JOHN BOWERS: Questions lack of repairs to damaged city docks

TO THE EDITOR:

As I sat there on (Sept. 15) in my folding chair along the shuffle board courts listening to the band with friends and enjoying one of the many “wet hops” available at our annual event, my eyes turned to the river and the battered city marina docking facilities.

There were no “wet props” at this year’s event; the beautiful wooden boats had nowhere to tie up. What a disgrace for a city whose welcome sign touts us being a “port city.”

Then I had to question, why haven’t any of the docks been repaired? Since the area is referred to as the city marina, I’ve always assumed it was owned, operated and maintained by the City of Manistee.

The seiche that struck the river channel in early April, causing all that damage, was five months ago. Surely the city council has an individual or committee that overseas this gem of the city that provides some revenue from those who seek dock space when visiting the city by boat in the summer months and fuel before heading out to other ports of call.

The marina probably never pumped any fuel this year. Most of the privately owned docks were repaired and open by this summer’s boating season. The docks should have been covered by insurance, and I doubt the adjuster could deny any claims for damage. It was a natural event that was responsible. Maybe those in charge couldn’t find the money to cover the deductible; I have no idea what the excuses are.

We tell visitors to come walk our beautiful Riverwalk, but this year when they took that advice and got to the city marina section, all they saw was yellow caution tape and broken timbers. It appears that section of the Riverwalk has already “gone to the dogs.”

The letter to the editor, “Travelers disappointed in local event” from Kay Zink of Lansing published in the Sept. 21 edition of the News Advocate, tells us that not everyone who attends our annual Hops & Props come for the refreshing spirits and music.

Maybe the powers to be intend to repair the docks by suggesting another volunteer project be implemented to save this area. Volunteers here have helped save theaters, children’s play parks, a lighthouse and hope to install and band shell.

Maybe our sign should be changed to “Welcome to the Volunteer City.”

John Bowers

Filer Township

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