2009-09-17 / Front Page

Dump Site Approved for Channel Dredging Spoils

Les Cheneaux Islands

Dredging spoils from Clark Township's channel maintenance project will be dumped in the southeast corner of Taylor's Pit on M-129 in Cedarville, federal, state, and local officials have decided. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Clark Township have approved the site, which is owned by Frank Taylor. Mr. Taylor is donating the use of the property provided that he doesn't not have to pay for any costs incurred during the project.

The dredging will remove sedimentation and weeds in the channels around the Les Cheneaux Islands, where problems with navigation are harming the boatingdependent economy.

Angie Mundell, operations project manager for the Corps of Engineers, said a contract for the dredging project will be awarded to a third-party contractor by the end of September, after a 30-day environmental assessment on the dump site is completed. Depending on the schedule of the contractor selected, the project may begin this fall or next summer. Once the contract is awarded, the contractor will have 180 days from the start date to complete the project.

Clark Township officials contacted Mr. Taylor at the end of August to broker a deal to use the site . A dump site needed to be selected by the end of August, so that there would be enough time to conduct the environmental study and award the dredging contract before the end of the Corps of Engineer's fiscal year. Ms. Mundell said if a contract is not awarded by the end of the fiscal year, there is a possibility funds allocated for the project could be lost. She expects a contract to be awarded as early as Friday, September 25, just as the 30-day assessment is completed.

DNR and township officials signed an agreement Friday, August 28, that allows entry to Mr. Taylor's property between August 31, 2009, and December 31, 2010, to deposit up to 100,00 cubic yards of fill and spoil materials, as well as erect temporary structures, and store equipment and supplies .

The dredging project is expected to cost about $1.4 million and will be paid for with federal funds allocated by the Corps of Engineers for Michigan waterways projects in April.

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