Committee Forwards Ideas for Marina’s Future

Group stops looking at Anclam Park as a viable option

A mild winter and early ice-out allowed Baileys Harbor to start its dredging routine early this year, but town officials want someday to put an end to that $75,000-per-year activity.

The Baileys Harbor Marina Ad-Hoc Committee this winter received a 31-page report from Baird & Associates marine engineers, who are helping with a master plan. Because waves continue to deposit silt into the marina, the town asked Baird to check on the feasibility of fixing the problem versus looking at other locations.

The report convinced committee members to stop looking at two alternate locations for a couple of reasons. The end of First Lane near Björklunden has a lack of water depth near shore and is too far from the main business district; and the Anclam Park pier, which was used a century ago by Hart and Hill Steamship Companies, is shallow nearshore and has limited parking.

The committee members agreed that their first choice is to correct the siltation issues and improve the docking and building at the downtown marina. But they haven’t ruled out using, acquiring and updating the marina facilities at the Baileys Harbor Yacht Club at 8151 Ridges Road – which is privately owned and two miles away from the main business district.

The committee voted 5-0 to recommend that the town board assign Baird and Senior Marine Engineer Caleb Barth to analyze needs and costs to correct problems and update the current marina facilities, as well as possible costs of the yacht club marina option. They asked for both bare-bones costs and costs for major modifications and upgrades.

“Now that we have narrowed it to two possibilities, I think we can really focus in on it,” said Eric Peil, committee chair.

For many years, the town has paid for dredging in the fall, but waves driven by south winds often refill the marina with silt early in the spring. 

To protect young whitefish, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has required the town to complete dredging by April 15.

Death’s Door Marine has spent most of March dredging the siltation out of the Baileys Harbor marina, which currently needs dredging at least once a year. Photo by Craig Sterrett.

Harbormaster Robert Oldenburg and dredging contractor Mike Kahr of Death’s Door Marine said the dredging – including removal of a new sandbar discovered just outside the marina – will be completed by then. That’s just in time for the April 18-21 Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament.

Board OKs Drainage Solution

The Baileys Harbor town board on March 27 voted to spend an estimated $7,500 and not more than $10,000 for Kahr to correct an issue where water from multiple stormwater drains gets trapped and stagnates north of the marina before reaching the lake. 

A previous estimated cost to reroute the storm drains ranged between $150,000 and $200,000, Town Board Chair David Eliot (also co-owner and publisher of the Peninsula Pulse), said during the meeting. 

Instead, the town board opted for Kahr’s lower-cost solution to remove a 10-foot section of crib along the north marina breakwater, and replace it with a bridge that allows the full movement of water. The crib is made up of wood timbers, infilled with rock and capped with concrete, according to DNR water management specialist Sarah Szabo, who wrote a letter to the town approving the project.

“The purpose for removing the section of crib is to allow space for a stormwater outlet to flush through the marina to potentially improve water quality,” Szabo wrote.