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Middle Bass Islanders Met with ODNR on Aug. 12

to Discuss the state Park Marina Plans

Middle Bass Island representatives from Burgundy Bay, the Middle Bass Island Yacht Club, and the rest of the island attended a Aug. 12 meeting at Put-in-Bay with ODNR's Dan West and several other ODNR officials. We are delighted that the dialog between ODNR and islanders is improving, and the plans that ODNR discussed are summarized below:

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ODNR is committed to developing a traditional state park on Middle Bass Island with a larger and improved marina with a blend of transient and seasonal docks, boat launch ramp, campground, picnic areas, hiking trails, interpretive areas, fishing access, etc.

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The marina and campground development project is currently under review by the US Army Corps of Engineers (404 permit), the Ohio EPA (401 permit), US Fish & Wildlife Service (Environmental Assessment), and ODNR Office of Coastal Management (Coastal Consistency Determination and Shore Structure Permit).

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The funded portion of the project consists of a 360 boat slip marina basin, docks for 180 transient boat slips, boat launch ramp, a 60 unit full service campground, water & wastewater facilities, some public restrooms, day use facilities, staff housing, and other infrastructure improvements.

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Current funding is only for 180 transient boat slips (transient due to a funding grant stipulation), but ODNR intends to have approximately 360 boat slips available when the marina opens for the 2009 season using new capital funds or private sector involvement or both.

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The unfunded portion of this project includes the additional docks, marina support buildings, and permanent restroom/shower facilities.

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Assuming approval of all permits by 7/06, construction documents will be completed and the project advertised for bids late in '06. Construction on the marina entrance channel will begin 7/07, the marina basin 9/07.

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The existing marina basin will close for construction starting 9/07 and remain closed for the 2008 season. The marina and campground will re-open spring of 2009.

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Unfunded future improvements may include improvements to existing historic structures within the park (winery, mansion), other day-use improvements (educational interpretive exhibits, boardwalks, nature trails, and wildlife viewing structures).

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ODNR has formed a working group with local constituents to address the issues of emergency dockage (fire, police, ems), seasonal dockage needs while the marina is closed, water and wastewater concerns, and coordination with the port authority, Ottawa County, Put-In-Bay Township, Middle Bass Island Yacht Club, Island residents, and adjacent businesses and landowners. As part of our mitigation plan to offset the impact to approximately 9 acres of wetlands for the marina/campground project, ODNR has proposed a 39 acre high quality wetland restoration project at Middle Harbor plus preserve or enhance 13 acres of wetlands on Middle Bass Island.

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Other benefits of this project include: safe harbor for boaters during storm events, improved marina basin water quality, and improved wildlife habitat for the Lake Erie Water Snake, small mouth bass, and other aquatic species.

This is a follow-up to the editorial published last month: State Park Plans Threaten Threaten Island Way of Life, Defy Common Sense.

 

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Revised: 21 Jul 2008 07:50:22.

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