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DUNKIRK – Members of the City of Dunkirk Planning Board met last week to review plans for replacing the city’s seawall on Lake Front Boulevard and adding recreational facilities.

The board looked at environmental data supplied by Nausbaumer and Clark Engineers and concluded there would be little or no impact since the project is a replacement for an existing wall.

This year the city received nearly $800,000 in funding to replace the wall. The total project is expected to cost between $3 million and $4 million.

The board approved a resolution to be presented to the City Council after reviewing the environmental information. Members had concerns about the proposed railings on the new seawall and asked that options for railings that had minimal view obstruction be approved.

The grant funding was provided due to a change in the concept of the wall which makes it more of a recreational area.

City Planning Director Steve Neratko said the new wall will have a walkway area and new entrances to the beach, including a handicapped-accessible entrance.

He said plans call for the wall to be replaced this year and the new recreational areas to be added next year. There will be a skating rink that will be ice in the winter and open for roller skating in the summer, he said. New playground equipment will be added and Neratko said the city hopes to have skate rentals and an enclosure for hockey games.

Splash pads and outdoor showers also are part of the amenities. 

Neratko said the long-term plan is for a permanent band shell for summer concerts and additional restrooms.

Ads have been placed for bids for the project and are expected to be awarded this month when the City Council meets. Neratko said construction will be done in phases but the entire area will not be shut down except for short times.

The lakefront bathing beach may be limited for swimming. Neratko said swimmers will be able to use the Point Gratiot beach. He said the current wall was constructed in the early 1900s.