We encourage area residents to consider attending a Jan. 10 public forum where an architectural firm will present plans detailing the thinking concerning the future of Tourist Park.
The city of Marquette may spend as much as $1.73 million to construct new amenities, as well as refurbish and repurpose sections of Tourist Park. It has contracted with Sanders and Czapski Associates to develop the draft land use plan. Provisions, all of which are subject to modification or outright elimination, include removal of the seldom-used baseball field and replacement with what's termed a two-acre multi-purpose lawn.
As Mining Journal Staff Writer Kyle Whitney reported on our front page Wednesday, other possibilities 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.
About $1.2 million may be earmarked for beach improvement, road upgrades and landscaping, among other things. A variety of campground renovations could total $515,000.
Although the city has apparently set some funds aside for the work, it's unclear where the balance of the financing will come from. Until that's determined, we'll withhold our endorsement. That said, rebuilding Tourist Park to its pre-2003 luster, when a flood severely damaged the site, and better utilizing the facility itself, does make a lot of sense.
Marquette Mayor Johnny DePetro may have gotten it right when he said the project would once again make Tourist Park a place people want to see when visiting the city.
The Jan. 10 meeting, in the Citizens Forum Room at Lakeview Arena, starts at 6 p.m. 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.