The community of Harbor Beach in the state’s Thumb was honored with the Michigan Municipal League’s 2014 Community Excellence Award on October 17, 2014, at the League’s Annual Convention in Marquette. Accepting the award, from left are, Harbor Beach council member Sam Capling, Harbor Beach Mayor Pro Tem Al Kleinknecht, and Clark Ramsey, a member of the city’s planning commission.
The peer-nominated Community Excellence Award (CEA), affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships. It’s the highest and most prestigious award bestowed by the statewide League.
Harbor Beach won for its innovative, self-performed dredging project and it’s the first community from the League’s Region 5, which encompasses communities in the state’s Thumb, to ever win the statewide title.
“We are very honored to be selected by our peer communities to win the Community Excellence Award,” said Harbor Beach Mayor Pro Tem Al Kleinknecht. “Our self-performed dredging project showed what can happen when you want to get something done and try to figure out best way to do it and this was the best way to do it. It got the job done.”
With water levels on the Great Lakes being so low the past two summers, many communities like Harbor Beach had to do emergency dredging in order to accommodate boats in its municipal marina.
The city owns and operates a 114-slip marina on Lake Huron in the thumb of Michigan. Harbor Beach received grant funding assistance from the Department of Natural Resources-Waterways to do the dredging. The city administered the dredging project using its own equipment and personnel.