MITCHELL – The city of Mitchell secured a $1 million grant from the US Economic Development Administration to fund a public boat dock and jetty on Lake Mitchell.
City officials applied for the grant to fund a jetty and public boat dock project being discussed along the west side of the lake near the boat ramp. The concept of building a jetty—a long, narrow strip of dirt surrounded by rock fills or rocks to block the wind for boat docking—was developed by a North Dakota State University-led Lake Mitchell recreation study that the City recommended building a public marina Boat dock and jetty.
The $1 million grant has prompted city leaders to move ahead with their plans to improve recreational opportunities along the lake. According to a press release from the US Department of Commerce, Mitchell will contribute $937,677 in local funds to the project and is expected to create 20 jobs, according to the grantee’s estimates.
“That are great news. The boat dock and jetty are a big part of our overall plan to improve Lake Mitchell and make it even more accessible for recreational purposes,” City Manager Stephanie Ellwein said Tuesday. “It is great to see Mitchell competing for a national scholarship and receiving the large amount of funding from the scholarship.”
The boat dock and jetty project is valued at US$1.9 million. With the $1 million grant the city is raising, Ellwein said it would help the city fund about half of the project’s cost.
According to Gina Raimondo, the US Secretary of Commerce, the $1 million grant will “support outdoor recreation and boost the local tourism industry” by creating more outdoor opportunities for tourists to hike to Mitchell. The grant funds are supported by President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was introduced in March 2021 to help communities across the country recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to support.
“This project will boost tourism and outdoor recreation in Mitchell and attract visitors to existing tourist attractions. This EDA investment in Mitchell is an excellent opportunity to leverage a regional advantage and build greater economic resilience in the region’s growing outdoor recreation and tourism industry,” Raimondo said in a press release.
Given that a marina would be a multimillion-dollar project, city leaders shifted their focus to building a public boat dock and jetty about a year ago.
Prior to awarding the $1 million EDA grant, the Mitchell City Council approved a $35,000 design for a future boat dock and jetty on the west side of the lake. The design included a 62-berth boat dock surrounded by an L-shaped jetty some 530 feet long.
Mayor Bob Everson said the grant for the boat dock and jetty project adds momentum to the city’s efforts to improve the lake.
“We are excited to get this major project off the west side of the lake,” he said. “A public boat dock was something that people out there wanted to see.”
The $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) comes at a critical time for the city and Lake Mitchell as officials have invested time and money creating a wetland along Firesteel Creek to stem the algal bloom to reduce urban ownership that has hampered Lake for decades. Plans to dredge the lake have also been heated up over the past year.