Oak Creek continues to plug away at its quest to get the city's lakefront opened up for public use.
Contracts for work that will address concerns with stormwater management and bluff stabilizaton — two of the many challenges in the lakefront battle — were approved by city officials this month. The city will pay JJR $116,700 for bluff stabilization and $119,000 for a stormwater master plan services agreement.
The latter contract hinges on receiving a grant to will cover $83,000 of the city's cost. City Administrator Gerald Peterson said Oak Creek expects to get that grant, but it likely won't be finalized until December, which could delay some of the work longer than the city would like.
Grants could also cover up to $22,000 in costs for the stabilization contract.
The city budgeted $1 million for lakefront redevelopment work in 2012. That money comes from public utility aid the city gets from hosting the We Energies power plant.
City officials are actively pursuing grants in both the lakefront and Delphi redevelopment projects, Mayor Steve Scaffidi said. Oak Creek has received more than $1 million for the Delphi site and is on its way to the $1 million mark for the lakefront.
Officials say they want to leverage city money with funding from the state and federal government, as well as private sources.
Both contracts are steps in improving Oak Creek residents' access to Lake Michigan, Scaffidi said.
"It has to be done if we ever want to open that area up for development, and for the public to actually have access to 260-plus acres on our lakefront," he said.
The area is just north of Bender Park and has been vacant for decades, with former factories long-shuttered.
The city has said a public park will be the first component of a years-long redevelopment project to be constructed, which could happen in 2013.
Plans call for a mix of residential, retail, commercial and public space at the site. A new road will also be built to connect Fifth Avenue, which borders the redevelopment area, with Highway 100.