Put-in-Bay Docks Project Running Behind Schedule. But It Will Get Done!
Despite delays caused by the long, cold winter and the logistics and undertaking of a construction project on a small island, Put-in-Bay Mayor Ruth Scarpelli, the new Put-in-Bay Docks in the village’s downtown municipal marina, will be open by Memorial Day Weekend.
“We’re going to break our necks to do it,” Mayor Scarpelli said, “but we don’t want to deter our visitors who like bringing their boats to Put-in-Bay for a visit.” The Mayor said making the extra effort to get C Dock ready by Memorial Day is also a gesture of goodwill for the village’s loyal boating customers who support Put-in-Bay by docking at the village’s two downtown Put-in-Bay docks, A and C. She said C Dock is scheduled to be completed by mid-June. “We had delays because of weather and inability to get materials to the island,” she added. “But things are moving along now.”
Put-in-Bay Received A $2.24 Million Grant In 2007 To Help Fund The $5.6 Million Put-in-Bay Docks Project.
ODNR Division of Watercraft and US Fish & Wildlife Service Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program chose Put-in-Bay over other ports competing for federal funding. “Doug Knauer did a really good job putting this grant application together for us,” Mayor Scarpelli said. She added that the village has also been lucky to be given an extension to complete the project into the spring.
Village Clerk Joy Cooper said the village’s extension was regarding surveyed land lease issues involving the Lake Erie Water Snake and a particular mussel species. She said a malacologist was brought in to see if any of the mussels were in the construction area, and it was determined that they do not exist here on South Bass Island. The given extension allows HPH, Inc. of Toledo, until June 13 to complete the project. Most shoreline projects have specific construction dates that do not negatively impact wildlife and fish.
The Put-in-Bay weather saw unseasonably cold temperatures hampered efforts to bring about 20 large cribs, about 12 feet by 12 feet, across the ice to Put-in-Bay. Village officials attempted to bring the cribs over in February, but the captain of an icebreaker refused to make the trip after ice fishermen placed huts along the South Passage.
The new cribs sat on Miller Boat Line’s Catawba Dock until early April, when HPH workers finished assembling the docks and were transported to the island. Currently, six docks are lining Bay View Avenue and traffic from Avenue where one of the cribs is obstructing the right-hand lane.
Each new crib is about a foot wider than the current dock. The new crib framing will fit around the existing structure. It will be filled with large aggregate and then topped with concrete. Six to seven fingers will be added to C Dock, facing De- Rivera Park Trust’s B Dock, and the mayor says the village will have just about 200 dock spaces with the expansion. She said the village ordinance allows boats to be rafted 3 to 4 deep, but she hopes the development keeps rafting to a minimum.
Bay View Avenue between Hartford and Catawba is currently closed to all traffic as both sides of the road are filled with construction trailers, heavy equipment, and materials. Bay View Avenue is just one lane from Hartford East to Toledo Avenue. This Put-in-Bay Docks project requires material staging areas and enormous piles of rock, pipes, conduits, and cribs to fill the lakefront.
There are also piles of rock lining the alley behind the downtown Depot. “We’re asking people to be a little patient with us right now,” Mayor Scarpelli said in her address to Put-in-Bay business owners and community leaders at the March 28 State of the Island. “We’re making progress on the Put-in-Bay Docks. We need a little patience.”
Hartford, which is just a block long and borders the east end of DeRivera Park, is also lined with large rocks and giant spools of electrical conduit. Mayor Scarpelli said Hartford would be cleared by the week following Easter. “We need to prepare for our seasonal visitors,” she said. “I think our boaters will be very happy with the new water and electricity the Put-in-Bay Docks will provide.” Boaters may enjoy even more the lack of a Put-in-Bay Harbor Patrol Boat stopping them as they enter the harbor.
Mayor Scarpelli said the village is pleased not to be running the harbor patrol this year under the COPS grant. The grant specified the harbor patrol’s mission, and the Mayor said Homeland Security provides enough security in the Bay, the US Coast Guard, and others that Put-in-Bay does not need to spend resources there. The vessel will continue to be used in a partnership with the Put-in-Bay Township Trustees to, among other things, move emergency personnel and supplies between the islands as needed.
Along with all the improvements to the Put-in-Bay Docks, all the electrical service on Bay View, between Catawba and Hartford, will be buried underground, and the utility poles will be removed, Mrs. Cooper said. The village is working with Put-in-Bay Investments to landscape the waterfront and relay the brick walkway there.