Top 10 stories of 2012
MANISTIQUE – The historic East Breakwater Lighthouse became part of a “disposal” plan by the U.S. General Services Administration earlier this year. While the city of Manistique had the opportunity to acquire the property for free, by committing to site upgrades and improvements, the city council recently decided not to pursue the structure.
When city council first learned of the possibility to acquire the light, currently owned by the federal government and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard, it partnered with Jeff Shook, of Michigan Lighthouse
Conservancy, to complete an application. The application includes a financial commitment section, in which the city would have to agree to pay for site updates over a period of time.
In June, the Manistique City Council voted to spend approximately $2,500 to finance an engineering plan. Recently, Shook informed the city that approximately $266,000 would be needed to bring the lighthouse up to the standards put forth by the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000.
City Manager Sheila Aldrich explained during a November council meeting that the $266,000 could be paid using various means, such as fundraising and opening the light to the public and charging admission. She also noted the city could have anywhere between 4 and 15 years to pay for the updates.
The city council decided during that same meeting to take a “wait and see” approach with the light, noting they were not in favor of committing to such a large amount of money. The light will now go to public auction unless another public entity comes forward to pursue it.