2012-03-15 / Front Page

seeks funds to acquire property, plans restoration of car ferry docks


idle for years, plans are in the works to restore the old car ferry docks located on the west side of the Manistique River that once serviced the area as part of the Ann Arbor Railroad Company. 
(Pioneer-Tribune photo) idle for years, plans are in the works to restore the old car ferry docks located on the west side of the Manistique River that once serviced the area as part of the Ann Arbor Railroad Company. (Pioneer-Tribune photo) Manistique City Council Monday approved an application for a state Land Acquisition Grant to buy vacant property owned by Manistique Papers Inc.

According to City Manager Sheila Aldrich, the grant applica- tion covers three separate proper- ties owned by the mill.

They are described as 23.53 acres located on Lake Michigan off of Traders’ Point Drive, a seven-acre piece on the east side of the Man- istique River, north of the US-2 bridge, and a small lot located adja- cent to the historic water tower.

Monday’s action marks the sec- ond time in recent weeks that the city has applied for a Land Acquisi- tion Grant.

At their Feb. 22 meeting, the city council supported the Downtown Development Authority’s plan to acquire a piece of vacant property at the end of Traders’ Point, a site that is adjacent to the old Ann Ar- bor Railroad car ferry docks at the mouth of the Manistique River.

Following an informal discus- sion of having that parcel declared a state historic site, the DDA intro- duced plans to acquire the pilot- house from the old Arthur K. At- kinson car ferry, which is currently docked in Sault Ste. Marie and is expected to be sold for scrap.

If the authority is able to obtain the pilothouse, it would be used as a historic exhibit at the Traders’ Point site, requiring purchase of the property.

DDA chairman Rick Demers also learned that the Haywire Engine, which was also part of the Ann Ar- bor Railroad Company and served Manistique at one time, is currently sitting at the National Railroad Mu- seum in Green Bay, Wis.

Demers sent an e-mail to Jacque- line D. Frank, executive director of the museum, indicating the DDA’s interest in having the engine return to its home, should their plans ma- terialize.

In order to facilitate the purchase of all the various parcels of land, the city has been working with Cole- man Engineering on grants through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to acquire the land, as well as a historic preservation grant to restore the car ferry docks.

The land acquisition grants must be submitted by April 1, and are subject to a public hearing by the city, which will be held March 26.

Applying for the grant does not bind the city or MPI. The city’s pur- chase is contingent on receipt of the grant.

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