MARQUETTE - Marquette will be soliciting public input next month on a $1.73 million plan to overhaul, renovate and repurpose parts of the city's Tourist Park.
The draft land use action plan - put together by Marquette's Sanders and Czapski Associates, PLLC - was requested by the city and will serve as a blueprint for the park's future. It addresses all aspects of the park's public space, including the beach front and campground.
The goals of the project include altering the utilization of the ball field space, creating a multi-use festival space and the evaluation of a campsite expansion. According to the plan, guiding principles included affordability, sustainability and universal accessibility.
The plan calls for the elimination of the ball field and the creation of a two-acre multi-purpose lawn.
Talking points include the creation of a performance venue or installation of an arabesque tent and expansion of camping facilities, from 110 total sites to 137. Under the proposal, the park would have 27 tent-only sites, 47 full hook-up sites, 54 modern camping sites and nine cabins or yurts.
Marquette Mayor Johnny DePetro said the proposed work would serve to once again make the park a premier city destination.
Changes to the day use area - including an access road connecting to Marquette County Road 550, beach improvements, landscaping, a bike path extension and the construction of a support building - would total $1.2 million.
"It is really a gem for the tourists, so many of them that used to use that area before the flood in 2003," DePetro said. "Many people we've talked to said that once that area was refilled with water and once some of the sites were improved, they would be back immediately."
DePetro said that, in the coming summers, he expects to see the park utilized "at the maximum."
Campground renovations - including the creation of cabin and yurt sites, building overhauls, parking and road overhauls and lighting upgrades - would cost an estimated $515,000. DePetro said that, although no work has yet been done, some funding for the park has been set aside in previous budget cycles.
Public discussion of the draft plan will continue Jan. 10 when the city hosts a community meeting and draft plan presentation by Sanders and Czapski Associates. The presentation, which will be followed by a community discussion, is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Citizens Forum room at Lakeview Arena.
Links to both the draft of the plan and presentation can be found on the main page of the city's website at www.mqtcty.org.
Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is email@example.com.