Harbor improvements exciting

Alpena lays a bit off the beaten path, either by land or by water.

We have no interstates leading into our town, and Thunder Bay is a nine-mile trek from open Lake Huron water for any traveling boaters who want to make a stop here.

For both directions, people are hard at work to make that extra traveling worth it.

Groups such as the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce, the Alpena Downtown Development Authority, and Target Alpena throw events and work on economic development projects to make the town a worthwhile visit for out-of-towners.

And, as News staff writer Steve Schulwitz reported in a recent story, the Alpena harbormaster and other city officials are hard at work beautifying and improving the harbor to make it a more attractive place for boaters to visit.

Among the new amenities already at the harbor are Wi-Fi, improved docks, and a reworked boating lounge.

Soon to come, the city has received a $150,000 grant for new fixed, floating docks to replace old ones that have outlived their useful life. She said the city has committed $151,000 as a match.

“We have the pieces in place, but we need to find a way to overcome that nine miles, which means we have to make Alpena a destination,” Harbormaster Shannon Smolinski said. “We need to make sure people know about us and what we have to offer. People in the boating community talk with each other, and, if they are hearing Alpena is where you need to go and want to be, they will begin to make that nine-mile trip in here to see us.”

We agree completely.

Good work to everyone involved in the projects completed thus far, and good luck to their efforts to complete more projects in the future.


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