HUBBARD LAKE - The first phase of Hubbard Lake's North End Park improvement project is now under way, and the park committee expects to hear about a grant for the second on Dec. 5.
The committee signed off on contracts with Thunder Bay Electric, Consumers Energy, Goodrich Asphalt, and Environmental Excavating on Nov. 14 for phase one, and work started in earnest a few days later. Having guided the project through various planning stages since 2009, park committee Chairman Gail Thornton said the total cost of phase one, which is subsidized by a DNR waterways grant only intended for boating-related renovations, is about $190,000.
"We're expanding the parking lot to fit these larger boats, we're going to re-pave everything in the spring, we're putting in a new pit toilet near the boat ramp so people don't have to walk clear across the park anymore like they used to, we're putting in some all-new docks, we're rebuilding the current ramp and fixing some problems that we've had with that, and there's going to be some landscaping done in the spring after that phase is done," he said.
Thornton guessed most of the work would be completed within the next few weeks, though the contractors will let the new gravel freeze and thaw before refinishing and paving over it in the spring.
The second phase of the project hinges on a $245,000 grant from the Michigan DNR Trust Fund, a repository for money from mineral leases on state land, requiring an $80,000 match. Thornton said the Hubbard Lake Park Committee's application was tied for fifth out of 102 in consideration as of Nov. 12, and if it gets approved, phase two would be completed by the end of summer 2014.
"That one is going to take care of the picnic and family area, where folks can actually come into the park and bring their family and enjoy the lake and have a picnic," he said. "We're hoping for a couple of pavilions. Right now there is no water down there, but we're hoping to drill a well, put in two new bathrooms on that side of the park, volleyball areas, picnic tables, barbeque grills, the whole works."
Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5693.