ESCANABA – Basic Marine in Escanaba is looking to purchase city property adjacent to their property to develop a deep water port for maintenance of larger commercial ships and possible cruise ships.
The sale price has been set at $133-thousand for the property. Basic Marine asked that the property be purchased for $1. The Escanaba City Planning Commission tabled the issue Thursday night pending additional information.
Lyle Bero with Basic Marine said they intend to invest $500-thousand into the property which is near the Delta County Jail.
It’s eroding really fast,” said Bero. “Shoreline erosion is hitting it very badly from that last north wind that we had. Some areas we lost six or eight feet of shoreline already in the last couple of days. Something has to be done down there.”
Basic Marine wants to improve the property by putting up a steel wall and dredging the lake to 28 feet.
“The proposal from Basic Marine is to have a continuous steel sheet wall all the way up to the point in front of the round house up to the jail. That would be about 1,500 feet or more of steel break wall that would be put in there to secure that shoreline.”
Basic Maine is a shipbuilding and repair company. Extending the dock along the shoreline would allow the company to service larger vessels for repair, storage and loading and unloading.
Bero said another possibility is the development of cruise shipping in the area.
“We are looking right now at putting in a swinging driveway in there that they could through and pick up passengers off of the cruise ship take them to the casino, take them to the golf course. There’s a lot of potential in that kind of thing,” he said.
The project could add 20 to 25 need employees. Most would be skilled trade workers such as welders, pipefitters and painters along with support staff such as engineers, supervisors and administration.
Letters of support were received from the U.S. Coast Guard, VanEnkevort Tug & Barge and Central Marine Logistics
“The consideration of selling the property to Basic Marine is a good one for our community. It’s a good economic aspect for the city of Escanaba. It’s going to employ more people. It’s going to increase the population in our community which is going to increase the number of children in our schools. And the overall revenue impact, the economic impact on Escanaba is going to be terrific in the three to four years,” Bero said.
The sale of the property needs to be approved by the Escanaba City Council.