It's on us. Share your news here.

Berrien County Board Advances Spring Dredging Project, Hopes For Longterm Solution

Posted on March 25, 2024

The Berrien County Board of Commissioners is moving ahead with an effort to dredge the St. Joseph River this spring.

The board has been told previously there are parts of the river that may prove unnavigable if sand isn’t removed. The county sought bids to do engineering work and prepare permit applications. Peterson and Vandenberg of Grand Haven was the lone bidder at $50,000.

Commissioner Jon Hinkelman on Thursday read from the board’s resolution authorizing that contract with support from local governments.

“The city of St. Joe and St. Joe Charter Township have tentatively committed to provide $15,000 each to the county of Berrien to support this work, and whereas the remaining portion of this work, $20,650 will be funded from the available contingency within the county’s general fund budget,” Hinkelman read.

The county did reach out to Benton Harbor to ask for a contribution, but never heard back. Commissioner Mamie Yarbrough said that’s a shame.

“The $15,000 is not a lot of money,” Yarbrough said. “I’m sorry that the city of Benton Harbor has not answered or chosen to be involved in this.”

Yarbrough said it’s necessary for local governments to pay for maintenance of nearby attractions.

With an engineering contract in place, now it’s up to nearby marinas and slip owners to raise the money for actual dredging. Commissioner Hinkelman said all parties should come together for a long-term plan to do more dredging in the future.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe