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McHenry City Council approves Miller Point pier project

McHENRY – In an effort to drive visitors downtown, the city of McHenry is looking to build a public pier along its Riverwalk.

The McHenry City Council voted unanimously to go out for bid on the project, which will be designed to match the existing Riverwalk, be located at city-owned Miller Point and have enough slips for 12 boats.

The goal is to have the pier built this summer in conjunction with the construction of the new sections of Riverwalk, Deputy City Administrator Bill Hobson said.

With the pier's location and the extension of the Riverwalk, boaters on the Fox River will be able to dock their boats and follow all the way to Green Street or to the shops and restaurants on Riverside Drive north of Route 120 without crossing the state route, Hobson said.

Like the Riverwalk, the pier will be located on a public easement, which means it will remain city property even after the city sells Miller Point, a 2.62-acre lot on North Riverside Drive that the city bought in 2012 after a fire destroyed the the 1929 Dobyns House and the restaurant in it, leaving it vacant for several years.

The pier will be paid for using general fund dollars, but the plan is to pay back the general fund with funds accumulated through the downtown tax increment financing district, Hobson said.

The city intends to pay back the general fund for several Riverfront-centric projects, including the purchase of the former Dobyns House property, using revenue generated through the TIF district.

The pier is estimated to cost about $50,000, according to council documents.

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