D. Joseph Buys

1016 High Street

Marquette, MI 49855-3609

25 April 2000

Marquette City Commissioners

Subject: Request for Funding Extending Presque Isle Launch Docks

Dear Commissioners,

I respectfully request you fund extending the inside docks at the Presque Isle Marine launch facility at an estimated cost of under $2,500.


The Presque Isle marina center launch design was flawed from the beginning. The center dock has proven almost completely useless for tying boats because it is too high.

Conversely, the side docks are so short as to make docking a real challenge, if not hazardous. Approaching the center docks in a wind often requires coming in at a respectable speed and slamming the brakes on (reverse prop) in the distance of a few feet. I have seen some boats come in and actually ground their boat on the ramp because of the short dock length.

Extended docks could permit not only safer approaches, but permit a second boat to temporarily tie up behind a boat pulling out. That would considerably facilitate the usage of this launch. This is especially true for the middle left dock, which is by far the best dock and most often used. Itís the only one I use.

These short docks were a problem before the lake level was down. Now itís worse.

Again, safety is an issue as I have seen (and did it myself today) boats circling inside the marina until the dock frees up, where I might otherwise be able to pull behind and tie up. Circling in the marina until the one launch is free is not a desirable practice but I see it done all the time.

Proposal: I request you allot $2,500 for the purpose of extending the two inside docks 8 feet each, more if possible. I would further suggest design and work be done using City resources as best we can. If both docks cannot be extended, then extend the inside left dock as itís used most.

Other Information:

I wish I knew how much materials would cost but I donít.

I addressed this issue to the Harbor Advisory Committee last year and thought they were "on board." It was clearly my impression they all concurred it was a good idea and much needed.

As launch fees have recently been increased substantially with little or nothing offered in launch facility improvements, in my mind it would be only fair to allocate this small amount to get such good returns on improved safety and convenience.

Along those lines, it appears the $30,000 harbor engineering study will be cancelled, saving money but reducing the likelihood of any improvements to, let alone new launch facilities for several years to come.

The extension of these docks in no way precludes the need to greatly improve or replace the Presque Isle Launch Facility.

Sincerely yours,

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