NEW BUFFALO — The New Buffalo City Council during its July 19 regular meeting accepted two grants with the ultimate goal to construct a seawall along the Galien River frontage between the Whittaker Street bridge and the public beach for enhanced protection of the shoreline.

Accepted were: a $689,481 Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Grant for upgrading the electrical system at the marina and construction of the seawall for enhanced protection of the ; and a $47,900 USDA Rural Business Development Grant to provide funding for the preliminary engineering and design work for the Marina Expansion & Shoreline Protection project.

Tony McGhee of Abonmarche said a pending grant application for $1.5 million in federal Cares Act money for the seawall project will be submitted soon.

If all the funding and permitting are in place for the $2-plus million project, he said work could begin in the spring of 2022.

“We’d love to start tomorrow,” McGhee added.

He later said a proposed pedestrian bridge may be incorporated into the project.

Also on July 19, Mayor John Humphrey said the city has advertised “for some time” that new measures to enforce existing parking measures were coming for residents and visitors alike in an effort to improve motorized and bicycle traffic, walkability, and overall public safety.”

“As a result the city’s issuing warning tickets, we’ll be expanding no-parking signs, increasing public parking, and also making information available to homeowners on how they can quickly expand their parking areas.”

During the public comment period, Nick Holevas said the new parking enforcement effort seems to be “a tactic by the City Council in order to get rid of as many second homeowners and eliminate vacation rentals.”

Humphrey later said the city’s short-term rental ordinance “directly addressed parking requirements for short-term rentals.”

“Enforcing our established laws is for everyone else – residents and visitors alike.”

Also on July 19 the New Buffalo City Council:

Accepted the donation of a bench in honor of former City Manager Dave Richards from Mary Rose Denton to be located on the dune walk to allow for people of all abilities to enjoy the sunset and dune area of the beach.

Approved a $201,064.25 bid from Kalin Construction for the 2021 Street Resurfacing Project.

Approved the second reading of an amendment to Chapter 15; Article II of the City of New Buffalo Code of Ordinances to Regulate the Preparation and Collection of Solid Waste which includes the following changes: A definition of Construction & Demolition Waste material was added; and the times for set out and removal times were adjusted to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Also OK’d was the second reading of an amendment to Chapter 9 of the City of New Buffalo Code of Ordinances – General Business Registration.

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