Boat docks to be raised at Lake Front Park

Trash pickup delays seen in Grosse Pointe Woods

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 21, 2019

 Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Works employees work at Lake Front Park, 23000 Jefferson Ave. in St. Clair Shores, to begin the process of raising the boat docks.

Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Works employees work at Lake Front Park, 23000 Jefferson Ave. in St. Clair Shores, to begin the process of raising the boat docks.

Photo provided by Frank Schutle

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Works has begun the process of raising the boat docks at Lake Front Park, 23000 Jefferson Ave. in St. Clair Shores.

At the May 6 City Council meeting, the council voted 6-0 to approve going forward with the project. Mayor Robert Novitke was absent. The boat docks need to be raised because of high water levels at the park’s marina, which leads into Lake St. Clair.

According to city documents, council members approved the project to raise boat docks approximately 10 inches due to Lake St. Clair’s projected rising water levels. The council approved the project not to exceed $47,363, and that a loan in the amount of $35,000 be obtained at a 2% interest rate to be reimbursed in three years from a boat dock operating supplies account.

Public Works Director Frank Schulte said $35,000 of the project will be for materials, and the remaining funds will pay for the labor costs.

“The lake levels have come up. It’s been on the rise for a couple years due to excess amount of rain and snow. Right now, water is about 2-3 inches from coming over the seawall,” he said. “If the water does come over the seawall, we’ll have to shut the power off to the marina.”

Members of the Grosse Pointe Woods Department of Public Works are conducting the boat dock-raising project.

“We have a talented group of people,” Schulte said. “We’re hoping to be done by May 25. We’re trying to keep the water from flooding the rest of the park.”

The high water levels are primarily due to rainfall, and to stop any possible flooding at Lake Front Park, a sandbag levy has been placed on one area of the property.

According to additional information from the city, boats that are stored in “dry dock” may be sitting in water as lake levels rise, and this is unavoidable under the current circumstances.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ weekly Great Lakes water level update released May 17, “The persistent wet conditions and high streamflows this spring have resulted in a rapid rise in lake levels.”

As of May 14, the daily levels of Lake St. Clair were already above the record high monthly levels for May. Over the last month, Lake St. Clair has risen 7 to 10 inches. Lake St. Clair reportedly is 6 inches higher than last year.

In an email blast sent to Grosse Pointe Woods residents May 7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers states that the current projected high lake level for Lake St. Clair for the end of May is 1 inch higher than the current level. Additionally, the future range of possible outcomes for the lake by the end of June 2019 could be an additional 6 to 8 inches in rise from the current lake level.


Trash pickup delays
In other city news, there have been some trash pickup delays in various neighborhoods in recent weeks. In some cases, trash has been delayed one day.

The delays are due to the recently announced, permanent closure of the Detroit Renewable Power Incinerator, 5700 Russell St. in Detroit. With the closing, Grosse Pointe Woods’ trash pickup contractor, Green For Life, or GFL, now travels to the Pine Tree Acres Landfill on 29 Mile Road in Lenox Township to empty its trucks. The longer drive from the Woods to Lenox has slowed down the trash pickup cycle.

“The round trip is two hours instead of 40 minutes,” Schulte said. “GFL is struggling to complete the route on certain days.”

GFL plans to keep its crews working extra hours each day and will add more trucks to keep pickup on schedule, although sometimes pickup may occur on the next day.