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      Boating season gets underway in Gladstone

      It's the season for boating, and at the Gladstone Boat Marina, new piers and slips will allow more people to enjoy Little Bay de Noc.

      Nicole Sanderson, Director of Parks and Recreation, said, "We have been installing our new floating dock system. The original harbor was built over 30 years ago, and it did a really, really good job. However, it was time to replace it." The floating docks will rise and fall with water levels, making it easier to board a boat. Other improvements are larger and more slips, with wider entry ramps that are disabled accessible.

      The total cost of the renovation is approximately half a million dollars. Michigan Waterways provided a grant of $225,000, and the Downtown Development Authority donated $125,000. The remainder is expected to come from user fees.

      Sanderson says numerous people walk by the harbor all day long. She adds that it is a focal point of Van Cleve Park, to which it belongs.

      One passerby, Brian Hanson of Kalamazoo, saw the new docks being put in the water and inquired if any slips were available. He plans on putting his boat in the water next week.

      Sanderson adds, "We're really turning our little jewel of a park into something that is not only going to be functional, but very, very aesthetically pleasing."

      Welcome to summer!