City to create developmental plan for future of marina

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By Correne Martin

The Prairie du Chien Common Council has decided to work with Vierbicher Associates, its representative planning/engineering firm, to create a redevelopment plan for the marina. Now that Regal Marine Group has been court ordered to vacate the city-owned premises by August, the council approved a professional services agreement (PSA) with Vierbicher to develop recommendations on what the marina might look like in the future.

Kurt Muchow, Vierbicher community development specialist, shared with the council Tuesday night that his firm will collaborate with the city to formulate suggestions and goals regarding which amenities might be desired, perform environmental and archaeological analyses, and create a base map from the marina over to the adjacent Washington Street Park. The process will also include a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers, during which a review of the city’s goals, regulatory issues and required permits will likely be discussed.

Muchow advised that the city and Vierbicher also meet with marina equipment vendors in order to gather useful information moving forward.

Eventually, he anticipates the city and its consultant will take the necessary steps in preparing a developmental strategy, then form a conceptual plan, cost estimates. Then, Vierbicher will compile a report for the council to consider.

The city’s final decision in the process, according to Mayor Dave Hemmer’s inferences Tuesday night, would involve working with potential investors or clients interested in leasing the marina for boating purposes.

“At this point in time, we don’t have plans to run a marina,” Hemmer stated. “We’re creating this developmental plan of what we want to see over there. Once that’s done, we’ll move forward from there.”

Muchow said the future marina could be geared toward private, transient and commercial boaters, or any functional guidelines the city wishes. “I don’t have any preconceived notions about what it will look like (though),” he said.

The cost of the approved Vierbicher PSA is about $6,000 and, according to the council’s finance committee chair, Nate Gilberts, the money may possibly come from the city’s contingency and/or 2016 surplus funds.

“I think spending $6,000 to get started is a wise way to do this,” Alderman Ron Leys said.

“This is important so we can have a clean slate, so any investors can come in knowing the ground work has been done,” Alderman Todd Myers noted. “Then, they can know what they have in front of them.”

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