A $1.5 million federal grant will help pay for rebuilding the downtown Annapolis City Dock, including upgrades to stormwater management controls to reduce frequent flooding.
"City Dock is arguably the city's most important asset, and first and foremost, we need to be responsible stewards of the assets we have," said Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen.
An overall $12.5 million rehabilitation project for the dock involves stabilizing and rebuilding 700 linear feet of City Dock's bulkhead, as well as the stormwater measures and upgrading slips used by transient boaters who visit Annapolis.
Cohen said stormwater upgrades are the highest priority. The project will prevent water from Spa Creek from backing up into stormwater pipes, which contributes to flooding that often stretches across parking spots and onto Dock Street.
"Businesses lose easily a dozen days a year because we have to shut down Dock Street," Cohen said.
The grant will specifically pay for upgrading slips; the remaining $11 million needed for the project will come from city bonds and stormwater fees paid by city property owners. The allocation comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Boating Infrastructure Grant program, and is among $11.2 million in grants allocated to projects in 15 states. The grant program gets money from taxes on boats and fishing equipment.
Cohen said he was counting on the grant to come through, and included it in his latest budget for the city.
"If we hadn't received this grant, we would have had to find $1.5 million somewhere else," he said.
The project to rebuild the bulkhead comes as the city is updating its master plan for the City Dock area. Work could start as soon as fall 2014, after the annual boat shows. The project will complete work begun in 2008, when the city replaced 800 feet of bulkhead and remodeled Susan Campbell Park. Cohen said there will be opportunities for people to weigh in on finishing touches.