the Marina Peninsula Boardwalk Project in Baraga.