Biking, walking path in the works

MANISTIQUE – The city of Manistique is moving forward with its plans for a non-motorized walking and biking pathway around the city.

At a recent Manistique City Council meeting, council granted support to apply for three Michigan Department of Natural Resources land acquisition grants for property along the Manistique River. The grants are awarded through the DNR Trust Fund.

The first grant application would be to acquire 7.64 acres of Mackinaw Trail property, located just north of the U.S. 2 bridge along the Manistique River.

Approximately 2.63 acres of Manistique Lumber and Supply Inc. property just south of Siphon Bridge and 1.16 acres of Warshawsky Iron & Metal property north of Siphon Bridge, which follows the Manistique River to the CN Railroad crossing near the city’s industrial park, are also being sought after.

“These parcels would fit in with the non-motorized path plan to create an extension of the boardwalk and develop a walking and biking path that would connect with the east end of the boardwalk,” said Manistique City Manager Sheila Aldrich. “This path, when completed, would create a three-mile loop that would start and end at the existing boardwalk.”

Once the property is acquired, the city can then begin applying for grant money to go toward the non-motorized path project.

Each parcel must be appraised by a state certified, licensed appraiser. The city would then be required to provide a local match of 25 percent of the total project cost. So far two of the three property owners have agreed to donate the 25 percent local match amount.

The land acquisition grant applications are due April 1 and the city will likely learn of the application status in November. Council previously was awarded grants for Lake Michigan and Manistique River waterfront property for the non-motorized path project late last year. The land they acquired had been owned by Manistique Papers.

“We received notification in November or December that they had been approved, but then the money has to be allocated by the legislature and that’s just happening now for the ones we had last year,” said Aldrich.

Aldrich also reminds residents of the annual CBC Fund Drive, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, Bay Cliff Health Camp and Schoolcraft County community charities. The annual telethon for the event is March 24, also known as CBC Sunday, and will be televised via Charter Communications and on WTIQ 1490 AM Radio. The telethon takes place from noon to 7 p.m. Those wishing to make a pledge during the telethon may call (906) 341-9701 until 7 p.m. on CBC Sunday. Those interested in bidding on items may call (906) 341-4701 until 5 p.m. on CBC Sunday.