The city received the green light on Monday night to pursue a grant to fund the proposed jetty and boat dock project along Lake Mitchell.
With the Mitchell City Council’s unanimous approval during Monday’s meeting, the city will be applying for a $482,000 grant to help fund the future project. The jetty -- which is a long, narrow strip of earthwork surrounded by riprap or stone that extends from the nearby shore -- is proposed to be constructed next to the West End boat launch, if the project materializes to the building stage.
“The goal would be to finish this with minimal costs to the city, and this is a chance to get some funds,” Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Powell said. “I feel like this is a great year to apply for the grant funds, because there are a lot of funds available from the COVID-19 money.”
According to Powell, the installation of the jetty and public boat dock is estimated to cost around $1.4 million. However, that could be reduced if the city draws the lake water down during a future dredging project. The grant that the city is applying for through the Land Water Conservation Fund would cover 34% of the project costs, if awarded.
While the jetty is intended to help block the wind and reduce the wake for boats to dock with more ease, Powell said it would also serve as a new fishing spot for anglers.
Depending on what type of dredging method the city uses, should the council approve a lake dredging project in the near future, the costs of constructing the jetty and boat docks could vary by $400,000. Powell said a dredging project that temporarily draws the lake water down would be the cheapest route for the jetty and boat dock, reducing the cost to around $1 million.
The city is in talks with the South Dakota National Guard to assist with the construction of the jetty, which Powell noted would also reduce the costs of the project. A major reason for Powell’s request to begin seeking grant funding for the jetty and boat dock project is to secure as much funds as possible before the dredging design that Barr Engineering is working on gets completed.
Previously, Mayor Bob Everson noted the dredging design may be completed within nine months from now. The design will identify a true cost of dredging Lake Mitchell, which has yet to be determined.
“The goal is to secure funding for this project in time for a dredging design that will review all options to install the jetty at the least amount of cost to the city,” Powell said.
The idea of building a jetty came as one of the results from North Dakota State University’s Lake Mitchell Community Use Plan, which was a project aimed at enhancing recreational opportunities on the lake. Perhaps the most notable result of the project was NDSU’s recommendation for the city to build a marina with a restaurant surrounded by cabins along the shorelines of the lake.
The jetty is anticipated to stretch about 530 feet from the shoreline into the water, forming an L-shape to protect the boat dock from wind and water wake.