Lake Bancroft Park

Pavilion project anticipates MNRTF grant

Pictured is Lake Bancroft Park in Ishpeming. The Ishpeming City Council will consider the authorization of engineering expenses for a proposed pavilion on the site at its meeting tonight. The project will be funded by a combination of grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Cliffs Eagle Grant. (Journal file photo)

ISHPEMING –Improvements to the Lake Bancroft Park area in Ishpeming will have to wait a little bit longer.

City officials must wait for the proceeds from a $300,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant before they can let the project out for bids, according to an update from City Manager Mark Slown at a regular meeting of the Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority on Monday.

“The grant has not officially been awarded,” Slown said during the meeting.

Slown said he doesn’t expect any problems with the funding itself, but expressed concerns about the timeline of the project, which was expected to be completed during the 2018 construction season.

Conceptual drawings of the structure were considered during the DDA’s March 26 meeting.

The Michigan Legislature website states that the MNRTF appropriations bill, which includes $19 million in recreational development and $21.3 million in land acquisition projects, was officially presented to Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday after it was overwhelmingly approved in the Senate on May 3 and the House on May 16.

Marty Fittante, a spokesman from Sen. Tom Casperson’s office, confirmed that the appropriations bill has been sent to Snyder, who has 14 days to act on it.

“The only step left is for the governor to sign it, veto it, or take no action, in which case the bill becomes law on (Thursday).”

The proceeds from the MNRTF grant will be added to a $250,000 grant awarded to the DDA in 2015 by the Cliffs and Eagle Mine Marquette County Community Fund and a $50,000 pledge from DDA coffers.

A structure will be built on a lot across from Lake Bancroft, the former home of the Cleveland Cliff’s Mining Company administrative offices at the corner of Spruce and Euclid streets, which were demolished in 2014. The new facility will be constructed for year-round use, with glass garage doors to keep the elements out while providing a view of the lake, as well as amenities like a kitchen area and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms.

The DDA also heard updates from the beautification committee as well as the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce during the meeting.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her email address is