SOUTH HAVEN — Boaters who enjoy the city’s Northside Municipal Marina will have to find a different one to use this year.
City officials announced Wednesday they will be closing the marina for the 2020 boating season to make needed electrical upgrades.
High water has compromised the shore power electric system, which could cause shock or electrocution if someone were to come into contact with the water, according to Harbor Master Kate Hosier, who is also South Haven’s assistant city manager.
Results of a recent field review and targeted testing showed electrical leakage is occurring where wires have been sliced or are in partially or fully submerged junction boxes.
“Our community is home to one of the major recreational ports on the Great Lakes, and our goal is to provide clean, safe and reasonably priced facilities for recreational boaters,” Hosier said. “We are closing Northside Marina this summer in order to do this critical electrical upgrade and be open in time for season next summer. We are working individually to accommodate our longtime slip holders.”
The city upgraded the electric shore power system at the Southside Municipal Marina in 2019.
For the Northside marina upgrade, city staff will work with Edgewater Resources to conduct the repairs and ensure the marina, which sits on the north side of the channel into Lake Michigan, meets the national electric code. Repairs are expected to be begin during the summer months and are estimated to cost more than $300,000.
Earlier this year, South Haven reached out to all 97 slip-holders at Northside Marina with options, including canceling this year’s rental and receiving a full refund, or applying this year’s rental to reserve a slip for 2021.
High water may also prompt South Haven to delay the opening of its three other municipal marinas – Southside Municipal Marina, Black River Park and Maritime Docks – from its customary April 15 opening, to a month later. South Haven is also seeking guidance from state officials in Michigan on the impact COVID-19 might have on marinas.