By Scott Sullivan
The world may little note nor long remember the Wade’s Bayou storage building. But, as decrepit a waterfront eyesore as it may be, it’s served Douglas well housing public works gear crews use to clear, patch and stripe city streets, suck up and haul away leaves and brush, mow grass, mark safe Kalamazoo River boating channels, on and on.
Tears were few despite that when city council Monday accepted the $8,975 low bid from Scott’s Landscape Management’s to tear the cinder-block structure down.
Demolition will be in keeping with Douglas plans to develop Wade’s Bayou as a municipal marina and park on the water downtown and move public works storage elsewhere.
Phased-in work at Wade’s Bayou to date has included building a pile-supported 6×30-foot access pier, 50-foot ADA-compliant gangway, accessible kayak launch and the first 120-foot-long leg, with “T” at the end, of main pier.
It provides mooring for five to 10 boats, depending on length, and more should vessels raft off of each other. The site is designed to accommodate future utilities (power and water), plus other features.
The entire Wade’s project, estimated in fall 2017 at $2.3-million, would have two main piers with 44 slips, plus 146 feet of broadside docking. It would require harbor dredging to the site plus spoils storage somewhere.
The city continues to store public works gear at the northeast corner of Water Street and Wiley Road while eyeing a now-vacant 9.59-acre former orchard south of Wiley and east of I-196 it purchased for $48,873.23 in 2018 from Donald Carpenter of Grand Rapids.
The city hired Allegan-based Scott’s Landscape in September for $49,337.70 to clear and do site work on the rural plot well east of town, but continues discussions with residential neighbors about how intensely that land is used.
Douglas in 2013 bought 16.5 acres of the former Mi Ro Golf Course north of Wiley and west of Ferry Street from Joe Migas for $196,600, then annexed that land — which was adjacent to the then western city limits — from Saugatuck Township with an eye to moving some public works operations there.
The city dropped that plan after residential neighbors protested. The parcel, which lies west of the now-vacant former Haworth plant, is being eyed as part of larger mixed-use development.
A Douglas Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is seeking state funds to raze the old 156,900-square-foot factory at 200 Blue Star Hwy., which would be phase one of that effort.
Scott’s bid for the Wade‘s Bayou building demolition came in under ones from Hamilton’s Specialized Demolition ($9,500) and Fennville’s Broe’s X-Cavating ($18,480).
The $8,950, which may include additional fees should asbestos abatement be necessary, are available through the city’s building and grounds budget.