NEW BUFFALO — The City of New Buffalo has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development to develop a master plan and complete preliminary engineering work for the redevelopment of the community’s waterfront area.
“With the redevelopment of our downtown completed over the last few years we have been wanting to shift our focus to the waterfront area as it is both an important resource to our local residents and a significant economic driver for the community attracting tens of thousands of visitors every year”, stated New Buffalo Mayor, Lou O’Donnell IV.
The Mayor went on to say, “we have been making strategic investments in our community the last 4 years including annual paving projects, the installation of new sidewalks throughout the community, park upgrades and numerous water and sewer system improvements. This project will continue the strategy of making investments that benefit our residents and the overall sustainability of the community”.
The planning phase of the project will include numerous opportunities for residents to have a voice in the master plan including through both community open houses as well as online surveys to ensure as much public input as possible is received. The planning and preliminary engineering project will begin in the fall of 2019 and be completed in the spring of 2020. This will allow the City to seek funding to implement portions of the project from the April 1, 2020 Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant funding round. The project will look at the entire waterfront area from the Whittaker Street Bridge to Lake Michigan and include the areas along the Galien River, the marina, boat launch, Lions Park and beach area.
The $58,500 project cost will be funded with a $51,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development and matched with $7,500 in local funding. “The grant writing services Abonmarche provides us as a pro bono benefit as our Engineer of Record are a great benefit to our community resulting in opportunities such as this. In addition to this, we have three other pending grants Abonmarche has developed that we will hear about this fall.” said David Richards, New Buffalo City Manager. “For smaller communities like New Buffalo with limited staff, this assistance allows the City to essentially increase our staff capacity using Abonmarche resources at no cost enabling us to better leverage local funds”.
The City will make announcements regarding opportunities to participate in the planning of the project beginning in September on the City’s website and via its email notifications,