City of St. Joseph takes ownership of North Pier Lighthouses - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

City of St. Joseph takes ownership of North Pier Lighthouses

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The city of St. Joseph, MI has officially accepted ownership of the historic North Pier Lighthouses.

The lighthouses have been a fixture in the area for over 100 years,  and St. Joseph Mayor Bob Judd says, "They've been important to this community for many years. It's really important that we take possession of those and we maintain the icon of our community."

Now that the city is the official owner, Mayor Judd says the plans for renovation are underway."We can maintain it once it's restored, but we have a big restoration project in front of us."
He says the restoration project will cost about two million dollars and the project has two phases. First, there are metal parts that need replaced and inside repairs, along with checking for lead paint and eventually repainting the structures. "It's a great investment for our community, we're working on our strategy for fundraising, we're figuring up a committee-it's not something the city tax payers are going to pay for."

And State Representative Al Pscholka doesn't think finding funds will be too difficult. "It could get expensive, but the nice thing is, I think this is a philanthropic community that's going to step up and make it happen without jeopardizing tax payers."

Community Development Director John Hodgson says they've been wanting to do restoration work for years. "It's great that the community has clear title to the lighthouses and now we can do the rehabilitation work that needs to be done to preserve it for future generations."

He says the details are still under discussion and the work may not begin until next summer or later. "We need to figure out how to fund it the rest of the way."

Which is why mayor Judd say the city has a lot of work to do.

While specific fundraising plans are still being discussed, the city does have a Lighthouse Forever Fund set up for donations. For information on how you can donate, click here.
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