Proposed park takes another step forward to completion

Proposed park takes another step forward to completion

MARQUETTE — It’s been a long wait, but a potential new park in the City of Marquette is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

The proposed Clark Park would be built on a tract of land along the shore of Lake Superior given to the City via a DNR trust by the estate of long–time Marquette businessperson Clark Lambros. It’s been about two and a half years since the ball started rolling on the gifting of the park.

“Our ultimate goal was to have it built this summer, and the way it’s gone on, I don’t know if that’s going to be able to happen or not,” said Michelle Butler, advocate for the park.

“The City Commission had to look at it and say, ‘OK, we’re representing the citizens. We want to be sure that we’re doing no harm to them and the city,’ and we had to look at it,” said City of Marquette Mayor Mike Coyne, “[We’re] kind of getting some criticism like ‘what’s the matter with you? You know, it’s a two million dollar gift basically. Why don’t you just take it?’ Well, there’s about five or six very important moving parts that we have to all be sure of — the Lambros family and us.”

One last piece of the puzzle will be verification from the DNR and Department of Environmental Quality that minor pollution problems on the land will not be an issue for the city. While the commission tabled the issue for a month at its last regular meeting, a work session earlier this week in which commissioners toured the land in question yielded positive results.

“Just getting the general feeling of commissioners as they spoke, I think this is going to happen,” Coyne said.

“I think the commissioners that did attend that session were quite impressed with what they saw as far as the expanse of the land and the gift that we are giving to the city,” said Butler.

“It’s a really great gift, but it’s very complex because of all the different issues that are involved, and that’s why it’s taken two and a half years to get it to where we are today,” Coyne added.

Plans for the park include a beach bath house, and lake side parking, which will be undertaken by the Lambros estate. Coyne said the City Commission could take the issue off the table at any regular or special meeting, including the one happening Monday.